Rated M for violence, disturbing subject matter, and explicit sexual content.

Also, for those of you who want to read more, the sequel, Fire and Ice, is currently in progress.


Chapter One: Premeditated

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." –Robert Frost

"I'm not going to hurt you," he says. "Come with me."

I want to believe the man standing in front of me, but I have my doubts.

"You're going to die if you stay here. Let me help you."

Thinking about the man's offer, I quickly examine my situation. I am stranded in the middle of a forest with nothing but my bowie knife and the clothes I am wearing. It's past midnight; the temperature below freezing and swiftly dropping. Worst of all, I am up to my waist in snow, unable to move because of the pain in my leg. It's probably broken.

I sigh, my breath misting in front of my face. The snow stopped falling several minutes ago, and the sky is nothing but a clear black void now. The moon glows almost as bright as daylight, reflecting off of the snow. I see no path anywhere; I don't really know how this man has found me, or even if I am glad he has. He has appeared as if out of nowhere. Under the circumstances, I should thank him for being my guardian angel. But there's nothing angelic about him.

After a moment, I take his outstretched hand and immediately feel his warmth permeating through his glove and mine. I realize how cold I really am. He smiles at me and pulls me from the snowdrift.

I groan loudly.

The man sets me down on the ground and hurriedly removes his gloves. "Where does it hurt?"

"My leg," I gasp.

He runs his hands along the limb I indicate, feeling for any breaks. I try not to let my pain show.

"Hmm..." he murmurs, thinking for a few moments before he reaches for me and draws one of my arms around his shoulders. "It's broken," he assures me as we stand. "You won't be doing any running in the near future."

I am silent. Running is exactly what I need to do right now, what every fiber of my being tells me is necessary for survival. I can't outrun my rescuer, though. Not at night, alone in a forest I don't know well, especially not with a broken leg. I suddenly realize how much danger I am in, trapped with this man. My life now depends on the goodwill of the notorious serial killer who has found me...