Little Lotte- Love ya darlin', my best friend in the whole world! Thank you for always being there for me, when ever I need you, to share in my pains, and triumphs. I don't know what I would do without you, you are part of me, part of my soul. Thank you, for being here with me, I love you.

The End Of Innocence

Chapter 1

"You want to see? You want to see? Then Look!" The words twisted my heart, such rage hung in them, such anger. It wasn't I who spoke, but an inner demon, one this monster brings out, I try to conceal it, Hiding it behind this black mask, hiding it away from the world, but I could control it then, I could stop it. The look in her beautiful eyes, her mouth gaped open, a silent scream piercing through me, she was petrified. But who wouldn't be? Look at me! I shall never forget that night, not as long as I shall live. I knew I was ugly, I knew of the monster that lay upon my face, but what it's repulsiveness had caused, I shall never forget, no matter how I wish it.

How many nights have I relived that moment? How many times have I revisited that day I knew I would never find happiness? Why did that fairy tale have to end, especially as it did? How happy I was with Giovanni. He treated me as a person, not a beast. Never has anyone shown such compassion, such kindness to me, only a poor animal has ever shown me such respect, such love till he took me in. I considered him almost as a father, as I know he thought me his son, until it happened. I remember the look of regret in his eyes, when he asked of me the one thing I couldn't give, but I granted it to him, and his daughter, but at such a cost.

How beautiful she had been, I can't recall ever seeing anything as mesmerizing as her midnight black hair, and deep brown eyes. She was as beautiful as I am ugly, she was, until that night. I watched in horror, and rage as she ran from me, from this face. How stupid she had been, why? She should have known that stonework wouldn't held her weight, that it would crumble beneath her feet. I remember ever agonizing second as I watched the ground beneath her give way, her frail body falling the two stories, to lay in the heap of stone, her blood staining all around her limp body.

I watched as the the only one who cared for me, carried the body of his child, placing her now cold body upon the leather couch. What had I done? I killed her, not as I had murdered before, but this was worse, she was cursed to see me before she met her untimely end. After all he had done for me, giving me a home, giving me hope, restoring some innocence back into me, that had been stolen long ago by another man, it as was folly. I shall never forget him, and what he did for me, but I will never be the boy he had unknowingly created, he met his end when Giovanni asked, no ordered me to remove my one strand of control, my mask.

A foreign sound hit my ears as I laid in this makeshift bed, someone was weeping. Curiously I slipped from out of the abandoned building I had found residence, only to rest for the night, away from the chilling rain. Curled up, the small bundle on the dirty stone ground, practically shook as it cried, a small whimper emitted from its form. Silently I stalker up beside it, recognizing it to be a child. She couldn't have been any older than ten, perhaps eleven at the most. The shadows of the night danced over her, concealing her from anyone else's gaze. Half tempted to just leave her in the wet darkness, pity for the helpless girl rose in my heart, as I gentle laid my hand on her shoulder. Without any warning, she jumped up to her feet, a pair of haunting hollow eyes stared at me fearfully, as she backed away from me, till her back hit the stone of the building.

"Please..." She whimpered, wrapping her scrawny arms around the brown rags she wore.

"Don't touch me... Please."

"Child, I don't wish to hurt you." I said calmly, although it didn't ease her tension.

"I only want to help you out of the rain." I extended my hand out to her gingerly, letting her know I wasn't going to harm her. She looked at my hand, then up at me, her eyes glaring with utter hatred.

"Leave me alone." She hissed, clinging to her little body harder, her knuckles turning white. Her body shook with trembling force, although I don't know if it was from fear, rage, or simply from the cold.

"Angel? Angel?" A male voice called in the distance, the sound of heavy footsteps hurrying this way. The girl in front of me stopped trembling, her face turning a brilliant pale,even her red lips lost there colour.

"No.." She whimpered, sinking to the floor, trying to bury her face into the stone wall.

"Please God, help me." She moaned, looking towards the direction of the voice her eyes wide with fear.

"Don't let him find me."

"I have found praying to God useless, you need take control." I told her, kneeling on the floor beside her.

"Come on, I will hide you." She hesitated for a moment, before slowly rising, glaring at me, but following me into the building. She doesn't trust me, but perhaps I am the lesser of two evils. She threw herself down against the inside wall, pressing her ear to it, listening to the man's footsteps approach, till he was just on the other side of the wall.

"Angel? Where are you my angel? Don't do this, not tonight." His voice came through the walls, sending shivers down the little girl's spine. Moving without a sound, I glided over to my makeshift bed, taking the single wool blanket I have, draping it over her shoulder. She jumped as the fabric it her, covering her mouth to stop herself from making a noise. She glares at me a moment, as I sat down against the wall also, careful to sit away from her. It seemed like forever before the man's footsteps died away. The girl let out a long awaited sigh of relief, resting her head against the wall.

"Miss, Angel is it?" I asked, trying to be kind to her, I guess you could call her my guest.

"No!" She screamed, shooting up, running to the other side of the room, keeping her back to me.

"Do not call me that! He calls me that." She hissed, turning her head towards me, rage flickering in her eyes.

"My name is Angelina." She answered simply, dropping her gaze to the floor before her. She wrapped the blanket closer to her body, trying to stop herself from shivering.

"You'll turn ill if you stay in those wet clothes." I said in almost a whisper,

"Perhaps you should return home to change."

"Never." She hissed, still keeping her back to me.

"I shall never return to that cursed place."

"Then we have something in common, Angelina." She turned her head to me, a queer look in her eyes.

"Come, at least we can start a fire to warm you." I slowly approached her, only for her to draw back in fear. What is she so afraid of? What has happened to her?

With a sigh, I turned from her, gathering spare pieces of wood that littered this abandoned building, most of which were empty crates. It didn't take long to get a small fire blazing, and even short time for her to find herself beside it, letting the blanket fall off of her shoulder, revealing her simple, rather tattered dress. Her mouth twitched ever so slightly, one might mistake it for a smile as the light of the fire danced over her glowing flesh. She was a beautiful child no doubt. After drying, her hair was a dark brown, the ends of it curling. Her dark eyes reflecting the warm glow, the orange light catching on the little brown freckles on her cheeks. Her soft round face, due mostly to her still having baby fat, looked practically the opposite to her almost skeletal body. How fragile her tiny limps look, perhaps that is why she asked me not to touch her, she is afraid I will break her.

Digging through the little possessions I have collected since I left Giovanni's comforting home, for the cold streets, I pulled out the little food I carry with me, and offered it to her. She hesitated for a moment, even though I can see in her eyes she is staring. Slowly she took the food from my hands, before her mouth hungerly attacked it, as if she hasn't eaten in the longest time. Her gaze continuously lifted from the flicking blaze, to gaze at me, but the moment I caught her glancing, she dropped her gaze back to the dancing flames.

"My name is Erik." I tried to break the awkward silence, but no avail.

After sitting there for what seemed like eternity, she looked around, examining the crumbling structure.

"Do you live here?" She asked indifferently.

"No, I'm only passing through."

"Were are you going?" I seemed to spark her curiosity.

"Anywhere, no where. I really don't know." She nodded ever so slightly.

"Are you leaving tomorrow? After the sun rises?"

"That was my plan." She shifted nervously, as if sitting on a chair of needles.

"And what are your plans to do with me?" The tone in her voice changed dramatically, from curiously, to fear.

"I don't plan anything, Angelina. You're your own person, you decide." Shock hung in her eyes, her mouth parting, before she returned to her simple curiosity.

"Which way are you heading?"

"East." She glance in that direction, as if debating what lay to the east of us.

"Would you mind If I accompanied you, only to the edge of the city, just so I am far enough away to make it on my own?" She asked timidly, afraid of my answer.

"If that is what you wish, I won't stop you." A smile spread across her face, I must say it looked foreign to her, as if she has not smiled in a long time, just like me.