Preview for the sequel:

Our Darkness Brings Power

1.

When I awoke, it was bright. The light was warm, yet it felt ice cold as it sank into my body and moved throughout my veins. It's a familiar feeling. I feel empty.

"What are you doing back here?" The boy asked. I never did get his name. It's the boy from the Middle. I saw him last time I died. But… wasn't the last time I died a dream? Does that mean the dream was real? I sat up. A piercing pain exploded in my heart. I gasped. Last time I died it didn't hurt though…

"I asked you a question! Are you the girl who was here before?!" His voice sounded odd, almost desperate.

"I… I don't know." I answered softly.

"I thought you were all an illusion. I told myself it just wasn't possible… no one has ever been rejected by both Heaven and Hell."

I didn't speak. I can't believe I died… I can't believe Alexander killed me…

"But you were here before, right?" He asked.

I nodded. "Yeah… I'm pretty sure I was."

He smiled. "Good to know I'm not going crazy."

I tried to smile back, but it was weak. "Last time I don't think I got your name."

"It's James. James Hetwell."

"I'm Tayla. Tayla Earst." I smiled a real smile and he returned it.

"So what happened this time, or is it too soon?"

"Well… my boyfriend was a shape shifter. He lost his temper when I broke up with him and…"

"He ripped you to pieces?"

I gave a bitter smile. "Not exactly… he chased me into the woods and this guy I kind of like was there. His name is Jake and he's a Saugner. Alexander, my boyfriend, really hates Jake. He tried to stake him and I kind of got in the way trying to protect Jake and you know-" I pulled my shirt down slightly to show my gaping wound that took the place where my heart should have been.

"Whoa. That's like… hardcore."

I laughed at his reaction. Did he really just say hardcore?

He started laughing with me and it felt nice to share a laugh, especially a genuine one, with someone other than Alexander.

"So how was it? Going back to earth I mean."

"Well… I guess you could say it was," insert smile here, "Hardcore."

He chuckled and smiled. "I should've expected that."

"Well I should be disappearing any moment now. Is there anything you'd like to say to me before I go?"

His expression turned serious. "Well… I…" He looked down and shook his head. "Never mind. It's not likely."

"What is it?" I asked. What's he holding back?

"Are-"

I felt a warm light boiling up inside of me and I started to disappear. "Tell me next time!" I yelled before I completely vanished.

~On earth apparently~

I opened my eyes to a white room. A hospital? I don't see any doctors. It took me a little while to realize someone was sitting next to me. I looked over, my neck felt stiff and I winced slightly.

"Feeling better?" Jake asked, his signature smirk spreading across his face.

I nodded. "Did I die?"

Jake nodded. "But you came back almost immediately; you've been unconscious for two days."

"But James told me that when you die it takes a year for your soul and unsubstantial body to transfer over."

"James?"

"Just someone I met in the Middle."

He nodded. "Well anyway what's normally true but not in your case. You're special." He smiled slightly.

"Hmm." I leaned back.

"Oh and, by the way, Alexander won't be coming near you anytime soon. He was… put away for a while."

"Stop with the crappy euphemisms."

He smiled again. "Now that's the Tayla I know and love."

I laughed quietly.

The door opened and a younger man sauntered in. He looked to be a doctor, but I couldn't be sure. He wasn't exactly dressed in the 'normal doctor' way. He did have on a white coat, but underneath he wore a black tee that was tight against his molded chest; his muscles weren't near as large as Jakes though, which I might mention are quite large.

I blushed slightly at that thought.

"So Ms.…" The doctor checked his papers, "Earst… how are you feeling?"

I thought a second. "Honestly I feel pretty crappy."

"Well I guess dying does that to you. Not that I would know." He seemed to be trying to joke with me a little.

I turned to Jake, "Uh, I have to ask you something." I said and gestured for him to lean down.

He did. His expression was confused. "What?"

"Are we still in the supernatural world?" I whispered in his ear.

He nodded. "So if you have any questions, you can ask him." He gestured to the doctor.

I turned back to the doctor. "So," I started, "how lame is it that I died from being stabbed by a freaking stick?"

The doctor smiled. "I don't know about lame, but it's certainly not common."

I nodded slightly.

"Well if you need anything just press that button above your head and a nurse will come almost immediately." And with that he walked out the door.

"Well that was definitely a thorough examination." Jake said sarcastically.

I smiled. "Hey, can you hand me that remote?" I asked and pointed to the small black control that was on a table pushed in the corner. He nodded and passed it to me.

I clicked the TV on and absent mindedly watched the news. Since when did the Supernatural world get a news channel? Or TVs? My thoughts stopped when I heard what they were saying.

"The Supernatural world is in chaos. If we don't act fast and restore order with the pre-chosen ruler, it will surely lead to our demise." A middle-aged woman said.

It showed videos of crying children; supernatural children of course, some varied in color, size, and even shape. It showed starving civilians and crowded hospitals. And then, most shocking and nerve-racking of all, the very last picture it showed was of… you guessed it, moi.

2.

What… the… heck. Why is my picture on the TV? I turned to Jake.

He just continued to stare up at the screen.

"Why is my picture on the screen?" I asked quietly.

Jake acted as if I didn't speak.

"Jake."

He ignored me again, still staring at the TV, his expression unreadable. I looked up at the screen. Small words ran across the bottom.

The pre-chosen ruler has lost another life. Some feel as though she's not an appropriate choice for ruler. There have been several attempts on her life sense she's been admitted to the special care unit.

… Are they talking about me?

I looked back over at Jake.

"Jake." My voice shook slightly. He didn't respond. I placed my hand on his arm. "Are they… talking about me?" I asked. This time Jake turned. He looked into my eyes; his own were filled with pain and sadness. He didn't have to nod, I knew it was true.

~Later~

I was released from the hospital later that day. I didn't have anywhere to go. Jake said I could stay with him, but I don't exactly know where he lives.

In the end, I agreed to stay with Jake. He said that he would get Zavier to come over one day and we can discuss what needs to be done so that I can restore order. So here I am. Riding in a cab to god knows where. Where does Jake live? In a mansion? A Castle? A dungeon? I can't exactly imagine him living in a country-side cottage. It was about an hour drive and we've been in the car for thirty minutes. I was getting tired, but I didn't want to sleep. Jake was sitting next to me.

"You look a little tired, here," He took off his jacket, wadded it up, and placed it on his shoulder for a make-shift pillow. When I hesitated he smiled. "Oh, come on. I don't bite... much."

I laughed quietly and placed my head on his shoulder.

"So what's it like?" He asked.

"What's what like?"

"Dying."

It was quite for a little while.

"It hurts… but it's peaceful. Have you ever heard of the Middle?" I ask.

He nods.

"That's where I always end up. And every time I get there, there's a boy. He's about our age. His name is James." I said quietly.

"Why do you think he's always there?"

"I don't know… it almost seemed like he was waiting for someone. And right before I came back, he tried to tell me something but I was gone before he could."

Jake was quiet for a little while. Something seemed to be bothering him.

"You should get some rest." He said and gazed out the window mournfully.

~Later~

We arrived at Jake's house around four o'clock. I was completely shocked by what I saw. It wasn't a mansion, but it sure was close to one. It was tall and had two or three stories. It was brick and it seemed to have a mysterious air about it. There were acres of land around it and it was a few miles from the nearest town. Jake laughed at my expression.

"I don't know what you had been expecting, but I'm sure this wasn't it."

I shook my head and took in the pond by the side of the house. Jake followed my gaze.

"And, just a warning, don't swim in there unless you like being eaten by alligators." His tone was light and I could hear the humor in his voice. I smiled, but I knew it wasn't convincing. "Are you ok?" He asked, studying my face.

I nodded. "I… I was just thinking about… what happened." I said quietly.

His expression turned to one of understanding. "Yeah… I'm sorry that happened."

"It wasn't your fault." I murmured.

He turned away from me and gestured me to follow him into the house. I did, and he opened the door for me. As I walked in, I was surprised to find that the furnishing was quite contemporary. There was a large entrance hall and, down the hall, I could see what seemed to be a living room.

I was still taking in the room when a figure walked towards us from down the hall. He was really tall– but that doesn't really say much considering I'm 5'1– and he had dirty blond hair and light eyes that looked to be hazel. He looked at me questioningly and then turned to Jake.

"Who's she?" He asked, jabbing a finger in my direction.

"Good to see you too." Jake said sarcastically.

The boy glanced back over at me.

"Her name is Tayla." Jake said. "And she'll be staying with us for a while."

"Why?!"

Jake lowered his voice slightly. "She's supposed to restore order."

The boy's eyes widened. "Her?"

Jake nodded.

"I'm standing right here, you know?" I said, my tone slightly annoyed.

The boy glared down at me.

"Be polite and introduce yourself." Jake said to the boy.

The boy glared a little more. "Zach." He said finally.

I was about to say something snidely back, but before I could, someone else came down the hall, only this was a girl and she was running towards me. She hit me hard and I fell to the floor. I heard the air escape my lungs as the girl sat on my stomach. Her black hair fell onto my face as she looked hungrily over me with her brown eyes and smiled seductively.

"Well hello, who do we have here? She's cute… I've had to hang around you guys for so long that I never get to have any fun." She said and stroked my cheek lightly.

"Jamie!" Jake yelled.

"What?" she asked.

I was still struggling to breathe when Jake yanked her off of me and glared at her. He helped me up and made sure I was ok.

"You idiot! She's still recovering!"

"Oh come on. I need fun! You're boring." She poked her lip out and pretended to pout.

"Well Tayla's no fun either!" Jake said.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"Well in my defense almost every time we see each other, one of us is either dying, dead, or about to be killed."

"True."

"Well I think she will be really fun." Jamie said, starting to walk towards me again.

"Oh give it a rest, James. She's not interested." Jake said, pulling her back.

Wait, was she hitting on me?!

"And she's interested in you?" Jamie asked.

"I didn't say that–"

"I'm not comfortable with this conversation." Zach said and walked off.

I raised my hand, "I'm not either."

Jake glanced back at me. "Well… back to business. I'll show you your room."