Disclaimer: The Universe in which these characters all live and the characters themselves all belong to Kenneth Oppel.

What is it about me, exactly, that always gets me into these life threatening situations? I asked myself as I struggled against my wrist bonds.

It seemed a pointless task, though, as I had already lost all circulation in my fingers due to the agonizingly tight cord, which was binding my hands behind my back.

How is it possible that so many crazy occurrences can happen to a single man? Is fate really so cruel?

My head was absolutely throbbing. I had awoken a short time ago in a dark windowless room. The only source of light came from under the crack of a door far to my left.

I tried to focus my mind and recall the chain of events which had lead up to this point. I had been taking a shortcut through the park in lionsgate city in hopes of meeting up with my fiancé, Kate, for dinner at the new restaurant Chef Vlad had just opened. When I had noticed a shadow fleeting through the trees, following me. It being a full moon out I had panicked, with childish thoughts of werewolves sweeping my mind. I had run in a complex zig zag pattern, weaving through the trees wildly. I stopped, almost collapsing out of breath, in a large clearing. I looked all around me and heard nothing. Shaking my head and laughing to myself that it was probably just an owl or something and feeling quite foolish I had turned to continue on my way… Then I remembered a split second of blinding pain... and I guess my assailant had dragged me here.

Great now not only is Kate gonna be mad at me, but I could just picture the look on chef Vlad's face about me missing his grand opening. I'd been told he had bragged to a great many people that I would be there. Well when I got out of this mess or IF I got out of this mess, there would be a little explaining to do. I have the worst luck.

I had expected someone to come check on me fairly quickly, but after what felt like four hours of sitting with my arms tied uncomfortably to something behind my back with nothing but my own thoughts. I started to worry that perhaps I was just being left here to rot. I had screamed myself hoarse long ago, with no response so. I started to try and keep myself busy by trying to think of a plan of escape.

If someone does eventually come… if only there was some way too knock them out or something. Well it probably wouldn't get me very far but at least is was a try at something… I began sliding my foot out of my shoe by pushing at itwith my other foot.

Why had I done my laces up so tight? I though angrily, but I soon got it off and just sitting loosely on my foot ready to kick at anyone who opened the door.

As luck would have it, just a few minutes later I heard footsteps approaching from outside the door and I quickly readied myself, trying to pre-plan my shot. I heard a key in the door and then it swung open. I was blinded by the brightness of the light outside but I could see a dark silhouette of someone. Before the person had a chance to react I kicked with all my might in the direction of the dark outline. My shoe flew off my foot soared across the room and collided with where I guessed the persons face would be.

"OW!" yelled a feminine voice.," What the?- A shoe? Seriously?"

Damn, my plan hadn't worked but I never really expected it to. My shoe never had any real weight to it. I still couldn't help but smile at the thought of my success at hitting my assailant and causing them at least a fraction of the pain they caused my poor throbbing head.

"That's what you get." I croaked. Jeez my throat hurt after all that yelling, "Why have you done this? Who are you? What do you want from me?"

"I can explain," said the feminine voice, which sounded oddly familiar.

The silhouette moved closer and I gasped when realized who stood before me.

"You!" I whisper/yelled, "Why?"

"It's been a while, Matt Cruse. A long, long, while. " Said Nadira