~ Prologue ~

She ran as fast as she could.  The bare tree branches tore angrily at her clothing and hair as she tried to break through.  The cold winter air burned in her lungs with each winded breath.  She had never felt so alone and scared and could feel hot tears stream down her face as she tried to wipe them away from her blurred vision.  She wanted to scream, but her breath caught in her throat and the small gasping whimpers she made were barely audible.

"I could kill you for that you dumb bitch!"  His threat boomed through the forest.

The sound of his footsteps was getting closer, and her heart raced in fear of what he might do when he finally caught her.  His words echoed in her head and she kept running, even though she knew it was futile.

"I swear when I catch you it's all over."

She winced at the sound of his cold voice; she didn't doubt the sincerity of his words.  She knew he was gaining on her and wondered how much time she had left before he reached her.  She turned her head to look back and was startled by how close he really was.  Almost an arms-length away she could see his panicked and breathless expression, the emptiness behind his icy stare.

"I've got you now," he said with a pleased expression on his face which made her blood run cold.

He reached out for her and managed to grab the hood of her jacket.  The force with which he pulled her back made her cry out.  She felt his body against hers when she fell against him and heard his discomfort when her elbow hit him in the ribs.

"Now I'm really mad."

He grabbed her hair and threw her fiercely to the ground.  She coughed, attempting to regain the breath that was knocked out of her.  Her hands were cut and she was dirty and bruised but she swore she wouldn't give up.  She shot her leg out kicking him in the knee and watched as he stumbled back yelling obscenities at her.  She took the opportunity to put some distance between then and pushed herself up from the ground to continue her escape.

Her only mistake was looking back.  He was still on the ground, clutching his knee in agony, cursing at her loudly.  She ran while still looking back, not noticing the fallen log in her path.  She stumbled over it, trying to regain balance, but it was too late.  Her small body hit the forest floor with a sickening thud, and then, everything was quiet.

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Author's Note:  I'm trying to edit this story so that there are few chapters and it flows better.  Thanks to everyone who responded to my author's note, I'm glad you are all still reading.  I will post new chapters soon, unfortunately my computer crashed and I lost all my work, so I had to rewrite all the chapters that I hadn't posted yet.  Please be patient.

Thanks for reviewing \(^o^)/

~ Katie ~