Chapter 1

November 12, 2009

My world no longer consisted of those things that it had always been made up of. There was no sound, no taste, no smell, there was nothing that I was aware of but that singular screaming agony that now formed the entirety of my existence. It was that sort of pain that no longer comes from a single place on your body, but instead spreads through the rest of your body and clenches itself inward, until there is nothing to be aware of but that single, endless suffering.

Centuries passed, maybe millennia, the eons trudged past as I writhed in that pain, but after a while, something else entered my dark misery. A voice that I didn't know at first, came through slightly, mostly hidden behind that tangible agony. At first, I didn't notice, didn't care, didn't even bother to try to do either of those things. That voice was insistent, and I caught the first bits of sound, and I realized I was not alone. At first, I didn't react, I was crippled, completely insensible, but the voice got louder and I found that there was enough of me to reach out and cling to it.

It got louder, and I could make out words. They weren't whispering, I realized. They were screaming and it seemed very far away, but it grew and rushed toward me until that voice was screaming at me, in my ear, bleary and unfocused. Then it was clear, and the first thing I was aware of. "Get up!" he was screaming over and over. He was swearing at me, calling me names, threatening me, "You're going to die you worthless mongrel!"

Then there was something else, there was anger. I was not going to die. And I wasn't worthless, either. That cut through the pain. It didn't lessen it in the slightest, but it was as though there was suddenly a puncture in the universe, one that let in light and sound. There was a widening hole, an opening big enough to let a beam of light in, and in a flash, I was conscious again. My face was smashed against concrete, and I couldn't see much other than the blood caked floor. It was my own blood, I realized and threw up. The pain was fading, it was no longer a blinding mass, but a throb that pulsed through my entire body, starting on my back between my shoulder blades and threaded out through my extremities.

"She's not dead! She's not dead!" A second voice, younger, I knew that voice.

"Where is the totem?"

"Who cares about the stupid totem, Em's not dead!"

Em, that was me. And then, I was awake, not just conscious but awake. I groaned and pushed my hands against the ground, against the floor and let out a small wimper as I forced myself up onto my knees. I threw up again, but there wasn't much in my stomach but liquid. I spit onto the floor and rubbed my mouth on the back of my wrist. I ended up smearing more blood across my face, and feeling like I needed to throw up again.

"The stupid totem, as you put it, is worth fifty of her," he said and even though I felt as though I might still die, I had enough energy left to hate him.

"Fuck you, Sanvree."

"Oh, so you're awake now. Tell me where you put the totem!" He demanded, grabbing me by the shoulder and shaking me.

I would have slumped to the floor again, but the owner of the younger voice, Hanna, grabbed me around my waist. This sent another wave of pain through me, but I bit back the groan that wanted to escape me and instead poured my weight against her. I struggled to pull myself up to my feet, and she pulled me up, lifting most of my weight herself. Her strength never ceased to astonish me.

"I have it," I said and looked up for the first time.

"Give it to me," he demanded.

"I repeat. Fuck you, Sanvree," I glared at him. He was at the moment looking very human, well as human as they ever look. He was one of the light ones, the aos sí. You've heard of them, they're the fairies or the elves, or sometimes people call them the sidhe. Before they had those names, they were worshipped like gods and goddesses, but that was a long time ago, long before this mess started, this war. That's what the light ones call it. This is their great war against the dark ones, the creatures of night who stalk them, feed on them, steal their life force, strip them of their magic, their immortality and then leave nothing behind.

They call it a war because they don't like to admit that they're being exterminated. It's systematic, it's relentless, and it's working. Sanvree looks human because he's using his magic, that glamour that you hear about to cover up his real appearance. He makes himself look human, but definitely not normal. He looks like something that fell out of a comic book, I think. Always black, from top to bottom and usually wearing leather armor. He went light today, only a chest-plate and pauldrons, and of course a sword. He has that swarthy Italian look, deep dark eyes, and nearly black hair that he wears in a braid . . . that reaches his calves. He stands out, but since he rarely interacts with us lowly humans, it doesn't really matter all that much. Underneath all that glamour and armor, he looks like something spun out of light, like Apollo at sunrise, and he is the type of creature they put on the front of romance novels with some chesty bimbo hanging half unconscious in his arms.

Oh yes, I'm not going to lie, he's gorgeous. Completely unnaturally gorgeous in a way that sticks in your mind and you struggle to get it out for days after you see him. Luckily for me he's a soulless bastard, and that pretty much kills any affection that I might have ever had for him. It makes it much easier, our working relationship. I know, that if push came to shove, I'd have no problem leaving him to die. I wouldn't even lose sleep over it. I also know that he feels the exact same way about me. I know this because he's done it before. It's his fault that my sister is dead.

But this is a lot of information for you to start off with. I'm guessing that you really need to hear how I got here, sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor, covered in blood, surrounded by immortals, and protecting a stupid piece of rock with my very life and everything I hold dear. I was going to start much earlier, but I guess it really does start here, with my sister's death last year.

Lavalier - a type of jewelry, consisting of a pendant with one stone, suspended from a necklace. It is named for the type of pendant popularized by the Duchesse de la Vallière, a mistress of King Louis XIV of France. Within the fashion world, the name was eventually shortened to "lavalier(e)". [The lavalier can be recognized most for its drop ( that usually consist of a stone and or a chandelier type of drop) which is attached to the chain and not attached by a bale) (from Wikipedia)

Okay, so this project is a bit different than most of my other ones. Its definitely a lot darker. I'm doing it as a 700 words a day project in addition to whatever else I work on. I don't think that this would qualify as an adults only piece, but as the story develops, there will be strong language, there will be violence, there will be gore, there will be sexual encounters. But, this one isn't a main project its just one to post because I'm actually starting to like it a good bit.