(Authors Note: This is my first fanfic I started working on, about this time last year. But you will find that the chapters are rather short, and the story is only about seven or eight chapters long. I know: why the hell did it take me a year to finish it then? Basically, I have edited the story at least three times, all in the same broken-down notebook that seems to be loosing pages by the minute. Now, I finally think I'm ready to be typing it out as a final draft. I hope you will enjoy the story, because I've never worked on a story so hard. But you can hate it anyway if you want.)

Regular- Present Day

Italics-Memory

(Enjoy the polarshipping!)

Chapter 1: Damned in Distress

The moon shone brightly that warm summer night, its glistening rays shining down on the small town. All was quiet but a few cars puttering down the road, but even they passed by slowly and swiftly, as if trying not to disturb the quiet of the night. In the heart of the town, through it's labyrinth of streets and corridors, a young lady leaned against a stone wall behind a small and battered hotel.

Here she hid, her arms wrapped around her legs, tucked in close to her chest, a protective position. She had a fair completion, and round, moist lips. Her long, blond hair fell gently over her shoulders, and wisped across her dark, violet eyes. She had a beautiful figure, often compared to a supermodels'. But instead of the luscious, young woman she used to be, she seemed to have aged into an old woman. Over the past few months, her light, soft skin had become pale, and her once strong violet eyes broken and weary. Fingers with chattered nails held a single card: the only thing she had left.

Her leather jacket rubbed softly against her skin, as the pulled her legs closer to breasts. Indeed, here was the great Mai Valentine, hiding from the world.

Sorry, Joey, but I can't face you yet. So I'm going to hit the road until I'm ready to own up to everything I've done.

She had made that silent vow almost four months ago, as the rode off into the sunrise. She thought she would be able to face her future as a woman, either by staring it into the face, or just turning away and moving on with her life. But she couldn't do either. Her strength had somehow been drained, physically and emotionally. She couldn't fight anymore. She could only give in to her nightmares.

Many a night she replayed that tragic scene over and over again in her head. Too many times had she lost precious sleep over the churning whirlpool of memories…

She had wanted power. Or at least, she thought she did. As long as she could remember, she had striven to achieve it. Many people had warned her along the way. A lone wolf doesn't survive on its own, they told her. The smaller the numbers the easier to kill. Mai just sneered at them, and turned away as their ramblings fell on deaf ears. She would prove them wrong. She would prove them all wrong.

And she did. She climbed all the way to the top without any help from others. She had become the Alpha wolf at long last. But with this position, the cold of winter settled into her heart, never knowing the wonders of spring, the joys of summer. By getting everything she ever wanted, she rid herself of everything she ever had-and ever needed.

Then it all came crashing down. Everything she thought she knew, thought she cared about, she realized was fake. She was living in a world of fake emotions, of fake power. But by the time she had awoken from her power-possessed dream, it was too late. She had caused so much damage in enlightenment. She only thing that was real in her life was being taken away from her. At her own hands.

"Congratulations…you…win…" Joey gasped as Mai cradled him in her arms, as the ancient turquoise seal slowly surrounded them, preparing to engulf them both.

"You're wrong! I didn't attack so you didn't lose the duel…"

Mai's eyes started to water. She tried to blink them away, but to no avail.

"But…I'm too exhausted…to finish…I'm just glad that if anyone had to lose their soul, it didn't have to be…you…Mai…" Joey whispered gently, his body dragging in Mai's arms.

"Don't say that!" Mai cried out desperately, her voice cracking in desperation.

An icy tear slowly slid down her cheek.

Joey pushed her out of the seal just as it was about to close in on them. Mai was sprawled to the side and everything seemed to happen at once. As a beam of light shone on Joey, Mai cried out in despair, and the jewel that one hung around her neck shattered into a million pieces. Then he was gone. All that was left was an empty corpse to hold what would never be…

"Oh Joey, no!" Mai cried, as a big, fat tear fell from her cheek and splattered on her Harpies Lady card, clutched in her pale hands. "Why did you have to do that? Why did you have to be a hero? Didn't you know I would die along with you?" She held the ruined card to her heart, as wet crystals continued to fall from her violet eyes.

And in the dark of the night, Mai quietly sobbed behind the broken down hotel.

Her heart had finally thawed from the cold of winter. But instead of welcoming in spring, only rain had entered her heart. She thought she was Alpha once, but now she knew.

She was Omega: at the bottom, cold, and alone.

(Authors Note: So here you go. I hope you will review, and stick around as I crank out some more chapters. Thanks for reading!)