Prologue: In Darkness We Stand

"Sweetheart, where are you hiding? Do I have to remind you that you can hide and run all you want, but I'll always find you?" A deadly sweet voice rang out through the silent mansion. Loud, eerie footsteps echoed through the foreboding corridors, darkened with abusing shadows that danced with frenzy across the walls, both short and long. They, the footsteps, weren't light; in fact, they were loud and thunderous, betraying the man's true anger and frustration with his 'victim'.

It was raining hard, the drops pelting the windows of the manor with a loud splatter. The noise echoed through the house, mixing in with the crashing footsteps and escalating the tension even further than it already was. Her breaths came out as pants; quick and shallow, as her silent tears flowed from her thick eyelashes. His cruel roar of anger erupted through the house, and she pulled Alexa closer to her with a quiet, strangled cry that died in her throat, the inability to breathe momentarily blindsiding her.

Moments before, she'd watched him mutilate Blake, who had thrown himself between Alexa and the blade. In the prior struggle, however, he'd managed to break both of Alliaster's legs, giving her time to run and find somewhere to hide. Frightened, devastated and broken, she'd ran through the winding hallways and up the swirling staircases in a hurry, tripping every now and then, her senses on high as she gripped her child in a protective manner.

"Mommy?"

Her angel's little, innocent voice floated up to her ears, breaking her out of her reverie. She kissed Alexa's head and held her close. The guilt she was feeling was very nearly eating her from the inside out. Here was a 2-year old, sitting in a closet after watching her father die violently. Soon to be thrown into a new world without her absolute consent, away from her mother and siblings. Why was the world so cruel? She had no part no this, yet here she was. Tired, confused and scared. Thunder crackled and the flashes of lightning could be seen from the crack under the door. Her body shook, her silent sobs mangled. The child, Alexa, had enough sense to realize something was horribly wrong; she was incredibly bright for her age. Wide-eyed, she watched her mother struggle with herself, the demons haunting her from within, not uttering a single word or making an audible noises.

"I'll find you, Veronica! I'll find you and your precious baby, too!" A yell echoed through the house, causing her grip to tighten on her mother's arms in a rather protective manner.

"Lexy?" She shook her daughter, whispered in her ear softly. How would Alexa respond? Cry? Scream? Run off? The possibilities were endless. She felt her turn in her lap. Alexa reached for her hands before whispering back. She needed reassurance, and she was intending on giving it to her until the very last moment. "Yes, mommy?"

She smiled sadly, and took in a deep breath before telling her. Telling her the one thing she had dreaded, the one thing she hadn't wanted to come to.

"Mommy has to send you away, so the mean man can't get you. You'll be safe there, safe from everything and anything this man will try to do. See mommy's locket? You'll be magically put into it, and kept safe until a special girl comes and finds it. Then, you'll be let out and be able to make friends with the girl, and stay safe!" She tried to make it sound like a good thing, but her depressed heart wouldn't let her. Knowing how smart Alexa was, she knew she probably saw through her facade as well. A facade that was so poorly built it fell down the moment she put it up.

"Ar-Are you coming too, mommy?," she cried, gazing at her with her beautiful, ivory-coloured eyes. Edward's beautiful eyes. Closing her own, she found herself in the position of not being able to lie to her. Not being able to make everything seem okay when in reality, they were not.

"No, baby. The locket can only hold you. It was made for mommy's little princess, to keep you safe" She explained softly, feeling more tears fall out of my eyes. She heard her cry out, softly, and hug her waist tightly. She wrapped her own arms around her little girl, whispering soothing words into her hair. As more and more time passed, she could feel Alexa's dark locks become matted with tears.

"You have to listen to mommy, baby. Mommy knows best, right?"

She felt Alexa's very presence dampen at the reason and logic in her words. The tone that left no room for her to argue. Slipping it around Alexa's neck, she said her final goodbye; "I love you, Alexa. Always remember that."

Suddenly, the dark closet was flooded by the bright flash of light coming from the locket, surrounding Alexa. As she started to fade, she heard her baby cry out,

"I love you too mommy! I'll come back and find you! I PROMISE!" At those last words, she found her heart breaking into pieces, and she was wailing out into the dark silence, despite the crazed madman roaming the house in search of her. Seconds later, all of Alexa was gone; the locket that had been suspended in mid-air fell to the floor with a soft clatter, it's magic dispersed. As if someone had thrown a blanket over it. A dark, bitter blanket. She closed her eyes, trying with all her might to stop her tears, but to no avail. Her baby was gone, for god knows how long. What kind of mother was she? Berating herself and slowly falling headfirst into a sea of despair, she waited for the fates to show her the way. Her destiny. For all of this to be over was what she wished for, but the question was if she was going to get her wish. It was a selfish wish, too; what about her other children? All too soon, the closet door was thrown open, and there, towering over her, the man responsible for her heartbreak. For her brokenness. For her pain.

"Found you," he snarled, a sinister smile playing his lips. He was smiling. The son of a bitch had the nerve to smile. She stood, her shining, chocolate curls falling around her face and tumbling over her eyes, shielding him from the blazing anger that churned within her irises. Anger and raw pain emitted from her in waves of sheer power, and he could feel that. He wanted that. He lusted that, and her. Power encased in a dark beauty.

"You, Alliaster, have ruined my life. That's why, I, Veronica Volarion, will be your utter downfall. Watch yourself crash and burn!" She snarled, grabbing for the knife strapped to her thigh. It was always there for emergencies, though she hid it well under her dresses. Pulling it out of its sheath, she dashed forward at the speed of light. Her vision blurred by the tears that were still falling, she watched him smirk and fly at her as well, with a bloodied sword. Her heart throbbed even more than it originally had been; he intended on ending her life with the same sword that ended Edward's. Giving the sword a once-over, she felt her brain arouse with doubt and questions. Wait..that sword...it couldn't be. Her eyes widened as she realized what he had really done, and was planning on doing. She realized how intricately he'd played everything out, and how he knew of the outcomes.

Unfortunately, it was too late to run, too late to stop herself before her horrid fate fell upon her. Before the last piece of the puzzle fell into place.

He grabbed her knife arm and swung her around, most likely bruising her skin where he was gripping her arm. Releasing her, he cackled as she flew into a wall with a sickening crack. She winced, and struggled to get herself to her feet. In a flash, she felt his hand around her neck. He stared into her eyes; black, fathomless irises staring into her pale, rose-pink bulbs.

"At first, I found interest in your personality. How could a daughter of an Immortal be so calm and collected? It soon moved onto appreciation over your looks. Your beautiful, creamy flesh...your captivating eyes...and your chocolate-coloured hair. You turned down my offer though; you didn't want to be my princess. I could have made you thousands of times more happier then that fool ever could have dreamed of. I'll give you one, last chance though; Veronica, will you accept my offer and marry me?" he asked, again. She glared at him, and took the last few moments to express all her bitterness and hate she had for him. Verbally.

"Marry you? I would much rather want to KILL YOU than MARRY YOU. You broke my family apart, killed my husband, and still have the nerve to ask me to MARRY YOU? You, Alliaster, have lost your mind. Or what was left of it. You are the King of the Shadowlands, my family's worst enemy. WHY, IN MY RIGHT MIND, WOULD I MARRY YOU?"

He roared at her defiance, and stabbed her with the knife. She felt a large wave of pain overcome her senses; everything she saw was tinged with red. Was it all over? It felt like it. Despite what people said about your life flashing before your eyes, she saw her family and their smiling faces. Alexa. Edward. Brooklyn, Maria, Melissa...The excruciating pain flared, making it seem like her body was on fire. Being seared by the flames of horrid, unbearable pain.

"Night night, sweetheart. Let your daughters see you in another lifetime." The bastard smirked. With that, the world turned black.


A/N: Whee! Sorry for the short prologue, but it can't be helped. Reviews are loved (a LOT); the more there are, the quicker I post the first part (I'm already done most of this story!). So...REVIEW! Until next time (: