It Was Fate

Fear. That was the main emotion Amber Bradds felt at that particular moment. Fear. It was reasonable; she was probably going to die. There was really no reason to believe otherwise. After all, as far as she knew, she was the only one left.

Sorrow. That was the only other emotion she could process. Her family had been murdered recently. She wasn't exactly sure how recently, it could have been three hours or three days. The 'when' didn't matter. Her parents were dead and she had watched it happen. In light of the 'what', the 'when' seemed extremely unimportant, almost irrelevant.

She blinked back tears. She didn't want to show weakness. Fear was acceptable; weakness merely ensured her already highly likely death.

Her captors, both males, sat directly across from her, talking in hushed tones. That brought back the fear; nothing good would come from those whispers. They were probably plotting. Plotting was bad, especially when kidnappers were up to it.

For the hundredth time that night (the last few nights? Time truly was irrelevant to her anymore), she wondered why she was still alive. Werewolves weren't known for their mercy, she was almost certain she would rather be dead. She didn't like having her life in their hands…paws? Regardless, it was a bad situation. She wished she knew what they had in store for her.

Her pale jade eyes moved away from her captors. There was nothing significant about them. They were both young, white men with glowing yellow eyes, a common trait among wolves. One was blond and maybe and inch taller than his companion. The other had black hair. Both of them had crew cuts. They were part of someone's army, though whose was hard to say. Not anyone employed by the nation of Nevermore. No, they killed supernatural beings on sight. Maybe Pandora's, but there were truce negotiations in the works. It wasn't likely that Pandora would orchestrate so bold and blunt an attack. Which meant they were probably some third party. Someone against the peace. Even at thirteen, Amber knew that and she didn't even like politics.

She looked out the window of the carriage they road in. She had never been to Pandora. She was human; no one ever crossed the border. It was stupid for Nevermores and suicidal for Pandorans.

She had no idea where their little party was. The wolves had dragged her through a portal. She could be anywhere, even a different continent. The only proof it was Pandora was the carriage itself. It wasn't like many other places in the world used unicorn drawn transportation.

There were lots of pine trees outside. That didn't particularly narrow down the possibilities. Many areas of Pandora were thick with pines. The melting snow on the ground meant they were either up north or in the mountains. That was all she could tell. It would have been a truly beautiful sight, the blanket of white surrounding the pines, had the circumstances not been so horribly dark.

She turned away from the window, messing with the ropes that bound her wrists in front of her. There was blood on her olive skin; the ropes were cutting too deep. She was suddenly glad that she wasn't trapped with vampires, but she wished she had learned more about knots as a child. She wanted to loosen them, even if she knew she couldn't untie them completely. They would see that and would never allow it.

The carriage came to a sudden stop, nearly jolting Amber from her seat. Her brown hair fell into her face. Normally she kept the ridiculously long hair in a braid so that it was out of the way. She hadn't had time to do that before the attack. She had been sleeping, lying in her nice warm bed, never expecting the attack. They all had…

The blond one got out first and the other roughly shoved her out, pushing her into the first one.

"You're going to fetch a pretty penny on the market today," the one behind her growled. The grin was evident in his voice. Well, at least she knew her fate…

The witch wandered the marketplace, leaving her house for the first time in months. She didn't need to shop there, but that morning had felt the overwhelming impulse to. It was fate, she knew the pull. She also knew better than to resist it, fate would have her way regardless of Melinda's desires. She had thrown on her silver robes, the ones with the blue sash, and grabbed a wicker basket. The hood of her robes covered her pale face and hid her cool blonde hair and icy blue eyes. There was nothing she could do to disguise her unusual height, at five foot eleven, but it shouldn't be too much of a giveaway. Her enemies (of which there were many) shouldn't spot her.

She stopped at a stand and bartered for some apples. They were Jackson's favorite and Cayden also enjoyed them. Personally, she didn't care for them. The fruit was the center of too many dark tales. It symbolized nothing good. She didn't like its wicked connotations.

Five of her homegrown tomatoes bought her four apples. The shop owner had by far gotten the better deal, but what could she do? Besides, these were a nice treat for her housemates.

She glanced around the market place. There wasn't much going on, only the usual bargaining. A look at the setting sun told her it was time to head home. Perhaps her feeling had been wrong. Her magic had been getting rusty lately; she wasn't practicing much these days. Unsettled, she began walking to where she had left Stanley and Jill, along with the coach.

Knowing what would become of her did not make anything better. In fact, it might have made her feel worse. There were vampires in that crowd, hungry vampires. Judging from the amount, she had about a 70% chance of becoming someone's lunch. She really wished the werewolves would have just slaughtered her. It seemed preferable to being food, or a slave, which was the other 30% chance.

The blond werewolf marched her up three steps, onto a small platform. It was in the center of this little town and the center of attention. Amber wished she were somewhere else, anywhere else. The dark haired one stood beside her and addressed the crowd.

"Before you stands a human child of thirteen years. She's perfectly healthy. Her parents are dead; no one will miss her. I would like to start the bidding at 100 golden coins."

A vampire took the bid. A werewolf doubled it. A different vampire offered 350. Amber realized that the wolves were right. They were going to make some good money off of her.

"500," the first vampire offered. He looked at her like she was the last piece of cake at a buffet and she felt quite uncomfortable.

"Fifteen hundred," a female voice range out. A woman stepped forward, the crowd parting around her. All the attention shifted from Amber to this mystery woman.

"Will anyone else go higher?" the wolf asked the mob.

Silence, as though the assembly was afraid to challenge the stranger. It wasn't a thought Amber found comforting, not at all.

"Sold, to the woman in the silver robes!"

She walked to the stage, looking up at the men. "Cut the ropes," she ordered, handing over the coins. The dark haired one nodded and did as was asked. The blonde one decided to start a conversation.

"So what brings The Witch to the market?"

She sighed. (Disguises were pointless, it seemed.) Her hood fell back, revealing medium length blonde hair and a very young face. She lifted up the basket in her hand. "I don't grow apples."

He narrowed his shining yellow eyes at her, so full of mistrust and disdain. "You also don't own human slaves. Apparently things change."

"My business is mine alone, Marco. Drop it." She turned away, facing Amber. "Follow me, child."

Do I have a choice? she wondered, but she knew the answer. No, there were no options. It was go or be killed. Following seemed much more appealing.

"What is your name, girl?" the stranger asked as the walked away from the podium. She seemed entirely okay with having so many threats at her back, not ill at ease in the slightest. Amber wished that she could have that kind of confidence.

"Amber Nicole Bradds."

"When is your birthday, Amber Nicole?" She seemed genuinely curious, though Amber couldn't quite comprehend why.

"Just Amber, please. It was last week, March 3rd."

"You were born on 3/3/3333?" the woman questioned with surprise. They reached the borders of the town; the witch moved surprisingly fast.

Amber nodded. "A fact that my mother never failed to remind me."

"They killed her, didn't they?"

Another nod, but she felt like this woman didn't really need the confirmation.

"That's unfortunate. Here we are, Amber." They arrived at a carriage, drawn by two silver unicorns. One had a ROY G BIV rainbow mane, the other was entirely silver and white. The coach itself was black. The witch opened the door and hoisted Amber inside. She climbed in herself, shutting the door.

"My name is Melinda Evanston. You may call me Melinda or The Witch, whichever you prefer. I do not plan to kill you, though I'm afraid that I cannot let you go. We are going to Evanston manor, which is just on the outsides of Haven, Pandora. I hope you think of it as a home, but I won't be surprised if you think of it as a prison. I have three housemates. The first is my long-time friend, Jackson Leeves. He is a werewolf. The second is his sister, Fay Richards. She is a water fairy. She is not his biological sister, but he considers her family. Lastly, my adopted son Cayden. He's…well, I suppose you shall see. There are not many words to describe Cayden. I understand that you are overwhelmed, but do you have any questions?"

She shook her head. She had plenty, but it was a long day and she was too tired to ask. She leaned against the carriage wall and closed her eyes. It wasn't long before she was fast asleep.

A/N: So hi, all! This is chapter one of my 2011 NaNo. I just got around to rereading it and decided it was post worthy. I'd love some feedback on that decision, whether you agree or not.

Hopefully I can manage weekly, weekend updates of this story. I have a few chapters stocked up and some rewriting to do, but I like what I have.

This is the first new story I have posted in a while, so I hope you enjoy. Happy reading!