I originally had a very different plot line with this, but I lost sight of where I was going with it. I wanted to experiment. Plus, I liked the idea of a female Carpathian with a non-Carpathian male. How would it work out? I don't own Ghost Rider or Christine Feehan's Dark series or characters, but I do own my OCs. If you have any idea of what I just said, read on, if not, read on anyway. All will be explained.

To my anonymous reviewer, Anonymous, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU so much for being the first to review the re-posted prologue. From your review, I'm going to guess that you'd read on before I took it down and posted just the prologue. . . . Or are you someone I know? I am truly grateful that you enjoy this story and I do hope you will be a recurring reviewer. When I checked my stories, you have no idea how much I smiled to see your review; I was practically bouncing in my seat, squealing my brains out. You don't know how happy you've made me. Thank you so much; you have al of my best wishes and gratitude! Please inform me if there is anything you'd like changed or if you have something to point out. I am re-editing the story, so, hopefully, it will be a little better than when I'd first posted it. Again, thank you, thank you so very, very much!! (tackle-huggles)

Chapter 1

The sun slowly set on the distant horizon, the last, dying rays coloring the sky red. A blanket of darkness swept over the desert, bringing with it a cool wind. Johnny Blaze found himself growing hotter, smoke streaming from his eyes. He held on as long as he could before he let the Rider take over his body. What had once looked like a partnership had now recently regressed back into a rebellious fight for control. When the sun set, Ghost Rider would protest his confinement with his intense heat until Johnny had no choice but to give in.

The Rider pushed Johnny back to the very corners of his mind, letting him watch through his empty eye sockets as he roamed the countryside. His body exploded in a torrent of flame and raw power, and his hot gaze swept over the sands; searching, always searching. Something called to him, something beckoning to the Rider, some undeniable urge to find what he was missing. It was out there, whatever it was, and he would find it, no matter what.

He felt a strange presence all the way out here, in the middle of nowhere, where his only companions were the saguaro cacti and thorn bushes. A bizarre pulling at his soul, something that was trying to grasp him and drag him further in, draw him in to something he knew nothing about. The Rider had to find out what it was, for it was directed at him and not at his human counterpart. Johnny hadn't been able to feel it, but the Rider certainly could.

He crested a sandy dune and swept his hot gaze over the valley below. Something was prodding at his mind, an unfamiliar push, or was it a pull? A summons? He could feel fingers brushing at his mind, a slow, languid caress, an enticement. A dare. Come and find me, it seemed to suggest. A town caught his eye and he cackled in triumph, racing over the hills, down the slope to the light below.

Shrouding himself in darkness, in Johnny's body yet retaining control, he drove through the town. Few shops were open so late, yet he felt himself drawn to a tavern with a fire lit within it's walls. Dismounting his ride, he pushed his way inside.


The bar was crowded tonight, packed with bodies of both sexes. Ailis noted the pungent smell of alcohol drifting on the wind conjured by the breaths of the humans congregating. The stage she now stood on was but a small platform, not really worth the title of "stage". She'd seen bigger, been on bigger, but it would do. Her gaze swept over the bodies crowding close to one another, each man trying to push his luck and get closer to her.

She fought the urge to wrinkle her nose at the repellant odor of the liquor, focusing on the presence she felt. He was here, she knew it, knew the moment he'd been within range. All she had to do was draw him in close.

Ever the seductress, piccola, a familiar voice teased in her mind, bringing with it a sense of power and authority. Just who do you think to draw in? I do not sense the presence of another of us in your immediate area.

Ailis exhaled, irritation seeping into her. Whoever said I was searching for one of our people?

It is not safe for you, piccola, to be without a lifemate, the voice stated, I will come and bring Savannah with me to protect you.

Her irritation flamed into fury, yet she kept her cool facade. You will do no such thing, Gregori. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I will find my lifemate soon.

You do not think that a human will be your counterpart, do you? Dio, Ailis, it has never been attempted for a female to turn a male. Do not attempt such a thing, or I shall fear for both of your souls.

You need not worry yourself, Ailis said, even as her voice began to rise and her fingers swept over the keys of the piano before her. She held the room captive in her spell, carefully woven, meant to draw in the one she was looking for. The men gazed at her with hunger in their eyes, no doubt lusting after her body. They were not the one for whom she searched. She was unsure of what it would feel like, of how to react, but she believed that when the time came, she would go with her instinct.

The brush of a soft, affectionate, sisterly caress that seemed to sweep down the length of her hair invaded her mind, and she could feel it as though it were taking place. You always find yourself in trouble, Ailis. Savannah's mind voice held a note of teasing. The sound brought a smile to Ailis's lips. Correction, trouble finds me, she replied.

It was in that instant that she knew that he'd arrived. She felt him close, felt him walk into the bar, felt the facade he wore to keep himself human. She could feel his power, feel it radiating off his form so much that she skipped a note but quickly recovered. Her eyes were drawn to the spot where he stood. His presence filled the bar, every nook and cranny so that the place seemed to speak his message: I am here.

My first attempt at writing a Carpathian. I really hope it works out. So, who is Ailis and why has she drawn Ghost Rider to this place? What does she mean when she says she will find her "lifemate"? And what role could she play in Johnny's hunt for Mephistopheles? Much will be answered, but all in due time, for there's a whole lot of story left!

Once again, I don't own Gregori or Savannah, who are from Christine Feehan's Dark Magic. Nor do I own Johnny B. or Ghost Rider. Please review. Flames will be given to Ghost Rider to throw back at you.