Until Morning
By: Megan R. Riffey

Summary: I have been chosen. By what? By Whom? I do not know. I should be dead, but am not, instead I am a Slayer, born to protect the innocent from the Night Walkers, and place myself in harm's way.

Prologue
Unknown Ally

Seven Monks chanted slowly beginning one by one, until all of them had formed in a perfect circle, surrounding a child, lying in the center. They prayed in a language that was once believed to have been long forgotten, except by few. They knew what prowled the gates, waiting for their defenses to lapse to gain access to their holy temple. They knew... knew they had to bless this child with every power they had left in order to keep the evil a bay.

The Monks felt the instant the evil had penetrated their temple, felt the power and raw evil flood into their once scared ground. They knew what death awaited them, it had been prophesized, as had the child. They could not change their destiny, but they vowed to change the child's. They knew within moments their lives would cease to exist, and the real battle for both the child and the man would begin.

They had given her a curse, and a gift to be the next Slayer, to fight the undead, the Night Walkers, until the last breath left her body, or until he came to claim her.

-------------------------------------

A little girl cried softly into the silent night, once filled with anger as blood slowly engulfed her body. A small groan from near by aroused the attention of a man so powerful, his eyes burn redder than the sun. Mortal he was not, nor human, but a creature of the night, a Night Walker.

He walked cautiously to the dying Monk, and keeled beside him. The Monk knew what his man or beast was, knew he was so powerful, he could easily protect the future Slayer. He knew he had to bless this man to bind himself to this child for all of eternity.

The immortal grabbed the Monks hand, and looked directly into the Monk's eyes, knowing, all the memories, and the prophecy contained within the Monk line.

"Please...do not let her die because of us." The Monk slowly laid his head back down onto the ground, before passing into the afterlife.

Other Night Walkers walked slowly around the child contained within the center, watching and waiting for the little child to react to them. Inside of crying more, instead of reacting to their hissing and clawing, the little girl stopped altogether. Cautiously eying the creatures to determine whether she could trust them as she would her parents. One creature, with two extended fangs looked up at the immortal man with fire in his eyes.

"We must kill her. You know what she will become, we were too late to stop the ceremony." The immortal man looked around the room, aware of all the eyes on him, and made a decision, knowing what it would cost him later.

"No, we will not. She will live for now, till she can become a Slayer. Her family has not angered me in a way they have angered you. No, she will live, while I live." The creatures looked angered, hissing, and clawing at the ground. They all stood up, deciding to take matters into their own hands.

"We will not, sire. She is one of them, she must die. We must kill her with our bare hands.

"We will take the blood from her very body until she can breathe no more."

The immortal was angered by the display of rebellion. He stood straight and tall, before holding his arms out, calling forth his true power. Wave after wave rippled through the temple, knocking Night Walkers down onto the ground.

"It would be wise not to question me, servant. Or have you forgotten so soon who I am?"

"As it would be wise to kill the child. She is the future, and you know, sire, what the prophecy says about her. She will doom us all if we let her live." The creatures hissed in contempt toward the child, ready to kill. "Including yourself, sire."

"That is a chance I am willing to take. I shall hear no more talk of killing the child. As of now, she is under my protection. Do not question me again."

Waves of power, like a heat wave, ran through the room, squeezing the life, and burning Night Walkers from the instead out.

"Sire, we are Vampires, creatures of the night, we cannot let her live. We must kill her, and if you cannot, we will."

The immortal did not seem concerned with the growing rage surrounding himself.

"Must I teach you a lesson?" Power ripped out like a hand, grabbing the vampire by the neck, and squeezing until one by one bones snapped, cracking until its head barely hung. Little blood poured out from his body because he had not fed yet. Another Night Walker burst into flames, clawing at himself to stop the pain.

Another grabbed the body before it hit the ground, determined to make a feast of the body, as it slowly snapped off the head from rest of the body and drinking what little blood there was. The immortal started turning away, sickened by the display the savages were placing for himself.

The ground began to shake as the immortal began to release his full power.

"Do not question me. I am wiser, powerful, and you are my servants. It would be wise not to forget your place within our society."

He knew, he was bound now, by this Monk, to forever protect this child as long as she lived. He knew, he was doomed to protect a slayer.