Disclaimer: I do not own any of Keiko Nobumoto/Bones characters or ideas. This story is for entertainment purposes only and not for sale or profit.

A/N: This is my first Wolf's Rain fanfic. I have only seen up to episode 4 and am enthralled by the series. This may be very OOC. The character Marie Degre is of my own fashioning, she is the older sister of a very young Cher Degre. This story takes place fifteen to twenty years before the anime.


Chapter One: Blind Alley

Browsing through her notes as she walked, Marie Degre almost missed the small signs that someone was following her. Perhaps it was the slight shuffle of footsteps behind her, or the sudden quiet on the darkening streets.

Distracted thoughts dissipating, she suddenly looked up, her blue eyes widening as she noted just how deserted the street was. The wind whistled through the shadowed avenue, and a rustling scrap of newspaper danced away from her as a tangle of buttery blond hair flicked past her vision.

Sighing in exasperation, she combed the tendril back behind her ear, settling her glasses more firmly on her nose. The papers fluttered in her hand, and an icy feeling shot down her back. She whipped her head around, freeing the tangle from behind her ear once more, but she ignored it, her blue eyes intense on the shadowed stranger who followed her.

He was muffled in a thick overcoat, a battered hat pulled low, hiding his eyes. Instinct made Marie whip back around, and continue walking. The steps behind her became louder, more deliberate. Gripping her study notes in a white-knuckled hand, the young woman quickened her pace. The footfalls behind her also increased in a menacing melody behind hers.

Instinct screamed at her, and Marie broke into an awkward run, her heels tapping the pavement. The steps behind her quickened, and she heard a mocking laugh. Heart beating in her ears, she dropped her notes in a flutter as the wind picked them up and hurled them behind her. Awkwardly kicking off her impractical shoes, she gasped and stretched her legs out, intent on running for her life.

The heavy tread behind her was gaining, and each gasping breath was sending a stab through her lungs. How the hell could she outrun him? Why hadn't she paid attention to what was going on around her? Why hadn't she noticed how few people were down this street? Her thoughts ran turmoil through her mind, even as she felt the seconds freeze into timelessness. Each sharp gasp of her tortured lungs, each stab from her tensed muscles, each step against harsh concrete by her bare feet seemed to take forever.

Choking on her terror, she managed to scream out between breaths, "Help me! Somebody help me!"

No one answered her but the man's mocking laughter on her neck as he lunged to grab her arm.

With surprising strength, Marie managed to twist out of his fumbling grasp, and she darted across the deserted road, blindly running into a side street between deserted, boarded-up buildings that she hoped would lead her into a more crowded avenue.

A moan of terror escaped her lips as she realized she had turned down a blind alley, the garbage-festooned street ended in a blank wall, the bricks chipped by time and dirt. Agony pierced through her right foot and she crumpled into a heaving pile as she stumbled from the sudden pain. Landing on her hands, she hissed out an anguished cry and turned over to face her attacker.

Her stalker was a darker shadow against the alley entrance. The overcoat's edges parted and an unshaven face grinned at her, showing rotted teeth. His cold laughter echoed off of the imprisoning brick walls as he took a deliberate step forward.

Inhaling deeply, Marie let out a scream loud enough to wake the dead, hoping someone-anyone-would hear her cry.

"No one can hear you, bitch." The gruff voice mocked her as the man took another step closer.

"Leave me alone! What do you want from me!" Marie scrambled backwards awkwardly on her hands and left foot, the right throbbing in pain and refusing to support her. She crab-walked her way to the nearest wall, trying to keep away from the leering man. Her fingers fanned behind her, looking for anything to use as a weapon. A rotted stick of wood came to her grasping hand, and she clutched it as a spike of desperate hope flared through her terror-filled mind.

Thrusting the stick forward, she bumped the wall with her backside, and used her other hand as a prop to climb upwards along it. "Stay away from me!" She screamed at the man, who just chuckled low in his throat.

"Come on, now, honey. I just want to give you a little bit of fun..." The man lunged for her, and Marie swung the rotted stick desperately at his reaching hands. The man easily batted her weak defense aside, and pushed her off-balance. She fell back against the wall, her head soundly smacking the unforgiving brick behind her with a sick thud that sent multi-colored lights dancing in front of her eyes. Her body slithered down the wall as the air whooshed out of her throat in a desperate sob.

The man's hot breath was on her cheek as he bent over her, one hand fisting a glint of sharpened steel as the other busied inside his overcoat, fumbling open his pants. "That was cute, bitch, but you're mine now. You're a sweet piece of candy, let me tell you. A pretty little thing like you shouldn't have been walking all alone down..."

The man's taunting voice and Marie's heart-wrenched sob were cut off abruptly by a low, warning rumble from behind them. They both froze as the rumble increased in volume to a menacing, teeth-baring growl.