Chapter One:

Stranger

How I got myself into these situations I will never honestly know. I had been walking home from work when this thing started chasing me.

This just wasn't my day was it?! First I get fired from my job and then I get chased by an oversized bulldog!

My lungs felt as though they were on fire from the lack of oxygen getting to them from the running I was doing. I was so glad that I had decided to wear converse sneakers that day. I could feel the ground beneath me rumbling every time Fido would take a step behind me and that only encouraged me to run faster.

I cried out in relief as I came up to a narrow alleyway and I turned sharply into it, almost losing my balance as I did so. I ran until I was against another wall and I turned my back and slumped against it, my back scraping against the rough brick as I slid to the ground, relieved to finally catch a breathe,

"What the hell is that thing?!" I asked aloud, my breath coming in quick pants; no answer what so ever coming to my rattled brain. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It looked like a dog only a lot bigger and it looked to be on steroids from the bulging muscles on its body. But strangely, it had no fur on any part of its body at all and its huge canine nose covered the majority of its face.

Taking in a trembling breathe, I stood on unsteady feet and looked for another place to hide. The wall I was against was part of a double sided alley way, not counting the one I ran in from. To my left was a little café that I was familiar with and to my left was another alley way across the street.

I could have gone to my left and got some help from the few occupants in there, but I doubted that they could have helped me with my problem. If I took the alleyway to my right then I would be safe and no one would get hurt.

It wasn't too difficult of a decision for me to make. Steeling my skittering nerves, I braced myself against the wall and leaned forward, positioning myself for the short sprint, all the while counting down mentally,

Three…..Two…..One! I broke into a sprint, running as fast as I could to my right, heading straight to the alleyway.

I could feel the ground rumbling beneath me as the monster began to gain on me and I tried my hardest to run faster.

I screamed when I heard the sharp snap of jaws and the feral snarl of the beast right behind me. With another scream, I dove the rest of the way into alley way, crawling a fast as my tired limbs would take me deeper into the narrow passage way.

When I was far enough I got to my feet and began running again, looking behind me as I did to keep an eye on the monster which was clawing vigorously at the brick walls separating us by way of the narrow space.

Bad idea.

Almost immediately I ran right into what felt like a wall but slightly softer. I squeaked as two iron girders rapped securely around my waist without crushing me.

Panting from the running I had done just moments before, I looked up to see what had captured me and my face instantly heated up.

For one, I was in the arms of one of the most gorgeous guys I had ever seen in my whole life and second, he was looking right into my eyes with a smirk that made me want to kiss those full, soft looking lips.

He had a full head of short wind blown bronze hair with one or two strands that fell into his beautiful face, brushing up against the soft curve of his cheek bones which connected to a strong set, chiseled jaw. He had a perfectly straight nose set just as perfectly between a pair of the sharpest eyes I had ever seen beneath dark shades.

I snapped out of my musings when I heard a loud guttural snarl from the monster behind us, which was clawing its way deeper into the alley way and much closer to me and the mystery man in front of me.

Fear coursing through my veins I began to push away from the man, trying to free myself of his hold,

"hey, um, sir…I don't think you realize this, but there's a blood thirsty monster clawing its way towards us, so if you could just let me go, we can both run away and find a safer place to chat." I turned my head to see how close the monster was getting and my heart leapt into my throat; the thing was too close for my own comfort and was raising its massive arm, ready to strike us down and end our existence.

As the arm began to descend upon us, I turned my head back to the man and buried my face in his chest, clenching his shirt in my hands, awaiting for the pain of being crushed and gored by the monster's massive claws.

But it never came; I didn't feel the pain of my bones being crushed, or my flesh and muscle being ripped from the bone.

I did, however feel the man in front of me crouch down, my own legs folding beneath me, and how he sprung up, the deep whoosh of the air from the monster's paw swiping past me sounding in my ears.

I heard the quiet thud as my savior landed on the ground.

I opened my eyes hesitantly and looked over my shoulder, surprised at the distance between us and the monster.

Completely perplexed, I turned my head to look at him, "How did you-" I asked softly, surprised that I could even process any thoughts at all in my current situation.

He only smirked down at me, his arms still firmly around my waist and shoulders,

"I'll tell you later." He answered in the deepest voice that I had ever heard and if his arms weren't holding me up, I swear I would have swooned.

I snapped out of my musings when I felt the strong arms around my waist relinquish their hold on me and panic began to overcome my whole body. My legs began to tremble and my heart began to hammer mercilessly against my ribcage.

I watched absently as the man reached towards his hip throwing the black trench coat to the side to reveal a sword sheathed at his hip.

I looked up to his face to see the soft curve of his lips curved downwards in a deep frown, his eyebrows knitted together. My eyes flickered back to his hip as he unsheathed the sword in one elegant motion, the blade seemingly glowing in the moonlight.

Fear stabbed at my heart like ice daggers as he began to walk toward me and I forced my legs to move, running to my right and pressing my back against the wall. Confusion as well as relief washed through my body as he kept on walking forward instead of turning towards me, going straight towards the monster.

That's when everything seemed to dawn on me and everything clicked in my scrambled brain.

He was going to try and kill it! By himself at that!

I watched in undisguised horror as the monster clawed its way towards him, completely content with ripping his throat out and mangling him to shreds.

And the man only kept on walking closer!

I closed my eyes just as my savior gripped the sword with both hands and rose it above his head, waiting to hear his agonizing screams, images of his beautiful face torn and mangle from the beast's claws.

My eyes snapped open when I heard a gurgled growl, to see the monster disintegrating into dust in the chilled night breeze.

My knight was unharmed as sheathing his sword at his hip.

With a sigh of relief, I got my feet, which seemed to want to give out at any moment, and stumbled towards him, my temper starting to simmer to the surface,

"Are you crazy?!" I snapped the question, taking in his monotonous expression.

"Excuse me?" he asked in a nonchalant tone, which only served to make my temper boil over.

"That…thing could have killed the both of us in less than a heart beat and you took it out with just a samurai's katana! What is going on here?!" I wanted an explanation and I wanted it now.

The mystery man only smirked and I wanted to slap him right there; I was in shock and confused, and he was smiling?!

"Why are you smiling?! I want answers! NOW!" I stomped my foot, my hands on my hips.

He chuckled, "You just randomly start yelling at a man who just saved your life without asking him his name first?" He asked in an amused tone and I felt my cheeks flush.

I took in a deep breath then released it, trying to calm myself. He was right after all.

"Fine," I started off between clenched teeth, "My name is Evelynn Night, what is yours?" My tone was terse but I could have cared less at the moment.

He chuckled again, "Alexander Blackwood."

I smiled, a little bit calmer than I was before, "Okay, Mr. Blackwood, you mind telling what the hell just happened tonight?!" I couldn't help but yell the last part of the question.

Alexander chuckled softly before that dangerous glimmer reappeared in his eyes, the mirth that once filled them completely vanished from their shade clad depths.

"W-what's wrong, Alexander?" I asked hesitantly, dreading the thought of another monster coming after me that night.

He didn't answer, only continued to stare over my shoulder with that look in his eyes. Huffing indignantly, I turned around to see what he had been staring at and my eyes widened in fear.

Standing at the mouth of the alley we were standing in was, by far, the most horrendous creature I had ever seen, it was large with the head of a gargoyle and the body frame of a wolf. Its skin was leathery with green scales covering its entire body, except for the strip of fur running along its spine and tail.

On instinct I began to back away, freezing when I felt Alexander's hand on my shoulder, "Don't move…It can't see or hear us…but it can sense movement." I could only release a shaky breath to signal that I had heard him, to afraid to speak for fear that the creature would sense the movement of my lips and attack us.

"It must have sensed the Canine ibrido chasing you while it was hunting." I heard him speak again and I whirled around, glaring at him, regretting the movement when I heard a shrill cry come from the monster behind me.

I could only cover my ears and clench my teeth against the earsplitting cry when I suddenly felt a strong tug on my hand. I almost lost my footing as Alexander dragged me deeper into the alley, my short legs barely able to keep up with his much longer strides,

"What the hell was that thing?!" I asked, breath coming out in pants as he turned sharply into another alley way. He didn't answer me, he only stopped suddenly, looking up over his right shoulder,

"You mind telling me what the hell is going on here?!" again, he just ignored me and I growled, crossing my arms over my chest and tapping my foot on the ground impatiently. He was scanning the area with just his eyes, standing completely still, every now and again turning to the alley way next to us.

"Eve." I jumped when he suddenly spoke, keeping his eyes trained on the alley. I huffed again, ready to slap him, "We are being watched…so I need you to be very quiet for me…"

"Hey, when are you going to explain to me what is going on?!" I asked and he only ignored me, turning his head, most likely scanning the area. Huffing indignantly once again, I circled him, glaring up at him, flipping my hair over my shoulder,

"Well I know that much, I'm not two years o-" I was suddenly cut off as an intense pressure in my right shoulder that jerked me forward. I looked to my right, my hazel eyes widening in horror as I caught sight of a large sharp claw protruding out of my shoulder. I could feel as well as see the blood slowly dripping down my shoulder from the wound.

I looked up at Alexander, a confused expression on my face before I was unceremoniously jerked off of the ground and hoisted into the air.

A scream wrenching its way from my lips, I reached for Alexander desperately with my left hand, a searing pain beginning to envelope my right shoulder as I was carried off a distance.

Fear coursed through my veins coupled with the pain in my arm. Ignoring the pain, I looked up to see what had captured me before a shrill screech cry filled the air and I felt my shoulder jerk painfully before my whole body became as light as a feather.

I watched mutely as Alexander flew elegantly through the air, his blade stained crimson before pain exploded in my wounded shoulder as I connected with the ground.

My hearing was gone and I could only watch with blurred vision as something large crashed to the ground a few feet away from me and the silhouettes of two men as they removed what looked like thin poles from the larger blob.

I could only register that one of the Silhouettes was obviously Alexander, and the Blur on the ground must have been the monster.

But who was the other shadow?

The black haze of unconsciousness began to cloud my mind as one of the shadows began to come towards me. That was the last thing I saw before the haze took over my vision, carrying into the very depths of darkness.