1.1 Pro-Logue

'I'm so sorry', whispered the slim 18 year old as she struggled to fight with her suitcase and her tears, 'Please try to understand, I have my own dreams and I don't think I could live with myself if I let them go! I want to have a career and a life of my own, I can't wait around for him forever…'

'But Mare, he's your soulmate, how can-' Jade started to demand angrily but was interrupted by an adamant Mary-Lynette.

'I've waited two years for him Jade and he hasn't even called, or written or anything! He has probably forgotten all about me and I can't afford to stay here on the off chance that he'll decide to pay me a visit! I've received an offer somewhere else, one I can't refuse…' explained Mare as she climbed into her Jeep.

'What kind of offer are you talking about?' asked Kestrel silkily, always the first to find the dirty side of anything.

'Look you guys,….I…um.. haven't told Dad or Claude about any of this so please…don't ..um..'

'YOU HAVEN'T TOLD THEM!!' screeched Mark, going red in the face

'Look, ….MARK! SHUT UP!' shouted Mary-Lynette, finally losing her temper, 'This is my life and I don't care if you hate me for it but I'm going to live it!' And with that, Mary-Lynette Carter started up her car and reversed sharply out of the Redferns' not-so-smooth drive. Within minutes, Mare was just a blob disappearing into the distance.

'Oh dear' mumbled Rowan, the only one who hadn't tried to stop Mare leaving, 'I don't think Ash is going to be very happy about this!'

'Really! You don't say!' exclaimed Mark as he stomped towards the ramshackle house that the Redferns' called home, with Jade in tow.

'Humans' spat Kestrel as she shook her head in disgust 'Always with the sarcasm'

1.1.1 Chapter 1

2 Nearly two years later…

'Right, I'd like to officially call this meeting into action.' stated Thierry, trying to sound as businesslike as possible, but when he surveyed the array of young men and women who sat in various couples and groups across the room; eating, drinking and general lazing about, he gave up. In fact, Thierry thought, to any normal person, they would look like a group of friends- not the 'educated', 'skilled' members of Circle Daybreak that they were.

'Hey people!' Thierry shouted as he waved his arms in the air, trying to catch their attention, 'I'm trying to hold a meeting here'

'Oh sorry Thierry,' giggled the tiny, pixie-like red head who sat on a dark haired boy's lap, the same teenage boy who was tickling her at that moment.' James! Stop, oh please…I can't breathe!'

'James. Poppy. If you're quite finished?' remarked Thierry as he raised a blonde eyebrow.

'Yeah, sure Thierry, we're listening' grinned Poppy as she slid from James's lap, wiping her eyes.

'So Thierry, what's this big meeting about anyway? You don't usually call all of us in here at the same time, seeing as we'd probably kill each other or something.' grumbled Rashel Jordan in her usual pessimistic manner.

'Well, if I'm allowed to start..' prompted Thierry as he looked at Rashel, who just wrinkled her nose in response as she snuggled closer to her soulmate, John Quinn-or just plain 'Quinn' to most people.

'Anyway, down to business' grunted Thierry, as he showed his audience the thin magnolia folder he was holding, 'I've received some information from my contacts in the Night World council..'

'Geez, you seem to have contacts everywhere Thierry', drawled a lazy voice from where its owner was reclining on the sofa, 'You think you could arrange a private visit to the Playboy Mansion?'

'Be quiet Ash, you're not helping.' scowled Thierry as he opened his folder, 'My Informant has information about the Night World's next victim, Maria Phoenix'

Thierry stopped talking to gaze around the room to see in anyone recognised the name, but sighed as the group just stared blankly back at him. 'Maria Phoenix is a human who is being sought out by the Night World because she has owns one of the newest yet influential businesses in America. Basically, the Council wants her because she's rich and powerful.'

'Simple. The Council want to find her and get her to fork over her company right, I mean before they kill her that is..'

'Not quite Quinn and it's companies. We know that she's rich and powerful but I seriously doubt that the Council will just kill her. She's young, not yet 20, so I think it's possible that the Council want to find her and change her into a Night Worlder. That way they get at her empire and her knowledge of computers. Allegedly, she can do anything and everything with a computer. According to rumours, she can hack into anything, including the security systems at NASA!' announced Thierry, as he started to pace the room.

'Well,' remarked Ash as he stood and stretched, resembling a large ash- blond cat as he did so, 'All we have to do is find her, right? So…what does she look like then…one of those ugly as a dog but brainy types?'

Thierry stopped his pacing and turned round to grin sheepishly at the scattered group of Day Breakers. 'That's the problem. No one seems to be able to find a picture of her. Anywhere. She stays out of the spot light and obviously, she doesn't publicise her whereabouts. Not even the Council could find a definite location for one of her houses. Also, there's no point trying to find leads over the Internet or computer databases, she's bound to have deleted any reference to her early life to protect any existing family and most importantly, herself! As I said, she's one very smart young lady!'

'Well, that's that. There's nothing we can do for now, so let's give ourselves a break!' yawned Ash as he shrugged on his leather jacket. 'Anyone up for some pizza, I'm starving!'

Thierry shook his head, knowing that any chance of serious discussion was gone for now. He allowed Ash to go on complaining about how he was dying for some pizza although everyone knew vampires didn't need to eat food.