I looked up at the huge gloomy looking that loomed in front of me, backdropped by tall mountains and deep valleys. I don't think my uncle could have shipped me farther away if he had sent me to Siberia. I sighed again and readjusted the heavy bag on my shoulder before reaching down to grab my suitcase. To my surprise, it wasn't there. I whipped around, my eyes on the ground looking for it, when they came across a pair of black boots. My eyes slid up from there, over the black jean clad legs, to a tight stomach visible though a black mesh shirt, to the handsome face of a boy around her age.

"So you must be the transfer student everyone's talking about," he said, icy blue eyes looking down on me from beneath a shag of raven black hair. I opened my mouth to say something but quickly closed it again when not a sound came out. He was just too hot for words and I couldn't make my brain function in any intelligible way. He smirked a bit, hinting at some nice pearly whites behind those thin lips. "This is your suitcase, right? Let me give you a hand to the dorms."

I followed him around the side of the main building to what looked an actual apartment complex behind the creepy looking school building. Along the way he told me about most of the dorm rules, but my focus was anything and everything other than him, since I had found myself staring at his butt. I sighed again as we entered the dormitory. There were people everywhere, but everyone seemed to stop as soon as I and this handsome stranger stepped into the lobby.

"Paige, you finally made it!" an extremely cheery voice said as a dark haired young woman made her way through the crowd of kids. I really felt naked under the stares of so many people and I found myself inching back towards the door. I stopped when I felt the hottie's hand grab my wrist firmly.

"No running away, Paige," he whispered softly, smiling at me. I felt a chill run down my spine at the creepy tone of his voice even though his smile seemed so warm. I glanced up at those watching again and I couldn't help but let the fear of this place creep into my heart. I suddenly felt like the last piece of rotissirie chicken on a buffet line. I swallowed hard as the cheery voice finally made its way to me through the crowd of gawkers.

"I'm Lydia. I manage the dorms and teach chemistry over at the school," she said as she took my suitcase from the handsome yet creepy guy. I followed her past all of the staring kids who once I was by them began to whisper amongst themselves. I hung my head, not really paying attention to where we were going, only staring at the back of Lydia's white tennis shoes. This was going to be difficult. "Here we are! You've got a single room, so things are a little smaller, but at least you have some privacy. If you need anything, you can ask me or find Dmitri."

"Dmitri?" I asked, speaking for the first time. I watched the look of surprise and then mock anger fall across her face as she took in my question.

"The guy who met you in front of the school. That's Dmitri Kova, the dorm president and junior class president." She smiled at me and handed me the key to my room before turning away to resume whatever she had been doing prior to my arrival. "He knows he's supposed to introduce himself to new students! What was he thinking!" her fussing voice carried on faintly until she was completely out of sight.

I dragged my stuff into the small room and looked around slowly. It felt like a cheap motel room with the miniature kitchen, tiny bathroom, and lack of any real living space. There was a desk, a dresser, a small table and a bed big enough for more than one person. I dropped my bags on the floor and flopped onto the bed, exhausted from simply have walked down the halls. This was going to be a long two years if she didn't make some friends at least. I stared up at the ceiling fan that slowly moved around in circles, feeling my eyes growing increasingly heavier.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

I was back there again, back to the night when I watched my entire family murdered and I was once more rendered completely powerless to stop anything. I heard the shouting that came from downstairs, the same shouting that had roused me from my sleep that night. I walked down the hallway from my room to the stairs, peering over the banister, just as I had then. At the bottom of the stairs were men wearing dark suits and sunglasses, even though it was sometime just after midnight.

They raised their arms, pointing something at my parents. I screamed again, they screamed as something red shot forth like lightning from the cane like sticks those men carried. I quickly covered my mouth, but I was too late, I had been noticed already and one of those sticks was raised in my direction. I was jerked to the side as the bolt of red lightning struck the wall behind me. I looked up as my older brother, Peter, dragged me down the hall to his room, shoving me inside before leaning heavily against it.

"Run, Paige. Out the window, to the woods. Don't stop, don't look back," he said, tears slipping down his face. I wanted to protest, I wanted to scream at him that I wouldn't leave him behind. But I had no chance as the door burst open behind him, sending him flying across the room. A gnarled looking black cane was raised in my direction again as I stood frozen in my fright. The red lightning struck the wall to my right as I was astounded to see the mouth of a large wolf biting down on the arm of the guy.

It wasn't until the wolf looked at me with my brother's eyes that I finally understood where it had come from. With one last look back at the white haired wolf who was fighting to give me time to escape, I jumped from the window, gripping the tree branch that we had often used to sneak out at night. As fast and agile as any feline, I was out of the tree and in an all out sprint across the yard towards the woods. I knew of many places back here to hide as I had tried them all to hide from Peter when we were younger. Now I usually used them to get away from the real world.

For once I was actually glad my mother always made me braid my long white blonde hair every night before going to bed. I could just imagine it tangling and pulling in the tree brances that were tearing at my arms and face. My chest was beginning to pain me and I could barely pull in any breath as my legs began to slow from exhaustion. I guess I was at my sprinting limit. I looked around quickly to get an idea of where I was at, knowing these woods like I knew every inch of the face of the boy I'd had a crush on.

I turned towards one of the more difficult to find hidey holes I had and quickly climbed the sheered off face of a large hill. I slipped quickly into the cave that had only ever been big enough of me to military crawl into. At the very back was enough space for me to turn around so I could stare out of the front of the cave. I knew I was far enough back so that I wouldn't be spotted by anyone who didn't come up here to look, but I also couldn't tell if anyone was down below if they weren't talking.

Tonight was different though, tonight she could hear them down below her cave. Tonight they had climbed the rock face to her cave. Tonight they had found her.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

I awoke in my room, the last of my scream dying off as I sat up and clutched my chest. Damn, that same old nightmare. My uncle had sent me here, unable to take anymore of my troubled nights and unable to deal with the death of my parents and brother. I brushed the tears from my cheeks that I knew were there and sighed deeply, wondering why tonight's dream had been different from the others.

"Nightmare?" a soft voice asked and I screamed again, finally realizing that someone was sitting on the edge of my bed. "Ssssshhhh! You're going to wake up the entire dorm if you keep that up." The voice was familiar and gentle and as my eyes finally adjusted to the dark of the room, I recognized the boy called Dmitri. I opened my mouth to speak and once again nothing came out so I closed it again.

"You don't really talk much, do you?" he asked, his eyes seeming to want to bore into my head. I shook my head. I hadn't stopped talking altogether, but I often found that I didn't have a voice when I went to speak. The doctors had said it was probably likely to do with hurting my vocal box by screaming the night me parents were killed. "Well, at least your voice still works enough to let out screams like that. You probably could have woken the dead," he joked, trying to coax a smile out of me. I tried, I really did, but I was still confused as to why he was in here.

"Paige?" he asked as he cocked his head to the side to study my expression. My eyes travelled from him to the door and back again, trying to figure out he got in here to begin with. "You weren't told what this school is, were you, Paige?" he asked. I raised an eyebrow as I tried to understand the meaning of his words. He sighed deeply and ran a hand through his dark hair. "Would you like something to drink? Cause I have a feeling this is going to take awhile." I simply nodded and got up to follow him, still dressed as I had been when I got there.

"Well, let me ask you something," he asked softly as I followed him down the halls. "Do you believe in vampires, werewolves, magick?" Before a year ago, I would have said I didn't believe in such fictional things. But I had seen that large white wolf look at me with my brother's golden yellow eyes the night they were all taken from me. And then there were the people who killed them, using some sort of red lightning spewing canes. I bit my lip and nodded, hoping that believing in such things wouldn't have me outcasted. "Well, that makes this a bit easier.

"This school isn't really a school in the sense that you are probably used to. Young ones from each are often sent here when hunters start creating trouble in whatever city they live in. Older vampires, werewolves, and magick users rarely come here to seek shelter as it hasn't seemed that running away is making the hunters grow bored. Ah, do you have any idea what I am even talking about?" he asked suddenly, running a hand through his hair nervously.

"Red lightning," I murmured and he looked up suddenly, all nervousness having dissapated replaced by shock. I took a step back, fearing I had said something incredibly wrong.

"You've actually met a hunter and lived?" he asked, his voice seemingly amazed. "Few young ones ever meet a hunter and escape with their lives. So there aren't many in this school who can even say what a hunter looks like." I shuddered a bit and felt the warmth of a tear running down my cheek. He stared at me again, confused and then something like a light bulb seemed to go off in his head. "The nightmare! I'm so sorry! I was just so amazed that I forgot that it was probably quite traumatic."

"Strawberry," I said quietly, changing the subject as we stopped in front of the soda machines. Again Dmitri stared at me as if I had grown a second head until I pointed at the machine which had strawberry soda in it. He smiled and got the soda for me and then motioned to bench by the wall to sit with him. I sat, pulling my knees to my chest as I took small sips from the can.

"So, what are you? A vampire?" I shook my head. "A lycan?" Again I shook my head. "A magick user?" I heard him hum in confusion as I shook my head the final time. I smiled a bit, knowing that my past was rather complicated. I shifted a bit and took the notebook from my backpocket. It was a lot to have to try and say and I knew what little of my voice wasn't going to tell the story well enough. I scowled a bit, realizing I didn't have my pen with me and sighed, snapping my fingers to reveal the pen I had left in the dorm room.

"Wait you are a magick user!" I shook my head again and then began to write. My grandfather was a werewolf and my grandmother was a mage. A strange marriage that neither side had really understood and not many had accepted. The fruit of their marriage was my mother and my uncle, both lycanthrope kin (possessing the recessive gene that means they can give birth to full blooded lycans) as well as having the ability to use magick. It was completely strange and absolutely unheard of for inter-species relationships to have offspring who possessed both traits.

The oddity didn't end there though. My mother had married a vampire and they had produced two children themselves. My older brother, who only possessed full werewolf blood, and myself, something beyond imagination. I was kin, so I didn't have to worry about my body distorting into a wolf whenever I was in a rage, but I had heightened healing abilities especially under a full moon. I was a mage, but my training had barely gotten much past parlor tricks before my parents died. But the oddest part, was that I had gotten the vampire's heightened hearing, sense of smell, ability to read auras and a bit of their speed.

"How does one classify you then?" Dmitri asked, licking his lips slowly as he digested my little diagram. I tilted my head a bit and shrugged. I knew that people had often come to my parents in an attempt to have me studied as the first hybrid of all three types. My brother used to get into fights when walking with me as someone would toss an insult my way if they knew what I was. "How do you want to be classified? Some people around here are quite clique-ish, so you might want to decide soon which way means more to you."

"You?" I asked, I figured from the pale skin and icy blue eyes that he was likely a vampire. He smiled a bit, revealing the slightly more elongated canine teeth in his mouth. I nodded, knowing I had been right.

"And you, Paige? I don't really know if they'll believe or accept a hybrid around here." I bit my lip, my sharpened eye teeth drawing a bit of blood that I ignored as I thought about it.

"Normal," I murmured finally. I looked up and saw something else in his eyes, and then I realized I had made myself bleed. I mentally cursed myself for causing myself to bleed around a vampire who probably wasn't used to the smell of warm blood. I tensed up as he leaned in closer to me, his eyes transfixed on my lips. It surprised me as he kissed me normally at first, a hand moving to the side of my face. I gasped slightly at how cool his touch was, which was all he needed of an invite to deepend the kiss, letting his tongue explore my mouth. Finally, he broke the kiss, running his tongue lightly over my bottom lip, cleaning the blood away and closing the wounds I had made.

"Be careful, Paige," he whispered, breathless. "There are some vampires here that would drain you dry if they caught a whiff of how delicious your blood's scent is." I felt his thumb brush lightly over my lips again. "We can't label you as normal, or a hybrid. You don't drink blood so the vampires would find you odd. Between the lycans and the mages, your secret is probably safer with the mages. The may notice some extra speed but that'd be all. If you pulled out a parlor trick around the lycans, it'd probably be a bloodbath." I nodded slowly, still entranced by those eyes that had for a moment held a bit of fire within their icy depths.

"Will you have the nightmare again tonight?" he asked softly, as he stood and offered me a hand. I shook my head. It was rare for me to have the that nightmare twice in the same night. I'd have had to be under tremendous stress for that. "Then I'll walk you back to your room and let you get some real rest. Tomorrow we go to classes. I'll come by around eight to show you the cafeteria and then help you find your classes. Okay?" I nodded and he leaned in, giving me a soft peck on the lips.

"Sweet dreams, Paige," Dmitri said as he headed back to his own room. I smiled a bit for the first time in a long while before I slipped back into my room. This time I actually dressed for bed and curled up under the surprisingly soft and cool silk sheets. My eyes drifted closed for the first time in a year seeing a face other than my brother's as I fell into a deep peaceful slumber.