I'm so sorry for being gone so long!
My laptop broke, so all my stories are gone. SORRY!
I'm gonna have to start over, so this is gonna be slightly different from what I thought it was gonna be.

So stick with me, 'kay??

Oh, and as always, REVIEW PLEASE!!!

Chapter 1

That painting became a source of slight fear to Victoria. She had to admit, it was one of her best works, but it scared her.

The subject in the painting sat at an old fashioned table. He was dressed in an old English style buttoned waistcoat, and a fine jacket. He was bent over the table, his head in his hands. His posture bespoke defeat, but his profile (of his body. His head was obscured.) spoke of determination, pride, and above all, protectiveness of those close to him.

She eyed the painting warily as one might a small beloved lapdog that suddenly turned and bit its owner's hand.

She sighed and put the painting aside, not wanting to confront the feelings it stirred. She stopped suddenly. How on earth could a painting make you feel? She shook her head. No, she did not have feelings for the boy, no, the PAINTING. It was an inanimate piece of canvas with dehydrated pigment mixed with a solvent. THAT'S IT!

She sighed again and turned her attentions to the rest of the paintings in the box. They were all good, but some were definitely better than others. Some of the paintings had the same eerie quality that the first did. They all seemed to vibrate with an intense energy. One was of a girl and a boy, faces concealed yet again. She was leaning over to press a kiss to his forehead like one would a child. She radiated peace and motherliness. He on the other hand, seemed to quiver with suppressed tension and energy. Even through the haze that covered his face, you could see that he stared up at her with a peculiar intensity. Her eyes were closed, so she didn't see it. He looked up at her face with his heart in his eyes. He clearly loved her. It was so sad that she didn't see it.

Victoria started out of her reverie and shook her head to dislodge the stray thoughts. She put the painting aside and wiped her damp palms on the side of her pair of comfy cloth shorts.

She put aside the box that held the paintings and pulled another box in front to her. She opened the box, ignoring the gushing messages scrawled on the sides of the box. The girls who had written all over the box had hung around her for almost a year now. She would never understand why they seemed to genuinely miss her.

She didn't miss them. They were just girls who wanted attention, so hung out with the weird girl who loved to read and run in the woods. Their gushing insincere messages made her want to take a lawnmower to a perfectly good box.

She looked into the box past the newspaper wrappings. It was full of figurines. She went to fetch a shelf to put them on. She walked off in thought. She would need a hammer and nails too……

She returned a minute later holding an ornate corner shelf and some nails and a hammer. She had found a lot of old furniture in the attic when they had come to clean out the house before moving in.

She put up the shelf, the work loosening up her muscles, tight and tense from the long drive to the new house.

She started to unpack the figurines, stroking each one absentmindedly. She put them on the shelf, one after another, until she came to a small porcelain fox with sad brown eyes. Victoria took the figurine in her hands and sat down heavily. She turned the piece over and over in her hands gently, remembering how it had come to her.

"Why you little baby. How could you have scored so much higher than us on the exams? HUH?" asked Tommy, a large boy of about 14 years. He kicked at the little girl huddled in front of him. He and his gang had chased her into an alley after school. When the exams had come in, little Victoria had scored highest, and Tommy had scored almost the lowest. Of course, the fact that Victoria HAD to be smart to be only 10 and in 7th grade already surpassed him. He knew only fury.

The other two boys tittered at the little girl curled up in a ball. She quivered slightly, her small delicate hands covering her head and trembling fiercely.

"You must have cheated." said Tommy with a snort. "A baby like you could never have scored that high."

"And do you know what we do with cheaters?" he said, eyes sparkling ominously.

Victoria lifted her head slightly, looking around desperately. She made no sound, except for one small whimpering "help".

As soon as she said that, footsteps started to come up the ale. Tommy and his friends turned around to tell whoever it was to bug off, but froze in their tracks at the sight before them.

Behind the trio stood a tall man, lanky and loose. He wore the uniform of the nearby high school undocked. His dark red hair drapes long and loose around his face. His eyes, sad and brown, narrowed slightly as he took in the scene.

"Did something happen here?" he asked Victoria softly, ignoring the boys completely. They started forward, there fear of the stranger overcome by annoyance at his lack of interest in them.

"Hey man, she's ours, she deserves what she's gonna-" they stopped short as the man slowly turned his head towards them, slanting his eyes.

"I don't think I was asking you, now was I?" he asked calmly, but his eyes told a different story. His eyes flashed icy silver, cold and furious.

"They're mad because I got a better score than them on the exam." Said Victoria, her small chiming voice startling the trio out of their terror. They looked at the man to see his reaction to this.

He looked at Victoria, who was now hiding partially behind him, gently, a smile on his lips.

"Well, that's not very nice, was it?" he said, turning toward the boys fully. His eyes flashed silver again, this time turning completely.

"So boys." he said, voice emotionless, hands in his pockets casually. "You mean to tell me you were gonna beat up this little girl because she's smarter than you?"

The boys didn't respond, they were frozen to the ground they stood on.

"You should think twice before doing something like that." ha said, smiling. As he pulled back his lips in a humorless smile, sharp teeth filled his couth, two canines pushing at his lower lip.

The boys stared, eyes wide like frightened rabbits.

"So I'll give you one more chance." he said, a slight breeze stirring up debris in the alley.

"Do you really want to do this?" he asked, a feral smile in place on his face.

At those words, the boys, as if woken from a trance, turned and ran, tripping over one another as they went. They ran as fast as they could out of the alley, gasping in fright.

The man sighed, relaxing. He stretched his neck muscles, and then turned to Victoria, who still clutched his school blazer in her hand.

"Now then. Who are you?"

Alright! That's it for this chapter!

So who is this man? What is he? How old is he? And more importantly, why does this have ANYTHING to do with the story??