I've taken a number of liberties with the changes in this story, a lot of stuff is improvised in here and even made up. But it's one of those stories I can't stop thinking about so I decided publishing would be best.

~Prologue~

Looking back on my life then, I realize now that there was no way of knowing this all would've happened. For the longest time I assumed my own stupidity or naivety was what got me here, that it could've been avoided. I used to loath myself for it, for being dense enough to allow this to happen.

I didn't think myself capable of what I was to face, that I didn't possess the strength.

And, I realize now that some things are meant to happen. No matter how much you fight it, or deny its truth, fate will find a way of working your destiny.

I also realize no other person could've taken life on the way I did. For all of my ordinariness I know I was chosen for this life by something far greater than any of us.

~Where it began~

I woke up early, very early for me, and for the rest of society. For weeks I've had nightmares that wake me at unconventional hours, too late to go back to sleep restfully, and too early for the sun to be risen.

With a sigh I turn my alarm clock off hours before its set time to go off. It was about 4:12 in the morning. I reluctantly headed for the shower to get my brain working and to dust off the remnants of my nighttime ordeal. What was most frustrating was that I could scarcely remember the dream, every night I would wake up with a vague memory of shadows and a racing heart.

Once out of the shower I had plenty of time to get dressed and put my hair up. I worked at an Elementary school, so I didn't have to dress overly fancy or in something horrid like a pantsuit. Nope, it was bright colors and polka dots for me.

I dumped my supplies for the day in a bag and headed for the subway, not even caring that I would be insanely early to work. A brisk walk and a subway ride would clear my head.

Living in New York had many perks, but my favorite was having everything so close. My school was one subway stop away from my apartment. That subway ride provided just enough time to review my lesson plan and summon all the patience I would need for the day. I loved my job but anybody who worked with twenty third graders every day needed plenty of patience.

Once I was in my class room I hung up my long tan coat and started to write the warmup notes on the board. The children where usually quiet for the first part of the morning and slowly picked up energy until the end of the day. Or quickly picked up energy. Some days were better than others.

As my students slowly came in before the bell I went to my desk to read through my email. Our school was hosting a charity fall festival and I had to correspond with several parents to help organize aspects of it. Most of the parents were sweet, but then there were the impatient ones. The impatient ones seemed to email the most, unfortunately.

I also emailed the grade leader about our trip to Germany. The third grade classes at our school had won several teaching awards last year; as a result we had been invited to speak in Berlin. Susan, our grade leader, who had entered us for the award, was arranging details for the event. It was this weekend, and today was Thursday so she was in a dither about it. I sent a few calming words of advice before closing out the page.

I pulled a smile on my face and pushed myself up from behind my desk.

"Okay, so who knows how to correct the first sentence on the board?"

Exhausted I sat down behind my desk at the end of the day, I needed to finish tomorrow's lesson plan and email Susan about a few last minute details concerning Germany. The day had been particularly trying, I had to take two kids in the hall for a 'chat' and ended up emailing one of said children's parent. The last thing I felt like doing right then was type up a lesson plan.

Clicking through my emails I found that Susan had emailed an extensive schedule for the trip. We would be meeting at the airport Friday night. She added that because we were adults she expected us to be on time and easier to control than her class. There was a smiley face next to it, but I knew well enough to take it seriously.

I printed it off and put it in my bag next to my binder of papers to grade. On my way out I shrugged on my coat. I waved to a few of the other teachers as I passed their rooms, but I didn't stop to chat, most of them looked as stressed as I felt.

I walked briskly outside, the cold was biting despite the fact it was only mid-October. A gust of wind blew sharply in my face, I squinted against it and pushed forward toward the subway. I had almost made it when I heard a shout.

I normally didn't stop when I heard someone shouting, it was New York after all and people were loud for a number of reasons. But the terror in this voice had me sprinting around the corner toward the source.

It was a smaller side street that lead to a dead end, usually it was all but empty of traffic or anybody other than the street's residents. What I saw today however caused a shiver of fear to creep down my spine.

A man with mid length night black hair in strange dark green armor was wielding a type of weapon or sword on a small group of people. I watched in frozen terror as he swiftly approached the screaming man with his back facing me.

The other people appeared to be as equally frozen as me, only they didn't appear frightened or even worried for the victim. No, I knew something wasn't right here. There was something in their eyes that sent a warning to the core of my biology.

I forced myself into action, dropping my bag I ran forward, ignoring the primal instinct of flight; cautiously looking from side to side to make sure there weren't other threats lurking. I was about ten feet from them when the dark haired man simply tapped the screaming man with his sword. That was all it took.

I came to a screeching halt when I saw his reaction to being touched by it. Instead of further fear his features smoothed out and his screams died down, his eyes were blank. There was something very wrong happening. I was taking steps backward now hoping I hadn't been noticed yet, when the dark haired man rounded on me.

He appeared as if he was enjoying himself, his lips were only slightly tugged up in a smile, but his eyes held an excitement in them that I rarely saw anywhere besides children. The wind threaded through his hair blowing it in every direction. He did not look of this world.

He stalked forward, casually, smoothly, without effort. He didn't seem the least bit concerned about what he was doing. I needed to react, I couldn't just freeze and allow this to happen. Just before his weapon was at chest level, I kicked. Not at him, but upwards toward his weapon. I kicked it clear out of his hands. I felt a jolt of intense pain as it tore at the skin on the tops of my feet. But my pain was well worth it, for the long metal weapon clattered a good four feet away from him.

Surprised, he finally glanced at me. He had about four seconds to do so before I had turned on my heel and ran like hell for the subway. I didn't forget the look in his eyes before I turned. It was seared in my brain as I shakily sat on the subway.

I put my head in my hands and I focused on breathing in and out when I remembered something that nearly stopped my heart in panic.

My bag.

It had everything about me, and my life, where I lived, where I worked, it even had a detailed plan about what my weekend activities would be, and I had left it there on the sidewalk. I was hyperventilating now.

As the subway came to my stop I rose and stumbled in the direction of my apartment. He could find me. I could call the police, but something told me that this man was beyond the police. Something more, something scarier, something uncontrollable.

I sprinted up the stairs and ran into my little home, slamming the door behind me and locking all the bolts, even pushing a chair up against it. But as I turned away and rubbed my eyes with the backs of my hand I saw his eyes. And what was in them scared me, beyond the anger and surprise I saw in the depths of his eyes, desire.


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