So this is the beginning of my second Fanfic. I'm still fairly new to this all, so apologies if I do anything wrong. :D Also, unashamed promotion of my other story, Guilty, still not finished, but what the heck, I'll start this anyway, and it's been burning a hole in my mind.

If you would, leave a review; that would be wonderful.

Claire's POV

She felt so stupid. She knew that working late was a bad idea, especially after Amelie had changed the rules. Hunting was allowed, and previous promises were void. A new kind of protection was emerging, but this one was a lot more dangerous than the original version. And it offered no promises, no security.

No rules.

Basically, you offered up your blood, body and soul in one binding, lifelong contract, and in return, your immediate family were offered minimal protection. But even that was safer than being without these days. Claire shuddered in the chill of the late evening, and picked up her pace, trying to seem as though she wasn't running, but still fast enough to get home before total darkness. Older vamps would be able to come out this early, and nothing said 'bite me' better than a fleeing human, and a small one at that.

Claire liked to think that some vampires might not eat her, given her role in killing Magnus. But she knew deep down that her truce with the fanged variety was probably over, and no one really cared anymore. She'd done her job, and now she was useless.

Claire was so panicked by the time she was turning onto Lot Street that her she heard the footsteps behind her before they were close enough to be a problem. It nearly saved her life.

Claire lurched forward in a sudden sprint racing her stalker to her house. Glass House was so close, and she made it to the front gate before her time ran out and her attacker smacked into her back, sending her crashing to the ground.

Claire screamed a short siren before a cold hand clapped across her mouth, silencing her. She couldn't see who was on top of her in the gathering darkness but it didn't really matter. Any minute now and she'd be dead, and Shane, Eve and Michael would never know what happened.


Claire's heart pounded in her chest and she redoubled her efforts to shift her attacker. They hadn't bitten her yet, she could still get away.

A deep throaty and horribly familiar chuckle made ice lock her muscles together.

"Jason?" she mumbled around the hand.

"Surprise, Claire." He whispered in her ear. He smelt like he'd lapsed back into his old habit of not showering, and Claire shuddered at how close he was.

Jason leant forward and licked Claire's neck just above where her pulse was strongest. Claire squirmed, pleading with her eyes. Jason had never hurt her before, not really. Threatened, sure, but he'd never followed through. Claire didn't want to know what had made him change his mind, but despite it all, she felt sorry for him.

He hadn't deserved this.

Jason hauled her up to her feet, and then lifted her into his arms, juggling her to keep his hand firmly over her mouth. Damn him and his sudden attention to detail.

Claire struggled and squirmed but she couldn't get free. Jason as a human had been bad enough, but Jason as a vampire was even worse, and definitely strong enough to keep Claire still without hurting her. Because even though he was carrying her away into the night, he wasn't hurting her.

Claire didn't know what to think about that, so she didn't think about it at all.

Focus, she thought, you can do this. Claire wriggled some more, and felt her back pocket vibrate with a text. Jason hadn't noticed. Claire's mind ticked over as her phone began vibrating violently with a call. Slowly she relaxed into Jason's arms, letting her eyes flutter shut as if she was blacking out. Her arm dropped to her side, next to her pocket, and ten after a few seconds, Jason let go of her mouth.

Claire pressed the answer button and prayed that it was Shane on the other end, and screamed at the top of her lungs

"Help! Jason got me, and-"

Jason's hand clapped back over her mouth and he dropped her to the ground. Claire let out a pained squeak as she hit the floor and felt her phone break as she landed on it. She hoped that whoever had rang her had heard her, that help was on its way, but the small unhelpful voice in the back of her head told her that even if it had been Shane, and he, Eve and Michael were at the door, weapons ready, she hadn't actually told them were she was or anything useful for that matter. She would just have to hope that Jason would let her go.

Right now, it didn't seem likely.

It seemed to take forever, but that was probably because Claire was injured now and being dropped on top of a phone most defiantly hurt. A sleek black car with tinted windows drew up beside them, and the back door opened. Jason shoved Claire inside ahead of him, keeping his hand securely over her mouth. He really wasn't taking any chances, and Claire wasn't very happy about that.

She blinked fast, her eyes adjusting slowly to the gloom inside the car. It pulled away from the curb and Claire got the sinking feeling that she would never see her friends again. Tears pooled in the corners of her eyes and blurred the vampire sitting in front of her. Claire blinked them away; tears wouldn't help her, and then focused on her kidnapper. Shit.


Naomi smiled and it was as beautiful as it was terrifying. Ice was warmer, and even Jason seemed to shrink back in his seat a little.

"Do not fear, child. You are of little consequence to me. Merely a means of getting what I want. If you do as you are told, and are helpful to me, then I shall allow you and your friends to live. If not…well, you won't be disobedient for long."

Naomi smiled again, and Claire wondered how she'd ever trusted the woman. She was so cold and uncaring, and Claire wondered if she had ever been human at all.

"What do you want, Naomi?" Claire was grateful that she sounded a lot stronger than she felt. Weakness was something she couldn't afford here.

"Simply your compliance. And perhaps an alliance, should events not take place as they were planned. But first, I require you to call your Myrnin. I need him to do something for me."

Naomi sat back against her seat, her posture perfect and refined like the royalty she was. Claire felt like ice was being poured down her back. She knew that Naomi could influence people, humans and vampires, and she knew that she really didn't have much of a choice but she had to try.

It wasn't as if Myrnin was going to do as he was told anyway. He was older than Amelie and the only reason he was let her tell him what to do was because he liked her. He wasn't exactly going to just follow Naomi's, and much less Claire's, orders.

Jason handed her a phone, and looked they locked gazes. Jason's brown eyes so similar to Eve's were wide and crazy and Claire couldn't help but feel another round of pity for him. He probably didn't have much of a choice in any of this either.

"Just do as she says, Claire. No heroics and you'll be fine. She's going to win anyway." He said under his breath. Claire knew that Naomi would be able to hear so she said nothing. She had absolutely no plans to do as she was told but…but…Claire's mind ticked over a white blank.

She had known, of course, that Naomi could control people, that she could play on their already existing emotions to make them do what she wanted them to, but she hadn't been prepared for this.

It was like a shadow in her mind. She could feel herself slipping, and she couldn't fight it. She couldn't remember what…what she was supposed to do. What was going on? What was she doing here? Her fear swallowed her, her heart pounded hard and fast in her chest, and Claire was ultra-aware of every detail in the car. She felt Jason shift beside her and her panic swelled. Claire scooted as far away from him as she could, cramming herself into the furthest corner away from all the vamps.

Then she remembered the phone in her hand. Call Shane, she thought. No, wait. Call Myrnin. Myrnin would save her; she really needed to call him before the vamps took the phone away. Her hand shook violently as she dialled his number. The dialling tone rang in her ear, every beep heightening her fear. Please answer me, she thought.

"Hello? To whom am I speaking?"

Claire felt a surge of relief. She was safe now, she'd completed her task. Almost. Say something.

"Myrnin" she said, breathless with relief.

"Claire? Are you-"

A cold hand plucked the phone from her fingers, and the shadow that had been in Claire's mind left her, leaving her feeling as if she'd suddenly been plunged into cold water.

"Listen very carefully. I have Claire and I will kill her if you do not give me what I want. I will be arriving at your…laboratory shortly. Ensure you are alone and tell no one of this, or little Claire will suffer. Are we understood?"

Naomi snapped the phone shut, but Claire barely noticed. The game had suddenly gotten a lot bigger and she couldn't be sure that she would come out of it alive.

Shane's POV

I rang Claire again. I knew she didn't like it when I got too protective, but she was half an hour late and it was getting dark outside. The phone rang, and rang and rang and my insides started to tighten. Something wasn't right.

I heard the phone connect, and for a second I felt relieved. Then I heard the screaming.

"Help! Jason's got me and-"the phone disconnected with a harsh bleep but I was already moving.

"Michael! Eve! Jason's got Claire, we need to move!"

I grabbed the weapons bag that we left by the door for times like this. I had hoped, when I'd put it there, that I wouldn't need it. Eve clattered down the stairs, a similar bag already in one hand, and a wicked sharp stake in the other. Michael blurred through from the living room holding a silver knife with a leather bound handle that Eve had given him. We were ready in 20 seconds but it wasn't enough. I burst out the door to see a black vamp car pull up at the end of the street and Jason shove Claire inside before it sped away.

I felt like my heart was being torn in two because I hadn't been able to stop it.

Because I'd failed her again.

Myrnin's POV

I could hear a strange beeping noise coming from the pocket of my lab coat as I fed dead flies to Bob. It didn't stop for a while so I got up and went to see what it was.

Ah, I remembered now, the mobile phone that Claire had given me. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea why I had kept it, besides the fact that it was a gift from Claire. I only ever used it to contact her, and she usually ignored me anyway.

I pressed the little green button and answered, wondering who on earth might be calling me at this hour.

"Hello? To whom am I speaking?" I asked politely. I disliked technology, and though these mobile phone thingies were marvellous to take apart, they were much less fun to talk through.


The relief in Claire's voice made me hopeful- I'd heard her use that tone with her human boy before. I missed Claire when she wasn't around. She shone so brightly it made the world seem dim when she left. Recently I'd found myself becoming more and more attached to her. I knew it wasn't safe, especially for her, but I couldn't help myself.

But Claire had only just left, and I knew that there were very few reasons why she would call me. Something was wrong.

"Claire? Are you- is something wrong?"

I didn't get the answer I'd wanted. Naomi's dispassionate voice drifted to me from the tinny speakers of the device, and I felt my insides go colder than they already were.

"Listen very carefully. I have Claire and I will kill her if you do not give me what I want. I will be arriving at your…laboratory shortly. Ensure you are alone and tell no one of this, or little Claire will suffer. Are we understood?"

I couldn't help but agree. I knew what Naomi would want from me, and I knew that Amelie, were she here, would forbade me from giving it. But it was Claire that she was threatening. My Claire.

I had to try. For her, I had to.

So there you go. The next chapter will have more of the plot in it, and perhaps a couple of struggles over Claire between Myrnin and Shane.

Please leave a review so I know if I should continue.