author's note: Yes, I am very well aware how long it has been since my last update and I apologize because it bugs me when other authors' do that too. My life has just gotten ten thousand times more busy and that's not something likely to change any time soon. You will be glad to hear that I do fully intend to finish this story...I'm just not sure how long it will take me. Again, sorry. But I want to thank everyone who gave feedback, it's really encouraging to get and is the main reason i'm going to continue to try to finish this story. Here's the next chapter, hope everyone likes it.


"Yes, princess?"

"I don't wanna go with mother."

"It's her weekend, honey, you have to."




"Your mother loves you very much and it would upset her if you're acting like this when she gets here."

"I wanna stay with you!" Tears fell freely down her plump cheeks as she spoke. "It hurts."
"What hurts?"

"I don't wanna go!"

He picked the young girl up and held her head to his shoulder comfortingly. "Shush. It'll be ok. It's just the weekend. And maybe you'll even get to see Sebastian. I know you two are very good friends."

"No we're not. I hate him. He thinks he knows everything."

"That could also be said about a certain little girl of mine."

"Your mother said you two have sleepovers all the time. Don't you like that?"

"No! His daddy does! I hate it! I hate it! I don't wanna go! You can't make me!"

The man took in a big breath and sat down on a large chair with his daughter on one knee. "Oh, ok. Listen, sometimes adults like to have sleepovers too. It's ok. There's nothing wrong with it anymore, daddy and mommy are divorced now so she can sleep over with whomever she wants and it's ok. It's none of our business."

"But why do I have to go?"

"Angel, it's her weekend, there's nothing I can do. But you and Sebastian will get along this time. I hear he's growing into a very nice boy. Maybe you two will be brother and sister some day…wouldn't you like that?"

She looked up at him as if contemplating whether or not she wanted to stop crying. "He'd come live with us?"

"No, no, no. He and his father would go live with your mother."

"Why won't they tell me anything?" Sebastian more yelled than asked a nurse.

"I'm sorry. The doctor will be out to talk with you as soon as he gets a chance." She walked away hurriedly and he collapsed back down into the uncomfortable vinyl chair in the waiting room. He had been there for three hours, journal in hand. He wasn't sure why Mei-lee had shoved it to him, but he flipped through the pages nervously to help pass the time. Nothing had been added or changed that he noticed.

It was too dark. She couldn't…wouldn't sleep. Never. Not alone. Not here in the dark. That's when he comes. If she can only stay awake, maybe, just maybe he won't get her. But she knew he would. He always did. There was no escaping it. He would get her in her sleep. The monster. Her daddy's teddy bear wasn't around to protect or even keep her company any more. No, her mother had taken him away, had kidnapped him long ago. She was alone now. Alone in the dark. Alone in the big room of the big mansion she was staying in with the monster. When would he come to get her? A few minutes, a few hours, a few seconds? There was no way to know. Time passed in seconds like they were years. The shadows from the window shook and grabbed at her. Only it wasn't a shadow any more. It was the monster. He came. He had her before she knew he was there. And now there was no way to escape. No one to help her as he clawed and grabbed her by the ankles down to the floor.

Annette walked in through the large hospital doors toward Kathryn's room. She wasn't sure why she wanted to see her, but ever since the day Sebastian had introduced her something about the unconscious girl fascinated her. There were rumors going around in school about what happened to her, many of which somehow centered around Sebastian. The blonde didn't believe them though. She hated him for what he did to her, but he couldn't have put Kathryn in the hospital. She had seen the way he looked at her. The more she thought about it the more odd their whole family seemed to her. Finally, she found room 207... the one that the unconscious brunette occupied.

A young looking doctor with both hands stuffed into his pockets and a strangely smug look on his face passed her on the in. Annette entered slowly, a vase of flowers in hand, walked in the room. It wasn't the first flowers anyone had brought, in fact it looked like half the city had all sent some, but when she looked closer upon trying to find a place somewhere for hers she noticed most of them were from Sebastian. It didn't surprise her really. There was one that must have fallen over in the crowd in tiny shattered pieces on the floor. The water from it had made a bit of a puddle and the orchids scattered around and looked rather trampled on. They were occupied by a small note with the words "Love, mommy and daddy" scribbled in the center.

She finally found a place to sit the flowers and turned around to see a very awake and inquisitive Kathryn sitting up weakly in her bed staring at her with unsurprised eyes and a calculating expressing that reminded Annette of Sebastian somewhat.

"Oh, hello." She suddenly felt very awkward. Nobody had told her that she was conscious and for the blonde now felt like she was invading someone's personal space that didn't even know her. "Sorry, I'm Annette. My father is the new headmaster. I know Sebastian and when I heard…" Kathryn's expression had not changed and she felt as if being stared down by one of those beautiful stone statues you only see in Europe. Trevor had sent her many pictures of them throughout the summer. "I just wanted to come and put in my get well wishes."

By that point she could not have felt much more stupid or awkward. She turned to leave at Kathryn's constant expression when she heard a very strong, confident voice bid her back.

"How did you know Sebastian?" The brunette asked although she already knew perfectly well who the innocent blonde in front her was and almost every detail of her affiliation with Sebastian.

"I…we were friends. I knew him through his aunt who was kind enough to let me stay with her for part of the summer."

The brunette nodded and then winced in an obvious wave of pain that took her several moments to catch her breath from. As soon as she got her wits back about her she instantly shook it off.

"Are you ok?" The blonde asked, taking an instinctive few steps forward.

"Fine!" Kathryn snapped before she could stop herself. Quickly regaining her self control, she blinked in a few times and laid back down and covered herself up. "Sorry, I'm just in a good deal of pain at the moment."

"I'll get the doctor-"

Kathryn grabbed her forearm. "No. Don't. Stay here. There's nothing he can do. I'm going to die anyway."

Not quite sure how to respond to that Annette managed out a slow and careful "I'm sorry. Are you scared?"

She shook her head slightly "no", before looking up and stating in an extremely emotion removed voice "My heart is going to stop."

Annette could not imagine being in the horrible position the girl in front of her was in. She began to feel even more awkward when Kathryn continued.

"The thing is I'm not sure when and, until then it hurts to even breathe and I already look like death."

Even though Kathryn was remaining still, laying in the hospital bed under the covers that her face was almost pale enough to match, the more innocent girl began to feel as if she were being circled by some kind of predatory animal.

"It could be in a few minutes, or in a few hours, or, if I'm really unfortunate, when my step brother Sebastian comes to see me."

"He'll be happy that you are awake."

"I know my brother." She said almost in a sigh. "It would be better for everyone if I'm dead before he gets here. I want to go in peace and I can't do that with him crying all over me. It would be easier for him as well."

She stared very carefully at Annette, making sure to keep eye contact with her. "That's why I need you to do me a favor."

"What-?" She stirred off carefully, getting very nervous of what type of favor the ailing girl in front of her may ask for and silently praying it was not what she was beginning to suspect.

"Why would you want me to do that?" Annette asked her, nervously.

"Just do it."

Annette's face showed worry and a bit of confusion. "I can't-"

"Yes you can, just do it. It's what I want."

When the blonde continued to hesitate, Kathryn tried a different tactic. "Sebastian is always telling me how sweet you are, how much you like to help people. If you want to help me, you'll do it."

She was about to refuse again, but the pleading, sorrow filled look Kathryn gave made it impossible to produce the words. She had never seen such pain in a person's eyes before in her life.

The dark haired girl weakly handed the blonde now sitting on the side of her bed a cord hooked to a very large machine on the other side of her bed. Annette took it in her hands and stared down at it a long time. When she looked back up she saw a single tear trail down Kathryn's pale but still beautiful face. And heard her udder a quiet and shaky "please". And she bent the cord, doubling it over in her hand like a water hose to hold back the water.

"Thank you." She heard before squeezing her eyes tightly shut and crying. She wasn't sure how long she had kept them shut, but when she finally managed to get up the courage to open them again and look over to Kathryn she lied still and her monitoring machine had stopped beeping.

The next thing she knew was the sound of shattered glass as she turned around to leave and saw Sebastian standing in the doorway. He was frozen place with his eyes fixated on Kathryn with broken glass and flowers next to his feet.