~Prologue~

The Order

"I just don't get how all of you can just sit there!" I cried out, "Aidan was taken by some thing! Vanished into this bright blinding light!" I stomped forward and pounded onto the table with my fists, "just gone! Poof!" sharp shooting pains up my finger tips and fingers.

The lack of reaction from them was alarming to me. Not one of them, not even kind and empathetic Piper even flinched. It was so quiet the crickets low murmuring chirps could be heard from outside. A feat not so easily accomplished as this building was once a Warehouse that stored various fire arms.

"He's just another hunter….," Piper mumbled quietly folding her long fingers over each other and beginning to twirl them. Her whitish blue eyes glanced quickly up at me before timidly glancing back down at my feet.

Avery began to shuffle away from the table; limping. Even in her crippled state she terrified me. Her fiery white eyes glared with such fierceness that I was glad that looks couldn't kill. If they did I'm sure one of hers would have already put me in my grave.

"Another hunter gone is something good for us," She emphasized heavily on the word us. Small particles of spite flew from her mouth at that moment, "for you. He's a threat to all of us."

I bite hard onto my bottom lip. Every part of me wanted to say something to her. To tell her that Aidan didn't want to be a hunter. Never wanted to. That more than anything he desired to be anything but a hunter; if it weren't for his abilities in hunting I surely wouldn't have survived until now. Avery didn't say anything more as she began to limp away her tight silvery blonde wild curls bounced as she limped away from the group. It was truly ironic how much her hair looked like a lion's maim and her lioness like qualities.

JD was the next one to push his chair away. He winced a bit when he went to stand. Huffing out a deep breathe he forced himself up with one swift motion.

"Do you want me to heal you?" Piper asked quickly.

JD as always shook his head violently, "I'm fine." He insisted in a deep gruff voice, an attempt to try and hide his pain, "gonna check on Avery."

Piper looked to Leo who sat with an angered look at the head of the table. The side of his face was puffy, red and beginning to swell. His fists were clenching and unclenching angrily in repeated motions.

"This is why I said she shouldn't be here." Leo angrily spat out.

Piper stood and hurriedly raced towards him placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"If she wasn't here we wouldn't be complete." Piper said in her best attempt at soothing voice.

"Without her The Order wouldn't be after us," he snapped, "The Order wouldn't even know we existed."

The Order had been this omniscient power that they were all afraid of. Before this they were just words, that seemed to evoke fear in any of those who knew the truth. JD, Avery, Piper, Leo and even my mother.

"That was The Order?" I questioned.

Leo narrowed his eyes, "yes Jaime….that's the Order." He said sarcastically.

Two Months Earlier

Of all the ways I could possibly be woken up, high-pitched ear shattering screeching wasn't one of them; but again people are always telling me life is full of surprises and unanswered questions.

I shoot straight up, rubbing and blinking away the sleep from my ears. Slowly my room came from blurriness to a clear focus.

"Jay!" screeched out Diana, "look at your arm!" She clasped her skinny long hands over her mouth. Her dark almost black eyes were wide and starring downward. The smell of blood reaches my nose, I squeeze my eyes shut.

"Get my mom." I whispered in a strained voice, each word having to have been forced out of my mouth. And when I didn't hear anything I creaked open one of my eyes, Diana was still standing in the spot she had been before, "Diana! Please go!"

She stumbled forward reaching for the door mumbling something incoherent underneath her breath. Out of the corner of my eye I could make out crimson stains on my bed sheets. My stomach did flips in my stomach and the dreaded feeling of nausea overcame me. Please don't be sick. I begged. Please. Faintly I could hear the padding footsteps coming up the wooden stairs.

I glanced upward just as my mother entered the room. As usual her caramel colored hair was pin straight falling just past her ear lobes. Her golden eyes slowly looked over the scene but her masked face did not change. It didn't even seem to faze her. It should have fazed her.

"Diana, I need you to wet some toilet paper," she said in her hushed never louder than a whisper tone, "call your father." And her bony hands reached towards my arm and for the first time I looked down and it was something that I regretted.

The once tan top was now crimson in color and caked to my arm. Gently my mother pried her long fingers under the sleeve. I winced at the sharp pain.

"All right, all right," she admonished, "we'll let the Doctor handle this." She gripped my upper arm tightly pulling me off the bed. For a petite woman standing at only five foot and weighing just less than a hundred pounds her upper body strength surprised me, "you feeling dizzy?"

"No." I answered.

"Diana what did your father say?"

"He said he's ready whenever we come in."

Mom draped one of my arms over her shoulder and Diana took the other. The three of us sloppily and slowly made our way down the staircase towards the front door and out of my house. The air was frigidly cold and a part of me wished they had grabbed one of my crumpled sweatshirts resting on the sofa.

My mom's tan 1995 Toyota Camry sat parked in our rocky driveway. A thick covering of dust, dirt and various other items lay smeared over it as if it was an extra layer of paint. The door squeaked loudly as Diana fumbled over her rather large feet and threw herself into the back seat and crawled to the far corner. The car stuttered at first and for a moment I was sure my bad luck would once again strike and it would never start, but after what seemed like an eternity the car rumbled to life.

Never in my life had I seen my mother drive with such urgency. Usually the speedometer never reached over thirty on our not so frequent drives around the bleak town of Meadow's Creek, which had a grand population of just three thousand six hundred and sixty-six.

"Does it hurt?" Diana asked in a childishly high voice pointing towards my wrist.

For a moment in the mirror I catch a glimpse of the golden eyes of my mother. There was a line of tears brimming at the edge of them. Not falling but defiantly on the verge. She quickly averted her eyes away from the mirror.

"No….," I mumbled and Diana raised one of her thick eyebrows. It was her signature 'are you kidding look?', "really Di….it doesn't hurt."

In Meadow's Creek there was only one road that leads in and out of town. The Expressway it was called. It was almost four miles long on each side was covered by thick evergreen trees almost always giving it a dark eerie feeling to them. When one stood on the edge of town and looked down it appeared there was no end to them. Meadow's Creek was isolated all too it's self. I liked to call it a black hole, once you're here you're never leaving. Most of the people could trace their ancestors back to the founding families. Like Diana, through her mother's side was a direct descendant of Abraham Grove whose daughter the town was named after.

"Ms. Whitley….," Diana said, "there's the Sheriff behind us."

"Shit." My mother yelled jamming onto the break causing Diana and I to lurch forward into the leathery seats in front of us.

The two of us together let out a simultaneous oof. My mother slouched further into the seat as if she was attempting to hide. Sheriff Gerald Berks was the typical pudgy police officer with a mustache who was almost always seen chilling at the town bakery with a don ought in one hand, a coffee in the other and a bunch of crumbs in his mustache and on his outfit. I doubted he had ever even seen the slightest bit of a real action aside from the occasional speedy resident. Impatience was a town trait. I craned my neck to see him lumbering out of his car and quite literally waddling along the road towards us.

"Ms. Whitley…," he drawled out.

"Look Gerald I don't have time for this!" Mom yelled out in a voice that I'd never heard her use before, "my daughter needs to see a Doctor."

"She seems fine to me." He scoffed.

I held up my bloodied arm and his beady brown eyes grew wide. He frantically nodded and motioned for us to go ahead. Mom wasted no time as she placed her foot down on the gas pedal. The trees began to blur together as the Expressway ended and we turned onto the highway that lead into Daleson City, where St. Lucille's Hospital was. The skyscrapers were always a sight that amazed me. Their towering height made the town hall seem like a little kid playground. It dwarfed it in comparison. The hospital was the second tallest building on the edge of the town. It was a faded old brick building that stood seven or eight stories high, and impressive enough there was a helicopter landing center on it.

The hospital lobby was empty not unusual for a Monday morning. Dr. Styzinski was a tall lanky man who resembled a diving board. He shared Diana's coal colored eyes and her face shape but his nose unlike hers was much narrower. He walked with a steady pace towards us ignoring the calls of a plump old nurse.

"Sofia…," he managed before my mother began to mutter rapidly in another language that sounded oddly like Latin.

Dr. Styzinski's thick eyebrows knitted together in confusion. Wrinkles appeared on his wide forehead and then his eyes widened and he quickly looked at me and then back to my mother.

"Relax Sofia. Panicking will be no help in this kind of situation." He said in his odd like.

"The Order! They'll find her! They'll find her!" My mother's eyes grew wide-like and glassy as if she were in some sort of trance.

Dr. Styzinski began to wildly call out for another nurse who happened to be walking by. When a round-faced kindly nurse stopped by he gave the instructions of taking her on a walk and calming her down.