royal blood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
king henry viii of england is regarded by historians as a wicked man. but the history books do not tell you the half of it. henry tudor had a wicked dark secret that only those closest to him knew of.

Submitted: January 12, 2016

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Submitted: January 12, 2016

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They called him Henry VIII, His Majesty, King Henry, the King of England. Those closest to him sometimes called him Harry. But they all feared him, as well they should. Rumours had been rife in court for several years about the dark side of the King. He had sent many a man to the block. Anything he found objectionable was deemed to be treason and could cost you your life. At the very least you could end up being questioned in the Tower of London. And nobody was in any doubt that questioning meant being tortured until you gave the answers that were requested of you.

But there were also even more sinister, darker tales of witchcraft and demons. In actual fact King Henry had a dark secret that was known only by a select few. Those that had discovered accidentally had often paid with their lives.

Henry strode along the creaking dark palace corridors. He needed no candle or lantern to light his way. The King could see perfectly well in the darkness. Somewhere in the grounds outside an owl hooted. One of his wife's ladies in waiting hurried down the corridor. She carried a candle to see where she was going. She gasped when she saw the king. She dropped into a curtsey. The candle glow flickered over Henry's face and on the jewels on his fine clothing. He looked every inch the powerful man he was. Henry grinned.

‘Is it not late to be out of your chamber?’

‘Aye, your majesty. I lost count of the hour.’

‘Come, let me look at you more closely.’

He waved a hand. Head bowed she moved nearer. She looked up at the King. His face was now that of a monster. His eyes burned red and his wide grin revealed sharp fangs. Before she could scream Henry was at her throat. The girl clearly had not heard the stories nor paid heed to the instructions to be abed early with her chamber door locked securely.

His wicked thirst quenched he cleaned himself up before creeping back to his marital bed. He found his wife sleeping soundly. He slipped under the sheets beside her. She did not stir. It was not unusual for the King to keep odd hours and as was common they both had their own individual chambers and often spent nights apart when not trying to produce an heir to his throne.

Henry had been married to Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow, since he was eighteen years old. Sixteen years ago, back in 1509, he was crowned King of England. He had married Catherine shortly after.  And here they were in 1525, his wife had not produced a male heir, and he was this wicked creature.

The following morning Henry went through to his wife’s chambers. He found her standing by the fireplace. She had her back to him. He approached. She flinched as he touched her. She spun to face him. The fire glow and morning sun lit her terrified features. She whispered a prayer and made the Sign of the Cross. Henry turned to the Queen’s ladies in waiting. Leave us he called and waved an impatient hand. The ladies curtseyed before gliding quickly out of the room. Henry faced his wife.

‘I know about you.’ she said. ‘It’s true, isn’t it? The King of England is a monster.’

‘My love,’ said Henry. ‘we have been married for these many years. I would that you did not take heed of such court tittle tattle.’

Catherine shook her head and continued.

‘I found your servants cleaning up the atrocity you committed during the night. I prithee, do not insult me with your denial.’

Catherine stared at him, fear, outrage and disgust in her eyes. Henry sat down on a wooden bench. Clearly his staff had not been thorough enough nor speedy enough in cleaning up his mess. He sighed.

‘What you hear is true.’

‘Vampiro.’ she whispered in her thick Spanish accent.

Henry nodded. Catherine raised her shaking hands her lips.

‘It happened in my youth. I was away fighting in France. Amidst all the dark chaos of battle I was bitten. I thought at first I had been attacked by a hound. That evening, once the battle was won, I discovered the true extent of my wound and the dark secret held within.’

Catherine stared in horror.

‘My Queen, this need not change things between us.’

‘Need it not? Your Majesty is a beast of Hell. How could any God fearing person stay with such a man?’

‘I am what I am. I am changed into the creature you see before you. And you, you have not provided the King of England with a male heir to the throne. Perhaps we have both broken the vow we once made.’

‘It pleases me that I have not helped your wicked lineage to retain the throne.’

‘Well,’ snarled Henry, ‘it appears we are decided. We must divorce.’
‘We can never divorce. It is against the will of God.’
‘But what if we obtain permission from the Pope?’
‘I am, of course, loyal to his Holiness.’
‘Then perhaps we shall see what your Pope decrees.’

Henry charged from the room slamming the door behind him.

A few days later a lavish ball was thrown at Westminster Palace. The King and Queen were in attendance, as were members of the court. The wood panelled walls reverberated with music, chatter and laughter. Revellers dined on the finest foods, drank ales and wine before dancing late into the night. The King was in conversation with Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, when he spotted a lady in the crowd. She had long dark hair. She had striking if not beautiful features. She moved in a confident, almost seductive manner. The King waved a hand in her direction.

‘Tell me, Charles, who is that?’

‘That, your grace, is Anne Boleyn. She is the daughter of Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire.’

‘And the sister of Mary?’

‘That’s correct.’

Almost everyone at court knew of the affair the King had had with Mary Boleyn. For five years Mary had been the King’s mistress. The court gossip correctly guessed that the King had eventually bored with Mary. Henry watched in fascination as the other Boleyn girl, this Anne, chatted with two gentlemen of the court. The King stared. He knew that he must have this woman.

That night the King moved through the dark streets. He prowled like a wild beast. The predator was seeking its prey. He clung to the darkness moving quickly. He passed by most of those still out at this late hour unnoticed. This curse, this gift, gave him the power to appear almost invisible as well as the ability to move as quickly as the human eye can see. A group of women walked along the street. To be out at this time of night suggested they were either maids on their way home or prostitutes looking for business. Their profession was unimportant. Henry was not looked to employ anyone. He was looking for a victim. He pulled the hood of his cloak down low. He bared his fangs. He felt the thrill of the hunt. One of the women dawdled at the back of the group.

Henry pounced.

Her friends would report that a figure in a dark hooded cloak had attacked her like a wild animal. The figure moved unbelievably fast, was just a blur before disappearing into the night.

Early the following week Henry called on the Boleyns at Hever Castle. He was shown through to Sir Thomas in one of his rooms. The Earl bowed in front of the King.

‘Your Majesty does me a great honour with this visit.’

The King nodded. He beckoned Thomas to stand. Henry asked after the health of the Earl’s children. Thomas always had an ear on court gossip. He knew precisely what the King was asking.

‘George and Mary are fine. Anne is walking in the gardens at present. Perhaps you would care to join her?’

The King glanced out the large window. The skies were overcast. Since becoming the monster he found direct sunlight impossible to bear. These days bright sunlight was like a burning flame to his flesh. Thankfully the English weather being what it was, his movements were not too restricted. And once darkness fell, there was literally no stopping him.

‘Thank you, Sir Thomas. A breath of fresh air would be most appreciated.’

King Henry found Lady Anne strolling down a path. High bushes lined a perfectly manicured lawn. The pleasant surroundings seemed to suit her. Anne curtseyed gracefully as he approached. Your grace, she purred.

‘Would you walk with me, Lady Anne?’

‘Of course, if it pleases your grace.’

She smiled. They walked through gardens. Anne regaled the King with tales of the French court where she had spent much of her youth. Indeed, she had a continental air about her that the King found intoxicating. She was of English stock yet had an exotic way about her. When she spoke some of her words were pronounced in French accent.

Henry quickly became captivated by Lady Anne Boleyn. In the weeks that followed he paid her several visits and always kept an eye out for her at court.

Queen Catherine was polite with the King in public. She clearly wanted nothing more to do with the monster she knew him to be. Yet, she refused to set him free. The King for his part was no longer interested in his wife. His desire for Lady Anne, however, was almost as all consuming as the need to quench his evil thirst.

One afternoon as the King and Lady Anne strolled in the grounds of Windsor Castle Henry took her gently by the hand. A smile danced on Anne’s lips.

‘What is it, your Majesty?’

‘Precisely that. I would that I was more than your King.’

‘More than my king, your grace? Surely that is not possible.’

‘I would find it most agreeable an we were more closely acquainted.’

Lady Anne said nothing. The King gently raised her hand to his lips. Anne slipped her hand from his grasp. She gave him a steely glance.

‘I will not be another mistress to the King. Should your Majesty wish to be acquainted then it must be on a more balanced setting.’

Anne curtseyed briefly before walking quickly away through the gardens. King Henry watched her leave in stunned silence. The words from Anne Boleyn stung him like a blow to the face. He was the King of England. People did not speak to him that way. And if the King willed something then it happened. One simply did not refuse the King. Many had either gone to the block or been torn apart by his fangs for much less an insult.

King Henry knew he could simply charge after Anne and have his will or could attack her. He could devour her with his monstrous gifts. Yet he did not want things with Anne to progress in that direction. She had told him in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to have her then it must be as his Queen.

He turned away from the castle. He growled, a deep, basic animal noise. There was something magically enchanting about the Lady. It did feel as though he was falling under a spell. He must have her. An idea struck him. Could he have her as his wife? He paced the fine gardens deep in thought. If he could remove Queen Catherine from his side then he would be free to marry Anne.

That very afternoon Henry charged into the grand red brick palace of Hampton Court Palace. He was shown through to a large room that served as a library. His Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, bowed as the King entered. The Cardinal in his red robes clutched a leather bound volume. Henry stood, fists resting on his hips.

‘A grand palace you have here, Wolsey.’

‘All I have belongs to your grace and the good Lord.’

Henry stroked his beard. Hampton Court Palace certainly seemed worthy of a King. Anyway, he turned his attention to more pressing matters.

‘I must speak to you, Cardinal, of a matter of the upmost importance. It is a matter of a delicate, personal nature.’

‘I am always your Majesty’s loyal servant.’

The King nodded, choosing his words carefully. Wolsey was in the King’s confidence on many issues. He was one of the select few at court who knew that the king was undead. Wolsey had known for several years and he remained a dedicated subject. Henry did not know how the Cardinal justified this with his religious beliefs. That did not concern Henry. Wolsey would not be the first member of the church to embrace the darker side of life. Indeed, Henry thought, wasn’t there much of the modern day church that contradicted the Bible’s original teachings?

‘The matter at hand.’ Henry said.

Wolsey nodded, listening attentively.

‘Relations between myself and my Queen are unwell. I fear we will never be as husband and wife, as King and Queen, and should ne’er be again.’

The Cardinal nodded again, solemnly, hands clasped in front of him.

‘Queen Catherine has discovered,’ the King managed a smile. ‘the true nature of the beast. And alas she now bears hatred towards her King.’

‘Then perhaps we could orchestrate-’

‘Divorce? Our pious Queen would not hear of it. She has me trapped in a marriage she would have no part in. Yet she will not release me from these bonds.’

‘We could plead a case for divorce to his Holiness the Pope. Mayhap the church could be persuaded to grant a dispensation.’

‘My Cardinal. My Lord Chancellor.’ The King appeared face to face with Wolsey. He bared his fangs and continued. ‘You will see to it.’

Henry stormed from the room.

As the months passed Henry’s affection for Anne Boleyn bloomed. They saw much of each other. The King lavished gifts and titles on Anne and her family. The issue of placing Anne on the throne in Catherine’s stead became more and more urgent. The gossip in court and across the whole of the capital was that this Boleyn girl was trying to usurp the Queen from her rightful place. King Henry demanded that the Cardinal fix this matter. Anne paraded around court as though she had already inherited the throne she desired. She whispered in the King’s ear encouraging him to press on with the matter.

Wolsey met with one Cardinal Campeggio from Rome. Wolsey pleaded the King’s case for a dispensation, for a divorce, as best he could. He explained the finer points of what was becoming known as the King’s Great Matter.

Henry paced the corridors impatiently as the meeting with the visitor from Rome went on. He was tempted to interrupt the proceedings and tear out this Campeggio’s throat. Let that send a message to his Holiness.

Several days later the conference was over. Cardinal Wolsey reported to King Henry. He shuffled sheepishly into the room.

‘Well, Cardinal. What news?’

‘Cardinal Campeggio and I could reach no agreement over the annulment. Your grace’s case has been moved to Rome for further consideration.’

‘This is preposterous. How can it be that the King of England must go cap in hand to Rome?’

‘Your grace-’

‘Did they give any indication of how long this farce would take?’

Cardinal Wolsey shook his head.

‘My dearest Lord Chancellor, it wold be in your best interest that this matter is dealt with swiftly and smoothly. Need I remind you just what kind of person you are dealing with here?’

‘No, please.’

‘Get out of my sight.’

Bowing almost impossibly low Wolsey scurried from the room.

Despite the King’s insistence and impatience things did not move quickly. The Pope refused to grant the divorce. The King’s Great Matter became Wolsey’s main duty. The Cardinal pleaded and explained but his Holiness refused to budge.

Lady Anne was now the King’s partner in all but name. The King would prowl the darkness like an animal and once his sinister urges had been satisfied he would call on Anne Boleyn.

One evening Anne propped herself up on the bed and studied the King in the firelight.

‘Where do you go these evenings, your grace?’

‘Who might you be to question the King?’

‘I am she that the King professes to love.’

‘Aye. Mayhaps you may yet know your King fully. Until that day, I would remind you of your place. Better than you have gone before.’

Anne reeled as though she had been struck. She glared defiantly but said nothing. Henry ran a finger along her pale cheek. He smiled.

‘What a queen you would be.’

‘Will be, your grace?’

‘Of course, my lady.’

‘That is providing that Cardinal ever gets things done.’

‘Wolsey is doing all he can.’

‘I hope he is the good servant he wold have you believe.’

Henry said nothing.

As the weeks turned to months and months Wolsey was still no further on with the Pope. King Henry felt trapped. Here he was, the King of England, and a dark monster, yet he was shackled to a woman who had no love for him yet insisted on calling herself his Queen. Was it too much to ask, he mused, to remarry? The delightful Lady Anne should be his wife and queen. He would that he was rid of this stubborn Spaniard.

Anne Boleyn was as impatient and unhappy as the King. As they dined on large cuts of meat and drank wine she would complain to him. Cardinal Wolsey, she would insist, does not want me to be Queen. He is deliberately stalling, she explained.

The months went by. Wolsey, in his rich red robes and gold jewellery, would bow and detail the complications of the matter

‘I wonder,’ Henry eventually snapped ‘just how hard you are trying to reach a conclusion.’

‘I can assure you-’

‘Spare me your piffle.’

A week later the King’s men arrived at Hampton Court Palace to see the Cardinal. The Lord Chancellor was to be stripped of his government office and all titles. His property was seized and he was ejected from the grand palace. As Wolsey was moved to the furthest reaches of Yorkshire the King moved into Hampton Court. The palace quickly became his main London residence.

One night, as Wolsey read religious texts in a draughty room in Cawood, North Yorkshire, he heard a movement from a dark corner of the room.

‘Who is there?’

He stared into the shadows. A figure stepped forward into the candlelight. King Henry grinned at him.

‘Good evening, Archbishop.’

Wolsey mumbled your grace but made the Sign of the Cross with trembling fingers. He shuffled backwards. The elderly Archbishop lost his footing. He tumbled. Before he hit the floor the King was at his throat.

Wolsey was discovered the next morning. He was very weak but alive. When asked what ailed him Wolsey merely shrugged. Riders arrived in Yorkshire that afternoon. They carried instructions that Wolsey was accused of treason and must face the charges in London.

Wolsey wept as he was helped into the carriage to travel to the capital.

Thomas Wolsey did not survive the journey to London. Weakened and ill from the King’s wicked attack he died on the road. His last words were to have wished he had served God as diligently as he had served the King.

King Henry instructed Thomas More to replace Wolsey as his Lord Chancellor. Sir Thomas was renowned for his dedication to the Catholic church. More threw himself into the role with the same gusto he applied to everything. He turned out to be a good and efficient chancellor. Whereas Wolsey had been an accomplice to the King’s monstrous nature More was unaware. He knew his master could be ruthless. Certainly many men had been sent to the block or beheaded, or tortured in the tower, but surely he had good and God in his heart. Sir Thomas had no idea just how wrong he was about the evil King.

Henry’s appeals and arguments for an annulment of his marriage to Catherine rumbled on. A man named Thomas Cromwell joined Henry’s Royal council, Cromwell began collecting evidence against Rome and the Pope’s authority.

Over the next two years King Henry distanced himself further and further from the Pope and his church. Henry declared that as King he was also the Supreme head of the Church of England. Thomas More disagreed but continued to serve the King as far as the law of God allowed. Henry nodded smiling at Thomas More.

‘You are a fine chancellor and a principled man. Rare quality, these days. You will be my chancellor, nothing more. I would keep you away from such things that would trouble your God fearing conscience.’

‘Thank you, your grace. You are most kind.’

The following year as links between England and the Catholic church were severed at the will of the King, Henry and support for the annulment of his marriage was not only expected but demanded. Thomas More asked that Henry relieve him of his office.

‘Let you go as my chancellor? Why ever should I do that?’

‘It is my health, your grace.’ lied Sir Thomas.

The King watched Cardinal for a moment. They both knew the real motive behind his request. Henry sighed.

‘It will be a shame to lose a man such as yourself.’

‘Your grace has many fine men in his council.’

The King paused for a second. He waved a hand.

‘I wish, Sir Thomas, that your retirement brings you the peace, health and happiness you desire.’

‘Thank you, your grace.’

Sir Thomas More bowed and left the room.

The following year, 1533, Henry shattered his relations with Rome. He and Lady Anne Boleyn were married in January. In May the lady became the Queen.

During his year of retirement Sir Thomas More continued to battle for God and the church and fight against evil. He refused to attend the coronation of King Henry’s new queen.

Henry was fuming that his once loyal servant should insult him so. He yelled and bawled at his Privy Council. His men grovelled and mumbled that they understood his frustration. He grabbed the man nearest to him by the throat. He lifted him up into the air. The man groaned as Henry squeezed tight. Struggling to breathe, the man’s face turned an awful shade of purple. Just as the man was about to lose consciousness Henry tossed him to the floor. Henry turned to his men. He jabbed a thick finger. Fangs showing, eyes blood red, he spoke in a demonic growl that seemed to come from another world.

‘Bring this Thomas More to me.’

Sir Thomas More was brought before a commission. It was deemed that he should swear allegiance to the King and accept the supremacy of the Crown over the Papal authority. More steadfastly refused. He declared that he served God and the Pope and the King. Thomas Cromwell, a man only too comfortable with his Majesty’s evil secret, told the guards to take More to the tower. Thomas More prayed silently as he was dragged away.

The room he was taken to in the bowels of the tower was cold and dark. He shivered. He knew that most men who found themselves down in these depths rarely made it out again. Torture and death lay waiting for him Thomas More had no choice. His loyalty to God and the Church of Rome came before everything, even, if it came to it, his life. His soul was more important than these trifling matters.

A few days later Thomas Cromwell came to see him. Cromwell stared at the weakened yet defiant man in front of him. His smile was almost a sneer. He waved a piece of parchment.

‘His Majesty requests you sign an oath submitting to the supremacy of the Crown.’

More did not speak.

‘Come, Sir Thomas, your pig-headedness may be the undoing of you.’

‘I believe His Majesty is risking his eternal soul by his actions.’

Cromwell laughed, then spoke.

‘I would not worry yourself on that matter.’

‘How so?’

‘The King lost his temper with me a few days ago.’

‘And?’

Cromwell yanked down his collar. More gasped at the two puncture wounds on his pale skin.

‘Did you think that the tales of the King were untrue?’

‘The King is-’

‘Vampire.’

Cromwell held out the paper. More’s mind was reeling. So there was truth in the rumours about the King. Suddenly everything made sense. Henry was an evil monster. No wonder he wanted to break ties with the Holy See.

‘I need time to consider. I need to think.’

Cromwell nodded and turned to leave.

‘Not here.’ called More. ‘I can’t think straight in this place. I beg that the King, in his mercy, gives me one night at home to get my mind straight. Then his Grace will have my answer.’

That evening Thomas More was helped into a carriage. He called out that the King should be thanked for his understanding.

When the carriage rocked and bumped its way into the grounds of his house Sir Thomas jumped to the earth. He dismissed the driver and rushed through the double doors of the house. He moved quickly. There was much to be done.

Around midday the next day Thomas More approached Hampton Court on horseback. He dismounted in the bright spring sunshine. He marched to the guards on the gate. He told them he would speak to the King on a very private matter. One of the guards asked if his majesty was expecting him.

‘My name is Thomas More. The King will want to speak to me.’

He was shown through, down creaking dark corridors, walls hung with tapestries, to the room where the King was with the men of his Privy Council. Heads bowed together the men were discussing some complicated diplomatic issue.

King Henry grinned as Sir Thomas More was shown in.

‘Ah, Sir Thomas, have you had sufficient time to consider? Are you in agreement?’

‘I would speak to the King in private.’

‘You dare to make demands of the King?’

‘It is unwise,’ whispered Cromwell. ‘I have mentioned the King’s temperament.’

‘Would the King grant me this small request?’

‘Come,’ boomed Henry. ‘we will discuss in private as you desire.’

He shooed the men out of the room. The courtiers bowed as they shuffled through the door. Once they were alone Henry pointed at More.

‘You must now tell your Majesty, have you settled your conscience to what must be done?’

‘Yes, your grace.’

‘You agree with my break with this bishop of Rome?’

‘Alas, your grace, I do not.’

The King’s bloated face reddened. He threw his arms out wide.

‘I trow that you know not to whom you speak.’

‘Your grace, I fear I know precisely with what I speak.’

Henry’s face transformed. He no longer appeared like a King of England. His face was evil and wild. Thomas stared in horror and fascination.

‘Now you see the true nature of the King.’ Shouted Henry.

‘It is not the first time I have laid eyes on such a creature.’

‘How is that?’

‘I take my duties to the church very seriously. Part of those duties include dealing with creatures such as those standing in front of me now.’

Henry raised himself up to his full height. The predator was about to strike. Thomas knew he had to act quickly. He snatched a candlestick from the table. He hurled the heavy silver stick as hard as he could at the stained glass windows overhead. The glass shattered. Pieces of glass showered down like brightly coloured raindrops. A beam of blinding sunlight spilled into the hall. Henry cursed as the daylight burned through his clothing and to the skin on his right leg. His undead skin bubbled under the light. He shuffled back into the shadows. He snarled at Thomas. The clergyman drew a wooden stake.

‘This reign of death is at an end, your grace.’

Thomas charged across the room at the bloated figure. He flung himself at the King, arms raised. He aimed for his chest. The King waved a thick arm and swatted him away. Thomas landed three feet away. He crashed into a table with a thud. Ignoring the pain all over his body Thomas pushed himself to his feet. The King appeared in front of him. Thomas saw pure evil in the red eyes glaring at him. His teeth were like the fangs of a rabid hound. Henry had a reputation of being a huntsman. Thomas suddenly knew what it was to be the King’s prey.

Thomas lashed out again with the stake. He thrashed as hard as he could. The King side stepped. Thomas tried once more. The stake tore into Henry’s fleshy shoulder. Henry winced and looked to the wound. Blood seeped down his fine clothing.

Thomas readied himself, hovering on the balls of his feet. He swung, aiming once again to slay the monster. His aim was true. The wooden dagger tore the clothing. It was about to pierce the flesh and puncture the heart of the beast when Henry managed to grab the weapon, stopping its progress. He tossed the stake to the floor. Having disarmed his assailant the King smiled.

‘Like many others before you, you have failed to vanquish me. And now you will die.’

Thomas turned on his heels. He dashed for the doors. Henry followed quickly behind, limping with his burned leg. Henry stopped as Thomas was bathed in sunlight from the broken window. Protected by the wall of sunshine Thomas caught his breath. Vampire and slayer watched each other for a long moment. The king paced like a caged animal.

Thomas reached for a gleaming silver plate. He tilted the dish. A circle of pure reflected sunlight hit the king in the chest. He dropped to the floor as though he had been kicked by a horse. His clothing was singed where the light had touched him. Thomas adjusted his grip on the dish. He aimed the beam of light at the fallen monarch. He had to keep his enemy weakened. The King yelled out in pain as his flesh burned under the focused beam.

‘It is over, your grace.’ said Thomas.

‘Yes,’ came a voice from behind him. ‘I rather suppose it is.’

Thomas glanced over his shoulder to see Thomas Cromwell. He did not see the blow coming that knocked him out cold.

The history books would go on to report that Sir Thomas More was beheaded by King Henry though the truth was that he perished at the King’s fangs. Out of respect for the leading vampire slayer of the day the Catholic Church would go on to make Thomas More a saint.

King Henry reigned for another twelve years. To this day there is speculation that the British throne is held by vampires but that could not be possible…. could it?


© Copyright 2019 CTPlatt. All rights reserved.

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