Well, this is my first original story on this place. Constructive criticism would be great. I'll just shut up so you can see what's happening, here.

WARNING - There's serious cursing, violence, romance, sex, blood, and other assorted goodies in this story. This will be a basic disclaimer for each chapter, but I won't be too specific with it. These are general warnings for the entire story, so you won't get a hint of what's going to happen in the chapter.

Disclaimer - ALL OF THIS IS MINE.If I find someone stealing this story, I will kill them. I'm not kidding. I'll hunt you down and I'll kill you. This story, the characters, the plot, EVERYTHING is mine. Period.

The Fallen

Chapter 1: My Immortal

A tuneless song wafted through the trees as a young maiden made her way through the forest.

Sneakers crunched along the dead leaves that littered the grass; hands traced invisible patterns on the bark of the trees. The sun sparkled on chestnut strands of hair, shining on the plait that held the thick mass in place. Green eyes were shielded from the sun by a hand held like a visor. A small callus covered the third finger of the lady's finger, and nails oddly unkept stretched out a bit, glinting in the sun's rays. Those jade eyes studied the surroundings, and full, pink lips curled up slightly in a contented smile.

The humming stopped, and a silky word slipped through those lips. "Beautiful."

The girl took a step forward, but stopped and listened intently. Beyond the multitude of songs the birds voiced, including a whipporwill, she could swear that she had heard something more.

A groan?

She cautiously made her way towards the sound, eyes sweeping back and forth. What had that sound been? Where was the source? The maiden stopped herself for a moment, cautious, then continued, morals making her continue. If there was someone injured, she had to help him.

Nevertheless, she found herself walking carefully, making sure not to step on the thousands of dead leaves that stuck themselves in the way of her progress.

Slowly, the sounds became more focused and clear. A clang of metal, another grunt. She recognized the sounds of pain and battling. Worried and curious, she quickened her pace, dodging tree branches. A fleeting thought of how deep into the forest she was getting crossed her mind, but she pushed it aside and continued. Her hair snagged on a tree, and she growled, turning back to it. She fumbled with the mass for a minute, but a sudden cry of pain had her mentally saying fuck it' and just running, feeling strands of her hair rip free and the hair tie holding it all together ripped out. She left it, rubbing her head in pain.

She saw a clearing ahead and could hear the sounds coming from within. She hurried to it, feeling her hair unravel completely in the process.

She passed the last tree and turned to the scene before her. She gasped in amazed horror. There were two men battling it out inside said clearing. One held a sword, the other some sort of ... she didn't know what it was, but she thought she'd heard of it before. It was like a spiked metal rod, a sort of spear, except the spike was in a coned shape. It had a sort of chain attached to the other side, and suspended on the end was a huge scythe. What the hell do you call that? Whatever it was, the guy was wielding it quite well.

One was in a navy blue armor that covered half his chest, his arms, legs, and his feet. It shone almost black, then almost white in the glaring sun. She watched the armor for a moment, trying to place the metal, but she came up with a quick blank. She had no idea anything that magnificent existed on Earth. His hair, unruly and wild, some strands so long they fell past his eyes and teased his nose, and others so short they never reached the bottom of his neck, shone a raven black, and glinted almost as blue as his armor.

The other, the one with the odd weapon, was ugly. His armor was a sickly green, resembling the color of vomit. It shone on his chest and the middle of his stomach, forming a horrible puke-green shirt. He seemed to have boots and gloves of the same armor. She found herself unable to place that armor, as well, but thought they looked a bit similar.

Both wore helmets, little tiara-looking things that held a jewel. She didn't know whether they were real, but she wouldn't have been surprised at that point. They looked like marquise-style gems - an emerald on puke-boy that shone against his spiky green hair, and a sapphire on the gorgeous one.

Speaking of gorgeous, she looked her fill of the black-haired one's chest. Only half of it was covered, which meant, of course, that the other wore nothing. So she got to see the man's chest - well, half of it - including his ... his breast. She saw a pert nipple and watched it move, finding herself entranced. Damn, she was acting like she'd ... well, she hadn't ever seen a boy's naked chest before, but still ...

She shook herself mentally and tried to focus. The two were trading blows, punching and kicking and throwing their weapons around. She watched in alarm as the odd weapon's scythe went flying towards the other man, then sighed in relief when he caught the chain in his sword and threw the man to the ground. He quickly got up, and the battle continued.

The black-haired teen -for she guessed him around her own age- connected his fist to the other's jaw, and the man skidded towards her. She quickly hopped away, her hair deciding to leap into her face. She roughly pushed it aside.

It was then that they both noticed her. The ugly one reacted faster, to her dismay. He jumped up and attempted to snatch her. She dodged clumsily, her hair once again in her face thanks to an impeding wind. She backed up as he attacked again, but fell when she tripped on a root.

Her senses screamed at her to get up. She'd seen the movies, and she knew how she felt about those stupid girls who always seemed to get in the way of the hero. Don't be helpless!

She jumped up and dodged once more. The scythe was flying in every direction; she dared not take a glance at the other man. She didn't know if he was friend or foe, but she would only deal with him if he became an equal threat. She couldn't afford to do much else.

And so she flew to the right when the scythe crashed into the ground, but found herself jumping almost directly into the spiked end of the staff. She only managed to avoid being gutted by twisting in midair and crashing once again to the ground.

The man pounced forward faster than she could react to. She cringed and tensed for the pain.

It never came.

Her eyes flew wide in shock, and she whipped her head up. The sight that greeted her took her breath away. Her attacker stood still as stone, his neck vulnerable and open with an ancient-looking blade pressed to his throat. Her savior was none other than the man with the raven hair. She wondered if it was out of obligation, enemy of my enemy, or what.

"You are lucky the girl is here," her hero growled, and his gaze locked with hers. She found herself sinking into the depths of his cobalt gaze, unwilling to look away. She felt a curling in her belly, an odd warmth seeping through her entire body. She tried to control the quiver that stole over her. She heard him say something extra, something about not killing in front of her, but she couldn't hear anything more than the unintelligible murmur of the teen's voice.

"I'll get you yet, Saiph. You can count on it, you filthy scum!"

She struggled to speak, trying to curb her fear and ... and whatever-it-was that was controlling her and making her heart race. She managed to murmur, "shut up," but was disappointed by the breathy, almost-not-there voice. She forced her voice to be stronger and prayed it wouldn't tremble. "You're in no position to make threats." She found her eyes still trapped on the victor and propelled them to the loser. She jumped in shock when her eyes fell on him. His dirt-brown eyes spewed forth hatred, and her own narrowed to slits instinctively. She would not be dominated. She'd been told that her glares could make Satan scream in fear, and she turned that power full-force on this man. "Say anything else," she continued in a low voice that she knew at least sounded threatening, "and I'll leave just for the pleasure of knowing you'll die." In honesty, she didn't think such was true. She believed completely in the basic rules of her religion, if not everything that she was told about it, or even everything she knew about it. However, she completely despised the thought of being a part of a murder in any way. She wouldn't be able to walk away, knowing that doing such would lead to his death. She prayed he couldn't see this knowledge in her eyes.

"I've already marked you, girlie," the man sneered, showing off teeth that were disgustingly yellowish. "You'll die by morrow."

A chill spread through her, but she laughed derisively in his face nonetheless. "By morrow? Your speech is of the same time as your mind -the uneducatedness of the thirteenth century," she mocked. She took a deep breath and bolstered up the tattered remains of her courage. "And I think you should go -his hand is twitching." A huge lie.

With another sneer curling his lip, he disappeared into thin air. He gasped even as her body sagged with relief. She found her body shaking in an adrenaline overload and closed her eyes briefly, trying to regain her equilibrium. She felt herself going into something akin to a panic attack and almost cried. Dammit! Not here; not in front of this guy!

She opened her eyes. Yes, her savior was still there beside her. She watched as he sheathed his sword. Her gaze followed his long, slender, calloused fingers before she finally turned to leave.

"Hold on," the man called, and she turned back to him despite her frayed nerves. Manners that she'd ingrained into her very being forced her to be polite and listen to what he had to say. Damn her weak emotional structure, anyway. "You cannot leave."

She fought down some choice comments and turned completely towards him. "What?" she asked stupidly, since all her other thoughts were just too rude. Her brain, also, seemed to be having trouble processing everything. She kept it on concentrate on not collapsing' instead of letting it wander to damn his chest is like a god's' or how the hell did that bastard just bloody disappear like that?' And part of it was still trapped in the adrenaline rush, remembering her almost-death experience. "Why?"

The warrior seemed aggrieved, as if having some huge burden on his shoulders. She winced at the ache that thought gave her. "Did you not hear him? He knows who you are." She could tell, somehow, that this was where his burden lie. He stepped towards her, and she made her feet stay where they were instead of running for the hills like she wanted to. "If he said you'll be dead by tomorrow, it's guaranteed that I'd find your carcass by this evening."

She got haughty despite herself. "I can manage myself, thank you."

"Not against Alphard. He's one of the enemy's strongest warriors."

Enemy? Warrior? Alphard? "Is that the creep's name? Alphard?" She shrugged, attempting nonchalance. The thought of a battle sent more adrenaline coursing through her, but she successfully kept the tremble out of her voice. "If he's going to kill me, then he'll be picking a fight, for sure. But I still have to go home. I have school tomorrow!" And I'm about to collapse where I stand.

"You will be dead by then. With this knowledge, I cannot allow you to leave." Her first reaction was hurt because of his lack of faith. Her second was anger at his insolence ... and her own stupidity, in any use of the term.

"And what're you going to do?" she snapped. "Truss me up and throw me over your shoulder?" She was suddenly scared. This man was a complete stranger, and he was trying to take control of her life. If she didn't get away, she could be in greater danger than she'd been in before.

"If that is what must occur, then so be it." He took another step closer, and this time she did back away. His eyes had both a predatory and a guilty look, one that threw all her defenses up before she could consciously think about it.

"Stay back!" she warned, trying to glare into those beautiful blue eyes. She felt her heart jack hammering in her chest and blamed it on the torrent of epinephrine flooding her entire body. "I don't want to fight, but I will if I must."

His eyes grew sad, and her knees went weak. "Then I am sorry," he replied quietly. Her body reached for him, hearing that sad sound. She felt almost sick with herself. She trembled, keeping herself from throwing herself on him and comforting him. "You do not wish to come willingly, but you must if you are to survive."

Her eyes widened. "And why should I trust you?! I don't even know your name!"

"Alphard spoke it. My name is Saiph."

"Ara," she found herself saying, but instantly regretted it. She hated giving away any information of herself, especially people she didn't know. "This doesn't mean we're suddenly friends." She looked around, then spread her arms, a sign that told her weary body how tired she was. She'd just left herself open. "And just where would we be going? I'm not saying I will go!" she added quickly, feeling her hands shaking and hoping he didn't notice.

He did, his eyes watching her hands for a short moment. He kept his gaze there, and she felt almost as if she'd been freed from a trance. "We have a base about two or three miles from here."

"We? Base?" She realized she'd said those words out loud and threw her hands up in disgust. "Nevermind. Screw this; I'm leaving."

She turned to go, huffing and shaking almost violently, but was grabbed around her waist by a strong, warmly masculine arm. She found herself being pressed against Saiph's chest.

Her breath hitched at the contact, and she found herself melting into the warmth of his odd embrace, sinking into the sudden feeling of rightness; she could hardly breath from the beauty of the feeling. His body, where the armor didn't cover him, was warm and hard and unyielding, a presence that was making her lose her senses and had the trembling turn from adrenaline overload to something entirely different. Yet, his armor was cool on her back. She shivered in reaction.

"Come," Saiph said, his breath whispering on her ear and driving her wild, "I know that you are not foolish. Already I have seen this in you. Use your senses! That man meant what he said. If you leave the safety of my sight, it will be your death!"

If she left his sight? She shivered again. Would he guard her with his life? That scared her for some reason. Saiph.

Dammit, she couldn't bloody concentrate with his arm around her and his skin against her back! Her shirt couldn't even begin to stop the heat from circling into her gut. No one had been so bold as to touch her before, let alone hold her to him so intimately. And, oh, it felt so wonderful, curled up against him, his crotch settled at the base of her spine-

Holy Hell!

She struggled suddenly in his grasp, but his arm was unyielding and her squirming only helped to fit her more snugly against him. Her breathing just stopped, and her heart halted for a few horrifying seconds before pounding faster than a hummingbird's would have. Enough of this! "Let go of me," she growled, and he seemed to reluctantly comply. Thank God. She hopped away and glared at him.

And got lost in his eyes...

"Dammit!" she roared, turning away. She had to think logically, and he sure as hell wasn't helping. Maybe her little hike through the woods hadn't been as brilliant a plan as she'd thought. She certainly hadn't cleared her head.

She had no idea what she was up against here. A man with armor and a weapon that could kill her in a variety of nasty ways. And he could disappear in the blink of an eye!

Oh, she wished she knew what to do. She found that she trusted Saiph despite everything -such was shown by the easiness by which she thought his name. But why? She never trusted anyone, not even her friends and family. Was it because he had saved her? No, that would bring feelings of guilt and obligation, and though she felt guilt, she felt no obligation to him. Just a ... a need to be with him. And the guilt was for causing trouble for him. It wasn't that.

But should she go with him? Risk her future, her education, risk everything for something she didn't understand and someone she didn't know? Her mother would be absolutely furious. But hadn't she already put herself at risk?

Her teachers would be worried, along with her friends. There would be no way to tell anyone where she was and why she was there. And no one would believe her, anyway. She would just be leaving and never coming back. How long would she be gone? Long enough to fail the marking period, she was sure. Maybe ... never. What would she be getting herself involved in?

Scratch that. What had she gotten herself involved in?

"Make up your mind now," Saiph told her, his voice both annoyed and infinitely patient. "Will you walk beside me, or shall I carry you?"

"Touch me and die," she snapped irritably, still thinking. The remark had slipped out before she could stop it, but she didn't bother taking it back. The last thing she needed was him touching her again and making her lose her concentration to the point of no return. But just the brief thought of him touching her reminded her of the heat she'd left and the feelings that had swamped her. The feelings that had made her heart trip hammer, the emotions that had made her body turn to jelly as nothing else ever had, even when she'd been forced to fight her mother. He had made her feel. Feel in big, bold capital letters. Need. Desire. And more.

Focus!

Dammit, she didn't understand anything here. Why did they wear armors? What were those armors made of? Why were they fighting? What had started everything? Why had she suddenly been targeted? Why did they seem so similar, at least in the form of their outfits? And, speaking of their outfits, why were the armors so strange -covering only parts of his body? Their bodies.

Don't think of Saiph!

Shit, she'd just thought his name again. What was wrong with her?! Why couldn't she just stinking concentrate ?!

She noticed that Saiph's hand was around her wrist and mentally slapped herself. Oh. That's why. She angrily wrenched her trapped limb free. "Don't touch me!"

"I don't wish to stand here all day, Ara!"

Her name on his lips froze them both. Her mind whirled as her senses perked up one more time. Her name sounded so lovely, so sweet, as it was carried on the wind by his voice. As if his voice showed all beauty. As if his voice was the beauty.

She struggled to find her voice, though she knew that it held no comparison with his. "Then take a walk." It was a lame and pathetic line, chiefly because her voice was soft and still almost cracked. But she was proud of the fact that she had gotten anything out at all. It was more than she could have hoped at that point. And her mind couldn't think of anything intelligent, anyway, so it was probably a good thing that her voice had suddenly died.

Wasn't she frigid? Hadn't she been? She'd seen hundreds of both men and women and had never been interested. What was so different about him? Other than the fact that he was only covering half his chest. She'd seen a guy's chest once, for a brief time. She'd turned her head before she'd been caught staring, since she'd been the only one gawking. But the interest hadn't taken such a strong hold of her. Was it because he kept touching her?

But every time he spoke, her heart fluttered oddly. And whenever he moved, her senses tingled in heightened awareness. She couldn't explain what was happening because she was rational. This wasn't rational, from the armored men to the sudden ... lust that was circulating through her veins. And she didn't like it. She prided herself on being able to understand her emotions. Why couldn't she now? Dammit, she was off-balance, and she couldn't seem to right herself. She wanted ... Saiph. Wanted him. As in need. It was ... beyond any emotion she'd ever felt, even the feelings of sadness and hatred and self-loathing that she'd felt numerous times. It was like ... a higher feeling, sent from God himself. She couldn't understand herself, and that observation frightened her immeasurably.

"Dammit, make up your mind now ."

"Fuck you, Saiph!" she shouted, bulldozing ahead despite having spoken his name out loud. "This is bloody well serious to me!"

"Yes, it is!" She realized that he'd hit the end of his endurance, and was ready for her acceptance or dismissal and what consequences either would bring. He wanted action. Oh, she'd give him action, all right. "You come with me or you die! How difficult could this decision be ?!"

She exploded on him, her frustration finding an easy outlet. "You don't understand! How could you be so bloody ignorant ?! I'm leaving everything I knew behind if I go with you! Everything I am!" She tried to stop herself from speaking, knowing how much trouble she usually got herself into when her mouth went on autopilot, but couldn't. She prayed she wouldn't say anything incriminating about what her thoughts had been mainly focused on and let go. "I'm losing my home, my family, my friends, my life , and I don't know when I'd be returning, if at all! And everything I am now ... will have changed. I wouldn't be the same, and everyone wouldn't understand. They'd expect me to be the same, and I've changed ... and I'll change even more, and then ... I wouldn't be the person that they'd been worried about; I'd be someone new." She forced herself to stop when she heard the sadness etching into her voice. "So just bugger off, pal!" She kept her mouth shut then and tried to keep from spewing out any more of her guts. That had been close.

He fell silent, but she found it impossible to turn from his gaze. His eyes were mesmerizing in their intensity. And the blue was so exact, so ... intense. She'd already said that word in her mind, so she tried to come up with something else. Powerful? Vivid? No word she knew could describe it. The gaze was just ... intense, and she found herself unable to look away. The eyes pulled words out of her that she'd attempted to keep sealed. "I ... I have to know ... some things..."

"Like what?"

She didn't want to answer that, but his eyes demanded an answer, and she couldn't seem to deny him anything, even something so small as a sort of explanation. "Like ..." She stopped the first ten or so answers that came to her mind and selected something safer. Her hand moved vaguely when she said it, and she saw it as a distracting move to keep his mind -and eyes- somewhere else. "Like your armor. Your ..." Her eyes fell to his waist, and damned if they only stayed on his sword for a moment before sizing up his shapely legs, then the place where they met. She found herself speaking of something completely different then. "I ... I don't understand..."

"Then I will try to explain." Her mind went skidding. He would try to explain ... what? His hips shifted, and her eyes darted up guiltily as he came to stand directly in front of her. Her neck craned back to look him in the eye. He was tall. And hot. And big.

Oh, hell.

She tried to back up, but she found her wrists chained by his firm hands. Her eyes studied the metal around his fingers, at the tiny chinks that made it possible for him to clench and unclench his fist. She looked back into his eyes, and she was startled to see him smile. "I won't hurt you."

"I don't know that," she whispered, scared and yet not afraid, if that made any sense. She trusted him with everything. Everything ... but ... he could hurt her. Because she trusted him. It was a dangerous trust. And yet, he was so beautiful, the smile that faded from his face had been so sweet, so lovely, and she felt her heart plummet when it finally vanished. "I think ..." I think I'm falling, and it's quite ridiculous. "I think ..." I think you're the most beautiful man I have ever met, and I want to touch you more than anything. "I think ..." I think I'm losing my heart as I look into your cobalt eyes. "I think ..." I think I finally believe in love at first sight.

"I think you'll have to carry me."

A/N: ... Review?