~I've seen you before, perhaps it was in my dreams~

Athiliah ascended her deep, brown eyes to the moon... It was a Harvest Moon tonight, and it was absolutely beautiful. The luminous shades of orange and yellow shone upon the sleeping earth enchantingly. A blanket of Frozen stars danced and shimmered around it. The cool yet chilling breeze shifted through her thick auburn hair that descended elegantly below her waist... It was dark, beautiful, and all in the same length... Her skin was pale... almost porcelain-looking...

She gazed down upon the sleeping white and black figure. A soft smile crossed her rose-petal lips. Omeri was her only friend, and probably would always be her only friend... Her smile became a frown as she wrapped her purple cloak around her, pulling the hood over her head. The breeze had become cold... She pulled her knees to her chest and leaned against the gigantic tree trunk... It was nice to be up this high... in this strong branch... she wouldn't be spotted as quickly as she would on ground... And Omeri would protect her... He promised this from the start...

Athiliah closed her dark eyes and fell into a deep sleep...

"Athiliah! Wake up!" Omeri's deep voice whispered. She nodded slightly, her eyes fluttering open. It was still dark. She blinked her sleep away, glancing around. Her eyes stopped on the massive white tiger that stood on the branch in front of her. She smiled.

"What is it, Omeri? Bad dreams?" she asked innocently. His ice blue eyes seemed to almost penetrate through her's. He shook his head.

"No, we have to leave, now!" his whisper grew louder. Athiliah frowned, popping her neck.

"But why? What's the matter?" she asked touching the soft fur around his neck. His eyes darted to the ground.

"They're near... their scent woke me up..." he growled, slightly baring his enormous fangs. Her eyes widened and she sunk back in despair.

"They found me... I can't believe it..." she frowned, squeezing her eyes shut. Several tears sparkled as they streamed down her porcelain cheeks. Omeri nudged her with an animal-frown.

"They wont find you... I promise... come on, we'd better hurry up and get out of here..." he placed a massive paw on her shoulder. Athiliah nodded.

"Alright, let's go..." she said watching Omeri leap out of the tree... She followed, landing gracefully onto her feet. Her purple cloak blew back, the hood slipping off her head, revealing large, auburn furred, cat ears. They perked up as she caught the noise of raspy footsteps. They were close... Her short dark blue dress clung to the top of her knees as the freezing, now cruel breeze chilled her all over... Pulling her hood back over her head, she grabbed her blade staff and nodded to Omeri.

"Let's go...", she repeated, "I can hear them..."

And so they journeyed forth... Memories and flashbacks reflecting in her mind... They kept silence as they walked the night and early morning... Strands of Athiliah's brilliant, shinning, auburn hair blew out of her hood; shimmering radiantly in the morning's sunlight...

Shades of purple, pink, and orange collided in the early sky. She smiled; closing her eyes for a moment... never realizing what just might happen... She never heard Omeri's grunt as the tranquilizer hit him...

Suddenly there came a strong force upon her back, sending her blade staff flying... Athiliah's eyes bulged open and she managed to let out a startled cry as the cold blade of a dagger pressed against her throat.

"I've got you now, kitty... You should have never even tried to escape..." His voice whispered into her ear, as he ripped the cloak off with his other dagger... Letting it flutter to the ground like a deceased bird. Athiliah's cat-tail twitched with fury... as her ears flared back. Her lips curled back, revealing long, sharp fangs. She let out a startling roar, jerking the man's wrists and sending him flying forward... More men jumped at her but she threw them off to. Crouching down on all fours, her claws extracted out of her fingers and toes. Her brown eyes were wild with fury as she gave another monstrous roar. The men backed away...

"Retreat! Retreat!" they called, running back into the forest...

Athiliah collapsed onto her knees beside Omeri, trembling badly... Her thoughts drifted as she was overpowered by dizziness and fell over...

She had been taken as a child...

To the lab center known as LUNAR...

Nobody knew what went on there...

Nor did they even want to know...

The town just threw it away from their minds...

Like a deep, dark, secret...

They never even questioned the work that went on in there....

But she knew...

She'd lived there until she was 17...

She'd had fear of leaving...

They experimented on her...

And treated her horribly...

As if she was an animal...

And perhaps in their eyes she was...

She was half cat...

But, so what...

She was also half human...

Athiliah had met Omeri there...

And together they'd escaped...

But not quite free yet...

They still searched for them...

And they probably wouldn't stop...

Until...

Once again they would be in their grasp....

Athiliah's eyes snapped open...

She grunted, and looked to find Omeri gone. A gasp escaped her throat. Had they taken him? Had they?

"Omeri?" her voice came out in a trembling whisper,"Omeri... where are you?" she glanced around frantically.

"Athiliah, don't worry... I'm over here." his voice echoed from the small creek. Crawling up she walked over to her ripped up cloak. Picking it up she hugged it and frowned.

"They attacked us... Are you all right? Mad at me?" she asked.

Omeri shook water off his body, and shook his head.

"I'm not mad at you. And yes I'm fine." he said, his eyes burning into her very own. Athiliah's ears pinned down...

"I'm sorry, we could've been killed... and it was my fault..." she frowned. Omeri shook his head again.

"It's not your fault... don't worry... just stay here and get cleaned up...I'm going to go find us something to eat...stay here, alright." he said.

"I wont go anywhere." she said watching him go...

Picking up her staff, she stroked her finger across the blade.

"I should be more careful... Someday... My reflexes wont save me..." she said setting it beside the creek and stepping into the cold water...

Dipping her head into the water she felt it trickle coldly, down her face. A hum began to emerge from her lips, and she started to sing... Birds hovered over her, landing on the tree branches to listen and join the beautiful melody.

Alon stumbled through the forest in search of some ferocious "cat girl" the guys had been talking about at LUNAR. So he had loaded his magnum and set out to find her... He'd get her back to the lab, either by words, or by force. It didn't matter to him... Suddenly he stopped... thinking that the noise he had just heard with merely an illusion... but it didn't cease... A beautiful melody... A beautiful voice...

With more determination now he began to run... the voice became clearer, and nearer... He stopped just behind some trees... Using his gun to push back the limbs he looked...

A girl stood in the middle of the creek... Her hair long, and dark. Her skin soft and porcelain. And the singing... coming from her rose-petal lips. He took a step out from behind the trees... She was beautiful... like nothing he had ever seen...

Athiliah's song stopped... Her eyes opened to behold a man... Her ears perked up as she let out a startled cry, leaping back...

Alon couldn't believe his eyes...

She was the cat girl? But she didn't look ferocious at all. She looked.... beautiful...even though she had cat-like features. He could see the fear reflecting in her deep, brown eyes... With a smile he laid his gun down and took a step back...

"I wont hurt you... Can you understand me...?" he asked...

Athiliah blinked, glancing at the gun then at him. She was in shock. He didn't wish to harm her? How was this? And why? Her eyes narrowed... And she took a step closer.

"Of course I can understand you. I'm not stupid." she growled, and Alon smiled.

"No, you're not. You're not stupid, I'm sure you're very smart." he smiled again his blue eyes sparkling, reminding her of Omeri. Athiliah sneered.

"Are you mocking me?" she snapped.

"No, no... Of course not... Um... I'm... Alon." he grinned extending a hand. She glared at him...

"I'm Athiliah." she said. He nodded.

"Beautiful name..." he said.

Her face suddenly softened, she blushed.

"Th--thank you." she muttered, crawling out of the creek. She was slightly startled when she felt his arm go around her to help her out. Her eyes rose to meet his... and she began to tremble. Alon smiled taking his jacket off and putting it around her.

"You must be cold." he grinned.

She smiled, blushing again.

"How did you know..." she giggled slightly. This made him smile again. He just couldn't believe that they'd want this poor, sweet girl to experiment on. Yes, she was part cat, but it didn't take away from her beauty or her sweet attitude. His eyes met her's again...

"You...ummm...Why do you keep looking at me like that?" she asked her eyes wide. He gulped.

"Because... you're... Do you believe in love at first site?" he asked. The question struck her, and she turned her face away from his.

"Uhhh... My, how do you mean?" she asked her face turning another shade of crimson. He smiled again, moving her face to his with his hand.

"I mean... I've dreamed of this before... I've known you before... In dreams... I know it sounds stupid... but I believe we might be meant to be..." now it was his turn to blush. Athiliah smiled softly, hugging him lightly.

"I remember a dream like the ones you speak of too... I believe you, Alon... the name seems to almost ring a bell..." she said...

Their faces moved closer... Her eyes closing gently.... A loud roar shattered the enchanting moment... Alon's eyes bulged as he grabbed for his gun. Athiliah jumped up.

"Omeri!" she cried... Placing a hand on Alon's shaking her head, he drew his hand back. Omeri growled savagely.

"What is the meaning of this, Athiliah? I told you that you couldn't trust them... imbecile humans..." he roared....

"He's not like them! He's... different..." she clasped her hands... Omeri snarled, pacing back and forth...

"I should have never left you alone!" he roared again. Athiliah fell onto her knees in front of Omeri, pleading.

"Just give him a chance! Please...." she sobbed. He narrowed his ice colored eyes.

"No..." he growled," Choose between one of us, Athiliah...You cannot have both..." he growled. Athiliah began to sob... glancing between both...

"I...I...I choose... him..." she cried, touching Alon's hand. He smiled softly at her, patting her on the back. Omeri snarled.

"So...I see...You choose one you've only known for a moment then one you've known for a lifetime..." he roared in anger and in despair as he ran away from view...

"Omeri!" Athiliah cried...

"Don't worry... It'll be fine..." Alon assured, holding her to him...close...

The moon shone down upon them... but it didn't seem as radiant as it usually did... and she couldn't help but wonder... Had she made the right decision? Love or Friendship? Which was more important...? She was so confused.... so utterly confused.... She closed her eyes feeling the wind touch her face... and listened to the night's lullaby...

"Athiliah...wake up, darling." Alon's voice called to her... She opened her eyes and smiled; touching a strand of his blond hair...

"My dreams are even more beautiful now..." he smiled, running his hand through her auburn hair... She nodded.

"Mine too..." she grinned, closing her eyes... He knelt down and kissed her... She wrapped her arms around his neck and gazed at him when it had ended. They both smiled at each other...

Laughter echoed from the trees...

"Well isn't this a touching moment...I hate to ruin it..." a man walked out... and Athiliah recognized him...He was the owner of LUNAR, but they were made to call him "Master"...

"Snard..." she growled. He took a slight bow.

"I Am." he said, his eyes mocking them both. Alon grasped Athiliah's hands...and glared at Snard.

"What do you want?" he shot. Snard just laughed.

"Your girl...She belongs to me..." he said. Athiliah growled.

"I belong to nobody!" she screamed. He turned his glare to Alon.

"And you disobeyed me... that's top punishment you know...That's death..." he said aiming his gun... Alon shoved Athiliah away...

"Run!" he screamed, "You can escape!" Athiliah shook her head, tears streaming down her face...

"No! I wont leave you!"

Snard pulled the trigger... and the bullet seemed to almost travel in slow motion. Athiliah lunged in front of Alon, pushing him aside. He fell to the ground, his eyes wide....

"No!" he screamed as Athiliah fell beside him... Alon rushed over her, seeing her eyes wide in agonizing pain, yet in relief. Her hand was placed over her stomach... as blood poured out unceasingly. She tried to smile...

"I've seen this...in...my...dreams...too...you'll...be safe...I promise..." she said. Alon shook his head with great fury.

"No! Athiliah...why...why would you do something like this...why..." he cried squeezing her blood-covered hand. Snard laughed.

"Good, now I'll kill both of you..." he laughed aiming the gun, once again, at Alon.

"You can beat him... Do it for me... please..." she whispered... Alon nodded tears sparkling in his blue eyes... Rolling backwards, he snatched his gun... Snard laughed.

"Fast...I'm impressed..." he said... Alon sneered.

"Be impressed by this!" he yelled, shooting Snard in the chest... Blood trickled out of his lips as he fell over dead... Alon dropped his gun and ran back to Athiliah's side... Her eyes were weary and half closed...

"I was lucky... to spend the last of my time...with you...I couldn't have spent it better....I...love...you...Alon..." she said in her remaining breath as her eyes rolled up into her head....

"Athiliah! No!....Athiliah...oh...no...Please...no...I Love you Athiliah!! I.Love you!" he sobbed falling onto her and holding her lifeless body....

~The next day~

"I suppose I was wrong about you...about her..." Omeri said, pawing some dirt on Athiliah's grave... Alon nodded.

"I'm sorry for my part too... friends?" he asked. Omeri nodded.

"Friends." he said with a chuckle... glancing around he stopped... his ice blue eyes sparkling," Look at that...over there..." he said pointing his paw at a large auburn colored wild cat....

Her brown eyes watched Alon and Omeri with almost a sad look... Seeing their eyes on her she immediately hurried up a tree... Omeri nodded.

"Her spirit has moved on..." he said, turning his eyes to Alon," She will always remember you...Always..."

"And I shall always remember her..." he said with a smile... Omeri looked to the afternoon sky.

"We'd better get a move on..." he said already walking toward the trees...

"I'm coming..."Alon said looking back at the tree to find the wildcat gone... He smiled softly...

"Athiliah...You'll always be in my heart... and in my dreams..." he whispered....