I think this is one of my other mad ramblings Naruto prodded the idea from my head and it was jarred loose now it rattles around like a bunch of pebbles bouncing off hitting points and losing them just as fast. Well I have caught some of those pebbles. Don't mind if I toss you a few do I? AU remember so keep that in mind.


I woke up clutching my neck. That dream. It haunted me. I removed my hand and slight specks of blood covered my palm. I put it back and pulled it away. The blood had stopped. Why was I bleeding though? I got up and glanced at the clock quickly before hobbling into the bathroom. Only two o' clock. I looked in the mirror flicking on the light. My bite marks were bleeding. They looked like they were bleeding at least. I thought back to my dream. At first, I didn't really understand. I was someplace dark and very, very quiet except for the steady hiss of water dripping. I was cold and felt gnawing, desperate hunger. Then I heard a voice out of that dark whisper.

"Claire?" It was as if she was torn out of her body and thrown violently up through the dark in a blur, and everything in her wanted to scream, but she didn't actually have lungs or a body to use to do that only a pure, condensed feeling of real terror… And from a great height, I looked down into a very deep, narrow pit, and far below, a starkly pale face upturned to her in the moonlight. The voice. It sounded like Myrnin's voice, but it couldn't have been; it couldn't. There was no sense to this dream, because what would Myrnin be doing at the bottom of a hole, and why wouldn't he just jump out? "Help," He said, form very far below, very far away. "Help me?"

"I don't know how!" I called down, at least in the dream, and because it was just a dream, it made sense that he could hear me, somehow, and that even though I was very far away, I could see the desperation in his expression.

"Come for me," Myrnin said, and it sounded like a ghost, like Shane's sister whispering out there in that eerie vacant lot, like Miranda being torn to shreds of fog.

It sounded like someone who was already gone.

I couldn't come to face that he was gone. He was too important in my life for him to just be gone. A raging headache worked its way up the base of my spine all the way to my frontal lobe and I down two ibuprofens. I hung my head with a hand on each side of the sink basin. I looked into the mirror again and as I thought about the dream my scars started to bleed again. A slight trail ran down my neck. Someone knocked on the door.

"Claire?" Michael. "Are you okay? I smell blood." I opened the door and smirked holding some toilet paper to my neck. He moved his hand to it and looked at it. "What happened?" He sounded worried.

"I don't know. I was dreaming. And woke up with it bleeding." I pulled the tissue away and it was done. It was already healed. I reached my hand up and gingerly ran my fingers over them. The scars had healed and I looked in the mirror at the two permanent dimples gashing my neck. He looked at me for a long moment.

"As long as you're okay." He turned to walk away.

"Hey Michael?" He stopped. I hesitated, thinking. "Never mind." He shrugged and walked back to his shared room. I gave one last look, a shiver running down my spine, and walked back to my bed. I crawled into the covers, but before I did I looked to see if blood had gotten on the pillow sheets. None. I pulled the covers down and got in. I closed my eyes, but sleep just wouldn't come. I kept hearing his voice ring in my ears. Come for me. Come for me. Come for me. I felt it swirling around in my head getting louder and louder until I couldn't take it and I screamed. "I can't!" I heard three sets of feet tromp to my room.

"Claire? Claire!" Eve burst through the door and I looked over at her. "Claire? Oh my god, are you okay?" I shook my head tears pricking my eyes. She went to walk in and she had three shadows. She stopped and turned and shooed Shane and Michael out. Shane looked over Eve's shoulder and I didn't look up from the sheets in front of me. Eve walked over and sat next to me on the bed. "What happened? Michael told me about earlier." Tears began to streak down my face.

"Something's happened. He's gone I have to go." I began to get off of my bed and throw the covers off, but she put her hands on my shoulders and pushed me backed and put me back on my duvet.

"Hush, who's gone? You are not leaving." She stared at me and I gave her a look.

"Myrnin." Just thinking about his voice made me hiccup back my tears. She recoiled.

"What do you mean? He's practically alwa –"

"No!" I sniffled trying to stand up. "He's in trouble he is really gone…" I trailed off freezing and going boneless. "I have to go to the lab. I have –"

"No have you not seen what it is out there? Dark. You are staying here." She grabbed me as I was about to fall off of my bed. She sat me upright. "We can go check out the lab tomorrow. I promise. Now you need to get to bed." She stood up. "I mean it." I nodded barely and turned to face the wall. I heard the soft click of the door closing and waited until I heard her leave. I shot up and quickly threw on a jacket stuffing silver in my pockets and a stake on the modified one inside my jacket. I cautiously looked behind me before I opened my window carefully and looked down. The branch that he had broken stuck out and the splinters made for no hold. I looked around and saw that there was one just below it I could hold onto. I climbed out and jumped onto the branch. It wobbled a bit and I held onto the trunk for dear life. I looked back at my window. No turning back now. I looked forward again and shimmied my way down the tree. Before I landed I looked out below me and waited. No vampires. As of yet. I jumped down almost flawlessly save for the slight unbalance and requiring to hold onto the trunk again, but other than that I'd say I could be a professional. I resisted the urge to snort. I walked briskly down the street keeping my head low. I thought I saw something behind me and I picked up my pace. I arrived in no time. I looked up and stopped. The shack, the ancient, leaning thing that had been there ever since I had first come here, was just…gone. There was no sign of wreckage, not even a scrap of wood or a rusty nail left in its place. There had been stairs going down to Myrnin's lab inside the shack itself.

Now, there was a slab of concrete. It was almost dry, but it had been poured only a a day ago, I was certain of that; concrete dried fast in the Texas desert heat, and this was still just a tiny bit cool and damp to the touch. Someone had left a handprint at the corner of the slab. I put my own hand in the impression, it was a larger hand, longer fingers, but still slender.

Myrnin's hand. I took my other hand and put it up to my mouth to stifle a gasp. Tears began to wake down my face and I couldn't stop them. I felt a hand on my shoulder and in a flash I hand the stake in hand and whipped around. He took his hand off and put them up in defense.

"Careful." Michael put his hands down. "You shouldn't have run out like that." I ran into his arms. Tears stained his shirt.

"I'm sorry I had to see if he was okay and – and –" I choked. He made inaudible soothing noises.

"Come. We have to get home. Eve's going to have your ass." I couldn't help but laugh. He had an arm around me protectively. He was always looking around all up until we got to our door. Eve swung it open as I went to grab the handle. She grabbed my shoulders from Michael and gave a death glare. No pun intended.

"I told you not to go out. I was worried sick." She softened and wrapped me in a hug. She checked my pockets at the same time. "Well at least you remembered one thing." She smirked pulling out the silver. I reached in with a smirk myself and grabbed the stake.

"Yea she nearly used that on me." Michael interjected.

"Sorry I was ready though." I looked down at the ground suddenly remembering why I left in the first place. A tear worked its way out of my eye. Eve moved towards me again.

"Oh honey are you okay?" She rubbed the arms up and down. "What did you learn?"

"He's gone!" I yelled my anger releasing. "I didn't think he would go through with it, but he did and now I may never see him again!" I pound my fists at my side. "I didn't take him seriously! Why didn't I take him seriously?!" She wrapped her arms around me. Soon Michael joined the group hug. I feel week and forgotten. I grabbed the hand that was in his in the concrete and rubbed my thumb across my palm. They both let go and Eve ushered me up the stairs. She was talking, but I wasn't listening. I hated him for leaving. I couldn't believe he actually followed through with one of his mad epiphanies. I got to my room and sat on my bed. I looked at the ground. Fire burned in me. He left me. He had really left me. It was so selfish. My neck hurt and I reached up again. Slight drops of blood dappled my palm. I needed to find out why I kept bleeding. It was unusual. I looked at my hand for a long time before my eyes felt heavy and I took my jacket off throwing it to the ground, and laying down to rest. No dreams came to me, just the dank, cold, unwelcoming darkness.


I woke up to my alarm hours later. I forgot to reset it to weekends. I hit the snooze button and slid out of my covers. I had gooseflesh along my arms and legs and my teeth were chattering slightly. I rubbed my arms throwing on my robe and walking down the stairs. I heard clanging of dishes and voices. I felt warm arms envelope me as I hit the landing on the stairs. I shook them off.

"Hey are you alright? You're freezing." I nodded.

"Yea just forgot to close my curtains last night." I looked back with a half hearted smile. He eyed me for a moment, but I was already making my way down to the kitchen. Eve and Michael were talking when I came in, but stopped once Michael saw me. They had my coffee ready and I was wondering what Eve was doing up so early. I grabbed it shakily and took a bad aimed sip. Eve turned on me and gently grabbed my wrist in comfort.

"You doing okay?" I nodded lying. "God Claire, you're so cold." She grabbed my wrist with both arms and worked it all the way to my shoulder. I shivered a bit.

"I'm okay." She looked at me with astonishment.

"No you're not you feel dead." I held onto the coffee hoping it would warm me up. "Michael come here feel her." She stepped back and he stepped forward grabbing my hand.

"We're the same temperature." Eve nodded and I put the coffee down.

"I don't feel cold." I lied through slightly chattering teeth. "Just a chill." Michael let go of me and they both watched me with great interest.

"Stop lying to me." Eve said almost as coolly as I felt.

"Eve." Michael put a hand on her shoulder, but looked weary at me. "She's not a vamp. She's just cold. I can hear her heartbeat." Eve rigged posture slacked slightly.

"But why are – Maybe Amelie's in troub – No can't be you have no protection from her anymore. What – Hey Mike look at her neck." I tried to look, but Michael had already tilted my head slightly to look at it. I felt a warmth liquid trail down my neck.

"Don't freak out." He swiped a finger in it and stepped back inspecting it. I reached around for a towel and put it to my neck. My numb hands barely grasped the fabric. The blood collected on his finger and he looked at me cautiously. I nodded. What's the worst that could happen? He licked his finger and almost immediately he gagged and retched. Eve shot forward, but he put a hand up to stop her. He convulsed one last time before retching in the sink. Blood covered the sink.

"Michael? Are you alright?" Eve put her hands on his shoulders.

"Oh that was not good. Very unpleasant." He righted himself. "I know what's wrong with you though."


I put the last bits of rope on my shoulder and Shane walked into my room.

"Where are you going?" He queried. "It's too dark outside."

"I'll be fine. Michael and Eve are coming with." He didn't like this answer.

"What about me? I'm your boyfriend. What are you even going to do?" I turned around fastening my belt.

"I have to save him." He groaned.

"Why? He's just another vampire." I stood stock still.

"No. He's not. Is that what you call Michael? 'Just another vampire'?" I was still freezing, but it was more bearable that I had felt it for a while. "He's not."

"Of course you say that. I'm your boyfriend and I don't want to lose you because of him."

"No." I said smoothly and coldly.


"No. You are not." He looked scared then angry.

"Of course I am. I have for the majority of you being in this town." He tried to walk forward, but I gave him a cold glare.

"No. You aren't, you've changed. It started when I started to work for Myrnin. I noticed it. You didn't. I thought it was just the usual guy stuff, but it wasn't. Then when you were rescued from the draug. I knew you had changed for the worse. It was blatant that you are not the same man. But unlike you Myrnin changed for the good. He used to be almost unbearable. Trying every chance to drain me dry then in those off sane moments he was sweet almost even human. He wanted to be a better man. And he is. He changed for the better."

"He is not a man." He seethed.

"Subject A." I pushed past him with that last phrase.

"Wait, come back please? Claire!" I heard his hand on my door frame, but I kept walking. Eve and Michael were waiting by the door. Loaded to the teeth. Michael had heard everything and merely nodded. I had already thought about it all day and done my share of crying. Now it was my turn to break his heart.

"Come on." The nodded and we all walked out into the cold night.


We arrived were about a block from the cemetery. Michael didn't want the car to be spotted, so we had to walk the last portion. It was a very silent walk. We finally arrived to the gates and they were open. Michael listened and he waved us in the opposite direction of where we had to go. I recognized something from my dream. It was a white tree. It wasn't bones it was the trees boughs. My legs itched to run to him, but if Michael told us to go this way that was where we had to go. I could faintly make out the sounds of talking, but it was too quiet for me to hear. That must have been why Michael made a detour. I felt the feeling begin to return in the tips of my fingers and toes. The voices were coming this way and I could distinctly hear them now. Naomi and Oliver. My fingers danced around the trigger of my silver nitrate spritzer at the thought that Naomi had anything to do with Myrnin's capture. I already wanted her heart on a stake for deceiving Eve, but this? It was just icing on the cake. As they grew nearer their voices projected in the echoing cemetery.

"Todaloo black knight no more." Naomi chuckled manically. Black knight. That was Myrnin. I wanted so badly to run out and give her some no more of my own, but she would hear me or smell me whatever came first if not both. Oliver looked like a wooden toy. His legs resisting every movement. I cocked my head in wonder. What was wrong with him? "Come on Oliver dear. Blood control isn't that bad if you let it take over." She chuckled again like a sick joke. Oh like with Bishop. Naomi had the same power. "Now that that is done you may go back to your precious Amelie." She stopped and he growled with great effort as if it hurt. Then she clicked her fingers and he bolted off. "Oh and Michael," We all stiffened. We looked over at him. He looked pained as if resisting every atom in his body. "Take care of you posse." And she took was gone. His eyes turned blood red and he writhed on the floor. Eventually he stood up towering over both of us.

"Claire, go! I've got this." I jumped over where we were hiding and ran to the white tree. "I'm so sorry." I heard her say before there was a high pitched screaming coming from Michael. I didn't look back. I continued to run to the tree. Even uncovered, the silver grate, circular with bars that formed a simple cross, was almost invisible until I nearly stepped onto it. That probably would have broken my ankle. The grate was locked in lace with an old, rusted lock, and I searched around in the bag for the silver tipped bat and whaled at it frantically with it until it broke in two. I threw back the cold, tarnished metal and tried to see into the dark. Nothing. Not even a hint of life. I heard the fighting around me and gave a quick glance. Eve had the tranc dart gun and shot off one more before Michael stopped moving all together.

"Myrnin" I shouted down. I had to cover my nose from the smell that rose up from the narrow little hole – rot, sewage, mold, a toxic brew of the worst things I could imagine. "Myrnin! Can you hear me?" I remembered the rope I had and quickly untied it from my waist and tied it around a sturdy looking branch before lowering it down into the hole. "If you can hear me, grab the rope, Myrnin! Climb!" I wasn't sure for long moments whether he was there or even whether he could get out. Maybe it was too late. Maybe he was already gone. But then I felt the rope suddenly pull taut, and in seconds I saw something pale appear in the dark below, gradually becoming clearer as it moved up toward me. Myrnin climbed as if he's learned how from his pet spider, swarming up with frantic speed. He had burns on his face and hands and lower legs, silver burns, but that didn't slow him down, and when he reached the top of the hole, I grabbed his forearms and dragged him out on the side that wasn't blocked by the raised silver grate. I ignored the foul water bleeding from his clothes and threw myself at him. He collapsed on his back and wrapped his water logged arms around me. After a second of silence beside my faint tears mixing with the foul water on the ground he whispered.

"I knew you'd come, Claire. I knew you would. Dear God you took your time." I chuckled faintly and felt his hand stroke my hair. I had barely noticed that I wasn't cold anymore. When I hugged him it was like he transferred my heat back. I buried my head into his neck and beyond all of the oubliette stench I could still faintly distinct his familiar ink, old parchment, and slight ammonia. Like a cologne that never washed off. I let go and looked over at Eve. She was standing about fifty feet away, beside Michael, but she looked up and jerked her chin in a silent question. Is he okay? She honestly looked worried, whether for me, Myrnin, or Michael I couldn't tell. I nodded. "You're very sad," Myrnin said. He sounded faint and distant, as if he'd been a long way off in more ways than one. "You smell like tears. Did he break your heart?" I didn't know who the he was in this sentence.

"No," I said, in a very soft whisper. "I broke his."

"Ah," He took an unneeded breath. "Good for you." He gently pushed me off of him, leaned to the side, and threw up a horrifying amount of black water. "Pardon. Well, that was distressing…oh no…" He collapsed back on the ground, as if too weak to rise, and shut his eyes tight. His whole body was shaking and twitching, and it went on for a horribly long time, I didn't know what to do with him, except put a hand on his shoulder. Beneath the slimy clothes, I could feel his muscles locked and straining as if he were having an epileptic seizure. He finally relaxed and took a deep, slow breath before he opened his eyes and said, "We have to go, Claire. Quickly."

"Where?" I asked because I was cold, a different cold than before, and scared and couldn't think of any place, any place at all, that might be safe now.

"To safety," he said. "Before it's too late."

"But you – you're not well enough to –" Before I could finish, he was off stalking barefoot through the weeds towards the exit. He tore the chain off the fence with one hard pull and shoved the gates open with a rusted shriek. Then he looked back with a red glow in his eyes and said,

"Bring Michael. None of this is his fault. I won't allow him to suffer for it." I felt warmth spread through me. It was so unselfish. I already knew it wasn't his fault, but still he didn't want someone else to suffer for the faults he needed to right. Eve hadn't moved during all of this, but now she bent down and pulled the tranc dart out of Michael's neck. "It's going to be a few minutes before he's well enough to stand up."

"Then drag him," Myrnin started. "Unless you'd like to enjoy the comfort of my little oubliette. I'm sure Naomi will be sending Pennywell in a moment to be certain all of us are dead, and I'd rather not want to be here to oblige her. Now, children." He clapped his hands and disappeared beyond the gates, and in a moment, I heard Eve's car start up with a roar. I went back to Eve and took one of Michael's arms as she grabbed the other. We both whispered to him at the same time.

"I'm so sorry."


"Are you really the one to be driving?" I asked Myrnin as I finally got in the passenger's seat. He looked out the windshield with a stony expression.

"Can you drive?"

"It's a stick."

"Can she?"

"Michael's unconscious."

"Then I am to drive." He looked over finally with a manic smile, but cheery eyes. I smirked. It was good to see him so back to normal so soon.

"You drive a hard bargain." As soon as I heard the click of Eve's seat belt and Michael's Myrnin shot off. I held onto door grip for dear life. It wasn't the driving necessarily, he had gotten better, it was the people, vampires, jumping out at us. Must have been Naomi's gang. "Where exactly are we going?"

"To Amelie herself."

"And we have to drive?"

"All of the secret passages are shut up." He made a sharp turn sending me almost into his lap even with the belt on. "I am ruining your friend's upholstery. My apologies. I also seem to be missing my bunny slippers."

"I'll buy you knew ones if we make it out alive." He smirked still looking at the road.

"How are we going to get in?"

"We use Michael." I looked back at him and he was still pretty much passed out.

"Great plan." I said sarcastically and leaned back into the seat.

"Put him up here." He said pulling up in the guard check. We hurried to heave him up propping him next to me. I was the only thing holding him up. The guards looked in at Michael and Myrnin and let them go through. "You'd think they'd notice something on my current attire."

"Hate to tell you this, but this is not far from what you normally look like now drive."

"Really? I'm going to need to work on that." I couldn't help, but a small laugh. "Leave him." Eve looked at him for a long moment before we both got out. Me having a helluva time with the extra body in front of me. Myrnin and Eve were already at the elevator greeted by two of Amelie's guards. I noticed that Eve had a backpack and they reached for it. Myrnin flashed out and cracked their heads together. A sickening crunch was the only noise between them. "Come on now." We got in the elevator and he pressed the button until it arrived at the floor.

"Good thing we're going down next time." Amelie's receptionist bared fang standing up and Myrnin re-gifted the gesture.

"Announce me. Never mind I'll do it myself." He lowered his shoulder and ran at the inner door. The lock broke and the door swung open…..


And that's how we ended up in a cage. Two more than lifeless bodies, two humans, and one rank vampire. I am sad to inform you that there is no punch line to this sad joke. Eve hugged her knees making room for the rest of us. She was slightly; if I looked away it looked like she was just sitting, rocking back and forth. She mumbled under her breath so quiet I doubt even Myrnin could hear it. Oliver was lying deader now with a stake in his chest in front of all of us along the length of the cage. Myrnin on one side of me legs outstretched lounging on Oliver's slack body and Amelie on the other side staring dead at nothing she too bearing the mark of a stake in her heart. Myrnin was quietly talking to me.

"It's not his fault. The distinct bite marks on his neck show precision only acquired by one person and passed on to two – that I know of – others. Amelie and Naomi." I stared out of the bars.

"I know, but Eve…..She must feel so betrayed." I looked over at her. "But we are not going to die like this." I leaned over to talk to Eve. "Hey do you have any weapons? Anything hidden?" I whispered.

"No. They took everything. Kinda like jail."

"It's not like jail." She looked up at me. Her pale makeup streaked with tears revealing patches of her normal pink skin. "We have shoe laces." I know she didn't understand, but she began to take the cords out of the eyes. Myrnin not having any just watched worried.

"I would not recommend killing ourselves, Claire." He even sounded worried. "It wouldn't kill me anyways." After tying them by one end I hurriedly braided them and tied them in the middle of the bars in the back. "Eve I need you to go middle school drama on me, please?" She nodded knowing exactly what it meant. She began to cry hysterically and yelling.

"You know I never even got to live my life. I am stuck here in the lame town until I rot. If I don't die first…" She went on and on and most people ignored the hell out of her. Okay everyone did. No one wanted to be a part of that.

"Do you have anything we can you as a fulcrum? A stick? Anything?"

"Just the stakes…" She started up again. No that would give us away. I looked around. Something that wouldn't break. I saw the slight gleam of Amelie's headband. That had to work. I bent it and it didn't break. It was reinforced with metal as well. I began to twist as hard as I could before it was too much for me. I looked around. No one was paying attention in the least bit. I motioned to Myrnin and Amelie's stake. He nodded and pulled it out slightly. She didn't move. I didn't expect her to. At least she would move when we needed her to.

"Here let me." He took the head band and effortlessly began to twist it about ten more times. The bars were now increasingly bowed. Vampires began to gather around in the moonless night. Some confused, some sleepy, some excited, some just plain out worried. A few humans were seen as well. One noticeably complaining, Monica Morrell. Myrnin stopped. "She is declaring primacy. It is something even Bishop respected. In short she gathers up all of the towns VIP's and declares her standing then….kills them."

"Just like us." Eve stopped noticing that no one was going to look over here for a while.

"Yes, but unlike the rest of you Claire and I are only collateral damage. This is a statement to Amelie." He looked at her with sadness. "Oh my poor lovely lady. Would you rather die in fire, or in glory? Dead is still dead, of course. But I feel you should choose now."

"Heads up something's going on." We all watched, well those of us who could, as Naomi in her silver and black dress, sweet, collective voice, and her false smile made her way to the middle of the gathered mass. She began to speak out.

"My friends I come before you in sorrow and pain to tell you that Amelie, our Founder, has lost the right to rule." No one doubted what was going on, but a number of vampires out in the crowd began to voice their objection. It wasn't a lot of them, but it was enough to make clear Naomi wasn't a popular choice. She held up a hand in a sharp, angry gesture. "Our laws are clear: strongest rules. My sister was strong: the past littered with those who stood against her and lost. Her strength carried us here, to this town, a place where we can finally regain our rightful glory. But don't be mistaken: she hesitated. She corrupted herself by compromising with humans, with their laws and morals until she forgot what it's like to be a proper vampire." There were more shouts of protest, louder now. That might not have been what Naomi expected. There was a growing tension in her shoulders, and the hand she still held raised seemed to shiver, just a little. "There will be no debate on this my sister became weal and foolish, and she was brought down by treachery. Not mine, but the treachery of a lover she trusted. She is not fit any longer to rule. Fear not; I will burn the traitor with her, and we'll start newborn." This time no one shouted. There was an eerie silence. I honestly couldn't tell whether Naomi had won them over, or whether something else was happening – something that didn't bode well for the would-be queen. Vampires weren't easy to read, especially not in large groups.

The humans in their pen had gone very quiet and still – even Monica. Frail little Gramma Day was standing very tall, hardly leaning on her cane at all. But there was someone new standing near them, almost invisible behind Monica's tall, long-legged form…another human, not a vampire. Jenna? What the hell was the ghost hunter doing here? Trying to get a story? Was she insane? No. She was holding hands with someone else; a small, slight form that I spotted as Flora Ramos shifted to one side. Jenna had hold of Miranda's hand. She shouldn't be solid. But she was, very solid, though clinging to Jenna's hand as if it was a life line in a stormy ocean. Maybe Jenna's physic ability was feeding Miranda's own power and holding her steady in a nighttime form outside the Glass House, but from the strained, scared look on her face it wasn't easy. What the hell were they doing?

"Tomorrow marks our new age, and I will lead you into it," she continued. "You have been robbed of your rights for so long, my friends –subjected to indignities, to the constant complaints and restrictions to the ones that our rightfully our property. And that is over. As a token of this, I give you the first blood of Morganville. It is yours to take, as is your right as the rules of not only this place, but the entire world." She extended her white hand to point at the people held off to the side – twenty people, including Monica. The vampires looked in that direction. No one moved, and then Jason sauntered out of the crowd and said,

"About damn time somebody did the right thing." He grabbed Monica and dragged her out of the fenced in area. She shrieked and hit him, hard enough to make him stagger and I lunged forward taking the bolt all the way out of Oliver's chest and threw it hard through the bars of the cage and yelled,

"Monica, catch!" Monica leaned over backward as Jason tried to drag her closer, and saw the bolt tumbling end over end through the air. In a move that was shockingly graceful – and probably couldn't have been repeated if she'd really thought about it – Monica grabbed it and jammed it not into Jason's heart, but between his teeth.

"Bite that!" She yelled, and kicked her way free.

"We have to move, right now." Myrnin said. "She creates nice distraction, but it won't last."

"It doesn't need to," Amelie said. She pulled the last inch of wood free from her chest and smiled over at him. "I find I choose glory, my dear Myrnin."

"Most excellent," he said. "Claire and I loosened the bars. But I believe we should go now. Naomi is losing the respect of her peers. It will not go well for her. She will burn us out of sheer desperation." Amelie nodded and tolled to a crouch she studied the bars at the back of the cage, made a fist, and hit it with surgical precision at the point at the top of one of the bars where the weld was weakest. It snapped.

"Hannah!" Eve was yelling. "Hannah no!" I glanced back and saw Hannah was fighting her way to the button to ignite us all. She was moving in rigged jerking movements as though she was fighting and inner battle and losing. Underneath us the gas jets sputter into pale blue flame.

"Out! Out now!" I screamed. Myrnin joined in Amelie's fight against the bars and they managed to make a big enough hole for all of us to get out. Amelie lunged out, and Myrnin, after grabbing me, followed suit. Eve scrambled from the back to get out. I noticed Oliver wasn't moving. I shot forwards to grab him, but Amelie was faster. She grabbed him and pulled with a shocking amount of strength.

"No let me pay! I will pay!" He kept yelling as the burners ignited and his clothes were singed and smoking. Myrnin grabbed my hand yanking me back. My clothes were slightly smoking and I patted them until there was nothing left. Oliver lay on the ground now whispering to Amelie as she stamped out his flames though I saw his hands were still working their way up to her neck in control of Naomi. She replied quietly, pulling out the arrow, and shoving it into Oliver's chest. He went limp. In all of her ragged glory Amelie stood up addressing Naomi. Nobody moved. Not even the divaistic battle between Jason and Monica. I saw Hannah and Michael run forwards still deadly puppets to Naomi and Myrnin threw me behind him grabbing Hannah's hand twisting it making her release the silver blade in her hand.

"Don't hurt her!" I shouted. "It's not her fault." Hannah lunged at him, but he dodged swiftly. Amelie intercepted Michael and held him in rapture. He didn't move an inch.

"Naomi I would like my fledgling back now." Whatever hold Naomi had on Michael broke with almost an audible twist. Michael staggered to gain his balance and stood beside Amelie. There was another noise. A crack, but it was so wrong. There was something disturbing in that noise then as soon as you heard it shadows began to lunge out and attack Hannah. She stopped trying to stab the hell out of Myrnin and fell to the ground unable to stand any longer. As soon as they had come they were called back. From where I didn't see. I was too busy trying not to be attacked by them myself. "Bring her." Myrnin gathered her up and brought her over to Amelie laying her next to the Founder. "And you too Hannah. I free you. Join your people." Just like Michael Hannah was released and the pure hate and anger in her eyes as she stood up almost made me want to run. Hannah walked towards Monica saying something to her I couldn't hear over the roaring fire and Jason stepped back to the first rank of vampires. The shoved him forward into no-man's land. Amelie was speaking, but the ringing in my ears and the fire blazing all around us made it impossible for me to hear. Naomi's lips moved and she gestured around. Nobody moved, not even Jason. I saw pain in Naomi's expression as Amelie began to speak again. She was slowly as if by an invisible rock on her shoulders falling to the ground. She kneeled in front of Amelie and from what I could tell, wept. The fire was shut off and I could finally hear Amelie. "- will be no hunting. No killing. You will share my sister's penance. And I will too." She looked over at Hannah. "Spread it to the rest of Morganville." Hannah nodded. Everyone seemed to be in a silent revere and no one moved until Monica flipped her hair over her shoulder and walked away with her constant words of wisdom. I finally stood up and grabbed Eve's hand lifting her to a standing position.

"Come on we have some apologizing to accept." Michael looked at Eve and pain scarred his expression. She ran forwards and I knew to look away. I looked at the parting crowd and I scanned the faces. Shane wasn't here. He must not be important enough for Naomi. Ironic really.

"This town used to be so boring," I looked up behind me. "Then you came along." He smiled down. "I think I like it this way." His once soggy clothes now dry from the inferno of the cage. "Your shirt is torn and you are wearing a lovely perfume." I smirked.

"It's blood. Thanks." I looked back at the few people in the crowd. "Ready to start over?" I sighed, exhaustion setting in.

"Ready as I'll ever be. Which is quite a lot, actually." I looked back smirking and began to walk. I didn't know exactly where I was walking, but I knew sometimes that's just how you start adventures sometimes. You have to get completely lost to be found.


He put both hands on each of my shoulders. He leaned in until his face was inches from mine. There was a light in his eyes. A mix of excitement, longing, fear, and anger. They were pleading me to understand.

"Don't you understand," With each word he gave me a careful shake. "You're different." He let me go and turned around running a hand through his hair. "I'm surprised you hadn't seen it sooner." He turned once again on me and looked at me with a dazzling smile.

"But I don't understand!" My head hurt and I was getting annoyed with his ramblings. "Myrnin explain!" I cried throwing my hands in front of me beseeching. I had begun to question the true origin of my scars and why they were scars. I asked him about it and I got this. He walked forward again and moved my hair back from my neck. I put a hand up to hide it. He carefully pried my hand away and used two fingers to point out the scars he had left, his fingers leaving cold spots on the starburst indentations.

"There." He said softly. "Michael once told you that most vampire bites don't scar, unlike yours. Just look at Shreve – "

"Eve." I interjected softly.

"She has no scars. And Michael and she are lovers." He removed his fingers and took a step back. He now crouched in front of me, his eyes begging for enlightenment.

"What does that mean about us?" He looked down at his feet.

"I was hoping you would reach that conclusion in your own time." I was suddenly thrown back in time to the conversation back before he had been taken.

"You're saying you care for me." I took a deep breath my mind racing horrified to say what I had originally thought. He too, despite the need, took a breath.

"Not as you would understand." He looked absolutely miserable. My mind changed as his did. I was suddenly depressed. I didn't know what to expect.

"That means…" I trailed off unable to come to a standstill on my thought process. No I could I was just scared of it. I hastily put my hair back to it's originally position on my neck. I looked quickly at his face and his eyes shone with unshed tears. I took a sharp breath. "Don't cry. I don't want to see you cry. I am nothing to cry over." Slowly a small smile spread across his face. I took a pause before saying, "I really do hate to see you cry because I know I'm always the reason why." Unconsciously as if compelled by fate I shot forwards consuming him in a hug. He instantly reacted wrapping his arms around me.

"That's not true." I nodded into his shirt.

"Yes it is. I've learned not to lie to you." I pulled back looking into his dangerous, chocolate eyes.

"That is a very dangerous thing. Besides I can always tell when you are lying." He had a smug look on his face.

"Oh, really?" I breathed moving my head centimeters closer to his and I could see him doing the same.

"Most definitely." He gave another dazzling smile before flicking his eyes to my lips and back to my eyes.

"You're full of it." I said my lips brushing his as I spoke. When I finished I closed what little distance there was between us. Cold and excited shivers escaped as he instantly reciprocated. Sweet softness incinerated any other thoughts in my mind. My hands scrambled for his and found his were as well. Our hands mingled together holding each other close without even moving an inch. I finally broke away taking easy breaths. "Not really eventful."

"Liar. Could be an acquired thing?" He kisses me again and I smiled a small smile against his lips. We continued with as he had once said 'sweet nothings' except this was everything. A single tear wiggled its way free during the interaction streaking down my cheek, gaining speed hitting my lip and making the kiss taste like tears.

So how was it guys? Was it everything you'd hoped it was? That last part I wrote in History instead of actual work. The price of art.