Adriel was hunched over the ground behind a tree, warming his hands with a small fire. He had started the fire a few minutes ago, the flames crackling from his fingertips and exploding into blue flames that licked at the air hungrily. He watched the girl.

The girl was nineteen. She had been marked by the Elders as a target, and they had dispatched Adriel to kill her. He wasn't sure what she had done, but he didn't care. She appeared to be fairly innocent, with dark hair and wide brown eyes. Adriel suspected she was a sensitive one - her eyes were roving around, and her hands twisted nervously. Most people never noticed something was amiss. With a small shudder, she left the window and wrapped herself in her bed.

Adriel followed her.

He settled into the corner, waiting as the night got darker.

He whispered her name, and her brow twitched. Pleased with this reaction, Adriel stepped closer, and whispered her name again. This time, she let out a soft groan, burying her head deeper into her pillow. His slender fingers gripped her blanket, and he pulled it off slowly, relishing the way she shivered. Her eyelashes began to flutter as a tear trickled down her cheek. His presence was having a strong effect on her, he realized with a smile.

He decided to come back again tomorrow night.

The next night, Adriel experimented with dreams. He reached out and rested his cold fingers on her forehead, concentrating on thoughts of darkness, until her brow twitched again and she let out a dry sob. He didn't want to kill her yet.

The following day, Adriel followed her around, letting her glimpse his dark form out of the corner of her eyes before vanishing. She was turning into a mess, whirling around for every strange noise and her eyes searching for him. She never saw him of course, other than a mere shadow.

Adriel knew he was supposed to have killed the girl on the first night, but a month later, he was enjoying himself far too much. The girl had turned into a recluse, sobbing everytime he brushed her conscience. She had stopped leaving the house, preferring to stay in her room and wrapped up in blankets. Maybe she thought the blankets would protect her, but she was wrong.

A few days later, the Elders called Adriel to a meeting. They asked him why he hadn't killed her yet, and he had no response. He didn't know how to tell them that he found this game more thrilling than murder, and how every time she reacted to his presence, a strange rush went through his body. Kill her soon, the Elders warned, or he would be punished.

He was already too attached. He went to her room every night, and sometimes, he just watched her. Other times, he made her cry and shake.

The Elders called him in again, and this time, they told him he was banished. No longer one of them, they hissed. He was broken.

He wandered around for a while, his mind racing. What was he now? What would he do now? The Elders had snatched his only life away from him, and without it, he didn't know anything. Suddenly, the girl's image flashed through his mind, a brightness in his dark despair. He went to her.

She was lying in a pool of blood, having slit her wrists. She couldn't take the torment anymore, she said in her note. Adriel dropped down beside her, and closed his eyes. He fell asleep, and never woke.