"I'm home, Kelsey!" I called as I stepped through the front door. Strangely, there wasn't an answer.

The lights were off in the living room. Maybe she's still on her date, I thought. But no, her date—with Damien, I think she said—had been yesterday. She should have been home by now. Shrugging my shoulders, I headed down the hallway—not bothering to turn on any lights—towards my refuge, my room.

As I opened the door, I realized just how tired I really was. A night at Ariel's could do that. Besides, I probably wouldn't have slept better even if I was in my own bed. Yesterday had been eventful, if you could even call it that.

I sat my bag—Ariel let me borrow one of hers because I hadn't been prepared to stay at her house—with my dress and shoes in it on the foot of my bed. I walked over to my dresser and pulled out a white tank top and my dark purple pajama pants. I jerked off the t-shirt and jeans that I'd also borrowed from Ariel, and replaced them with my pajamas.

After I finished, I retrieved the torturous dress and the death traps that were shoes from the bag. I added them to the pile of folded clothes on my desk and stuffed Ariel's clothes into the now empty bag, which I then zipped up and sat beside the nightstand.

Yawning, I sprawled out on my bed and closed my eyes. I tried to drown my wandering thoughts in the silence so I could sleep, but Fate had other plans for me.

There was a loud noise, like something crashing or falling.

I shot up from my position on the bed. Blinking, I fumbled with the lamp on the nightstand, searching for the switch. I stood up after I turned it on.

What the crap was that? my mind screamed.

With a little luck, the house wasn't on fire again. But it could be something else…

After a quick glance in the direction of my window, I noticed that it was still closed. I breathed a sigh of relief. Nobody had broken into the house—at least not through this window.

Suddenly wary that there could be somebody in the house, I searched the room frantically for a weapon of some sort.

My eyes locked onto a tall object in the corner of the room. A baseball bat, left over from the time Kelsey had tried desperately to interest me in sports when I was nine.

It'll do, I thought as I darted over to it.

Armed with a metal baseball bat, I cautiously opened the door leading to the hallway. When I stepped into the hall, I concentrated on trying to hear another sound, any other sound.

A muffled cry came from the direction of Kelsey's bedroom.

Without thinking twice about it, I gripped the bat tighter and headed swiftly, yet vigilantly, towards the door at the end of the hall. Wherever I passed a doorway, I subconsciously glanced sideways to see if there was anyone there.

After what seemed like an eternity, I made it to the end of the hallway. I slowly twisted the doorknob and opened the door a crack, peering through it.

I squinted to see through the darkness. After failing, I opened the door wider. The light pouring out of my bedroom somehow leaked through it, and I could see faintly what had been making the sounds.

Sprawled on the floor, tied to what appeared to be a desk chair, was Kelsey.

"Oh my God! Kelsey!" I cried as I dropped the baseball bat and lunged toward her. I collapsed onto the floor beside her.

I wasn't sure if she could hear me, or if she was even conscious. "Can you hear me? What happened? Oh God. Say something!" I tried again as I reached for her hands, which were tied together behind her.

"Ughhh…" she mumbled.

I stopped trying to untie her hands and released them. "Kelsey?" I asked frantically. "Say something!"

"I… how… why?" She couldn't form a proper sentence, so I couldn't understand what she was trying to say.

Kelsey weakly opened her eyes, which I now saw were red and swollen from crying. "He's not… human," she started again.

My eyes widened in horror. Not human? Who? My mind skimmed over the amazingly short list of supernatural beings that I knew of. Kelsey's attacker wasn't female, so it couldn't have been Darcy or Dawn. Viktor wouldn't have harmed her, that I was sure of. And as for Gabriel, well I don't know him well but, he seems sane. How many freaking vampires can be in a town as small as Ramsey?

Shaking my head, I returned my attention to untying Kelsey's hands. After a moment of struggle, I realized that wrapped around her small hands were thick ropes, the kind nobody uses anymore. Somebody had planned to attack Kelsey.

"Who did this to you?" I whispered, biting back tears as I pulled one thin wrist free. She didn't answer, so I assumed she had slipped back into unconsciousness. I reached a hand up to brush away a few stray teardrops that had managed to escape.

After I finished with her hands, I realized that I was still on the floor. I pushed myself backwards to see Kelsey better. I almost choked when I did.

She was wearing a dress. Not just a dress, either. It was the dress that she had picked out to wear on her date with Damien, the date that was yesterday. Just how long had she been tied to this chair, locked up in her bedroom?

"Kali?" she mumbled, startling me.

I darted back to her side. "Yeah. I'm here," I somehow managed to choke out.

She pulled her hands out from behind her and used them to prop herself up from her position on the floor. She had been laying on her side, with the chair still under her. Now, she shoved the chair away and looked down at herself. "I'm sorry," she said softly when she was sitting comfortably beside me.

"Sorry?" I repeated, not understanding why she was apologizing. "Why?"

"Because," she began, her voice distant and weak, "I'm supposed to be the strong one."

I managed a laugh; dry, but a laugh all the same. "You are strong. You're still alive, aren't you?"

"B-barely," she stuttered.

"It's going to be alright. We'll find who did this, and everything will go back to normal," I reassured her.

"That's just it," she said, her voice hushed, frightened. "I know who did it, but I can't remember."

I heard a faint sound coming from somewhere in the house. I turned my head slowly towards the open doorway, but other than that, I paid it no mind; I had bigger problems at the moment. Besides, it was probably just the wind blowing something through an open window; the doors and windows in this house have a tendency to open at ungodly hours. The incident with the fire, for instance.

As if her words had just struck a nerve, I snapped my head back towards her. "What?" I croaked. "What do you mean you 'can't remember?'" I must have startled Kelsey, because she jerked away from me. "Sorry," I murmured.

"It's not you. It's just… I thought I heard footsteps." She shook her head. "It's nothing."

"Alright." After a few seconds of silence, I spoke again, my voice quieter and barely audible this time. "What happened?"

"I… I can't remember everything."

"Just start at the beginning. What happened after I left?" I asked, concerned, with a hint of urgency in my voice.

Kelsey took a deep breath before she began. "After you left," she paused and took another breath, "I was reading a book. I still had some time before I had to get ready for the date. After about an hour, I decided to go take a shower and get ready. It took less time than expected to get myself dressed and all, so I decided to go back to reading. Almost as soon as I sat down, the doorbell rang. Damien wasn't supposed to be here for another twenty minutes, so I got up to see who it was.

"When I opened the door, I was shocked. I can't remember why though. Anyway, the person came inside and sat down. We started talking and… and…" Kelsey trailed off, unsure of what she was trying to say. Seconds passed before she spoke again. "Then he pulled something out of his pocket—a cloth, I think—and put it over my mouth. The last thing I remember was being dragged down the hallway, into this room. After that, the only thing I recall was waking up in complete darkness and trying to move. That's when I knocked the chair—and myself—over."

I nodded. That was the noise I'd heard. I stared off into space, thinking about what she'd said. It made sense; she was acting like this because she was drugged.

Tears welled up in my eyes again. Kelsey was drugged, attacked. And I wasn't here to help her. But it wasn't my fault. If I'd known this would've happened, I never would have left Kelsey's side.

Then I realized something else. "You've been in here for almost an entire day!" I exclaimed. "You could have starved!"

"I'm okay," she said. As if to prove her point, she reached for the wall and used it to pull herself up. She made it to a standing point, but collapsed just as quickly. Luckily, I caught her before she hit the floor.

Kelsey seemed so small, so fragile, right now. We were nearly the same size—she was an inch or two taller—yet she looked so helpless and lost in her current state.

I slowly and gently helped her to her feet, and then assisted in laying her on her bed. "Stay here while I go get you something to eat. Try and remember who the person was, okay?" I worriedly looked back at her. Once I saw her nod her head slowly, I walked out of the room, leaving the door wide open.

I wrapped my arms around my waist and staggered down the hallway. As I did so, I glanced out the window. It was nearly dark now, but it couldn't have been past five o'clock. The days seemed so short now.

When I reached the kitchen, I went directly to the refrigerator. I pulled out a pack of sliced ham and two pieces of cheese. Then I retrieved a plate and a loaf of bread from a cabinet and sat them on the granite island. I started opening the pack of meat, but the phone rang, interrupting me.

"Of all the times the freaking phone has to ring," I grumbled under my breath as I walked over to the wall beside the doorway where it was attached. "Hello?" I asked into the receiver, trying—and failing—to sound cheerful.

"Hello?" a voice replied, sounding breathless. "Kali?"

"Viktor?" I asked, shocked. The sudden suspicion that he was Kelsey's attacker crept into my thoughts. I pushed them away. "What is it?"

"Are you okay?" he inquired, panting.

"Of course. Are you? You don't sound very good." I clutched the phone to my ear with my shoulder and proceeded to fix Kelsey's food.

"Never mind that. Are you sure you're alright? What about Kelsey? Is she okay?" I noticed that his voice sounded pained, almost forced. Again I shoved away the suspicion from earlier. He wouldn't, I told myself.

"She's not, actually. She was attacked. But—"

"Attacked?" Viktor asked, no emotion whatsoever in his voice this time.

"Yeah, but she's alright now," I lied, suddenly frightened at the way Viktor was acting. "I have to go—"

"Wait! He's—" I hung up and slammed the phone on the table.

I inhaled deeply to calm myself down. I walk over to the cabinet and pulled out a glass. After filling it with tap water, I retrieved the plate with the food on it and began walking back towards Kelsey's room. I left the door open so the light would still pour into the room.

"Here you go," I said cheerfully as I placed the food on the nightstand beside her bed.

"Thanks," she replied, and—with some effort—smiled.

Suddenly the light was blocked by something in the doorway. In the nearly nonexistent glow, I saw Kelsey's smile fade. I turned around slowly to see the figure.

"Didn't think I'd left, did you? I just had to pay a visit to baby brother."