New story, woo! I know, I know, Corruption hasn't been updated for ages. I'm working on it, I promise. This idea popped into my head and refused to go away, so I started writing it and got really caught up in it. Hope you guys like.

White Rose

It was around eight o' clock, I think, when I heard the scream of the alarm from the prison. The sound that could only mean one thing: a criminal was on the loose. Rain was pounding on the windows, and the winter night was pitch black by then. Alone in my house, I was more than a little scared.

Perhaps I should explain a bit more about me, first, rather than jumping straight into the story. My name's Eleanor Brasston, I'm nineteen and I go to university here in Surrey. I'm hoping to get a degree in Archaeology. I live in a ground-floor flat with Charlie, my gay best friend. The flat's really lovely, as is the area, except for the prison down the road, which is probably why the rent's so cheap. But we've never had any problems before- it's maximum security, so there's not really any danger. The alarm been there ages, as a last measure of security. A kind of, "lock all your doors, bar all your windows, don't venture outdoors," thing. Never thought I'd actually hear it, though.

The alarm sirens made me nervous, there was no doubt about that, but what could I do? I couldn't go outside, it was too dangerous. That was the whole point of the alarm. So I locked the front door and settled down with a book. Charlie would be home soon, and then I'd feel better. I became engrossed in my book, and didn't notice the ten minutes that passed.

I had just got up to fetch a drink when there was a knock at the front door. I froze. Charlie had a key- he wouldn't knock. And who would be coming to visit with the alarm still blaring out? I was too scared to answer it. Then, I heard the smash of someone breaking the small pane of glass next to the door. I say small, but it was big enough for someone to climb through. The flat was being broken into!

I tried to convince myself that it might not be the escaped convict, just a petty burglar, but it was highly unlikely. It was too big a coincidence. I couldn't help hoping, though.

Taking a few steps into the kitchen, I picked up the biggest knife I could find, waiting grimly for the intruder to come into view. I suppose I should have hidden really, but the thought of someone stealing all my things made me angry. That, coupled with the fact I had no insurance, made me determined to confront the person.

All of a sudden, Will Rafirez was standing in the doorway of my kitchen. Will Rafirez, the most feared and dangerous murderer in the world. In my kitchen. I didn't even see him approaching. One minute there was an empty space, then he was there. I dropped the knife in shock, something I deeply regretted later. It skidded across the kitchen, resting about five metres from where I stood.

Now, can I just say at this point that he looked better in real life than in the photos. Mind you, I only saw him on the photo they take when they go into prison, and that's hardly flattering. You know, the one with the white background and the name underneath? I always thought that the photographer must tell them to pull the most sinister face they can and glare at the camera, because they all look like they've got a stick shoved up their backside.

So anyway, the bit where an insane murderer's in my kitchen. He was wearing a grey prison outfit, his wild black hair looking even messier than usual. His eyes were the most distinguishing thing about him, being so dark you could hardly tell where the iris and pupil were separated. Those eyes were remarkable, with a kind of restrained ferocity in them mixed with insanity.. They were the only part of him that showed how dangerous he was, and it frightened me to look in them. At that moment, he had me fixed with an intense stare. His face was pale, which was to be expected after five years of not being outside, and clean-shaven.

In one hand he loosely held a black gun. It hung harmlessly (for now) by his side.

"Good evening," he said politely. I have to admit, I was more than a little surprised. His accent was calm and cultured, which is not really how I imagined a delinquent to speak. "May I borrow your car?"

I just stood there, with my mouth open. I probably looked a lot like a fish.

"Why?" I finally managed to spit out, then realised what a stupid question it was.

"Well, I need to get away from here rather quickly. I might get put back in jail, otherwise," he explained unnecessarily.

"If I say no, will you kill me?" Guess that might not have been one of the brightest questions to ask, either.

He gave a dangerous smile. "Maybe."

"OK!" My voice went all high and funny. "I'll just get the keys!" I hurriedly picked them up off the kitchen counter and, not wanting to go any nearer, threw them to him.

"Thank you very much." His voice went back to being soft and polite. He turned around and started towards the front door, then turned back. "Oh yes… I'd like you to accompany me."

"In the car?" My voice was hysterical by now. "Can't you just go by yourself?"

He gave an apologetic smile. "I'm afraid I don't know the area. And it's been five years since I've driven a car; I may be a little rusty. And I'd hate to accidentally knock someone over and kill them."

I gave a little whimper of fear. Ignoring it, he walked towards the front door and beckoned me to follow. Not knowing what else to do, I stumbled after him. One last look of longing at the knife, but it was too far away. I'd be dead before I reached it.

I tried, feebly, to reason with him. "Mr Kaplinsky, at number 11, he's a taxi driver, I'm sure he'd be better than me…" I trailed off when I saw his smile widen.

"But I want you to drive me," he told me. "Besides, yours is the only car with blacked-out windows."

I cursed Charlie for choosing the damn windows. At the time he thought it'd make him James Bond. Now look where it had gotten me.

The small, rational part of my brain was whispering, "Charlie will be home soon. He'll be here now. He'll do something. He will." The larger, irrational part of my brain was screaming, "Oh my God! Will Rafirez! I'm going to die! He's going to kill me!"I tried to ignore them both as I trailed behind the killer, finally reaching the car. The space had a little number 2 before it- our apartment number- which is how Rafirez had known which one to go to. The car was a black Porsche Boxter- a two seater, which was all me and Charlie had ever needed. Cost a fortune, as well. I prayed to God that Charlie would get it back- with me in it.

There was no one in sight, which is exactly how I'd expected it to be. No one would risk coming outside after the prison alarm. Rafirez unlocked the car and slid into the passenger's seat, looking at me expectantly. I swallowed hard and climbed into the driver's seat, ever aware of the gun the murderer held. He had yet to take any notice of it at all.

"Um, where do you want to go?" I asked when we were both seated.

"London," he said decidedly. I almost- almost- asked him what for, but decided not to.

"I'm sorry, I'm being very rude. I haven't even asked your name."

"Eleanor Brasston," I said quietly, in the vague hope that he might not hear it correctly. I knew he had.

He moved the gun up slightly, and I gasped in fear. He froze, and looked at me, smiling wickedly. I wished desperately I hadn't made the noise.

The next thing I knew, he was leant over me, the gun pressed against the side of my neck. I sat completely still, forcing myself not to make a sound. His face was right next to my ear, and when he spoke I felt his warm breath against it.

"Are you scared, Miss Brasston?" he whispered. "Scared I'm going to kill you? Just think: left here in the car, bleeding to death, no one would find your body for a long time. Who's going to be brave enough to come out looking for you? Especially when, shortly, the reporters and their cameras come, telling everyone in the country that I'm free."

Complete fear took over me. I was hyperventilating, panting for breath, but still I dared not move. Rafirez began moving the gun around my neck. "If I shot you here, the bullet would go straight through the carotid artery. You'd be dead in seconds." He moved the gun slightly. "Or, if I shot you here, the bullet would bypass the major artery. That would give you a few minutes to die, in great pain. What do you think, Miss Brasston? Where should I shoot you?"

Silent tears were running down my cheeks. I could see the insanity flash in his eyes. All I could feel was the cold barrel of the gun against my neck, and Rafirez's mouth next to my ear. They say when you're about to die, you get flashbacks of your life, or you see a long white tunnel. Well, I saw none of that, just pure, unadulterated fear.

After what seemed like a lifetime, he moved the gun away and put it in the glove compartment, leaning back into his seat with a delighted laugh. I took deep breaths, trying to get myself under control, fiercely wiping my eyes.

"Drive," he said, once I had sufficiently regained my composure. "And stay off the main roads. How long will it take to drive to London?"

"Which- which part?" I asked hoarsely.

"The West End. There's someone at the Royal Theatre I need to see. How long?"

"About two hours," I estimated. "The traffic will be terrible." He nodded.

Here I was, having a conversation about the traffic with a man who had just held a gun to my throat and threatened to kill me. What was the most terrifying was that he could switch from being insane and terrorizing to being quiet, polite and what seemed like a normal man.

As I pulled out of the car park, I racked my brain for all the information I knew about Will Rafirez. I had only been fifteen when he was caught and sent to jail. It had been huge at the time, and certainly got Scotland Yard a few brownie points. It was amazing that he had even been caught, considering his record.

The murders had started a few months before. I remember that I wasn't allowed to go out with my friends, and Mum or Dad went with me everywhere. We were living in London then, so they had all the more reason to be worried. More people would be found dead every day, and all killed in the most horrific ways. There was no motive, as far as anyone could tell. The only way people knew it was the same killer was by the single white rose left on the body. The papers nicknamed him the Thorn.

Everyone was hunting for him. Detectives were sent over from America, Canada, China, Japan and most of Europe. Even the French helped us. But he was too clever for them, always one step ahead. He even sometimes left little messages, giving clues. He seemed to enjoy taunting them… the police were at their wits' end. Finally, after four months, they got him.

Will Rafirez was the last person anyone would expect to be the murderer. Twenty-one, an Oxford graduate, with a degree in criminal psychology. Ironic, I suppose. At one point he was even asked for his help with solving the murders. He came from a respectable family, and, apart from his intelligence, there was nothing unusual about him.

And here he was, in my car. He gave me an enigmatic smile. "Having fun, Miss Brasston?"

My plan was to get to London, let him get out and do whatever he wanted, then drive away. I'd go to the police and pray to God he'd never come looking for me.

-End of Chapter-

Reviews are, as always, greatly appreciated. -hint hint- Chapter 2 will be up soon.