Rated: M

Original: Wattpad

Download the first book in this series from Smashwords - support indie authors!

Please forgive typos, spelling errors, etc - this is my Camp NaNoWriMo progress, and the byproduct of word wars.

Writing done by KristinGyaru.


The car swerved to the side of the road. Emie flung forward. Within moments, Josh had hit his door open and stood on the path. In the dim light from the sunset, there was a tall silhouette with messy hair blowing in the wind.

“Josh!” She yelled, trying to open her door, but without success as the child-lock was on.

Climbing over the seat, she tried to get out, but Josh loomed over the exit, slamming the door in front of her loudly. Scared, she sat in the driver’s seat on her knees, watching eagerly out of the window as the events transpired. Josh ran up to the blackened figure and tackled it to the floor. She watched, wide-eyed, as the pair struggled on the ground.

The man struggling underneath him yelled out, and Josh put his hand over his mouth to quieten him. Emie could hardly see, or hear, what was happening out of the tinted window, but she saw the struggle. The pair wrestled up and backwards, towards the nearest tree. As Joshua smashed his foe against the tree, he grabbed his neck, pinning him, then hit him over, and over again. After four hits, his foe changed the arrangement and Joshua was pinned up the tree.

They both hit each other in a struggled frenzy of power until another, larger car swerved opposite Joshua’s.

A woman got out. A tall, spindly woman with long legs and a tight skirt, along with a small frame. From all Emie could see, she had long hair tied in a high pony, and wore tremendously high, heeled boots with cuffs at the top.

She heard a loud screech, and the woman walked over to the still-struggling pair. As she melted into the shadows, she saw almost nothing else. There was an almost ominous silence for a while. Emie tried to get out of the car, but the doors were tightly locked. Through the tinted glass, she saw Joshua walking over, his right forearm held by the woman who stood taller than him.

As they neared the car, she shoved his arm, and he almost fell off his feet. She opened the door for him, and in the dim, yellow light of the street-lamp, Emie saw her long blonde hair tied behind her head, and heavily made-up eyes. Nothing about her face seemed remotely real. From the crimson red lips, and plasterboard blusher defining her cheeks, she looked like a doll. She wore a tight dress that revealed her cleavage and was barely long enough.

“Get in the car,” the woman screeched. He looked back up at her, and she snarled. Getting into the car, Josh slammed the door, and the woman tapped on the window, beckoning for him to open it. Joshua followed her order, pressing the automatic button. The window came down and she bent over, her face inside the car. “Keep your scraps off my turf,” she exclaimed.

He nodded, looking straight forward. The woman made her way from the car and back to hers. The headlights had been left on and the driver door had been left open. The male who had been fighting with got into the other side, and their car quickly turned and drove off into the distance. Josh sat there for a few moments in the cold silence.

“What’s happened?” Emie inquired, placing a hand on his arm. He looked at her, with no response. “Josh?”

Josh looked forward again, and shifted the car into the correct gear. In the silence, Emie grew concerned. The car reversed, until it was parallel to the sides of the road, and then it started forwards. They drove onwards until they passed a sign that said ‘Margate’, and the number two.

“We’re going to find Rose. She said she was going to the court, so that’s where we’re going.” He still didn’t look at her, and kept his hands on the steering wheel.

“Why are we going to find Rose? Didn’t she get angry?”

He sighed. “Yes. I need to cool her down. It’s also the safest place for you to be – that person was Robin. A vicarious and spiteful inbred.”

Thoughts rolled around Emie’s head. She couldn’t quite understand what would have been so bad that caused all this hate towards Robin or from Robin to Josh. None of this had been explained to her, and though they’d all trusted her with their internal family secret, she didn’t know why she was in danger. She still felt lied to, betrayed.

They kept driving for two more miles, when Josh took a sharp left turn up a jagged path through the forest. This small path widened as the car drove up it, until they reached a cliff, with multiple cars already parked. Joshua parked the car, and got out, then going round and opening Emie’s door. She got out, nearly tripping. He held her arm.

“Are you alright?” He inquired. She nodded, but didn’t say anything. He looked up and guided her past the car after he slammed the passenger door shut. They walked around the face of the mountain and there they saw a wooden door, with wooden edges, moulded into the mountain. Emie looked over and saw the magnificent view of the forest and the large lake spanning the length of the forest and further. Joshua opened the door, and Emie heard a stranger’s voice from within. After a brief discussion, Joshua looked to Emie and held her hand, making her follow him.

The tunnel was dark and there were only a few lamps scattered along the sides of the muddy tunnel. It was long, too. As they walked, Emie felt a lot of rocks underneath her feet, and nearly tripped. Only with the aid of Joshua did she manage to walk in a straight line and find her way down the narrow tunnel.

“Joshua,” a female voice purred. A short woman emerged from the shadows, smiling. She looked nothing like any of the other people Emie had seen recently. She didn’t seem to be wearing makeup and had short, bobbed brown hair. And she wasn’t dressed provocatively, either – she donned brown cargo pants and a plain black tee-shirt.

“Eliza,” Josh replied, smiling toward her. She moved out of his way and looked in front of where Joshua and Emie were headed.

“It’s not a good place in there,” she sighed, looking at Emie. “I don’t know if she’ll be welcome. Unless Harriet’s in. But I don’t think she is.”

Josh smirked. “I need to get her in, Robin’s threatened us both.”

“Robin?” There was a growing look of concern on her face.

“Yeah, he tried to attack us on the road up here. The local leader, Demi, stopped the scuff.”

Eliza nodded slowly, taking everything he had said in. After a few seconds she let her expression of concern fade and she moved further to the side of the tunnel. “Well, feel free to go right in, I was just about to leave. But,” she paused. “It was nice seeing you again. Keep in touch!” Her voice grew to an octave higher in her last word, expressing her joy of seeing him again.

Josh carried on, moving past her quickly. Emie could feel Eliza still looking at them as they walked past her, but then she heard Eliza’s footsteps going in the opposite direction.

“That was Eliza, we were best friends a few years ago. She was one of my uncle’s foster kids.”

As they neared another door, the ground slowly transitioned into hard rock, and the walls became hard rock, too. The large door now in front of them was slightly ajar and there was a bright light coming from within the bowels of the mountain.

Josh placed his hand on the door and opened it a little more, revealing a grand hall full of people. There was a raised platform with a large table, and three people were sat watching over the hall. They looked like the oldest, and, unlike the others, they were wrinkled with gray hair. Each of them were a similar-looking black and grey robe but the middle person had their hood up, and the colours were inverted.

He pointed towards the three at the top of the hall. “They’re the three current leaders. One of them, the middle one is a fallen angel. The other two are elders. I don’t think they like what is happening with the war.”

Emie looked up at Josh, confused. “If they aren’t happy why don’t they stop it?”

“Because nobody has been confirmed the High Magister, yet. That title went to my uncle Emilio, but now that he’s gone, no firm choice can be made.”

They forayed into a large group of people, and Josh set his eyes on a woman in a corset with a high-low skirt. She had a typical look about her, with a bony face and defined features, as well as arched brows and dark eyes. In turn, she set her eyes on Joshua as well. As they veered towards her, she let herself grin. “Well if it isn’t our little Joshua,” she cooed, wiggling a finger towards him.

He laughed and held a hand out for her to shake it.

“No need for formalities. I’m sure we’ve known each other long enough,” she remarked as she waved her hand. He put his hand down and smiled. “So, why’ve you brought your little plaything?” The woman looked at Emie, then put both hands on either side of her waist and slinked back, pushing her hips out. “Oh she’s cute, well done.”

“Vic, she’s not a plaything.” Josh said defensively. “She’s my girl friend.”

Vic – the pale woman in front of them – looked stressed as her once-coy expression faded. “Right, well that is a shame.” She pulled her hips back and folded her arms. “So, why’ve you come back?”

“It’s against the rules to attack another when on protected turf, isn’t it? Well Robin is trying to hurt Emie and I.” He cocked his head and looked directly at her.

“True, was it near here and did Demi take note?”

Josh nodded. “Demi was there. She threatened us and took him somewhere.”

They exchanged words for about ten minutes, and Emie started to zone out and look at the other people. Most of them were dressed normally, but some of them stood out. Some of them wore fancy, formal dress such as tuxedos and dresses. Most of the people there were beautiful, with long hair and large eyes.

Vic sighed, shaking her head. “Come with me,” she said quietly, leaning in toward Josh. “We need to discuss this. Bring your girl.” She turned slowly, then made her way through the crowd. The people parted as soon as she turned, indicating her authority over the other people.

As all three of them neared a corner, Vic turned back to look at the pair. "I hope you know this isn't normal." Vic sighed, turning the corner sharply and leading them down the narrow hallway and into a room that already had an open door.

Inside the room was a table, a few chairs, and the walls were lined with bookcases. In the centre of the room was a grand piano. "This is our meetings room, we should be more than safe to talk in here," she smiled. She sat on a chair near the table and so did Emie and Joshua.

"So, we need to talk about this, Vic. She just took him off."

"I'm more concerned that he actually attacked you on preserved turf. All of this area should be looked after and we're usually looking to keep everyone peaceful."

Josh looked at her. "I know, Vic. And that's what scares me. If he's capable of attacking me here, and getting away with it, what else would he try?"

Vic looked down, to the floor. She was expressionless, and she merely placed her hands on the table, playing with her two thumbs.

"He should know by now, that we don't allow people to attack on this turf." She had a momentary pause and she sighed. "And he should know the rules. It's against the rules to attack a normal human on protected turf. He'd be cast out and expected to not be seen again - and that's in the best case." She furrowed her brow as she looked straight to Josh.

There was an ominous silence for a few moments. "But what if he does try to hurt either of us? What then?"

"You come back and let us know."

"What if she's dead by then?"

"He gets cast out. That's it. If he doesn't face the penalty... people will lose faith. There's already a war started amongst us. A civil war that will only get worse. If he went against humans and he didn't get punished... things will get too bad, too quickly."

Emie was confused. What was happening?

though she didn't know what was happening, she was able to come to her own conclusions; even though she didn't necessarily like them. She'd already come to the conclusion that she was in some form of danger, more so than Joshua or the others, because she'd been told they were some sort of superhuman race. Whether or not she believed that was certainly up for debate, but, at the moment, she had to rely on it being the truth. After all, she had to hope in something. Everyone needs to hope in something.

"Vic, this is getting sticky and I don't think you can handle this. It's gonna escalate one way or another, and I think it will happen pretty soon."

Vic attempted to brush off his concern but, her face grew more concerned. It was obvious that she knew Josh spoke words of truth, and it was obvious that things simply would get worse. If they didn't, what would happen?

There was a knock at the door, and Emie turned to look. In the door way was Ryan, looking exhausted. "I knew I would find you here," he said.

Vic patted the seat next to her, without saying anything.

"As an elder, you shouldn't be welcome here. What are you doing?"

Joshua looked behind him to watch Ryan walking over. "He's with us. I see him as a permanent friend and I don't want to go against him just because of a dispute between people I really don't know on a personal level."

"I agree, Vicky. Josh has been good to me for years. Though his sister doesn't see it that way."

Vic looked at Ryan, her face growing ever more concerned. "Rosaline? What does she have to do with this?"

Ryan and Joshua exchanged angsty looks, neither of them wanted to talk , but they both knew that they had to talk to her. She was, in simple terms, the highest authority in the room. She would know what to do.

"Rose was with Robin - the one who attacked us on the road up here."

Vic looked perplexed, baffled. "None of this makes sense. Why is Rosaline working with him? She has always sworn a strong loyalty to family, and she's instantly turned her back on you?"

Ryan nodded, and so did Josh. "I was dating her for a while, I thought it was working out," Ryan sighed. "But evidently not. She agreed to leave the second she found out about the murder of the magister. There wasn't even so much as a second option for her."

"Maybe there was another reason, perhaps she's been in contact with Robin for a long time. There's no rules against it, though maybe her loyalty to the fallen simply outweighs her loyalty to family," Vic remarked. Every word she said had a slight undertone, every word sounded as though there was a hidden meaning to it. "I don't see why she'd already leave before this got to heat. I doubt she knows about the most recent events."

"Recent events?" Josh asked instantly. His voice filled with anxiety.

"Yes," she exhaled. "With the death of the high magister... the opinion fell to the Ancient Elders, and the Ancient Fallen... there was a temporary agreement between Levidic and Hargra, but this morning Levidic announced that he wanted nothing to do with Hargra or her people. The magisters and leaders have been told that they are to sit back and let things escalate. There's nothing we can do now - the people will massacre each other and we will all burn in our own wrath if nothing is done. I'm afraid no amount of reasoning will turn our court back to the way it was before."

Vic placed her fist underneath her chin, letting her lips curve upwards into a pseudo-psychotic smile. None of them said anything, there was merely a resonating, lingering silence. The only noises were in the hall, and those noises were hardly even noticeable by Emie, though she was almost certain that their ears were fine-tuned to hear such tiny sounds.

"Well, Vic, what should we do tonight? Going back to my estate hardly seems like the wisest choice, considering Rose and Robin both know where I live, and Rose has a key."

"You can stop here. Both of you. We have a spare room in the lower areas. Ryan, what of you? Is it safe for you to be allied with these in such an open setting? Your own kind may turn their backs on you." Already, Emie could sense a kindness in Vic that she hadn't noted on most of the other people. Vic was kind enough to offer a room, offer help and assistance. She was truly the nicest one she'd met, other than Joshua and Ryan. Though she didn't consider them the same people as the new beings she'd met. The ones who were older. The ones who she'd seen around here.

She considered them friends.

"I don't know, Vicky. Would they be so bold as to attack me here?"

"No, Ryan," she admitted. "But it would be much more likely for them to plan an attack later on, when you aren't here."

There was a small chat for about five minutes about what the night’s plans were, and it was agreed that Emie was to stay in a room down in the lower quarters, and Joshua would stay in Vic's room. Though Emie didn't like the idea of letting him stay with Vic, she knew that she had to trust them. She just had to.

Vic stood up, and so did her party of three. As they all stood, Vic walked in front of them and guided them through the doors where they took a left down the narrow hall. It was a few minutes’ walk, Emie estimated, before they reached the stairway. The stairs were not made from the same grey rock, but rather solid wood. They looked as though they had been there for a long time, as they seemed to have aged, and they had some minor markings. Vic went first, with Emie following second and Josh and Ryan last. There was about twelve steps before the stairs ended and turned around a corner. The floor they were on at the moment was lined with a rich, burgundy carpet. Emie could only see three doors, but they weren't staying on that floor for long. They were going further down. She looked behind her and noted that Ryan was no longer there, maybe he had separated and gone on the floor they had just skipped. When they reached the end of that flight of stairs, Vic followed along the wide, carpet-lined hall until she came to a set of double doors carved with luxurious gold markings in an unfamiliar, tribal-like pattern.

"You will be staying here," Vic said as she turned the gilded door knob and the two doors opened slowly. As they did, there was a smell of old, of dust and decay. There were no windows, but there was a series of lamps along the walls and a chandelier above the double, king size bed. The room was luxurious. "This room is usually reserved for my cousin, but since she's away in Prague, I doubt she will have any qualms with you staying. Just please don't steal anything."

Emie nodded as she moved to stand beside Vic. "What should I wear to bed?" She asked Josh.

Before Joshua could answer her, Vic interrupted. "You can just sit tight and let us worry about that, sweet thing. I'll have my butler bring you down something, don't you worry."

Vic turned to smile at Joshua. “She’ll be perfectly fine here. Brutus will take care of her,” She looked behind Josh, watching a burly man in a tight black tee enter the room. “And Emie,” she looked at her. “He’ll be right outside your room if anything happens.” Emie was curious, how did Vic know her name?

“I’ll probably come and check on you,” Joshua said, moving nearer to Emie. Vic smiled and turned around, clicking her fingers at Brutus.

“Come, Brutus. We need to discuss some issues before night falls.” Brutus nodded and followed her lead, as they both made their way out of the room, leaving Josh and Emie alone.

“Josh,” she murmured. “Can you explain to me, why I’m in trouble? With someone I don’t even know?” The lights that hung from the walls danced around the room, creating meagre shadows from the objects and people in the area. Overhead, the chandelier rocked slightly, as it had been doing when they’d first entered.

“It’s not you that’s in trouble,” he retorted. “It’s me. But, he knows the way to hurt me would be through someone I care about, and not directly through me.”

Emie decided that being with Josh was possibly a bad idea, now, but she had no other choice. She’d known him for a long time, and trusted him with everything. Whilst she knew, deep down, that she loved him, but maybe he was bad for her. In all her life, she’d never been able to trust someone as much as she’d trusted Joshua - it made sense that they would get together in the end. But was it really worth all this hassle? In Emie’s eyes, yes, it was. In another person’s eyes, perhaps not so much.

“Em, I do love you,” he said quietly, as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “And I’m just so sorry that all this has fell to you - it was never meant to. Honestly.” He kissed her forehead.

“I know you never meant for all this to happen,” she sighed. There was an inexplicable sensation for her to leave, to run. Maybe then she wouldn’t be in so much danger that she hadn’t even wanted. But, there was also an inexplicable repulsion to that idea. Why would she ever want to run, when things had been looking up for her recently? Since the death of her father, not much had worked out for her, and now something was finally working - she didn’t want any of it to end. Of course she didn’t.

“I am going to have to go, though. I suppose I should go talk to some of the others, check what’s happening and see if any of them know what’s going on between the ancients. I will probably be back in later. Oh, and just a warning - most people don’t walk around after about five in the morning. If anyone tries to come in, please, for the love of mercy, try to get someone’s attention.”

Emie smiled and nodded at him. As he let go of her, she created a little bit more space between them. "I guess you should be off, then, huh?" He allowed her to find the answer herself as he took a single step backwards, letting the curves of his lips twist upwards into a small smile.

"I'll be back in later, and I think Vic said her butler was going to come in and bring you stuff. You have my phone number should you need to text me. But," he paused. "Good luck finding a plug to charge it, if it does die." He laughed a little, then closing the space between them and kissing her forehead again, as a little good bye gesture.

They parted ways and he was gone and out of the room within moments, leaving her on her own. The room now, she thought, was cold. Colder than where she'd ever been before. A shiver went through her, resonating down her spine and lingering in the arch of her back. She was truly alone in a new place that she'd never been, surrounded primarily around people she didn't know. She hardly had any idea where she was, other than a place near Margate. Joshua had her utmost trust, though, so she knew that she would be okay - or at least, she hoped that she would be okay.

"Right," she whispered to herself as she made her way towards the bed in the middle of the room and sitting on it. Underneath her, she felt the most comfortable mattress she'd ever found herself sitting on. And it was luxurious! As she sat there, her mind flickered and she began to think about other things. Eventually her mind went back to the topic of why she was in danger, even though she had no reason to be in danger.

She allowed her body to drop backwards, with her legs dangling over the side of the bed. Everything was beginning to get crazy in her life, and maybe she was enjoying every moment. In fact, she ravished it. She was now living in a crazy word, a world with two, unimaginable races that she'd only ever heard of in books and movies. But she had to believe in it now, because she'd been thrown right in the middle of their conflict, and it was startling at how much danger she was in.

There was a knock at the door and Emie struggled to bring her body upright, from the comfort of the bed beneath her. "Come in," she said loudly.

"It's only Vic's butler," a small voice from behind the door said as the door came slightly ajar, and a short man with bowl-cut hair approached. "I've been told to bring in some things for you - courtesy of Victoria."

As she looked, she saw that he was carrying a bundle of clothing, a mix of black and red and pink, and she swore that she could see some leather. Also, on the top of the clothing, she saw a small piece of paper with black writing on it. He came closer to Emie, and placed the clothing onto the bed beside her. "There is everything you should require here - I do believe this note is for you to read."

The man left quickly and smoothly without saying anything else. As the left, he was able to quietly close the door. Placing her hand onto the collection of clothing, she felt the soft, cold fabrics and knew that whatever she'd been given was of high quality. She pulled different articles of clothing off of the pile, seeing a silk nightgown and a white cotton shawl to wear over it, so she presumed. Everything seemed so... luxurious. Standing up, she slid out of her clothing, feeling the cold, dead air swirling around her and embracing against her skin.

She remained naked for around a minute, allowing her eyes to leave focus. She began to think of things irrelevant, such as her mother, and what she was doing. No doubt her mother's life was far less crazy than Emie's was at the moment. But, that wasn't anything to do with the day and the matters at hand.

She picked up the nightgown and slid it over her head. It was a pale pink silk gown, with lace at the sweet-heart neckline and lace at the bottom. It was short, but it was pretty. The overall gown had an elegant feel, with beautiful embroidery of flowers - she thought it looked machine sewn, but on closer inspection it seemed to be hand sewn. Despite her love of the gown, she still felt cold - the room itself was icy, and the silk just made the coldness seem to increase on the parts of her body that it hung lightly off.

Looking back to the bed, she picked the white cotton cover up, and put her arms through the holes. It was certainly warm, and it was amazingly soft to touch. Over the silk nightgown (that Emie now knew to be a negligee), the white cover was beautiful and warm. She rifled through the clothing that was on the pile still, seeing a leather top with a zip down the front and a pair of skinny jeans. None of it looked as though it would fit her in any way at all, Emie wasn't a stick-thin woman like Vic was, she was more rounded than her, except in the chest area. Vic certainly won on that. Though of course, it wasn't the complete truth that Vic was thinner than Emie. She had yet to see Vic wear anything but a corset and long dress. Even Vic's height was up for debate. Though one thing was for certain, Vic had a certain charm and beauty that came naturally. Even Vic's makeup couldn't conceal her natural bone structure, which was elegant in every way, with protruding cheekbones and exceptionally defined features.

Emie sat down on the bed again, feeling it underneath her bare legs that dangled over the edge. As she shuffled her body to move, she felt strange. She was in a new place, wearing someone else's clothing. In fact, it was even odder how she was wearing someone's clothing that she had never met before that day. But, at least she had been shown immense hospitality. Remembering that she had her phone, she grabbed out to where she'd placed her jeans. Inside the pocket was her phone, just as she'd hoped. Pressing the top button she noticed that the battery was nearly half gone, but she remembered that she probably wouldn't be able to charge it. The time was fairly late, and the time had passed quickly. In the time she'd been there, she'd wasted hours, even though it only felt like she'd been there about an hour. But of course, time flies when you're having fun, she thought.

Swiping across the screen she tapped on the contacts button near the bottom of the screen. She swiped downwards, finding Josh's number. Tapping it she was taken to a screen of messages. They'd exchanged many in the time that they'd known each other and it was odd that they hadn't been texting as much recently. But nevertheless she pressed the button that said "new message", and began typing hers. She told him that she loved him and that she was ready for bed. But it was doubtful that he would read it. Was he not already asleep? Or in bed with Vic, at least? She was hoping for the best in the situation, hoping that Vic had a certain fondness for the female gender, but it was up for debate with every one of them. Even Rose had been with a woman, yet her last relationship was with Ryan. It would have seemed like every person in this messed up reality was, well, accustomed to being with multiple genders. But then again, their reality was strange and it was probably widely accepted by all of them. Emie accepted it, so it would make sense that they accepted it - they would have had to accept a lot worse in their time alive, or dead, or whatever.

After the message was sent, Emie flung the phone over to the other side of the bed and she closed her eyes tightly. She could only see darkness at the moment, and loved it. She'd always enjoyed the dark, because she knew that in the dark, anything could happen. And when you were in your own darkness, your darkness of a dream, you can force whatever you want to happen. It was magical, how everything just fell right into place. She began to imagine multiple impossible things, such as unicorns and flying kittens, things that she loved to imagine. But things began to take a darker turn when she started to fall into a slumber. She saw Joshua, and Rose, fighting each other. There was blood everywhere and it was not a pretty scene. She wanted so desperately to open her eyes but she seemed to be paralyzed, stuck in a dream, or a nightmare.

But then, it faded. And she saw the man that Joshua had been fighting with. Now, his face was as clear as day and he was rugged, with a scar spanning one cheek to the other over his nose. And he had exactly the same eyes as Joshua. In her own reality, did she believe that Joshua was related to Robin? Perhaps, or perhaps not, but this man was getting close to her. Frightfully close, and it was terrifying to say the least. He got closer, and closer, and closer, until his face was right up to hers. Even in the dream she could smell his stench, nothing like the scent she'd smelled on any of the other apparent fallen or elders. No, it was decaying, rotting, and bizarre. She attempted to wake up before he could get any closer... but to no avail, again. She was paralyzed in her dream and she hated every second. She felt him grab her shoulders, even in the dream, and then she felt her body being lifted upwards as though he was picking her up in real life. Then she felt her body being slammed downwards. And instead of it being Robin looming over her, it was Joshua. He traced a finger over her collar, her neck, and downwards through her chest.

Now, she felt safe, nothing like how she'd felt only seconds ago. Though in dreams time is distorted, time seemed to be passing at exactly the right speed. It was strange and she didn't know how to feel about it.

Joshua pressed against her, and kissed her. They lay there and he lay above her, smiling. He was cold, as usual. Though this felt exceptionally realistic and she couldn't imagine why. Was it the chaos of the day? Was it even a dream? It had to be, nothing this strange would happen in the real life. Joshua kissed her again, deeper, opening his mouth and tracing her tongue with his. But then, he stopped suddenly, and tossing over so she was lying above him, straddling his hips.

And that was when there was a loud noise from the reality she was wrangled in. She didn't know what to do, but her body suddenly stopped being frozen and she felt coldness, all over. Someone grabbed her, someone was touching her, grabbing her without thinking for her. As her eyes opened, she noticed that it wasn't Joshua. It wasn't Brutus. It wasn’t the butler. It was... Robin.

He looked directly into her eyes with a pseudo anarchistic grin, letting himself laugh a little as he held her down with one powerful and firm grip and placing a silk tie in her mouth, as a makeshift gag. Her eyes began to water and she looked around the room, Rose was in the corner, watching. Rose fidgeted, and tried not to look at Emie. It was highly obvious that she didn't feel right doing this to an old friend but, maybe she had to. Maybe it was just the way forward for the one person that she was working for. Either way, Emie couldn't come to think about Rose at that moment.

His grip grew tighter, firmer and more vicious with every second. Then he growled at her, lifting her with one swing and hurling her over her shoulder. She tried to struggle, tried with every single ounce of strength in her body, but she couldn't - there was no way that she could. Because he was holding her in just the right places to prevent her from struggling.

She could hardly see through the tears welling in her eyes, and she attempted to scream out, to alert someone as per Josh's instruction, but it didn't work - the gag was tight and covered not only the inside of her mouth but also the outside. She saw the view behind Robin, Rose was trailing behind and she looked to the floor and not at Emie. She didn't want to. Rose shook with every step that she took, and Emie realized that everything was pointless at that moment. Emie knew that her last breath may be that night, her final words would be that night. Would she be saved? Would her hero on a stallion come to her rescue? No. This wasn't a fairy tale, and Emie wasn't a damsel. She tried to think that there would be some hope. She wanted to hope that there was a possibility. But every few seconds her vision blurred even more. And every few seconds, she noticed that her mind was going, too. What was on that tie? Why had it smelled strange? Maybe it was chloroform or another drug. But the last thing that she saw as she was carried along was the body on the floor that belonged to Brutus - he was knocked out, not dead. Emie knew that he was not dead, because his chest moved a little bit. But then everything faded to blackness.

Was there any hope? None at all for the damsel in distress, being carried over the black crows shoulder against her own will.


Her eyes opened and though it was dark, she could make out a flickering in a short distance away from her. Where had she been taken, she wondered? Her head hurt like hell and she didn't know where she was. Beneath her was cold, hard flooring that felt like rocks underneath her bare legs, and she could feel something cold dripping onto her shoulder.

As she moved a little, she felt strange. Her legs didn't feel like they were part of her, and her head was hard to move. Everything felt heavy, weak, not... normal. The air around her was damp, dead. Why had she been brought here, and not killed on site? Was this a way for Robin and Rose to get to Joshua? Was she being used as some sort of hostage? Nothing was making sense, and her mind was out of focus - not in a good way. She felt like she was slowly dying.

There was a rattling of chains, and then the door opened. She couldn't see where the door was or what was happening but she had an overwhelming urge to escape. Her body was too lifeless for that, and as she regained minimal conscious she tried to lift up her arm, but she was shackled to a thick metal chain that was tied around a copper post in the floor.

She tried to move again, but to no avail. There was the sound of footsteps getting closer to her, and closer with each second, until they were kicking her leg. As they kicked her, feeling returned to her once-numb body and she inhaled sharply, feeling alive again. Though she wasn't sure feeling so alive was a good thing.

"Are you awake?" A gravelly voice asked, looming over her. Due to her recently found consciousness she was able to identify the person as Robin - the person who'd taken her. There was a sick smile on his face and his eyes glowed intensely in the dark. "Good," he said, shoving the metal links of his chain to the floor and wiping his hand across her face, sliding her hair away from her eyes. Emie's lips parted and she tried to plead with him, to beg, but she couldn't. The words just simply would not come out.

With one powerful hoist, he was able to pick her straight up. Though this time, he did not fling her over his shoulder with force as he did before, he just simply carried her with both of his arms underneath her. He was ice cold, colder than Joshua had been, and through the darkness she was able to see his face - the expression of a murderer was long gone, now. His smile was gone, too. He looked more normal than before, even though Emie knew he was not normal. Far from it, in fact, he was the person trying to hurt, or maybe even kill Emie, as a form of sick revenge to Joshua. What his sole intentions were, however, Emie didn’t know. She didn’t want to know, either. But there was a sort of comfort in knowing her death hour.

She closed her eyes, and all of her other senses were heightened. She could smell more deeply, and noted an odour of which she had never smelled before. It was dank, and smelled a lot like her mother’s fridge when meat had been left to decay after a month or so. It was strange how she could not instantly put her finger on it, but did she really even want to? Maybe the truth was more grim than her imagination and she was utterly hoping that it was her mind playing tricks on her. Perhaps whatever had been placed on the rag when she had been brought into this chamber had screwed up her senses; or at least that was the only hope.

As her eyes were still closed, she allowed her skin to feel for her, as she felt her body being carried along a hall with her legs dangling indiscriminately in the air. Though she did not know where she was, or what was happening, there was an odd feeling of false security that made her feel as though nothing bad was happening. As they turned a sharp corner and made their way through another winding hall, Emie opened her eyes. Now, the room was much brighter with electric fairy-lights lining the walls and the walls were much less groggy and dirty than what she had been able to make out in the darkness of the previous halls and rooms.

“Nearly there,” his gravelly voice said as they carried walking. She clenched her eyes shut again and then opened them, hoping that it was some strange dream that she was living, but her hopes were brought crashing down when she had to believe that this was ultimately reality.

Robin let go of one arm around her, knocking on the door. She still felt held totally. The door opened and Robin entered with her, sideways, so as she didn’t hit her head or legs.

As they got in, Emie smelled something new, that she didn’t expect to smell here. It was the scent of bleach. The smell of clean. He placed her onto a metal chair that was in the centre of the room. The chair, however, wasn’t like a normal chair. It was a lay back one, similar to an operating bed or something that had been used in a mental home. As she looked around, she noted that the room was white-wash and bright, and the only things on the walls and floor that were interrupting the white tiles that covered the room, were splashes of blood - both the fresh, bright red, and the congealed crimson.

Laying back, Emie was still unable to move completely, and she still felt the harsh reality of pain that had so eagerly consumed her. But she was able to move her eyes, and be aware of what was happening. Slight movements took her energy, however. She watched as Robin placed leather and fur shackles around her wrists and then the same shackles (or so she had to assume) around her ankles.

Rose came from the corner of the room, wearing a baggy tee and shorts that were high enough to be considered a belt. Why was she there? Was she in on the act? Emie didn’t know, but was frightened.

Rose took her phone from out of her pocket and pressed it on until it loaded the camera. Emie knew it was the camera because the LED on the back of the phone lit up, so as to make video recording easier.

“Smile for Joshie boy!” Rose giggled. Emie tried to say something but it came out as a pitiful whimper. Robin quickly made sure to get in the shot, smiling and laughing. “Oh look, Josh! It’s your best friend!” Rose let herself giggle, too.

Robin went promptly behind the metal lounger, picking up a piece of Emie’s hair. She writhed, but her body was still limp. Her weak body was totally unable to move and so she sat here, watching Rose as she moved around the room attempting to get every angle of recording that was possible. She felt like a puppet, someone that was being played with. And despite however much she hated it, she was in no position to change anything.

"Please..." she whimpered. There was a laugh from behind her and then Robin came around the front of her wielding a tiny blade.

"Oh little girl, we've just got started!" He took the blade from his left hand and then held it with his right, bringing it to her neck. She could feel it sliding against her skin, only nearly cutting through it. But then he quickly took he blade back and moved it to her cheek. This time, he put enough pressure onto it to cause her skin to break. And as her skin broke she could feel the warmth of the blood trickling down her cheek like a warm drink flowing from her. "I hope you don't mind," he said. "It's nothing personal, we just need to get someone's attention. And you seem to be the easy way around all the problems I've been trying to avoid for the past, say, four decades." Rose chuckled and sauntered over; putting her phone into her pocket after the LED light went off.

"Again," her coy voice echoed. "It's simply business. We just need my brother to understand some... formalities." Her lips curved and she smiled directly at Emie, looking at her with empathy. "My apologies." She turned and Robin followed. Rose left the room and then Robin turned a switch that dimmed the lights in the room, and then waved at her.

"Tatty bye," he murmured, as he shut the door behind him.

They'd left her all alone in the room, filled with sharp objects and she was strapped down at the mercy of anyone who wanted to come in and hurt her. nobody would help her, now. There was nobody to help her, anymore. she was in a strange place, again, for the second time in a night, yet this one offered much less hospitality.

As she sat there, her mind went to other things - to her mother. Her mother had always told her to be careful and to never talk to strangers, or to go to a strangers home. Yet this was not her fault. It was simply the fault of people around her, the people who had told her she would be safe, the people who had assumed nothing would happen  if they didn't watch over her. Their thoughts were so very, very wrong. Maybe if her mother was at home more often, this would not have happened. It wouldn't have even been a distant idea of anyone. If her mother had actually cared, she wouldn't have been with Joshua that day, she wouldn't be there. And then she wouldn't be in harm’s way, surely?

But there was no point in hoping, wishing, considering the 'what-ifs' - because that was the reality, now. Her ideal world was gone and though many people thought that it was cool, or ideal to not have a parent at home all the time it was Emie's nightmare. Just something that followed her since the death of her father. But even before the death of her father, her mother had never really been... there. She was always getting drunk, looking for other things to do instead of spending time with Emie.

Never mind now, it was too late. She lay there, feeling the cold air swirl around her, hitting off her legs that were still bare, as she noticed she was still wearing the negligee yet her cover was gone. As the time past, she gave up struggling, trying to get out of the shackles by squirming around and pulling at her wrists every now and then. She simply lay there, staring up at the ceiling until her eyes would hold awake no longer.

Before she had been taken, she was asleep, though she assumed her slumber hadn't have lasted long, because her mind was still half asleep and all she wanted to do was close her eyes and enter her own world all over again.

Every second or so, her eyes began to drop. The darkness was such a lovely thing, she thought to herself. In the darkness, she would be safe. Usually, good things happen in the dark, she thought. Though the past nights events had hardly been good. Closing her eyes, she watched the darkness take over from anything and everything that she had seen. It was lovely to simply... be. And not care.

As her mind began to fade into sleep, so did her body and all the pain that she felt was numbing. Her cheek didn't hurt, any more, and her legs were no longer as cold. Though she knew that she should be feeling something physical, she just didn't. Now that her body was trying to fight against her sleep, and trying to keep her alert for whatever bad that could possibly happen, she wanted to go against what her logical side wanted. Her entire brain began to switch off and she wanted so very desperately to go to sleep. And because of her desperation it took only a few moments for her body to switch off.

The land of sleep was better than anything else and she adored every second that she spent in the confines of her own mind. It was the same, still darkness, but she felt different. She felt weightless and as though she was truly able to do anything. There was  loud banging coming from one of the corners in her mind, but that was not important. A small kitten approached her, it was Mittens. The cat she had owned when she was young but had died in a car accident. She had loved her kitten, as it was loving to her. The kitten would always plays with her. She tried to pull her arms down, to hold the kitten, to stroke its fur and to feel its tail. But she was still tied down, strapped to the metal bed by the fur bracers.

Even in her dreams, was she still the puppet of someone she had never conversed with? It would seem that way. But then there was the same noise again and only this time it was closer to her, and she could hear it more clearly. It was banging, clashing and it sounded like something was being dropped. And then it went quiet again. But after only a few seconds there was another sound, which sounded like metal scraping off the floor, or off another piece of metal. She didn't like this dream, and everything was beginning to get more vivid. The darkness dissolved and began to look more like an ominous grey, and then she tried to reach down to the kitten again. Only this time, it was different, because she could move. Her arms were free, and she could feel the soft fur of the cat she once owned. As she felt the soft, smooth fur, she was reluctant to wake up, though she knew it was nearly time to rise - her body was being pulled back from the space of her mind and she was going back to reality. "Mittens," she whimpered in her dream, as she watched the cat strut away. "Mittens," she murmured again.

Then she saw the familiar face of Vic standing over her, with the same defined face and bright lips, and overly made up eyes. Emie was still in such a state that she could not express her love or admiration to the woman, only in how she murmured 'Vic', was enough to show her how grateful she was of seeing her. Vic smiled, tilting her head to one side.

"We're going to get you out of here, Emie." Her voice as full of hope, and inspiration. "But we need to be quick. Josh is on his way."

Vic vanished out of sight for a second but then promptly reappeared, holding a small key. "Skeleton key, or so I like to dub it." She smiled, looking at the braces that were tightly locked onto Emie's wrists and legs. "Hold still," she whispered as Emie forced herself to lie there still, without saying or doing anything. Then within moments the key had opened the bindings and Emie's arms felt free, but her legs were still tied down. From behind Vic, Emie saw Robin approach. This time, though he looked angry and not as psychotic as before. But nevertheless, Emie was scared.

"Vic..." she tried to murmur.

"Victoria you bitch!" He yelled, snarling and then he approached her as fast as he could, striking her. She fell the floor and the key flung over the room to the other side. Emie looked on, still weak. Though she mustered the strength and pull Robin away from Vic. He looked and snarled again, and then turned his gaze back onto Vic, hitting her again. There was a speck of blood coming from out of her nose, and Vic looked as though she had already given up. But then, for some unknown reason, there was a fire ignited in her eye and she stood up, and with one great hit, she pushed Robin across the room and he fell down, opposite to where Vic had fallen. And then she made her way to him, holding the same blade that he had used to cut Emie's cheek, the blood still encrusted on it. She held him by his neck and dragged him up the wall, bringing her face close to his and smiling.

"Oh it's been a while, hasn't it Robin. And you should know the rules - you're old enough to know then by now, am I right?" She smiled deeper, kissing his cheek. "Old friends never lose their touch." She pulled the knife from the other side of her body and stabbed his stomach. Robin laughed. "You laugh now, dear." Then she pulled the blade upwards and then brought it towards his neck, nearly cutting it. "Better?" She slowly pressed it down, watching some of his black blood dripping out from the tiny, but not fatal, cut that was on his neck. She took the blade from there and then put it to his face. "Well maybe you'd prefer your own medicine." She pushed the blade in deeply and his blood dripped to the floor. Emie felt sick. She pushed the blade in further, even more, and more and more blood fell to the ground in a tiny puddle. Then it was obvious that she meant to scar him, to mark him as someone she'd been with. And not in a good way. She took the blade from its resting place and dragged it down his cheek, leaving a trail of blood. The blood came out quicker now and it looked painful.

"You bitch!" Robin tried to struggle, but he was unable to. Her grip on him was just far too strong for even him and that made it obvious that Vic was strong, powerful and older than the others. Then it hit her that Vic was highly regarded in the court that she had been to the day before. Vic took the knife from his cheek, now, and stabbed his chest with it with a grunt. He tried to swear at her, but his face contorted into pain. And everything he tried to do seemed to not work now. He seemed paralyzed.

"How'd you like me now?" So cooed, smiling again, and licking the blood of his cheek. "I may be a bitch, but I am pretty far above you. If I were to kill you now, I would not face any consequences. If you dare to touch Emie or Joshua again, there would be consequences. And the same goes to your little fan girl," she pointed.

Then she let him go and then he dropped to the floor in a pile of agony writhing in his own blood. Vic scoffed and wiped the blood off of her face, walking over to Emie and then picking up the key from where it had fallen. When she'd picked it up she placed it promptly into the lock that was holding Emie's left foot and then she unlocked it quickly, and then she went to the other one. Josh came in as the lock clicked open. Emie finally felt free again, and this time she knew it was for good. Robin was still on the floor, sure, but he wasn't going to be able to move or to do anything other than writhe in agony.

"Em!" Josh smiled, going to her swiftly and picking her up. Vic stood in the room, smiling as she crossed her arms. "Thank you so much Vic. How did you know she would be here?"

Vic looked down. "I fostered Robin. I know exactly where he is when I focus. It's great." She looked over at Robin. "Isn't it?"

Robin was unable to move, unable to speak. He didn't say anything in response, only tried to sit up. The blood underneath him was too much to allow him easy movement though, and he was rendered unable to.

"Thank you, again." Josh held Emie tightly, kissing her. "Oh God. I am so sorry," he whispered to her, hugging her. "I love you so much."

She let her lips smile and she agreed, nodding her head. "I... love you too." That was the first thing she managed to say after her incident. Her eyes wondered over to Robin who was still sat on the floor in the puddle of his own blood.

"He should know now, alright?" Joshua said.

Emie smiled again and Joshua carried her out of the room that she had been held captive, abused and tormented in. She kept thinking of the pain she had felt when he had sliced her cheek, and he cheek began to sting even more. But she had to ignore it. She just had to. It wasn't worth her time to be over occupied by this, because she was safe now, wasn't she? She was in the arms of the person who loved her and would try to protect her from anything like this happening again. She loved him. He loved her. And everything was going to be alright.

As he held her he made sure to keep a firm, tight grip on her to ensure her that she would be ok. But she already knew she would be - her very own knight in shining armour was there to rescue her, along with his very much lesbian accomplice. Vic was a lovely woman with a heart of pure gold - Emie knew that with her around, she was warmly welcomed.

Joshua carried her out the hall, going the opposite way to the dank room he had been in before and as they walked they eventually met a door way barred with an iron rod. Vic took over as she walked in front of Joshua and pulled the bar from its resting place and then throwing it down to the floor, allowing it to make a loud clanking noise.

There was a groaning from behind them but neither Vic nor Joshua seemed to care - it sounded like Robin, but Emie wouldn't see. As the door opened, it was daylight, and the pale skin of Vic seemed to glow. She was still wearing the same corset and skirt from last night, and the same platform boots. As they got out, Vic sighed.

"It is good to be out of there. It always stinks. Though I don't usually associate myself with those foul creatures," she smirked, walking. Her grace on such high heels was astounding and Emie didn't know how she did it.

"It did smell awful." Joshua replied, lowering Emie a little. "Can you stand?" He asked.

She placed her feet to the ground, and wobbled but tried her hardest to stand, and to walk on her own. She found it hard, at first, but as her feet sunk into o the ground she found herself and found it easy to move. She was able to quickly place one foot in front of the other and follow Joshua, who was still holding her arm. Not far from where they were was a car that had been parked but the doors were open.

"We were in a rush," Vic said pointing the doors that were open. All three of them got near to the car and Emie got into the backseat. Joshua got into the passenger seat and Vic got into the driver seat. "We're going back to the court. Ryan wants to know what is happening," she cooed as she thrust the car into life. They reversed and then went on their way north, through the forest and then onto an empty motorway. The car drive was long, and boring, but Emie lay there, grateful. She brought her hand up t her cheek that Robin had cut and she felt the crusted blood. Luckily it had dried up and it was no longer bleeding. But she could feel that it was deep, and that she was probably going to get an infection. But how could she explain to a doctor or to her mother than she'd been kidnapped and held as partial ransom?

In short, she couldn't. That was not going to happen, no way. If she ever told her mother that, then her mother would probably put a firmer grip down and argue against anything and everything ever said by Emie in order to keep her safe. But in reality, was there really any way to safety for her now? She debated that in her mind as the car kept speeding up down the highway, and then they reached another small path. It was the same path that Joshua had followed along. Ryan was waiting just a short ride up the muddy road. Vic stopped and Ryan got in the seat next to Emie.

"How are you?" He asked, legitimately scared for her. Looking at her cheek, he frowned.

"I'm alright," she said quietly. Ryan didn't believe her, but knew that she was ill and did not wish to question or go against her.

They carried on further until they reached the same place that Josh had parked - his care was still there. When they stopped, they each got out. Ryan helped Emie out, and Josh took her other arm when they had met at the back of the car. They walked slowly, but Vic still stood proudly and did not want to slow down, despite Emie's condition. They got o the same wooden entrance and entered. Vic didn't knock, and she strode in with the other three following. There was nobody in the narrow hall as there had been before, and this was somehow soothing and relaxing to Emie who had just been through an ordeal. They got to the large doors and they opened instantly as Vic pushed them.

The court was louder than before, with three men fighting in the middle of the hall and everyone crowding around them.

"Vic, they're fighting. Is it safe here?" Ryan asked.

She blew him off by waving her hand indiscriminately and then carrying on down the hallway. It was only a small walk but Emie began to feel weak only half way along. "Sure," she said finally. When they got to the hallway with the staircase, Vic turned. "By the way, Brutus was killed. They thought he was in on it so they killed it without asking me. I thought it was dreadful, really. I liked Brutus. He was the best right-hand man I could have ever asked for."

They walked down the stairs, and Josh had forced himself to carry Emie even though she had argued against it. They went onto the first floor they encountered and followed it to the very end, where there was a red wooden door with gilded features and gold and emerald dragons carved into the door.

"This your room?" Ryan asked.

"Mhm," she replied, opening it within moments. When they were in, Emie could smell fresh flowers. And it was amazing. They went in and Ryan stopped at the carpet, and so did Vic. "Joshua, I will leave you with Emie for a while. No doubt you will want to clean her up. Feel free to give her whatever clothes you find in my wardrobe - I have plenty more in my personal estate." She clicked her fingers and Ryan stood beside her straight away. They left the room and the door closed with a loud thud. Josh walked over to the bed, quilted with red satin, and placed Emie down. She lay back, sighing. Josh lay next to her.

"I was having a nice dream, and then... that happened," she said. Her voice had come back whilst she was in the car, and she had just merely felt like not talking on the way.

"What was your dream?" Joshua asked, smiling at her and placing a hand on her shoulder, then pulling her closer.

Her cheeks went red. "I dreamed about you," she admitted after a few seconds of thoughtful silence.

"What about me?" He asked again.

"We were in a field."

"Doing what?"

"You don't... you don't want to know." She shoved her face into his chest to hide her red cheeks.

"I do," he whispered, pulling her closer to him with every second. "I really do," he whispered into her ear.

She kissed his chest. "I'm not telling."

"Then maybe you would care to re-enact it for me, so I know what you really think about me?" He dared, pushing her on.

"No!" She said loudly, pushing herself away from him, and then sitting up. "I... I couldn't."

He sat up and looked at her. "You could, Emie." His face was contorted, a mix of desire and concern. It was obvious that he would not push her into anything she did not want, but it was also clear what was on his mind at that moment.

"Josh..." before she could say anything else, his lips were on hers and his hand was in the back of her hair, tousling the strands between his fingers. "Josh..." she murmured.

He lay her back, kissing her neck. "I love you, Emie Jones."

Her heart beat faster, and her cheeks blazed again. Her eyes were wild now, because she didn't know what was happening. Did she really want any of this? Yes. She did. She made up her mind last year, before they stopped being friends.

He straddled her hips, kissing her lips. It was just like her dream. As he carried on kissing her, he slid his fingers over her body, down to the bottom of the negligee and pulled it up.

"Josh, I..." He stopped for a moment, forgetting his wild desire for her. "I haven't done this before." He paused, sitting upright.

"Do you want me to stop?" He asked, the light in his eyes dimming, and the blue in his eyes seeming to dull.

"No!" She yelled.

He pursed his lips, looking directly at her. He knew what he wanted and she knew what she wanted. But they both had mixed emotions on that front, and neither wanted to make a move. Josh got off of her and allowed her to do her own thing as he shuffled himself up to the top of the bed, kicking his shoes off and sliding under the blanket.

"I'm going to bed, anyway, Em," he said, quietly. "Vic won't be back, she told me she had errands."

There was an awkward silence for about a minute as Emie stood up, wobbling on her legs, and then slid the small gown off over her head. She stood in the dim lighting of the room wearing only her small, black boy shorts and she slowly walked over to the other side of the bed and lay on it, after getting under the covers. Joshua sensed her get into the bed, and turned over, looking at her. She looked a mess. A tired mess. But even though she looked that bad, he still went to her and cuddled her, wrapping his arms around her passionately.

"I am so sorry, Em. I did not intend for any of this to happen." His voice was solemn and full of regret.

"Its fine," she said, laughing a little. "I only got my face sliced, it's alright."

He tried to laugh but the thought of her being hurt just made him hold her closer, as a sort of reassurance that she would be ok as long as she was with him.

She kissed his neck, putting her hands on his shoulders and pulling herself up a little so she was looking directly into his eyes. He looked calm, now. More so than he’d been in a while. She kissed him, and he kissed back, sliding his hand up her back.

"You're not wearing anything?" He asked, curiously.

"Slide down, you will find I am wearing panties," she said, kissing him again, as his hands adventured lower down to her butt. He cupped it lightly.

"So I see," he whispered sloppily. His breathing grew heavier and that was when he pushed her away. "Em, I don't feel like it - I think it will hurt you, and you’ve been through enough today have you not?"

She nodded, but pulled herself back, sliding her hand up his shirt and up to his Pecs.

"You have a nipple piercing?" She asked with a comical expression.

"Yeah, you never noticed?" She shook her head slowly as she touched his neck, and then pulled her hand downwards to pull his shirt off. After it was off, he pulled her bare body to his, feeling their skin contact each other. "I love you, Em," he said.

Slowly manoeuvring her over so as he was on top of her, he was careful. He seemed to be treating her like a fragile little doll, even though she was far from it. He looked at her bare chest and then kissed in between her collar bones. Then his gaze dropped. He caught sight of where she had cut, where she had once been so depressed that she drew a blade to her own flesh. He went downwards and kissed the flesh that had been coated in pale pink lines. Then he came back up and kissed her face. Emie moved her legs to be just outside his, and he began biting and licking her neck. It was slow, but Emie enjoyed every second of it. His sloppy kisses on her neck came to a halt as he put his hand downwards, teasing her.

"Again, Emie... are you sure?"

She nodded, gritting her teeth. Yes, she was sure. She wanted it, but was it logical? Maybe, but perhaps not.


She woke up, dazed still from her dream. Last night had been a blur, but she was actually very happy that it had happened that way. Josh was lovely, kind, caring, and very considerate. She was happy it was with him. As her senses came back to her she realised that Joshua was holding her by her waist tightly, and she could feel some of his hair on her face. As she opened her eyes, she saw him; he looked so innocent and cute when he was asleep. Though she'd never really seen him sleep, and if as he said he was a fallen angel then surely he didn’t need to sleep, right? But never the less, she was happy that she was in a relationship with him. He was perfect to her, and never hurt her. Not even last night. She didn’t want to move for fear of waking him up so just nuzzled her head into his chest a little.

He pulled her waist closer to his and moved a little, making the slightest groaning noise. A similar noise to last night when he'd did that with her. She thought of last night. She loved it, she loved him. But she couldn't dwell on it. He'd probably done so many people, and she needn’t think she was special. Of course she needn’t. But in her eyes, he was special and that made her special because he had picked her. Nobody else - her.

She closed her eyes again and drifted back off into a deep sleep, but her dreams were blank. She just felt like she was falling through an endless loop of euphoria and didn't want it to end. She could feel Joshua running his hand along her back, however, and that woke her up.

"Good morning," he whispered quietly. "Or should I say good evening." His eyes were only half open, and he didn't move much, only to pull her in and kiss her forehead. "Go back to sleep if you'd like," he said. His hair was a mess, all over the pillow and none of his fringe was actually on his face. His skin looked even smoother than usual, and he just looked... different. Not like how he usually looked, not at all. But she just wanted to hold him. Well more to the point she just wanted him to hold her and never let go. Though she knew eventually she'd have to wake up. But at that moment, she enjoyed the feel of their naked bodies being so close underneath the covers. It almost felt more right than anything she'd ever felt before. They'd once been best friends, but now they were just lovers, and it seemed like fate had brought them back together even though they'd bonded again over something so morbid - they’d bonded over the death of Joshua's uncle. Something that once tore them apart brought them back. And it seemed like Joshua was coping well, and it was a brilliant thing. So bizarre and strange.

She pulled herself upright, sitting. Her bare body feeling cold as soon as she bared herself to the cold, dead air in the room. "I want to eat. I'm hungry," she finally said after stretching. Joshua lay down still, admiring her body.

"Well come here!" He said coyly, grabbing her body and pulling her back down onto him. As her face met his, they both smiled. "I love you! Let's go get a Burger King." His tone of voice was so cold, so casual. But it was exceptionally reassuring and she adored it.

"Okay," she whispered, moving her lips to his.

After she'd stood up, Joshua pointed to an oak door in the wall. "Through there, my lovely, is a walk in closet. Take whatever you need," he smiled.

She walked over to it, and opened the door. Inside was a wide room lined with clothes on racks, and boxes of shoes. In front of her was a large, full-length mirror. She walked forward, watching herself, and then she saw Joshua walking in behind her, wearing his black skinny jeans and nothing else. Now she saw his nipple piercing perfectly. It was odd, how she had never noted it before, but she liked it. He came behind her and hugged her, guiding her towards the rack on the right, pointing at a white dress with boning at the bodice ad lace at the back.

"I like that one," he said. She picked it out from the collection and looked at it. It was gorgeous and not like anything Vic would wear. Well, maybe she would because it had a low cut neckline and was fairly short. She turned.

"I need underwear."

"Vic said take anything, right? You both have similar bodies." She looked to her right and noticed a stack of shelves with various undergarments on.

"I'd feel wrong wearing her stuff..."

"You think Vic wears underwear? Well she doesn't," he laughed.

"Fine," she sighed, going to the shelves and picking out a pair of black lace panties and a black bra. The bra was a size too big, so she put it back. "Vic's boobs are huge, if this is her size," she said, pointing to the label that said 32E.

"True, but yours are amazing." He laughed, walking out of the closet after letting her go.

She slid the panties on, finding them a tight fit, and then put the dress on. "Do I take her shoes or what?"

"Yeah," he hollered from the other room.

She kneeled, looking at the collection of shoes. She was the same size as Vic in shoes, at least. All of them seemed to be heels, and she could only see a handful that weren't stripper shoes. She pulled out a box and opened it, seeing black stiletto heels with a minor platform and small spikes at the front. She wondered why Vic would wear shoes like that - surely she would hurt after a while? Or did fallen angels not feel that pain?

She slid the shoes onto her feet, slowly. When she stood back up with both of the shoes firmly on her feet, she felt as though she'd grown ten inches - which was almost true, with the seven inch heels.

Walking out of the room wobbling, Joshua turned to face her. "You look amazing." His eyes lit up, with immense love, and then he walked over, lifting her up again. "But you're overdressed for Burger King, babe." He laughed at himself, walking over to the door with her, and then kissing her before he let her go gently.

They walked through he door and then through the hall, leading them eventually into the stairwell. He helped her walk up, and then they got to the empty court. Well it was not entirely empty. A few people remained around the room, stood in small clusters. Vic was one such person, who was flitting around talking to everyone. Suddenly she caught a glimpse of Emie and smiled, walking over. She'd gotten changed into a tight leather mini skirt, and tight black corset with red lace. As per the norm, she donned black patent platform heels. This time though she was wearing stockings.

"Oh my yummy little darlings," she said, wiggling a finger as was her tradition.

"Hi Vic," Joshua said.

"You look great in my clothing, Emie."

"Thanks," she said, grinning. As they all walked towards the door, Emie had to say bye to Vic, who had almost been harassing her for the four minute walk. The doors opened and Eliza was stood outside, talking to Ryan. Ryan had her pinned up the wall, with his face exceptionally closer to hers.

"Ryan!" Josh yelled angrily. "What are you doing with El?"

Josh pushed forward, leaving Emie behind. He snarled at Ryan as he pulled himself off the wall and slouched back.

"She wanted it." Ryan said coolly.

"Joshua, you can't keep protecting me," she said with a sigh. "I'm not a little girl anymore." Eliza's face dropped as she looked at him, sighing. "I'm not." She looked to the floor and blushed intensely, as though she had stepped out of line and was a naughty child. But she wasn't.

She looked as though she'd gone against what she'd been told to do by her father.

"Oh." Joshua said as he slinked backwards towards Emie again. "Well if that's the case - just be careful, alright? You have no idea what is happening, do you? If any of this were to leak into the court then there would be hell to pay. Do you understand?" His tone of voice was a lot less angry now, and he seemed to be more calm.

"Yes! I know what's happening, Joshua." Eliza said, smiling. "And I know that it's not worth it. But I'm leaving here soon enough, Josh. And I am not coming back."

The light in Joshua's seyes faded and his grin dropped. "What?"

"I'm going to France, Joshua. I'm going back to my sister. She needs me and I can't take it here anymore. The way things are governed over there... it's a lot less strict. They all live in peace, Josh." Her eyes were wild with excitement at talking about her passion, the new place thaty she was going to live.

Joshua took Emie's arm and then carried walking past them. "Good luck, El. Please talk to me moer. I miss you arleady." They walked and got to the same door that took them outside, and then when they opened it they say a person stood in their way. It was Rose.

"Josh!" She said, looking down. It was clear that she had no hatred for her brother. "I..."

"Go away. You and I have no further business until you stop assosciating with that... that fiend." He pushed past her. Emie kept her gaze down to avoid eye contact, but as she saw her eveerything seemed to feel real again. The pain on her cheek, the anger she'd felt. The sorrow and the lack of hope. Everything that she wanted to never come true had came true that night.

"Josh..." Rose said as they kept walking. Not once did Joshua turn back to tell her something, or to reply, or the smile. No, he was done with her and through with what she was doing. And it was clear that it hurt him, too. Not phsycially like she had hurt Emie, though - it was all in his head.

They got to Joshua's car and he helped her into the passenger seat. Within only a few moments he managed to go round to the other side and slide in, slamming the door after him and then putting his hands on the wheel. He put the key into ignition and pulled the lever up, jolting the car to life as it slowly reversed then quickly pulled away from the car park and down the muddy path.

"Rose is sorry - I can tell. But do not forgive her, Emie." Joshua said, looking at the road. The car was going at a steady, but fast, speed. "Please."

"Okay..." she said, crossing her arms. Joshua's car was as cold as it had been before and that was something she hated. IT was colder than in Vic's room, or the room that she was in before she was taken by Robin and Rose. But she had no choice. And she hardly wanted to complain.

The car ride seemed to be excruciatingly long before they got to the town center, a small but buzzing metropolis filled with life. The small center was alive at night, and Emie could see many clubbers and partygoers from where she sat. The car got slower as they neared a curb and then it parked. Emie looked down at what she was wearing and she felt as though she would fit right in, with her heels and short dress. As they both got out of the car, Joshua locked it and joined Emie on the curb, which was right outside the Burger King that he had promised her. As they entered she could see a few people, it was not empty. The main customers though were drunkards, people who had left the parties early because they had too much alcohol intheir system to enjoy another glass of beer or another shot of vodka. Some were women, some were men. And all of them looked dressed up for the evening. It was a sad state of affairs that all of them looked a mess, though. With most of the women's makeup smudged down their faces, and some of them even had their false eyelashes falling off. One woman had taken her shoes off and placed them on the table next to her, which is highly unhygeinic and didn't appel to Emie at all. She did not want to eat in an eatery where they were allowed to place dirty shoes on the table. But she was hungry and so she went with it.

They walked over to the line, which was a short wait. There was only one other person in the line, and he was a small, scrawny fellow with a button-up white shirt which was heavily creased and black jeans. He too was a night clubber, but he didn't quite match the buff stature that most of the others seemed to have.

After his order was taken, they walked up to the counter. The woman serving them looked run-down, as if they had had a busy night. And maybe they had from the looks of things. Tonight was obviously a big clubbing night for most of the people, and Emie could tell that by how many people that were actually there. Joshua looked, asking for her order.

"Chicken Royale, extra mayo."

"Drink?" The woman asked Emie directly.

"Coke, please."

"We only serve Pepsi," she said. The woman was as arragont as she looked. Emie didn't care for her and it was obvious that Joshua didn't care for her either.

"That's fine," he said sharply in response to her. The woman tilled up the total and told them the price. Joshua took his wallet out and paid, and after they were told it may be a few minute's wait, they walked over to a table near the window, as far away from the others as possible.

"You didn't want anything?" Emie asked.

"No, not really. I don't like eating at faast food joints. I prefer cooking my own food. Or at least having it cooked properly," he smiled. "I guess I just have never cought up with the times!" He laughed. After a short wait, the food was brought over and Emie unwrapped her chicken royale, biting into it. She hadn't had one in about a year, and it was lovely to eat one after so long. She could ony manage to eat half of it, though. And offered the rest to Joshua, who politely declined the offer. She tried to battle through it but had to force herself to leave a few bites. The Pepsi, however, was nearly all gone and the main bits of her pepsi tha remained were spit-backs and the melted ice.

Emie was not a big fan of Pepsi Cola, and she never had been. She always thought it tasted watered down, nasty, compared to normal Coke.

"You all done?" Joshua cooed, smiling at her nicely.

"Mhm," she nodded, slurping the last of the Pepsi dregs from the bottom of the cardboard cup. They both stood and the woman who had served them walked over, collecting the rubbish.

"Did you enjoy your meal?" She asked.

"Yeah," they both said in sync. They slowly walked towards the door, listening on the drunken conversations that the people were having. Most of them were drunked words, slurred and hardly even understandable, and none of it was important, any how. So they carried on out of the room and into his car, which was still cold. They drove off the main street and through a crowd of people gathering near one of the nightclubs. There was a man getting beaten up on the floor, getting kicked by a tall thug wearing a balaclava.

"Wait here," Joshua said to Emie.

He got out, and walked through the crowd of people, pushing the thug away and helping the man up. The main was a fallen, just like Joshua. The thug had dark skin and deep set eyes, and it was obvious he was an elder. As the thug attempted to counter Josh with a strong hit, Joshua simply grabbed his wrist and snapped it, and the elder fell to the floor instantly. It was obvious that the elder was not as old as many of the others, and it was also obvious that Joshua had the upper hand in that fight because he was older, more strong, and had a lot more power than him.

"What the hell, man?" The thug said, standing back up and trying to click the two fractured bones back into place to try and ease the pain.

"I am a lot older than you. Go tell whoever sent you that if I see you or another one of your clan," he said, pointing to a small tribal tattoo on his wrist, "you will pay." Joshua snarled, taking an aggressive stance and then watching as the thug ran away at an incredible speed. Joshua turned to the man.

"New?" The man, who was actually a boy, looked young. He looked around sixteen, with a bony face and wore black skinny jeans and a baggy tee. He looked simply as though he wanted a night out, but got attacked.

The boy nodded. "Can I go with you? I... I came here with a woman but she told me to wait here... then I got attacked."

"Yeah, sure." Joshua looked at him, looking straight into his eyes to try to determine his character.

They walked back to the car and he sat in the back, and Josh got back into the drivers seat. Emie didn't want to look rude so simply stared at him in the mirror. He looked scared, and worried.

"So what's your name?" Joshua asked.

"Alex," he said quietly. "I... I died a week ago."

"How did you die, Alex?"

"I met a woman with a daughter. I thought she was beautiful. I trusted her. She had the most bright blue eyes I'd ever seen. She wasn't nice, at all. She told me about her plan to make me one of her own." He looked down, pausing for a second. "I didn't realise she meant to kill me and turn me into whatever I am now."

Joshua nodded slowly. "Well I'm Joshua, I can help you for now. That woman should never have done that - these lands are ruled by a court and the current turf leader is Demi. She wouldn't allow that. But anyway we currently have bigger things to worry about and we should not care for the needless acts of a selfish whore."

There was a strange silence for a few moments. "What am I?"

"You're a fallen. It is a mighty shame that you had to die so young. And it's astonashing you found your way here, unless she managed to use some form of magic or whatever. But I need to tell you now that I do not believe in magic - and thereore I can't tell you anythign else about what you are. All I can tell you and teach you is what I know. I was raised by one of the local leaders who died not too long ago. Because he died, we're now in a war between us, the fallen, and them, the elders. And because of that, that thug attacked you. My best guess is that the woman who led yout here was an elder and wanted you dead. For good, this time."

The two discussed the ins and outs of being a fallen and what it meant. And as they drove up a busy highway, Emie didn't know what she was hearing. Now that a lot more things were comig into play, most of it seemed to be pieced together. All of it was making sense to her, now and she had to believe him now - she believed it all herself. It was strange, though.

Because everything was coming together she felt an absurd sernse of easiness and calmness that somehow soothed her. As the car turned right on the forked road and then down a small, familiar road, Emie knew that they were going to Joshua's house.

"I have to get a few things, and I'll take you back to your house, Em to get some of yours. We can go to Harriet's estate." He sharply applied the breaks and got oout of the car, going into his house. There was a silence in the car for a few minutes before Alex decided to talk.

"Are you... one of us?" He whispered.

"No," she said.

"Are you one of them?"

"No. I'm a normal person," she replied, with a twang of mystery.

After a few moments Joshua came back holding a rather large brown backpack that seemed to be completely full. He threw the bag down to Emie's feet. "What's in there?" she inquired.

"Clothes, mainly. Phone charger, gun."

"Gun?" She yelled. "Why the hell do you need a gun?" She cried again.

"Your personal safety. Emie, do you think I need it? No. But do you think I'm going to let you stay in a room on your own? After yesterday? Also no."

"Josh I've never used a gun," she pleaded.

"It's a desert eagle, you'll be fine. Just stand there, aim, pull the trigger."

"Fine," she said, angrily, as if she was a small girl losing a battle with her father or mother, or even an elder sibling.

Joshua started the car again, and Emie looked down at the bag. It was slightly open and she could have sworn that she could see the glint of metal underneath the moonlight shining dimly through the tinted windows. Opening the bag as she bent down to it, she saw the gun. It wasn't big, she thought, but it was hardly small. As she picked it up she realised that there was some weight to it.

"The bullet are in a separate box near the bottom. There's two in already and the safety is off, please don't shoot it here."

She picked it up, and examined it. It had the words Desert Eagle emblazened on the side of it as well as the calibre, which was .50. She rested it on her lap and carried on staring out of the windscreen in front of her. The car was not going at a consistent speed, and it kept speeding up and going faster every few seconds, until it ended up at sixty. They kept driving in a straight line until Joshua took a left, then a right, then a left, then they drove in a straight line for another ten minutes.

They neared a beach, as Emie could see to the right of her, and she noticed that there were hardly any houses. The sky was still a rich velvet shade and the stars seemed brighter than they'd seemed in a long while. As they carried on down the road, the beach seemed to enclose on them, leaving only the small road that they were driving on that forked in the middle. Joshua took the right, and then turned sharply into the forest. They went on the narrow drive for around five more minutes until they reached a dense forest that had a small pebble road leading up to a large, Victorian estate. They drove up to the courtyard and parked outside the large double doors that were made of oak. Getting out, Emie almost forgot that the gun was on her lap, and only saved dropping it by mere seconds as she touched it on her way to standing up.

They all walked towards the doors, even Alex, who seemed to be cowering behind Joshua. Alex was just as scared as Emie, and seemed to be even more confused than she was. It was strange that even someone who had lived their life and was now walking as, technically, the undead, could be so fearsome. Joshua didn't knock, he just took a key out of his pocket and opened the doors, letting a little of the light hit the dark wood floor. Inside, it looked like a mansion. In front of them was a grand staircase as well as a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

This house didn't smell like the court. It smelled musky with a hint of rose. Harriet appeared out of the doorway to the left of them, holding a glass of what looked like wine. She took a sip. "Oh, here so soon?"

Joshua smiled. "I trust you will keep her safe, right? I need to go in the morning around three. Also, I've found a new blood. He was getting attacked by an elder, and seems to not know what he's doing."

"New blood?" Harriet slowly walked over, examining him from a distance and then getting close enough to have a clear look. She eyed him up and down to start, then scoffed. "Well, I'll be damned. They can stay here. They should  be perfectly safe, though tomorrow I'm unsure if I will be here. I've been requested at the court for my input and though I already know it will not be anywhere near enough to sway them, it's worth a shot. I, personally, do not wish to see any more feuds. I've been in enough of them in my life time and I would be terribly glad to see the end of them." She smiled. "Tell me your name, child."

"Alex," he stammered politely. Holding a hand out to shake hers. She dismissed him and brushed off the request.

"Forget the formalities, Alex. You're here to learn, and you'll see more than your fair share of blood in that time. No doubt you'll lose your useless need to be polite and formal after that. Except for when addressing those who are older than you. And you should remember," she pointed in his face. "Spit on the face of others, who would spit on the face of you."

He nodded, swallowing. Harriet looked to Joshua and shuffled to the side slightly to address him better. "Harriet," he said.

"Joshua. Remember that no matter what happens, I will be behind you one hundred percent through all of this." Her lips curled upwards as she smiled, her eyes lighting up. "And I trust you have important business to go over, otherwise you would not be leaving a new blood in my care. You know I've had enough of them over the decades, and another one would be harder for me to teach now. I am getting older, Josh."

He smiled. "Of course," he cooed. "I'll be back tomorrow around five in the evening, I hope you can keep them both safe until then. And," he turned to Emie. "I love you," he said

"I love you too," she whispered into his ear after she got closer to him. "I really do." He wrapped his arms around her tightly, letting her feel his breath against her.

"And I'm sorry I didn't make the trip to yours. I completely forgot in the car and thought that it would be better for us to get here straight away, as soon as possible. I'll take you tomorrow after I come back for you." He kissed her and then let her go. "I need to go," he said.

After he walked out of the room, Emie looked at Harriet, who was already looking at her. "You look like Vic's little protige. I've always hated how she dresses and you're making it hard to - you look so much better like that than she does. Her chest is far too big for pulling something like that off without looking like a whore." She smiled. "In my own opinion."

Harriet turned to look up the stairs, and Alex moved a little. "Alex, go upstairs, first room on the left. I'll be up in a while - do not move from that room otherwise there will surely be hell to pay on your behalf." There was a stone cold look of fear and terror in his eyes, and he promptly went up the stairs. "Emie, I'll walk you to the room that you are to be staying in. It isn't much, I'm guessing nowhere near as grand as the room that Vic had you go to. But you'll find it... modest, much more quaint than the atrocities of space they have at the court." They walked slowly up the stairs and onto the first floor. "So how do you feel about Joshua?"

"I love him, why?"

"Because I raised him, essentially. Along with Emilio. Did he ever tell you about Emilio? That was his uncle. Not his biological uncle, obviously. His father killed Rose and Joshua as mere children and for that I never forgave him, but Rose had her own way and took over. I sometimes see their father, Chris. But, it's usually once every decade or so just to exchange information. He's become quite the informant, though I doubt you will ever need to know that or need to ever meet him. But if you do ever meet him, be warned that he could charm you to your own suicide just be smiling at you and he could even take your clothes off without you knowing. He's a charming bastard, true, but I would not trust him with anything. And also remember never to tell him anything that could be a secret to you or someone around you. He will find a way to get every last deteail from you and then he could easily sell it onto the wrongh type of people. I've kown him to betray his close friends before, but he does it in the name of money and that, is where he has his kicks."

"I never thought Josh's dad would have been like that..."

"Well he is, and he is never to be trusted. And for the love of God, bite your tongue. Never tell Josh any of this, either. As far as he knows, his father is dead and will nevr be anything else. I would like to keep it that way, if you didn't mind. Neither of them, or I, would like anything to happen between them in the future. Not in my liftetime anyway - and it will still take a long time for me to be out of your hair - do trust me on that."

They walked down the hallway until they got to t aroom with a small, gold number on it, that was the number four. They walked in and, whilst it was nowhere near as large or glam as the rooms that Vic had taken her to, but it was modest. It was very nice. And this one actually had a window that overlooked the beach and it was great. The view was stuning, and Emie could already see the waves crashing against a distant shore, and to the sides of the windows were two large trees that had obviously overgrown from the garden. Emie walked over and admired the view.

"You get a stunning view of the moon, too." Harriet mused, walking over and placing a hand on her shoulder. "My father built this estate,l and this was my room as a small child. Whenever I could not sleep, this is where I came. I stared at the moon for hours. It was a wonderful thing, being sent to sleep by the moonlight. You have the wildest dreams if you sleep under the moon lit stars. Or so I've been told."

"Really? That sounds... amazing." Emie admittedly loved hearing about the past, and the fact that Harriet was exceptionally old made her just want to listen to her for hours, and hours. It was wonderful hearing about lives long gone, because they were only memories now.

"It was." Harriet opened the left curtain properly, pinning it behind the rail.

"I think you will also find the clothing in this room more suited to your tastes, compared to that skankish attire. My friend buys me things I never wear. They're just too modern, or revealing in some cases. I don't think I will ever wear most of them."

Emie tried to look around to find out where the clothes were, but she couldn't instantly see them.

"They're in the wardrobe," Harriet said, bringing her face closer to Emies. Now that she thought about it, Harriet was actually very pretty. she was not wearing any, or at least much, makeup today. And she had a certain natural beauty that almost seemed highly surreal.

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