She was in pain, a deep wound on her left side, yet she was still running. Her life depended on it. Behind her, she could hear her attackers closing the distance, taunting her and calling her name.

"Aaaaaalllllllllllyyyyyyyyy. Come baaaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkkk. We were having sooooo much fuuuuuuuunnnnnn..."

"Come play with us, Aly..."

"Sssssttttaaaaaayyyyyyy with uuuussssssssssss..."

Fear shot through her body as she ran through the darkened wood, stumbling blindly and trying to find her footing. Her skin crawled knowing how fast they were catching up; her wound burned to her very core, but still she pressed on. She refused to be the plaything of wayward demons.

A movement up ahead caught her eye, and she hesitated. And that moment of hesitation cost her dearly. Within moments she was flung to the ground and her arms held behind her back. Her long dark locks were pulled on hard, jerking her head back to look at her taunters.

Three shaded figures, each with sharp pointed teeth, grinned devilishly at her. The one who held her brought his face closer to hers, clarifying his features. His eyes were almond shaped and a dot of white in a sea of black. Unruly dark hair covered his head, his pale gray skin covered with markings and scars of centuries past.

"You didn't really think that you could just leave, did you?" the demon sneered. He tightened his vice grip on her arms, laughing as Aly winced in pain.

"Come now, Tavi," one of the others called to him; "we still need her. That means no breaking." The one who spoke had long dirty blonde hair with piercing blue eyes surrounded by black, his skin a pale olive color. Tribal tattoos decorated his torso, armbands permanent on his arms.

The one named Tavi let go of Aly's hair and stuck a clawed finger into her open wound, laughing as she cried out from the pain. He looked to the blonde one. "I can still have a little fun with her."

The third one, a lanky mauve skinned creature with eyes of yellow in black and lengthy white hair, leaned back on a rotted tree stump, a toothpick nestled in his pointed mug. Aly felt her arms going numb from Tavi's death grip.

"Oi," the last one said in a thick accent, "she might pass out soon. We don't want her blacking out while we play. Wouldn't be no fun in that."

Tavi looked from Aly then to his companions. She prayed silently to whatever deity would hear her. "Oh? Looks like you may be right, Dune." Tavi smirked and pushed Aly's limp form in between the three men, who circled her like wild dogs.

Her eyes grew round as their bodies flickered between shadows and clear form, trying to curl herself up into a ball. She blinked and the blonde one was a breath away, grinning horribly.

"No worries, Alyson. You're never to far from us...We'll always find you, even in your dreams."

Pain seared through her abdomen and she looked down to see a long gash across her stomach. Dune and Tavi came to stand behind Rex. Tavi stuck his claws in her wounds again, causing her body to jerk in fits of pain. "Yeah, we'll be seeing you really soon, Aly."

Then, Dune cocked his foot back and knocked her out.

Aly awoke with a start, her heart pounding in her chest. Her darkened room did nothing to dispell the fear that seized her limbs, so she quickly left her room for the crisp night air out on her balcony.

Her pendant warmed beneath her nightgown and she reached for it absently, replaying her dream in her head.

Those men...they were nasty dark things...she wasn't sure of their race, but she knew they weren't to be taken lightly. Carefully, she touched her abdomen, thinking that there was something there. Aly winced; it still felt tender. Curious, she lifted up her nightgown and gasped. A thin scar where the one named Rex had gotten her was visible. Eyes wide, she raised her nightgown up further still, examining her left side. There was a wider, healed over scar...where she had been deeply wounded..

"Impossible..." she breathed, her heart picking up its pace. "It just a dream, a little night terror...wasn't it?"