By the time I set fire to myself, I was already coated in alcohol, blood, water and gasoline. All of which would keep the fire from my skin long enough for me to fake my own death. I waited until they'd left; Agent Tally, the girl and her brother, and the FBI agents. I waited until the fire had almost burned away all of the liquid covering me. Then I dove out the window. Had I not planned this, I could've dove straight to my death. But that wasn't like me. Who am I? I am Mars Krupchek and I am alive and kicking.

By the time I hit the pool and had the flames doused by the water, I'd suffered some minor burns and some severe blood loss. I hadn't expected what had happened next. I hadn't calculated passing out into my escape plan…but that's what I did. Almost the instant the water doused the flames and the chlorine got into my wounds, I passed out. I would've drowned had it not been for her. From what I know now, Arlissa nearly died, making sure I lived.

When I first woke up, it was only briefly. I was aware that I was still drowning, but I also knew that someone had jumped into the pool and was swimming down to save me. I passed out again and when I woke up I was in the back of an ambulance. I struggled to get free of the restraints that had been placed on me but quickly expended my energy and fell asleep. The next time that I became conscious, I was lying in a bed inside a darkened room and was vaguely aware of the faint smell of perfume and the hand stroking my hair.

"How are you feeling?" A voice asked.

The sound of it was clear and sweet like silver bells. The hand disappeared from my hair and the weight that had been on the bed next to me followed suit. The curtains were opened slightly and the light of a full moon filtered in through the tinted glass. That same light outlined the most beautiful female figure I'd ever seen.

"I'm sorry about the restraints earlier, I didn't want you to wake up and kill me." The young woman said. She sat back down and I could just make out her face, it too was a thing of beauty. "Are you hungry?" She asked. It was then that I realized that I hadn't answered any of her questions. I nodded and she helped me out of bed, holding my hand and being gentle with me as she led me down the stairs. When we passed by a mirror, I abruptly jerked my hand away from her and examined my face. Whoever had stitched it up had done a good job. The stitches were covered with something clear and shiny, which I assumed was liquid bandage.

"Who did this?" I asked, looking down at my bullet wound but only seeing bandages.

"I did." The young woman said before taking my hand back and helping me limp into the kitchen. While she made some kind of Italian food, I took the time to examine her. Her chestnut hair was both long and curly. Not tight curls, loose curls; the kind movie stars always want; only hers were natural. Her skin was sort of a creamy light copper color that reflected her heritage. When she finally turned to look at me I was shocked by the color of her eyes. I had prepared myself for a shade of brown or even possibly green, but her eyes were ice blue. They were the kind of eyes that really stood out on someone. She set a plate of ziti down in front of me and handed me a fork before sitting down.

"Not eating?" I asked, stabbing a few noodles and shoving them in my mouth.

"I ate while you were sick, Mars." She replied.

I looked up when she said my name. My eyes must've looked vicious because she backed away a little.

"How did you know my name?" I questioned her, being cautious.
"It's all over the news. I only learned it recently." She replied, without fear in her voice.

"I'm on the news." A statement rather than a question.

"Because of what you did and the fact that you disappeared." She replied.

"I was drowning. How'd I get here?"

"I saved you and brought you here."

"What's your name?"


She was a beautiful girl. She was my girl. I'd decided that the moment I saw her and eventually, it became the truth. Arlissa was the best thing to ever happen to me.