Prologue

"It's coming," whispered a girl dressed in a simple blue nightgown. That, along with her dirty violet-red hair, was covered with dirt and mud. Her sea green eyes stared dully ahead.

"What's coming?" A boy asked standing up quickly. The chair he had been sitting in, fell back and onto the ground. Instead of going to pick it up, the male reached out to touch the girl's arm, but she slipped away from him.

"Got to prepare," she said, in the same dead, wispy tone. She didn't even glance over at him as she continued to pad inside the room, leaving muddy footprints, as she headed over to the bookcase. As she reached for a few books, and turned around, eyes still glazed, she said again, "Got to prepare."

"Prepare for what?" The boy cried out in anger.

The female spoke nothing more as she made her way across the room. Her bare feet making not a sound against the wooden floor. She didn't seem to notice that there was anyone but her in the room as she headed passed him and disappeared, like a ghost, into their bedroom.

For a moment, Jason stood unsure what to make of any of this. His silvery-blue eyes watched the open door to where she had gone, almost a minute ticked by before his muscles even dared move. He shook his head with a mix of panic and frustration, slowly as his fingers clenched unnerved at his sides. His head whirled with questions.

But everything froze the moment his girlfriend stepped back out into the living room. And before he could calm himself, Jason snapped.

"Mind telling me what the hell that was all about?"

Confusion filtered into the eyes of Ms. Cheshire as she studied him for a moment. "Wh-what do you mean?" Her voice faltered having never head such venom in her lover's voice before. What had she done to make him so upset with her?

"Look at yourself, Chesh. You are covered in mud! You've been gone for hours without even a note or anything saying where you had gone. Don't you know how worried sick I was?" He spat, her confusion causing him to override his reason with fear, "And then you said it was coming and you had to prepare. Prepare for what? What's coming?"

"I don't…" Tears filled her eyes as she looked down at herself. "I don't know… I don't understand." Her voice cracked as the first set of tears began to drip down her mud-stained cheeks. Cheshire hugged herself as she sobbed. "Please don't be angry at me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I don't remember."

Jason walked swiftly towards her and bundled her tightly in his arms as his anger and confusion shifted to one of sorrow and guilt. He had never meant to make her cry. He never wanted to see her cry. "You do not have to be sorry, my sweet love. I'm sorry I yelled at you. Chesh. You just scared me. I thought I had lost you. I thought the one thing I cared about was gone forever."

The girl sniffled into his embrace. Her head buried deep into his flat, warm chest.

He rubbed her back, his light orbs looking down onto her. Jason kissed her forehead softly, his lips barely touching her forehead. "Shall we go back to bed? Take a warm bath? Or perhaps you'd like me to make you some tea to calm your nerves?"

Cheshire tilted her head up to study him with tear stained eyes. "Maybe some tea would be nice…"

Jason smiled as he locked his lips with hers. "I love you," he said pulling away from her. His arms fell limply to his side.

"I love you too," she whispered, smiling back, before reaching for his hand, which he took up to his lips kissing her knuckles gently before holding it softly by his side. He jaunted his elbow so Cheshire could cling to his arm, as she often liked to do. Once she had hung her arms around him, they set off to the kitchen, which ironically had been the same door Cheshire had appeared from.

"Oh." the female gasped, eyes widening at the sight of the trailing mud. "I'm so sorry." She whispered tears threatening to spill again. "I'll clean it up."

"Don't worry about it." Jason said firmly, his eyes drawn into her own.


"Ms. Hope?"

Cheshire jolted as fingers touched her arm. "Yes?" she asked, shrinking away from those cold fingers as her head spun round to face the intruder.

"I'm sorry. You were sleeping."

"What do you want?" She asked, her voice strained. She was having such a lovely dream too. But now it was gone. Cheshire huffed annoyed at the tall man backed slightly away from her.

"We shall be moving on by tomorrow."

She tilted her head as the female said with slight uncertainty of hope. "There?"

The man nodded, somberly, "I figured you'd want to know."

Cheshire nodded her head, "Thank you." As he turned to leave she tilted her head counting days silently in her head. A small satisfied smile crossed her face as excitement bubbled inside her.