With every step, the floorboards underneath my feet creaked more and more. She was somewhere behind me and with every creak I knew that she could hear it clearer than the last. I stopped short. There I stood in a small room, with old, rickety, dusty chairs, a coffee table and a fireplace. This was where I was looking for. Walking slowly, and deliberately, I made my way over to the fireplace. My rough hand searched for something along the wall, breath catching with anticipation when it was found. A turn knob. I turned it. The elegant fireplace that loomed over me slowly opened with loud scrapping sounds to reveal a dark, dusty staircase, which I knew led to the underground tunnels.

With the excitement I'd always felt when I opened this doorway, I'd let myself forget why I was opening the fireplace in the first place. As fast as lightning, I whipped around and there she was, in all her golden haired glory, standing in the doorway of the small room, and leaning against the doorframe with a very smug expression on her face.

"Almost lost me, Andre." She commented lazily, tauntingly. "So close." I was being patronized. I knew it, and I didn't like it one bit. But, instead of letting my anger get the better of me, I jumped into the stairwell, turning the knob on the inside and the door started to scrape shut above me. I heard her furious cry and saw the flash of her insanely fast speed flash just before the tunnel was shot into darkness. Now all I had to do was find my way out of the tunnels before she ripped that stone doorway open, which I knew quite well wouldn't be very long. But it wasn't exactly a concern to me since I knew these escape tunnels pretty well considering I'd grown up with them.

I still manoeuvred carefully, however, considering the fact that there was absolutely no light and that the caves were simply dug out caves from the land. There were still plenty of huge rocks and dangerous tree roots. But soon enough I found the entrance. I had grown tired and thirsty through the short trek and my lungs burned for nourishment. Only, that wouldn't happen until I had found a road and a car to safety away from her.

I glanced backwards, checking to be double sure she wasn't behind me, though it wouldn't surprise me, as I started my way down the hillside I had climbed out onto. It wasn't that far to the highway and I could pinpoint exactly where the turn in to the mansion I had just escaped from. I had been planning this for quite a while, ever since I had found out her intentions with me.

Boy was I relieved when I stepped onto the nicely paved road and saw the lights steadily gaining to where I stood on the side. I stuck my thumb out and waved in an attention getting way. The pick-up truck slowed and through the window, I could see an elderly lady with a smile on her face. I let out a long breath I didn't even know I had been holding. We exchanged a few words and she agreed to drive me into town. My nightmare was finally over.

Chapter One

Kayla watched the sun rise above the horizon and thanked God graciously for her incredibly gorgeous view. Right about now, her ocean blue eyes rested on the brilliant sight of the sun rising and casting a stained orange along the Atlantic Ocean. Palm trees blowing in the wind and seagulls prancing about on the sand. This was the typical sight you found on the south island of New Zealand.

She smiled and stepped out of her window sill and onto her bed. School was starting again the next day and she couldn't help but wake early enough to see the sunrise to start her day; it had been a ritual since she was in seventh grade. Tucking her sheets back over her tanned legs, Kayla rested her head against her pillow, closing her eyes with a smile.

That's when she heard the front door on the level beneath her open. Her grandmothers' voice laced its way up through the vent in the corner of Kayla's room. She slid off her bed regretfully and peered down that oh-so-convenient vent, catching sight of a grimy looking boy about her age and her sweet, innocent grandma both taking off their coats.

"So, there's a guest room on the second floor; just up those stairs and around the corner." Grandma explained, pointing up the stairs that led to the floor with my room on. And, lovely, the guest room happened to be the room next to mine. "Now, I'll allow you to stay with us, because I am a nice lady," I could hear the smile in her voice, "But to let you stay any longer than a couple of days, you have to explain to me what happened and why you were standing on the side of that road so late at night."

"Thank you, ma'am." The boy nodded his head, I could only see the back of his head, and it was covered in short cut jet black hair. "I am very grateful for your kindness." My grandmother didn't say anything and neither did the stranger, as though each were waiting for the other to say something else. I'm pretty sure my grandma was waiting for him to explain the incident. I was pretty curious myself, and I held my breath as I watched. I mean, why would a boy, who looked to be only in eleventh grade be doing standing on the middle of a road, looking for a ride, in the pouring rain, in the middle of the night. Just bizarre.

"-settled in." My grandmothers' voice came from the staircase, which were only a couple steps from my half open door. "I'll just see if my granddaughters awake." My breath caught and I launched myself off the floor and under the safety of my covers, closing my eyes and hoping I didn't look suspicious. The door creaked open and I heard a soft sigh. I could feel the eyes lingering on me.

"Isn't she just precious when she sleeps?" My grandmother crooned over me. I heard an amused agreement from a male sounding voice. Thanks, Grandma. Suddenly, there was a soft peck on my forehead and I felt myself drifting slowly back to sleep, surprising, given the circumstances. Her grandmothers' touch had always had that effect on her. The last thing Kayla heard before drifting into pleasant blackness was a deep chuckling from the doorway.

Kayla was up as normal, completely forgetting about the new visitor in her house. So with her deep brown hair hanging limp and crinkled around her shoulders, she slipped on her ice cream slippers and trudged sleepily into the hallway.

"Morning," A familiarly masculine voice came from the bathroom doorway. "You must be Kayla." I looked up into the face of a tall, black haired, guy. I swear to God he was a male model! I shook the sleep out of my head and noticed the half smile playing over his lips.

"I am, and I'm also in need of a shower, which," I beckoned to my mop of hair, partly embarrassed. Okay, let's face it, I was totally embarrassed, and Grams was totally going to pay for this, "you can probably tell. And the shower just so happens to be in the room you seems to be blocking." I smiled mockingly sweet at him and looked pointedly past him. I know, I know, bad first impression, but whatever, I was tired and embarrassed, you can't blame me.

"Seems like it, doesn't it?" He said, moving out of the doorway. 'I'll see you at breakfast, I guess." He said like it was a secret and disappeared into the guest room. Shaking my head, I finally stepped into the bathroom and stepped into the shower. After I was fully ready, make-up, hair complete and dressed in a blue cowl neck tee and a pair of my favourite jeans, I headed downstairs to breakfast.

"Morning, hon." Grandmas voice came from the bottom of the stairs and I walked down them, into the warmth and comfort of her arms. Too soon, she let me go, pushing me towards the table that just so happened to have to guys sitting there waiting.

One was this new stranger, and believe me; he was strange, with gorgeous looks and a mysterious smile, that I felt I had to show I was good enough to. The other was my boyfriend, James. He too was gorgeous, but not in the way the stranger was. He had familiar looks that brought a smile to my face every morning. I knew which hair I was choosing to sit in. I scooted into the spot next to James and took his hand. He pecked me lightly on the check which made me smile. I noticed the guest watching us but I really didn't care.

"Kayla, you haven't been properly been introduced to our new guest." My grandmother piped in, "this is Andre." She smiled genuinely at him and he returned it, and then looked at me.

"Oh, we've been properly introduced all right." I muttered under my breath. Andre's mouth twitches slightly, a smile just inching to get out.

"Hmm, what was that, Kay?" James asked softly, brushing a stray hair beneath my ear.

"Oh, I just said, we met earlier this morning, but not quite properly." I smiled smartly at him and he stopped for a second, just looking at me, then grinned back at me.

"I think I like your morning look." Andre retorted, almost flirtatiously. I made a disgusted noise and could feel t tension in James' hand.

"We're going to school, Grams." I stood, pushing my chair in with James right behind me. Walking to the door, I gave Grandma a quick peck on the cheek and turned back once as I slipped on my sneakers. "It was a pleasure to meet you and I hope all your circumstances are fixed by the time I get home." I grinned maliciously at him and my boyfriend and I were out the door.