Chapter 1

"Tickin' like a time bomb, drinking till the nights gone," a tall man with dark brown hair sung into a mike. His voice was rough, as if he had been screaming before he got onto the stage and started singing. "Well get your hands off of this glass, last call my ass," another pause, letting the guitarist have his moment. "Wellll no chain, no lock, and this train won't stop," he drew out the "well" and had a wide smirk on his lips. "Well we've got no fear, no doubt, all in balls out!" A minute or so later, he finished off the song, and the crowded bar screamed and cheered.

An announcer came onto the stage and clapped happily. "And that was Burn It to the Ground by Nickelback!" he yelled into his mike and hopped off the stage with a thud.

"Damn. . ." a girl with long red hair and jade green eyes whispered to her partner, a tall thin man with messy blond hair and baby blue eyes wearing a tight black shirt and washed out jeans. His well-toned muscles stood out against the tight material.

"You said it Kate. Who is he?" he questioned and downed his last drink.

Kate shrugged and took a sip of her margarita. "Hell if I know. Shouldn't it say who he is on the board over there?" she questioned back.

"Eh? I dunno." He replied and gave her a lazy smile. His eyes seemed to hold withheld information, but the younger girl brushed it off quickly.

Kate stood up and sighed loudly, brushing off her black skinny jeans and striped purple and black cropped top. As she did so, a bright spotlight shined down on her. She threw her arm up in an attempt to cover her eyes, but a cold hand grabbed her wrist before she completed the motion.

"Come on dear! Sing with me!" a male voice crooned and pulled her onto the stage in one swift motion.

"Wh-what the hell?" Kate grumbled as the stranger that smelled oddly of cloves pushed her onto the stage.

Looking out into the audience, she realized that Nathan had disappeared. She got ready to jump off the stage and go back to their table, but another set of hands found their way to her upper arms. She also realized too late, that if she jumped from the stage, her heels would probably break in half.

"I know you know this song. Sing along with me!" another male cried.

She turned her head to the left, trying to find a way out of this confused mess. No chance of getting out that way, the exit was blocked by two men that looked like they could guard the president from bullets and everything else. To the right. . . there was a way. There was only one man at the exit on that side. He looked almost asleep even with the booming music in the background and the cheering people.

"C'mon! Sing already!" one particularly angry patron of the bar cried and glared up at the people on stage.

"Well? Sing with me?"

The small red head frowned and looked at the half-asleep guard again, then back at the man whose hands were still on her arms. "What song?" she questioned almost angrily.

"You Decide by Fireflight. Ready?"

Kate blushed as she took the mike and let the musicians have their moment to shine. She took a deep breath before she started. "Fiction and reality collide," there was a small pause. "Faceless and so busted up inside," another pause. "You've been searching you've been crying out," and another. "Will you be destroyed by all your doubt?" She drew out the "doubt" and paid no attention to when the man let go of her and grabbed a mike himself. "You decide," she sung, starting the chorus.

"Who will you run to?"

"Wrong or right," she continued.

"There is no reason."

"For you to hide,"

"Only love can change your life . . .," they sang together, their voices matching perfectly. "You decide. . ." she finished the chorus, turned to the man, and blushed more.

The lights shone brightly down on his auburn hair, and made his pale green eyes lighter than they were. He smiled at Kate and nodded, as if saying, "Yes you're doing just fine."

Kate turned back to the audience and took a deep breath before starting again. "God is calling out to you again. Let Him pull you, let Him take you in," she paused and closed her eyes. "From the fear that swallows up your life," she turned back to the auburn haired man and opened her eyes slowly.

"Will you stay the same or will you fight?" he sang in return, still smiling as if this was the easiest thing in the world to do.

They sang the chorus again, and turned to face each other. "Only love can change your life," they sang together and for the first time, Kate smiled back at the odd man. "Only love can change your life,"

Finally, getting the hang of what was going on; Kate held the mike tighter and lightened her voice so that she was almost whispering. "Every day you hold on to, your lonely broken heart,"

"It's tearing you apart," the man said in an equally quiet voice from behind her.

"God is calling out to you, just let healing start,"

"Will you open up and let Him in?" he sang again in the same tone and put his hand on her shoulder.

They sang the chorus again and bowed, letting the crowd cheer and clap and spill drinks.

Kate laughed and pushed the hand off her shoulder. In a small voice, she asked, "Are you going to tell me what the hell is going on now?"

Without answering, the man grabbed Kate's arm and led her off the stage. As they went into a room in the back of the stage, she could hear the drummer and guitarist dueling.

"Gabriel." The man said once he had locked and bolted the door shut.

"Huh?" Kate asked and began to panic. A bead of sweat fell down her pale face, but she quickly wiped it away.

"My name. Gabriel is my name." he replied with a smile.

For the first time that night, Kate realized that Gabriel had an Italian accent. She looked him up and down once. He wore tight leather pants, and a tight black short-sleeved shirt, with none other than sandals. She almost laughed when she looked at his shoes again. Going back up, she examined his pale green eyes, deep auburn hair, and whiskers on his chin and jaw.

"You don't shave often?" she blurted out before she could stop herself. A bright shade of red covered her cheeks as she looked for something to say.

A bellow of laughter came from the taller man. "I shave when it becomes necessary." He replied almost cryptically. As he finished his first sentence, he brushed his hair away from his eyes. "Won't you introduce yourself?"

"Uh . . . yea I'm Katrina Holland, but all my close friends call me Kate." She blinked for a moment before remembering Nathan. "Nathan! Where is he?" she yelled and tried to reach the door.

Gabriel wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close to his muscular chest. "Your friend? Oh he'll be just fine." He said with a smile on his lips. His tone led her to believe he knew something she didn't.

Kate blushed more and tried to pull away. "I don't believe you. Take me to him now."

"Don't be so demanding Ms. Holland. Remember, this is my chess game. You are but a mere pawn for now."

"What the hell! Have you been drinking too much or something? Look here, I'm only at this dump because it's my birthday. Nathan insisted on bringing me here. . ." she trailed off when she caught a glance at the wall behind the two.

It was filled with posters, printed out pictures, drawings, and other artistic things about dragons, vampires, dhampirs, werewolves, witches, and other creatures she couldn't even begin to name.

"What is this place?" she asked and looked at a particularly gruesome picture of a large wolf dismembering a human. She turned away and tried not to become nauseated.

"Ah . . . well. . . I was hoping to tell you some other time, but I guess now is just a good a time as any at this point."

Gabriel had no time to explain in full, for the door busted in loudly. Before it could do physical harm to Kate, the auburn haired man yanked her out of the way and pinned her against the farthest wall —the one with the interesting art. He put his body in front of hers protectively, and sighed loudly.

Without looking, he smirked and pressed his body closer to the frightened girl. "Dear Nathan could you be a little more polite? It is quite rude to bust in someone's door without even knocking." Gabriel commented haughtily.

Eyes wide with fear and shock, Kate let out the breath she didn't know she had been holding. How had this perfect night full of music and laughter turned so deadly so fast?

"Where is she?!" Nathan yelled and kicked the door out of his way. His normal baby blue eyes had now turned a blood lust red, and his blond hair stood on end. His lips were parted, and two, equally long fangs poked his bottom lip.

"Oh she's just fine," Gabriel said with another one of his smirks. "Though, now I doubt she'll even want to come near you."

Kate peered over Gabriel's shoulder and stared at her best friend. "N-Nathan?" she questioned and tried to move herself from the wall.

A long, feral growl escaped Nathan's lips as he stalked over to the auburn haired man and the frightened teen. "Get your hands off her now." he hissed and put his hand on Gabriel's shoulder.

"And why should I?" Gabriel answered, paying no attention to the threatening hand inching closer to his throat. "You, apparently do not take good care of her. You allowed her to be captured by the enemy."

Rage flared threw Kate's veins. "So now I'm a damn prize?!" she yelled and shoved Gabriel into Nathan, catching them both off guard. "What the hell is this place anyways?!" as she was yelling, she stomped over to the empty doorway.

"Hey! Don't go out there Kate! There are dangerous people out there!" Gabriel yelled from Nathan's arms.

"Your point?!" Kate barked back.

Nathan shoved Gabriel into the covered wall and walked towards Kate. "Don't go out there Kate." He said quietly. Soon after he finished his sentence, his eyes began to dull, and his hair began to lie messily on his head again. The fangs that threatened to rip his lips to shreds shrank back to normal human size.

Gabriel stared at the two from the floor where he landed.

Kate looked between the two men. One, still looking like a normal human, the other . . . hiding his true nature.

"Why should I listen to either of you eh? Nathan, you've been lying to me my entire life apparently, and you," she pointed a long pale finger at the auburn haired man. "I don't even know you."

"Kate, you know I'd only lie to you for this long to protect your life." Nathan said and took a few more steps towards her.

"I think I'm a big girl now damnit. You could have told me anything!" Kate screamed in reply, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes.

Nathan growled and clenched his fists at his sides. His eyes began turning red again, and his hair began to stand on end. "Alright fine Kate. I'm a vampire, the idiot over there is a werewolf. We've both been assigned to protect you, since you're the last of your family." Kate blinked at opened her mouth to say something, but Nathan ignored her and kept going.

"When you were about six, your mother and father didn't die in a car crash with your younger brother. The three of them were murdered by a race of benders known as the Brotherhood." Kate got ready to speak again, but he ignored her this time too.

"Cliché, yea I know, but still. After that, I took you away, and raised you with my family."

Gabriel snickered from his spot on the floor and Nathan turned to glare at him.

"Point is we raised you from then on, paying for everything you needed, and keeping you in the dark." He turned back to Kate and nodded so she could finally speak.

"What. The. Hell." She said in separate sentences. Gabriel burst into laughter and rolled around on the floor until Nathan kicked him in the side.

"Why were you two assigned to me in the first place? Why don't I even remember my parents? Who the hell are you two really!?" Kate yelled and looked between the two again.

"Hush Kate. We can explain this all in a few hours when we're out of this place. K?"

She nodded dully and watched Gabriel stand up slowly.

"We can go back to my place maybe. I bet your peeps would be pretty pissed if they knew what happened tonight." he commented and stretched out.

Nathan picked up Kate in his arms and walked out the door, seemingly ignoring the other man.

An odd feeling of serenity came over Kate suddenly, and she found herself floating in calm sea of nothingness. Unlike in a nightmare though, she was content with this nothingness. As the seconds ticked on, she couldn't help but fall deeper and deeper into it.

"We have to go out the top exit. The others are heavily guarded since the Brotherhood knew she was coming."

"Don't you think they'd cover the top area too you dolt?"

Gabriel smiled and walked up a set of stairs, trailing his hands along the sides of the walls. "They don't know this place like I do." He commented quickly as he walked up a few more sets of stairs. Nathan trailed behind him wearily.

Five minutes later, the trio was on the top floor of the building. Gabriel turned expectantly to Nathan and smiled wide.

"This is the other way out buddy. C'mon now." the auburn haired man said and pointed to a large window.

"So . . . you expect me . . . to turn into Batman, and fly away with you attached to my leg . . . and her in my arms?" Nathan questioned skeptically. Kate stirred quietly in his arms and tried to pull him closer to herself.

"That would be peachy."

"It'll be too much weight. You better grow some wings yourself and fly away mutt."

"But you need me to figure out where to go!"

"I can sniff you and your pack out for miles. Let me go ahead with her. Stay behind and act like nothing's happened ok?" Nathan almost begged. Sometimes being around Gabriel was a real headache for him.

Gabriel shrugged and nodded. "Yea I guess you're right this time. What if they try to stop you?"

"Then you stop them." Nathan replied simply.

"Good luck buddy." As he finished his sentence, the whiskers on his chin began to lengthen, and his eyes began to grow lighter, and become more animal like.

Without another word, Gabriel lifted his head back and howled at the ceiling. It was a warning call to his pack, Nathan assumed without a real care. Nathan figured that the pack would let them take refuge whether they wanted to or not.

Seconds later, Gabriel began morphing into a large beast. His canines grew out past his lips, and his eyes began to turn golden yellow. Nathan took a few steps back as Gabriel neared his completed form; a large auburn colored, oversized wolf.

"Good luck buddy." Nathan repeated the earlier words and turned to the window as Gabriel ran down the sets of stairs. In the back of his mind, Nathan wondered how his huge body fit into the narrow staircase.

Kate shifted in Nathan's arms and opened her eyes slowly. After a moment, they focused on the messy blond hair and bright blue eyes that looked down at her.

"Kate I never wanted you to see me like this."

"Hmm?" Kate murmured slowly. Her brain still held a thick fog around it.

Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Nathan sat Kate a few feet away from him, and began to transform. Claws formed from his short cut nails, long fangs threatened to cut deeply into his bottom lip, and two, equally dangerous looking wings shot out from his back, ripping his shirt to shreds. His hair lengthened, and turned entirely white, and his eyes turned deep, blood lust red.

Kate stared wide eyed at the creature in front of her. This thing was nothing like the vampires she enjoyed reading about. He was no sexy, sparkly bronze haired god, or a dark and seductive Lestat. This was the real deal. Completely dangerous and lethal was the only thing that came to Kate's mind.

He really was . . . a vampire.

"This is the real me Kate." Nathan said, his voice deeper than usual.

"Nathan . . ." the red head struggled to get out. She found herself choking on the words, the ones most important.

"I'm sorry I lied. I'm sorry that I couldn't tell you everything from the beginning. But please Kate, believe me . . . I will tell you everything in full when we—" his heartfelt sentence was cut off by a loud crash, and yet another door being torn off its hinges and flying across the room.

Through the doorway flew a large auburn colored wolf— Gabriel. He hit the wall across from the door way and fell to the ground with a thud. Kate turned her head slowly and saw that the wall held a large dent from where the furry body had impacted.

"You'll have to do better than that mutt." A cold voice said from the doorway. A tall cloaked figure stepped into the small room and smiled wide. His smile was anything but happy.