This story takes place a year after Hal has disappeared and Cutler is on his own and lonely. He meets the fiancée of a colleague and decides maybe it's time to recruit.

He never got used to the killing, it wasn't his forte. Hal had understood but had detested him for it. Now Hal was gone and he had no choice, kill or starve. The first months of Hal's disappearance had been the longest of Cutler's life. He had drifted, wandered the streets, feeling hopeless and abandoned. No one else seemed to even care that the Old One was gone.

"He'll be back, you don't' know him"

Fergus seemed unsurprised by the vanishing act but nevertheless was uneasy at the change in circumstances. Without their maker they were dispersed amongst the other vampires, expected to just fit in somehow. They were nothing without Hal, of no worth, except of course for Cutler. Being the solicitor gave him a kudos that Fergus could not compete with even after all his years with Hal. He was just henchman after all, so Fergus had to be at least polite, but other than that Cutler was alone, and hungry.

His job still continued. He had to appear to be human, far more difficult that anyone could imagine. Not for him jumping at the nearest person for a quick snack. All this he had to endure without Hal. He was so unprepared for it all, he seemed to feel at his most alone when he was amongst humans. He decided that if he were to survive he had to find a way to kill without being caught or at least feed.

This began a precarious existence for him. Skulking about at night looking for unprepared women, harder than you might think. The fear of being caught made the whole experience even more alarming so that when he did succeed it had to last him. He forced himself to endure long periods of abstinence, and to retain the blood when he could get it in containers to drink later.

One day a colleague appeared at his office. Cutler never mixed with her fellow solicitors; it was too much of temptation but Jamie Adam had joined only recently and even though Cutler had made many attempts to brush him off, he continued to call in by the office and ask if he wanted to join him for lunch. Seeing the usual blue eyed youth Cutler inwardly sighed. He could kill him but it he would probably be missed he mused.

"Nick could you look out for my fiancé today, I have to be in court and I can't get hold of her? Her name's Laura."

"Yes of course, what does look like?

"Just look out for the best looking girl"

"Lucky you

Cutler watched the door close and wondered what Adam's idea of good looking would be: some pale, red headed freckled thing, no doubt. He got back to work trying to ignore the spasm building slowly in his stomach. Tonight he would have to feed. He leaned back in his chair and waited for the spasm to pass, eyes closed he didn't hear the door open.

"Are you alright?

He opened his eyes and felt his heart lurch. She was lovely, long dark hair and dark eyes that seemed to pull you in. His mouth dried and he could feel his hands shaking. He tried to keep his eyes from her throat but caught her looking at him and suppressed a blush. He had to remain cool, and in control.

"I'm looking for Jamie Adam?

"You must be Laura, I've been asked to look after you"

Cutler smiled and rose from the chair, trying to walk towards her in the slow sauntering movement he had watched Hal use so many times. The decision not to kill her was made in the two seconds it took him to reach her. Why kill her when he could keep her. He would be her maker, she, his companion. He need never be lonely again. Those dark eyes searching his face reminded him of someone. He wondered what her skin tasted like, by tonight be would know.