Chapter 1

I don't own the Morganville series...Rachel Caine does!

I paced the floor of my room, not really caring that I was making a slight dent in the wood, thinking extremely hard, to the point where I was getting a massive headache.

What am I supposed to do? I thought. Is there any way to get out of this impossible deal?

"Come on, Claire...think!" I muttered angrily to myself.

Talking to myself has become a common thing during this past month. I've done everything under the sun to figure out how to come to Morley's demands. I've even dared to think of ways around the maddening idea of letting Morley and his disciples out of Morganville. I've gone to Richard and practically got on my knees and begged him to help me. No such luck.

I've asked Myrnin to think of exceptions to the rules...again, useless. I even, God forgive me, went to Oliver!

Of course you can already guess how that ended .Him just sneering and giving me a "I-told-you-so" look.

I've gone over the conversation with Morley in my head countless times to see if he slipped up and made a loophole...of course to the vile man didn't, but it was worth the try anyways.

So, now, here I am, pacing the confines of my room at the Glass house. I just couldn't allow my best friend and the love my life to killed get because of me! I just couldn't allow. Shane and Eve weren't really scared at first, but after 3 weeks, they began to see life as a ticking time bomb. Eve was majorly hyper and was doing anything and everything she could to look at life at a different point of view. Though sometimes ,when she thought people weren't looking, you could see the look in her eye that showed you that she knew that something had to be done. Shane was a totally different story. He was acting like nothing was wrong ,but you could tell the matter at hand was on his mind a lot. He was set off so easily now. The only thing that would stop his fit of rage in its tracks was one look at me. He would get this weird look in his eye and would hold me for what seemed like hours...and I certainly didn't stop him.

I was scared to death, but I didn't want to admit it. I was the one that had to this...not Michael, not Eve, and not Shane. I have to figure this out. I won't be able to live with myself if I don't. Myrnin tried to help but only ended up making me more anxious. His words still haunt me.


"Claire, I know I am most likely wasting my breathe, but you going to this lengths is a lost cause, my dear," he reasoned. I was searching his lab for Morganville rule books. I found several that would've been helpful in the past but none that is gonna help now.

I didn't even bother to look up from my search. He had hinted to this in the past, but the more anxious I grew, the more blunt he became.

"What do you suppose I do, Myrnin?" I challenged him. "Hmm? Should I just go up to my friends and say 'Hey, sorry for getting your hopes up but there's no way to get out of this one. Good luck in the afterlife.' "

I didn't mean to sound as snappy as I did but, hey, he knew I would go to the ends of the earth for my friends. Now, he dares to question my loyalty to not only my best friend but to the man I love ! That is more than stepping over the line...that's down right stomping on it.

"Well, personally, I wouldn't be that blunt but..."he trailed off as he got a good look at my face. He sighed deeply and kneeled next to my chair I was sitting in.

He took my warm hands into his cold, looked at me with deep sadness and sympathy and said "Little bird, there are times when to fight and when to surrender. Sometimes there are no escapes and loopholes and there is nothing but reality... a reality you have to face and surrender to sooner or later. Now, when you do face come it, I promise to be here." He smiled sadly and kissed both of my hands. I shook it off and continued to search frantically for a escape.

~*End of Flashback*~

The ring of my cell phone jolted me out of my depressing memory. I jumped and landed belly first on my bed, knocking off volumes of books in the process. Once I finally dug out my cell phone from underneath the covers, I checked the caller ID. Then the clock. Why is Myrnin calling me at 11:30 at night? I pondered as I flipped open the cell.

"Yeah?" I asked still confused.

"I need you at my lab as soon as possible, "he said in a somewhat enraged tone.

"Can't it wait till morning?" I asked in disbelief.

"Now Claire!" he shouted and hung up.

I quickly gathered my backpack and rushed off to see what seemed to be so important that it couldn't wait a few hours.