Chapter 1


Big Ben chimes its last three chimes to mark twelve am. The only time the streets of London are quiet. Winter frost lines the streets like glitter scattered on the ground, twinkling in the light of the moon and street lights. Bitter wind rolls in rattling street signs and making the sign of the Dog and Duck inn swing on its hinges.

One girl walked down the street shivering against the cold and pulling her coat closer to her. She hated having to walk home at this time on a night. She hated disturbing her parents because she can't find her key and she hated having to wake up again in five hours to go to her other job. However, tonight it was different. She hadn't forgotten her key, she wouldn't have to disturb her parents and she had the day off work tomorrow. But that wasn't the only difference.

She didn't know how and she didn't know why, but she knew. She sped up her pace in order to leave her uncomfortable feeling behind but it only sped up with her. The one thing about the dark is that you can't see anything around you. That's what scared her so much. The fact that she could barely see further than she could reach terrified her. She turned down an ally quickly in order to ditch her pursuer; however, they were smarter than she anticipated and followed her. She ran towards the nearest garbage bin and hid behind it. She just wanted to get away. She was cold and alone. So alone.

She watched their shadow walk up to her hiding place and stop. She still couldn't see her follower and that made her more nervous. Her mother had always warned her about muggers and rapists but she was naïve. She never thought it would happen to her. Now she was terrified as to why this person was following her.

"Come on out, sweetie. I'm not going to hurt you, I swear." The person spoke for the first time. From what she could hear she guessed it was a man. The tone of voice was deep and low, and somewhat mocking her as though she was a child that did anything he told her to. She would be damned if she let him find her. However, there was something about his voice that made her want to obey him, made her want to please him. she fought off the urge with disgust at herself.

"Come on out, Emmeline." That made her freeze. How did he know her name? was he stalking her? Now she was really scared. She covered her mouth with her hand in case he heard her laboured breathing. She kept a close eye on the shadow in front of her so she could see what he was doing. She thought she saw something in his hand but then it was gone.

She heard the man sniff loudly, as though trying to find her by her scent, just like a dog would find a rabbit.

"Emmeline, I know you are here. There is no use hiding from me. I always get what I want in the end." What did he want? Money? Sex? She didn't understand it. Out of all the people in London why would he choose her? She wasn't anything special, she wasn't pretty or rich so what did he want from her?

By now her right leg was numb, and she had pins and needles shooting up and down the other. She desperately needed to shift her position but she didn't dare move an inch. Still watching the shadow carefully she tried to think about something else, anything else. However, her mind wouldn't allow her to stray away from the situation at hand. That was probably a good thing.

After what felt like a lifetime the man's shadow moved away. Back to the opening of the ally, back the way he came in. Bravely, Emmeline got onto her hands and poked her head around the side of the garbage bin and looked at the man. From what she could see he was wearing a black wife beater and dark jeans with a black belt. He was muscular and had short brown or black hair. On his left arm, the one closest to her, he had a tattoo of something that she couldn't quite make out.

At the last moment before exiting the ally he turned around so quickly it was almost inhuman. Emmeline didn't have time to react. She was frozen in place with the man staring at her hungrily. He began walking back down the ally towards her menacingly. She was petrified; her heart was beating at an impossible rate. She stood shakily. There was no point trying to hide herself now, he had already seen her. Her best bet was to try and run away. Maybe she could find a bar that was still open down the street.

The man came right up to her face and stood in front of her, blocking all hopes of escape. "I see you have decided to show yourself, I knew you couldn't resist taking a look at me. You always were a curious little girl." He smiled crookedly at her. It wasn't a kind smile. It wasn't a happy smile. It didn't reach his cold eyes that were looking at her with hunger. What he was hungry for she didn't want to know. Nor did she want to find out.

"How do you know that?" she asked her voice shaking violently. She hated herself for showing him that she was scared of him. She learnt from the many movies and books she had read that it only gives them power. They know that they can control and inject fear into their prey… and she had just given that to him. However, this was not a book or a movie. This wouldn't have a happy ending if she didn't get out of there soon.

"That, sweetheart, is for me to know and you to find out." His voice sent chills up her spine. She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. "I'm am so glad that you decided not to play hide and seek though; I had some brilliant plans for tonight. You may have just helped me along in that process. Not that I wouldn't have found you anyway."

Emmeline, tried to take a step back, only to hit a wall. Now she knew what he wanted, and she would be damned if she gave him it. "Fuck you. I'm not going anywhere with you. Leave me alone!" Her voice was no longer shaking. Now it was defiant and commanding. However, the man just laughed in her face.

"Who said we were going anywhere? But, if you won't co-operate willingly, then I guess we will just have to do this the hard way." He grabbed her wrist and began to pull her towards him. Emmeline dug her heels into the ground refusing to go anywhere. "Come on, princess; don't make this harder on yourself. I assure you your struggling is no inconvenience to me. It makes this more exciting."

Emmeline didn't know where her sudden burst of hatred and anger came from or where she got a burst of strength from but she made a perfect roundhouse kick to the side of his ribs. How she managed to get her leg up that high she would never know, as he was much taller than her. However, it did what she wanted and made him let go of her wrist and held his side. The adrenaline was now coursing though her veins as she made another blow by raising her knee to his groin and running out of the ally while he was on his knees.

She ran as fast as she could, looking for an open pub to run into, but she saw none. She barely heard his light footsteps behind her getting closer and closer at an unreal pace. He was obviously running after her. She willed herself not to look back and kept on running. She ran as fast as she could, turning down another street that was pitch black. She didn't stop running down that street until she hit something cold and metal. Stopping herself from cursing the broken lamppost she got up and ran again – ignoring her throbbing head- slipping on the frost as it was thicker on this street. At the end of the road she took a left, knowing these streets like the back of her hand.

Emmeline couldn't hear the pounding heavy footsteps of the man but she didn't want to take any risks. Left, right, right, left again. Finally she came to the street she lived on. She fumbled in her pocket for her key whilst still running. She got to her door and stuffed the key in the lock as fast as she could.

"Come on, come on stupid key!" Finally the door unlocked and she rushed inside and shut and locked the door hurriedly behind her. She took a deep breath and slid down the door. She sat there and cried for half an hour, knowing how close she had been to being raped and probably killed.

She picked herself up off the doormat and up to her bedroom. She collapsed on her bed and cried herself to sleep, not knowing what was just outside her window or what she had been sucked into.

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