''Please can I come play?''

The small girl whined, she had been following them ever since they left the house. She was sweet and pretty, with dark brunette curls and big blue eyes, surrounded by long think lashes. A cluster of freckles dotted over her cheeks and nose, and right now her pale lips were in a pout. To all the adults she was adorable, to the three boys, her older brother and his two best friends she was just annoying.

''Mary, go home and play with your dolls or something'' said her brother. He was the male version of her, with the same freckles, big eyes and hair, but was five years older.

'But I wanna play' she moaned as she scrambled up the rocks behind them.

''Boys and girls can't play together Mary, go back to the house'' said Jack, the eldest of the three. At thirteen he was already big for his age, and with his light blonde hair and dark brown eyes, all the girls his age had fallen madly in love with him, which he was well aware of.

''Yeah!'' Danny piped up, the youngest.

''Plus, even if you weren't a girl, you're still too young'' he said flipping back his floppy black hair and walking away from her.

''I'm not to young!'' Mary protested, stamping her foot on the rock

''I'm nearly eight!''

The boys only laughed at her.

''Yeah, and I'm eleven'' teased Danny

''Which is waaaay older than you''

He poked his tongue out and she did it in return.

Their laughter was stopped as they heard the familiar cry of ''Mary?! Where are you?'' as a rotund, rosy cheeked old woman came through the trees.

''Ah, there you are!'' she sighed as she leant up towards the young Mary and pulled at her hand for her to come down off the rock.

'Come now child'' she said gently

'Your father would not be happy if he knew you were out here'.

At the mention of her father Mary instantly clambered down to her nanny.

''And you boys better not have been encouraging her'' the old woman scowled.

The three boys all shook their heads in reply, which the woman seemed pleased with. She smiled at them and warned them to be safe before heading back towards the hand, pulling Mary along with her.

''Stupid boys'' Mary muttered

''They always get away with everything''.

Shortly after she turned eight, Mary was sent across the sea to live with her Aunt Anna.

The three boys, even though they denied it, were devastated the loss of the girl they had come to accept as their mascot. Her brother Charles especially, who refused to talk to his father for months after he had sent her away.

Sir William Creen, who had found it hard to even see his young daughter, had decided that sending Mary off to live with a female relative was the best option for her, and for him. The child was the spitting image of her mother.

His wife had died in childbirth, and even now, eight years later, he found the memory of her too painful. His solution was to get rid of the reminder.

He said his reasons were that his daughter needed a female role model, to teach her how to become a lady, and one day to become a good wife to – well, he hadn't decided that yet, but he would.

Of course, Mary refused to go, and had to be dragged out of her room and into the awaiting carriage by the butler as she kicked, screamed, sobbed and yelled. Eventually she gave in, but only so she was able to give her big brother one last hug.

'Don't worry Mary' he said softly as her tears dripped onto his shirt

'You'll be back one day'

She sniffed and looked up at him with her big blue eyes

'If father won't let me come back, will you come and rescue me?'

He laughed and pinched her cheek

'You know I will'.

She reached up on tip-toes to give him a peck on the cheek, and ran up into the carriage ready to take her away from her beloved brother.

After that nothing was the same. Within five years the three best friends were all sixteen, and left to join the army.

Sir Creen slipped into alcoholism and depression, and he was rarely seen out of his office.

They didn't hear much from Mary, she wrote to Charles for the first year or so, until suddenly the letters stopped. Everyday at breakfast Charles would ask when she could come home, to which his father would reply

''When she is ready''

In other words, when he had found a suitably wealthy man, hopefully a Lord or Baron to marry her off to.

The War had started when all three boys were still in the army, and for three years all hopes of Mary returning home had to be put aside.

Their enemy was swift, fast and deadly, and it was a miracle the three of them survived. But eventually, the Dark forces took control of the land, and they were forced to pledge their allegiance to the new King.

And so, now, as Charles wanted Mary to actually stay put, where she was safe, she had to return, this was the new law, they were under a new rule.

She would come back to find her home and the boys she loved completely changed, many of her other loved ones dead or turned. The boys were now men, and her home land was now governed by the Vampires, Demons, Werewolves and other creatures of evil.