He sat alone on a hill overlooking a small town at midnight

He sat alone on a hill overlooking a small town at midnight. Screams echoed through the night and he shivered. He hated these nights, the nights his brother dragged him along for hi, 'fun'. Those times had been becoming more and more frequent, ever since he was old enough to help. It made him sick, what his brother did. Every bad thing he could think of, his brother had done, and often times would make him do. He felt his insides give a lurch. The only reason Merik had allowed him to leave the city, was because he was 'having fun' with one of the townswomen. He placed his head in his hands and cried. Though he was sixteen, he still cried like a child.

An hour later, his brother came walking smugly up the hill, a grin on his face. When he got to the boy, he clapped him on the shoulder. "This was a good night Jacob, we had a lot of fun. Didn't we?" The question was more of a command. Jacob nodded sadly, tears in his eyes still. Merik smiled. "Good. Soon, I'll let you have a girl."

Jacob shivered. He couldn't imagine doing that to a girl. It was…disgusting, loathsome. There were times when he wanted to kill Merik, but the thought always died quickly. Merik was his brother, his only family. Without him, he would be lost. So no matter how much he hated what his brother did, Jacob couldn't do anything to stop it.

Merik slung his spear over his shoulder and began to walk away. "Come on slowpoke, we got places to go, business to attend to. There's a barmaid back in town his is itching for my company tonight." He smirked and Jacob sighed. Why did he have to be in this situation? His brother tormented him indirectly, but he could not deny that Merik took care of him. He loved his brother, yet hated him at the same time.

Jacob sighed as he rose and followed Merik with slumped shoulders. He would be stuck cleaning the cloths and spear of blood, he always was. The town they had taken residence in was what people called a 'Dintown'. All the outlaws and criminals congregated there and no one was bold enough to shut them down. Most people there borderline worshiped Merik for what he could do. Jacob was left alone. He liked it that way mostly, but loneliness crept up on him that night when they got back.

He sat in the stable outside the inn, cleaning the spear when the icy fingers sadness gripped his heart. He was alone in this world except for his brother. No one would miss him if he were gone. His brother wouldn't even care most likely. He looked at the point of the spear, at the offer it put forth to him. He gripped it in both hands and started shaking. After a few minutes, he lowered it. He wasn't even brave enough to end his own life. What was the point of trying to do anything? He drew his knees up and hugged them. Tears formed in his eyes and he would have cried, but a small voice whispered nearby.

"I-I would miss you Jacob." A small, raggedly dressed girl walked out of one of the stalls. The stable girl had seen and heard everything. "Don't leave Jacob, things will get better, they always do." She walked over to him with tears in her eyes as well. The girl was his age, though much smaller. She had long, black hair and oddly beautiful red eyes.

"A-Amerelle. You shouldn't talk to me. My brother may not like you." He looked away from her. She stepped closer and stroked his short blonde hair.

"Don't cry Jacob, it never helps. You'll find a way to escape him eventually." She gave him a small smiled despite he own tears.

Jacob looked at her. "How can you know? He dominates my life. I have no freedom. You shouldn't waste your time on me Amerelle, I'm a lost cause."

Amerelle suddenly hugged him. "You are not a lost cause. You are not worthless as you seem to think you are. There is always someone who cares for you Jacob. Even if he doesn't show it much, your brother loves you and cares for you. Jacob, I care for you."

Jacob froze. Could this be true. Someone actually cared for him, the pitiful brother of a monster. After a few moments, he wrapped his arms loosely around her. He shouldn't be so surprised; after all, it wasn't like she had hidden it before now. The problem was that he had been to blind to see it. He had cared for her for a while now, but was to scared to do anything about it. "I…I care for you too, Amerelle."

They held each other for a while, then broke apart reluctantly. She smiled softly at him. "I have to go. Father will begin to worry if I am gone to long. I'll talk to you some more tomorrow." She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and skipped away happily.

Jacob rubbed his cheek where her lips had touched. Somehow, that girl had just completely changed his view on things. He found he wanted to continue on, even if he had to endure his brother's whims. If she was there, he thought he could endure anything. Something about her just warmed him inside. After a year, he finally had been able to say how he felt about her. He picked up the spear and walked back to his room. Merik wouldn't be back for some time, he never was when he was with that girl, Cathy. He smiled s he lay down, life was getting better.

--\\\/--

The next morning, his resolve and happiness were considerably less. Doubt began to creep into his mind. So many things could go wrong. Merik could get angry and kill her or decide to leave town at any time. Her father could disapprove and keep them apart. She could realize what his brother was and be disgusted with him for it. So many things could go wrong that hope seemed like a frail twig compared to the mountain that was his fear.

Merik was still sleep, most likely drunk. He seemed to be more often than not now, and into worse things besides. Certain plants had been found that could…'alter' ones perception. All-in-all, things were already shaping up to be a bad day. When Merik slept late, he was up late and most of that time was spent hurting people. Jacob decided to get some time to himself before his daily nightmare began yet again, so he went to the stables in hopes of seeing Amerelle.

She was there of course, as she always was during the day, and greeted him with a smile. "Did you sleep well Jacob?"

He smiled back. "Very. Thank you for last night, you really cheered me up." He moved closer to her, wanting to be near her. "You have no clue how happy it made me."

Amerelle giggled. "You have no clue how happy it made me. I had waited so long for you to notice me and I simply had enough. To know that you shared my feelings this entire time, made me feel so warm inside."

Jacob smiled. "Same here." He was just in front of her now and took one of her hands. "You are…very pretty this morning." He blushed slightly and it was mirrored on her face.

"Your to nice." She looked away slightly, embarrassed yet happy. "Let us…get some breakfast."

Jacob nodded happily and smiled widely. Food was great. With her, it would be even better. The walked together to a small café and ate together. Afterwards, te just walked around the town for a bit until Merik walked up to them and gave Jacob a nod. He sighed and smiled sadly to Amerelle. "I have to go now, until tonight probably." The parted, not really wanting to, and looked at each other as long as they could.

When they were a ways away from the city Merik smirked at Jacob. "Got yourself a girlfriend I see. When do you plan on bedding the bitch?"

Jacob glared at him. "I have no intention of doing any such thing. I, unlike you, am actually interested in her as a person. I won't even think of such a thing for a long while." He folded his arms and looked away.

Merik chuckled. "Sure. Just wait. After a month you'll have had her. You're a guy, and that's how a guys mind works." He gave Joseph a shove. "Get your mind off of her and focus on what were doing tonight. You are going to use the spear tonight."

Jacob froze. "No…I wont do it. I have done everything else you have asked of me, but I will not take a life." He stood firm and stared at Merik.

Meriks face twitched. "You won't huh?" He grabbed Jacob's throat in one quick movement. "You will do what I tell you to do you whelp! I am what keeps you alive in this world, so you will do what I say you will do! Never, never think you can deny me!"

He held Jacob there for a moment, then released him and tossed him the spear. Jacob had tears in his eyes, but he picked up the tool of death. He said nothing, only followed Merik forward, towards another city that would taste the seeds of sorrow. This time, at the hands of Jacob.

When they arrived, it was dark. Merik motioned for him to enter before him and Jacob did not have the will to defy him again. He walked into the city and was confronted by a woman asking if he needed anything. Merik smirked and squeezed his shoulder. Jacob looked up at the woman with emotionless eyes. With one motion, he severed the woman's head with the spear. Pain ripped at his heart, but he kept going.

Soon, the town grew aware of what he was doing and the men came out to fight him. His emotionless eyes never changed as he danced with them, slicing of arms and heads with every stroke. They never stood a chance. The ground began to take on a red hue as the night progressed as did his clothing and skin. Blood was the predominant smell in the air. Merik was laughing the entire time. He loved the thing he had created in his brother.

When all the men where dead, he began entering the houses one by one, slaughtering the residence, whether they be women or children. He finally came back to himself when he was standing over the form of a crying six year old girl and looked in horror at the corpses of the girl's family, at what he had done. The girl was so afraid she couldn't even look up at him. He fell to his knees, tears coming to his eyes. "Oh god, what have I done."

Merik growled at him. "You aren't done yet. There is one left." He grabbed the spear from Jacob and stabbed it through the girls head. "Always finish what you start! These people are nothing! You are still to soft." He pulled Jacob up roughly. "Let's go."

The walk back to the town seemed nothing to Jacob. He entered the town, looking at his bloodstained hands and shaking the entire time. Amerelle approached him, but he didn't even see her. He just kept walking. Merik left him to enjoy Cathy's company, leaving Jacob still walking. Eventually, he found himself on the outskirts of the town over looking a lake. He undressed and stepped in, beginning to scrub himself frantically. He felt so dirty.

After an hour, he stepped out, still not feeling clean, but enough to where he could manage. He began looking for a good place on the ground to lay down and die. He hated himself, his brother, his life. He wanted it to end, for the pain to disappear. He found a suitable place, laid down, and curled into a ball.

After a while, he had no clue how long, Amerelle sat down next to him with evidence of tears on her eyes. "H-hey Jacob. P-please don't be like this. I…I can guess what happened. That wasn't you that did those things Jacob, it was your brother, he was just working through you. It's not your fault." She laid down and hugged him, saying no more.

After a few minutes, he uncurled and hugged her back, crying on her shoulder. He didn't see how things could ever be better, but when she was there, he could almost believe it. His heart was torn from what he had done that night and it would be a long time before it healed. Right now, all he wanted to do was hold Amerelle and cry.

Merik had stepped out after a while and went down to the lake, where he sensed his brother. He almost smiled when he found him asleep with Amerelle. A small part of him felt regret for doing that to him, but the rest suppressed that feeling. He liked Amerelle, she kept Jacob going. He would take a few days off of his hunting, but then it would be Jacob's turn again. HE smirked and left the two lying on the ground.