Prelude: A Failed Promise

She lay still in a puddle of water.

No.

Not water.

She lay still and cold in a puddle of blood.

Red crimson blood.

Red crimson blood that was quickly being polluted by the freezing rain that fell more quickly by the second.

I was dying.

Not in the way that she had died, not in a fatal way, but in a way that I would never recover from.

Carnage and mangled bodies were scattered everywhere, all around. The stench and smell of the dead and rotting bodies mingled with the musky scent of the rain evaporating and hissing steam as it came into contact with the broken black pavement beneath I stood on. If not for the thick woolen fabric I'd tied around my feet, they would have been burned within moments for sure. But the fabric was sturdy enough to last at least a while on the blacktop, and there was bare earth nearby that would surely be less hot than the concrete.

But every other detail paled in comparison to this. She was lying there prone and probably unconscious on the pavement, eyes screwed shut in pain, her long auburn hair matted and tangled around her head and stuck to her dirt and sweat stained face. Aside from a long jagged scratch down her cheek, her face was otherwise spared from blood and gore. But her clothes- her usual black knee-length skirt and white shirt were ripped and shredded along with her flesh underneath, leaving a mess of bloody pulp where her body should have been intact.

Sebastian, do you ever get scared?

Jaymee, I'm sure everyone gets scared sometimes. Especially in times like this.

Yes, but you never seem to be scared.

That's because I have you, love.

Seb, I'm being serious.

Who said I wasn't being serious?

Would you answer my question, though? Please?

Yes, I get scared sometimes.

Of what? You always seem to be so strong.

Sometimes I'm not strong enough to resist fear. But I do know this, Jaymee… I will never be too weak to keep you from fear. I will always be there to keep you from it. Fear will see me coming and flee. I promise.

I had failed.

I had failed to keep the promise I'd made.

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:A/N: Please review! I have yet to decide whether or not I'll continue this. Your reviews and viewpoints will determine this!