I made some changed to this chapter, I hadn't been able to find where I had written it before, so this is a combination of the new and old. The male character I mention here has a different name and their relationship is a little different i think, but this is what I sort of had written before. -Ray

Calissa woke late the next morning to her phone vibrating. The message was another address; immediately, she jumped out of bed and got dressed. When she left she noticed a limo waiting for her.

"Miss Curtwright," the driver asked.

"Yes," Calissa answered hesitantly.

"Mr. Holmes has asked me to drive you to your location today."

"Did he?" she replied. She stepped toward the limo. The driver cleared his throat and stood in front of the door.

"He also requested that you wear something with more color." He said softly.

"Well, he can't have everything he wants can he?" The man shrugged as if he didn't care and continued to open the door, gesturing for her to enter. She stepped in and sat in silence the man drove her away.

When they stopped, she was surprised to see an expensive looking restaurant to her right.

'What is going on?' She thought. The door opened before she had a chance to get out.

"My dear, is black the only color you own?" A familiar voice chimed. She looked at Max, who smiled as he pulled her close.

"No, but it is what I like." She smiled back. Max took a loose lock of her hair and tucked it behind her ear. Then in one swift motion he tugged at her tight bun, letting her blonde hair fall onto her shoulders.

"You are quite beautiful my dear." He whispered then escorted her inside.

"So, why are we here? Where is Gideon?" Calissa asked, looking around.

"He is at home, I assume. We, my dear, are here to eat." He smiled and led her inside. They were seated away from the windows, in a candle lit corner.

"Charming," Calissa said. The waiter took their order immediately; while Calissa ordered actual food, Max ordered his 'usual'. She assumed that meant an assortment of blood types.

"Now, how have you been?" He asked, twirling his wine glass.

"I've been fine." She said softly, feeling confused.

"Have you read anything good lately?" Calissa chuckled and looked around.

There were vampires, werewolves and warlocks seated in this restaurant. All were separated into sections. Vampires were in the back, away from any source of sunlight, werewolves were seated toward the front by the windows. This was mostly because of the strain between the two races. It was a long violent history that kept them apart centuries later. Therefore, warlocks were mixed all around as a wall between them. As Calissa looked around, she met many pairs of eyes; she knew what they were thinking of the pair of them together, and she began to feel self-conscious. Returning her gaze to Max, she saw that he didn't notice. But then again, Max wouldn't care either way.

"I just finished a particularly lovely one," She said finally. "But I have found that I am running out of books to read."

"Well, shall we pick some new ones out after lunch?" He smiled as he sipped his wine.

"Actually," Calissa began. "I was thinking I could look from your collection." She took a sip of her wine.

"What?" She sighed, this was the reaction she had expected and dreaded.

No one had stepped foot in the library in his home since his wife died. She was the one who loved to read. Lilly gave Calissa novels to read, and expected her to learn something which she always did. It was her way of telling Calissa that she accepted her and cared; when Lilly was alive, Calissa wasn't alone.

"I'd like to borrow some of her books. They always meant the most," she took his hand gently.

"Here we are," the waiter said. He and another boy set down their meals; Max's consisting of three different blood types.

"Thank you," Max said not looking away from Calissa. "No one is allowed in there." He said firmly, but she wouldn't back down. He withdrew his hand.

"Why not? It is time to let go, she is gone. You can't spend the rest of your immortal life moping." Max laughed cruelly as she spoke.

"You, my darling, don't you think it's time to forget?" Turning away, Calissa ignored his comment.

"My family was slaughtered by your kind for nothing. Lilly died to help solve their murders. I case which we committed to."

"A case that you are obsessed with," he added curtly. "You've become blinded by anger, all you want is revenge. This is bigger than you Lissa." He scolded.

"You don't think I know that?" She hissed. In the back of her mind, Calissa hoped they hadn't drawn attention to themselves.

"No, I think Gideon was correct. I shouldn't put you on this case."

"Call my dedication to this case what you will; but from the start it's been about making things right. Not just for my family, but for Lilly, and both our worlds." Throwing her napkin onto the table, she stood. "I don't need your criticism." As she walked out of the restaurant her heart felt shattered.

At home she turned off her phone and opened a book she had reading a hundred times. It was one Lilly had given her. On the inside, she had written a small note explaining what it meant to her. Calissa flipped through the pages and put the book down after a moment. She remembered when they found Lilly. Maxwell and his group had been following a lead in the case, and Lilly went undercover. She was dead when they arrived, but it was clear she had been tortured. The room she was kept in had sprinklers, with holy water in the pipes and an adjustable sun roof. The process was slow and grueling, mostly because of Lilly's age. As a vampire grows in age, they increase in strength; therefore the sun does not cause discomfort immediately. The torture she had endured must have taken days. Full of rage, Maxwell killed the men they had captured and then hid away in his home for days. Calissa had just turned eighteen when he came to his senses. Even though he had been kind, she could feel that he wanted to be alone. She left him and rented the apartment she lives in now. This afternoon she had left him again, hoping to never see him again.

Calissa looked at the novel once more, and then she picked it up and read the note again. Flipping through the pages, she came up with nothing. But at the end she found one word written on the last page.


She crinkled her nose. It meant nothing to her, and it most certainly wouldn't have meant anything to Lilly. Vampires were damned; having faith would do them no good. Nonetheless, Calissa wanted to know why Lilly would choose to write 'faith' in the back of this particular novel. Rereading the note in the front, she decided to read through the book again.

The Great Gatsby, Calissa looked at the cover and hoped some message was hidden within. She finished reading through the book; she discovered things she hadn't caught the first time. It was terrible to think how heartless people became for money, or the lengths one would go to have a chance at something they could never have. However, there was never any hint of faith within the text.

"Why," Calissa sighed. She placed the book back into its place and sat on the couch defeated. The word meant nothing, but it continued to tug at the back of her mind. A week passed and Calissa made no progress. She was still extremely curious, but too proud to contact Maxwell. No matter how much she wanted to believe this was something important; there was no evidence supporting it.

Finally, she gave up. Leaving the book in its place, she sat on the couch and sighed.

"He is right." She whispered to herself. In almost six years, Calissa had spent every waking moment training herself and searching for that man. She had only wanted to see him dead. There had never been any thought as to afterward. Repeated failures and dead ends were always occurring, and Calissa was always at square one. Looking at herself now, she felt useless. In a blind fury she ran to her room and pulled a large box from her closet and dragged it into the living room. She opened it and looked inside; it held all of her family's belongings. She took a breath and began filling the box with Lily's books as well as her weapons.

She looked back into her room and found one photo that had fallen from the box. As she knelt to pick it up, Calissa saw her mother and father lying on the ground lifeless. Even when she closed her eyes, she saw them. Picking up the photo, she made her way down the hall. As she looked around Calissa felt like she was walking into her home again on that treacherous night. He was standing over them in her vision smiling, the monster. With a sudden burst of rage, she raised her fist to hit the man. A wave of pain surged through Calissa's arm; blinking away tears, she realized that she had just punched a hole in her wall. Focusing on her breathing, she closed her eyes and collected herself. Calissa looked at her hand and realized she had almost ruined the photo.

After placing everything in the box, Calissa fumbled to tape it shut. Tears stung her eyes and she screamed again kicking the box and tipping over the coffee table. She threw a pillow at the wall; it knocked a framed painting to the floor, which shattered. Her blood was boiling and she couldn't calm down. Silence fell in the apartment; the only sound was Calissa's ragged breathing. Someone knocked on the door, breaking her thoughts.

"Maxwell?" Calissa asked herself. But when she opened the door she found a stranger standing in the doorway.

"Uh," he began. Calissa quickly wiped her eyes and smiled.

"My name is Calissa. Are you new here?"

"No," he smiled awkwardly; Calissa had to admit that he was pretty cute. The boy was tall, thin and muscular, with sandy hair and soft freckles. He had startling hazel eyes and dark bronzed skin.

"I live across the hall," he coughed clearing his throat. "My name is Jared. I came over after I heard the ruckus… Is everything okay?" Calissa rubbed her brow embarrassed.

"Oh, yes… I was just releasing some pent up anger." She laughed lightly and Jared smiled.

"Well, you shouldn't be stuck inside this apartment building all day, why don't you come with me and have lunch?" He asked softly.

"Uhm," Calissa hesitated. "Sure, I'll just be a minute. Come in in the sofa before she retreated to her room. Astounded by her luck she leaned against the door. Then she hurriedly picked out something to wear and after ten minutes she was ready to go. Rather than her usual black, Calissa chose a soft blue blouse and dark grey jeans.

"Sorry I made you wait." She smiled.

"It's alright. Let's go," He stood and smiled. Calissa followed him out the door. Outside he held the door to his car open and waited for her to step in. She giggled to herself.

"Lovely day," he said getting in the car. "Where shall we eat?" Calissa looked at him from the corner of her eye and shrugged.

"Wherever," she replied. The man thought a moment then began driving. They made small talk as he drove through town. Calissa learned he was currently attending college for computer science, he was from a city a couple hours away, and he was single.

"Here we are," Calissa looked around and realized they were parked in front of a small local business crammed between two large buildings.

"I didn't even know this existed. I've lived here all my life." She laughed.

"A friend brought me here after a study session. The food is good, and more importantly, it's cheap." He smiled. Calissa raised an eyebrow. "What can I say? I am a broke college student."

"True," she laughed. "What are you studying?"

"Don't laugh," He said hesitantly. "I am an art major. My parents seem convinced that I won't make any money and I don't blame them. I'm not picking art for the money; I chose it because I love it."

"Interesting," Calissa said. School had never been an option for her, not after what had happened.

The restaurant was dimly lit, and jazzy music poured out as they entered. A tall girl with several piercings sat them next to a window. Looking around Calissa noticed each wall was painted with its own theme.

"This is beautiful." Calissa said in awe.

"I know," Jared sighed. "So, what can I know about you?"

For a second Calissa froze, she had no idea what to tell him. She couldn't tell him the truth, but she didn't want to lie to him. He seemed so nice, but that didn't really pay off with her last boyfriend.

"Uh," she stalled. "I'm not really in school, but I've thought about online classes." He nodded; a fiery haired waitress came just then and took their orders. When she left, Jared looked at Calissa to continue.

"So, you said you were from here?" He asked sipping at his soda.

"Yes, I've lived here all my life."

"When did you move out of your parents' house?" He asked. Calissa choked on her water. Covering her mouth with a napkin, she looked at him apologetically.

"Well, they died when I was sixteen. It was a terrible accident…" Calissa didn't know it but her hands were shaking, Jared extended his and rubbed his thumb over the knuckles of her right hand.

"Oh, I am so sorry. That must have been difficult. How long ago was that?" He asked cautiously.

"Almost six years." Calissa said softly.

"So you are almost twenty-two." He winked, lightening the mood. "I had to be sure you weren't too young for me." Then he smiled sadly, they sat in silence until the food arrived.

"I am sorry," he said at last.

"Don't be accidents happen." She smiled.

The lunch date was pleasant, they talked the whole time, never running out of things to say. The meal was good and the company was even more pleasant.

"I had fun," Calissa said standing with her back to the door.

"So did I," He smiled. We'll have to do this again." He smiled holding his hand out. Calissa shook it, and he turned her hand and lifted it to his lips. His lips were baby soft when they touched her skin, looking at her, he smiled.

"I will see you soon Calissa." He left her at her door and walked down the hall with one hand in his pocket, the other on the back of his neck.

Inside, she let go of a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. Even though he had been a stranger, she had had a wonderful time with him. Regardless, she found herself looking for signs of supernatural. She had listened to his breathing and his speech, when they touched his skin was smooth and warm, not cool like a vampire's. She had discovered nothing; for which she was glad. Calissa looked around and spotted the box she had been throwing things into. Briskly, she walked into her room and pulled a large suit case from under her bed and then piled two brief cases from her closet on top of it. Dragging these things to the front room, she placed it next to the box. Calissa thought for a moment before opening the first brief case. She chose carefully as she stared at its content; choosing two throwing knives and a pistol she slammed the case shut. She opened the other one and found weapons she had never used before. Among them was a whip. Calissa took it and tested it out, as it cracked flames jumped from the end of it.

"Warlocks," she whispered and placed it back into the case. Finished, Calissa grabbed her home phone and called for a cab. While she waited, she scrawled a letter in purple pen and stuck it under the flaps on the box.

A half hour later; she was loading the taxi with the objects she had just packed. The driver watched her curiously before she got into the car.

"It's time to let go," Calissa mumbled to herself. Once the man started driving, Calissa relaxed a bit.

"Are you moving miss?" The driver asked.

"Oh no, I just have to return some things to a… friend." Calissa said softly. She really didn't want to talk to this guy. She was quiet from then on, averting her eyes to the window. It was cloudy night, stars weren't even visible.

"Go ahead and stop here. I don't want him to see me in the car." She instructed the driver to stop a block away.

"Whatever you want miss. You must have had some break up." He said chuckling to himself as his lit a cigar.

Taking the boxes from the back, she slowly made her way to Max's house. She had to be careful where she stepped because she knew Max could hear otherwise. She walked through the neighbor's yard to avoid the light. Once she reached to porch she set the box down and repeated this until she had left everything on the doorstep. She thought about ringing the doorbell when she heard a car rolling around the corner. She ran into the safety of the darkness and walked the rest of the way to the cab.

"Okay let's go." She said.

Back home Calissa looked around her now empty home. Much of what she had was given to her by Lily, or a memory of her family. She told herself it was time to start new, move on and grow up. She went to bed with a good feeling.

"Maybe I can be normal." She whispered as she lay in bed. Then she fell into a dreamless sleep. This was her chance to start over and live.

Gideon was turning the corner to Maxwell's house when he saw a figure leap off the porch and into the trees. A box, brief cases, and a suitcase had been left there. He lifted the box effortlessly, it was curious. He examined it and then shook his head and knocked on the door. Before he had finished the third knock, the door swung open.

"Ah, alas… not quite who I was expecting, but you will do." Max said curtly, he looked at what Gideon was holding. "Planning on staying the night? I don't usually entertain your type, I prefer females." He smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. Gideon could tell that he was worried and confused, but ignored the remark.

"Don't be so excited." Gideon rolled his eyes, but Maxwell's attention was focused on the box. He sighed and took it silently.

"So they aren't yours?" Gideon asked. Max shook his head.

"Of course not; they smell like Calissa's." His face dropped. "I am afraid of what is inside." He said softly. Gideon grabbed the other items and looked at Maxwell.

"Come in," he didn't even hold the door for Gideon. It looked as if Max was in his pajamas and was drinking, not that it had any effects on vampires.

"What is it?" Gideon gestured towards the box. Max shrugged it off. He put it in the hallway and forgot about it for a moment, Gideon did the same. When he turned, Maxwell was reading a letter that must have been taped to the box. He folded the letter quickly and shoved it into his pocket.

"Nothing, what are you doing here?" Max asked in a short tone, something was obviously bothering him. Gideon couldn't put his finger on it. The past few days had been stressful, so it wasn't surprising that Max was irritable. Gideon's news wasn't going to help anything.

"Ah, well nothing has come up. It seems that Gerard and his gang have been hiding out since we talked to them, and the councilman hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. However, I do have a source that tells me that Abraham has a trip planned, he is to be absent from the council for a few weeks it seems."

"I suppose you have someone following him." He inquired.

"Yes," Gideon said. He took a seat and glanced over at the box one last time. "Anyway, I figured you could call Ms. Curtwright and inform her."

"Ah, yes… it seems that this is now your investigation alone. Our friend decided it was best to… disconnect herself from it." Maxwell downed his glass of wine and set it on the counter in the dining room. He walked back to the box and opened it. "Just as I thought," he said softly.

"What is it?" Gideon asked walking toward Max.

"She left everything we gave her. Weapons, books, and well everything." He sighed, and closed the box again before Gideon could get a good look. "She can't erase us… our people know who she is."

"She's going to get herself hurt. She can't simply defend herself without specialized weapons." He ran his fingers through his hair. "We can't let her get hurt." He surprised himself, she was only human.

"She is highly trained, I made sure of that. Calissa is many things, but she is not stupid. It seems she kept a pistol and a couple of knives, she knows that supernatural things are out in the world. She's paranoid; she wouldn't risk her life like that." Max patted Gideon's shoulder and chuckled to himself at his concern.

"Should we watch her?" Gideon asked. "Humans are still vulnerable, and stupid." His tone hardened.

"No, Calissa is an intelligent being." Max said tiredly. "Now, please leave me." He walked away then and left Gideon in the front room. Gideon stood and straightened his jacket. He didn't understand Maxwell, and probably never would. He left the house silently.

Weeks seemed to pass and Calissa was still struggling with a 'normal' life. She found herself thinking of Maxwell and her family. She wanted to know what would come of the investigation without her. To keep this off of her mind she usually woke up early then went running. When she arrived back home, Calissa sat on the couch and flipped through a few channels. She never really watched any television, other than the news. It was just a way to fill the silence. The hours passed by slowly, Calissa was out of things to keep her occupied. She changed into shorts and a sports bra. Taking her iPod from her nightstand, she walked to the front door for her second run before dinner. It was the best way she could find to occupy her time. Glancing over at the knife on the coffee table, Calissa debating whether or not the weapon was necessary.

Better safe than sorry, she thought to herself. After picking it up and putting it safely in her shoe, she left. When she arrived back home there was a note on her door.

'Dinner at six," it was signed Jared. She glanced at her watch then fumbled inside. It was already five thirty. She scrambled to get ready, and barely had time to shower and get dressed before he was knocking on her door. Fumbling with the lock she let him in.

"Sorry, I will only be another minute." He smiled; he was wearing a nice pair of blue jeans and a grey button up. Calissa walked to the bathroom to brush her hair.

"You know, I wasn't sure you'd say yes." He said loudly. She laughed and walked back to the front.

"You didn't give me a choice." She said rolling her eyes. However, she had in no way felt obliged to go on this date. Jared frowned.

"I hadn't meant for it to seem like a demand." Finished with her hair, Calissa smiled and walked into the front room.

"I was only teasing." She said amused.

"Good." He walked to the door.

Their meal was wonderful; he had taken her to a nice diner on the other end of town. Jared shared his childhood memories with her, and they laughed together. Calissa couldn't help but look over her shoulder from time to time. She could feel someone's stare boring into her back. As they left, she searched the restaurant one last time; a warm hand touched her arm.

"Are you okay?" Jared asked; Calissa met his sparkling hazel eyes and smiled softly. "Did you see someone?" His eyebrow furrowed with worry.

"No, I just felt like someone was watching me."

"The man in the corner was giving you goodly eyes; should I take the geezer out?" He nodded his head to the far left. An old man sat alone, he looked as if he were waiting for someone.

"Poor man, who do you think he is waiting for?" Calissa asked as they stepped outside. Jared shrugged. A middle aged woman walked past them, looking over her shoulder as she did.

"Maybe his lover," he gestured. Calissa shook her head laughing. They got into his jeep and began to pull away from the diner. Looking into the windows, she saw the woman sit across from the old man, and take his hand tenderly.

"I'm psychic." Jared said laughing. He started the car and drove back to the apartments.

"I had fun; you are great to be around." Jared said; he held the door to the complex for her.

"You are too," Calissa responded, and she meant it. They just looked at each other for a moment.

'Oh god,' she thought to herself. Breaking eye contact, Calissa looked at the floor. She could feel her cheeks burning. Taking a peek she saw that he was still looking at her intensely. He leaned close to her and kissed her cheek.

"Till next time," then he hurried down the hall, looking back and smiling.

Calissa went into her room and fell asleep without any problem. In the morning she felt regenerated and spent the day cleaning and rearranging furniture around the apartment. It was the best she had felt in a while, she was almost happy. By the time she was finished with her project, she changed into her running clothes and walked outside.

"Running alone, and at night…" Jared's voice was close behind her as she locked her door. "You know that is a dangerous thing to do." Calissa turned around and saw him leaning against the wall with groceries in his hand, she shrugged. It wasn't dangerous if you knew how to take car e of yourself, and she did.

"Seriously, wait five minutes and I'll go with you." He said; his eyes locked on hers. Calissa sighed.

"I'll be fine, besides I like running alone."

"It would make me feel better. Besides it's for my own protection." He winked and laughed at his own joke. He walked to his door and unlocked it. Stepping inside, Calissa looked around the room. Art pieces were everywhere; he had been serious about loving art. Minutes later, Jared returned.

They jogged in silence for a while until they neared the more dangerous part of town. Lights were on in some of the houses they past.

"What do you think the people inside are doing?" Calissa asked; it had become a game between the two of them.

"Well, the couple in that blue house there is arguing over dinner, trying furiously to make their marriage work because deep down they still love each other."

"That's sad…" Calissa responded.

"Well, this house is having friends over, and they are all drinking while dancing in their panties." Jared said with a straight face.

"That is gross." Calissa laughed and they jogged on.

"Looks like we may have to cut our run short tonight," he muttered. Clouds had covered the stars and the temperature was dropping.

"I know a place we can cut through."

They continued the street, taking a right and the next intersection. Two men were standing outside a small house, arguing about something that they couldn't hear.

"What do you think they are saying over there?" Jared asked.

"Hey man, who do you think you are going around with my woman?" Calissa said in a false male tone.

"Watch yourself, she ain't your girl; she come home to me every night; obviously she found someone who fulfills her wildest fantasies." Jared finished. Calissa had to hold back laughter, and once they were out of sight of the men Jared stopped and bent over in laughter. A clap of thunder stopped their laughter, but only momentarily.

"Perfect," Jared said holding his hands up to the sky. Calissa laughed and began spinning around. The rain was cold, but it felt good on her warm skin.

"Come one," she said. She led him to the ally way between the liquor store and the gas station. As they hugged the walls to keep from the rain, a man stepped into view on the other end. He stood tall, in a fighting stance. He was on the balls of his feet ready for anything. Calissa was on full alert at this point, part of her knew.

"Let's just go the long way." Jared said taking her hand. He didn't want to deal with any trouble, but someone was blocking their way at the opposite side as well. When they looked back to the first man, they saw that a third had joined.

"Looks like her," The first said. He and his companion stepped closer, their smiles glittering in the dark ally. Calissa's trained eye saw the fangs; she tried to imagine a positive outcome of the situation.

"It does, but only the boss will be sure." The other responded. From behind, Calissa heard the third man move.

"We'll have to kill the boy. Boss doesn't want anyone else." The first said.

"Good, a snack." The man behind said with a snarl.

It was now that they advanced. Jared pulled something from his pocket at the last second and revealed a knife.

"Jared run," Calissa yelled, he only glanced at her; but the look in his eyes was clear.

The monsters brought him to the ground in seconds, seeing the first man move in for the kill Calissa sprang forward. She couldn't allow this to happen a second time.

"Pulling a knife from her own pocked she tackled the man. Reaching around his neck, she pressed the knife into his cold skin and slit his throat. Then spinning him around, she pierced his heart.

"Burn in hell," she spat as she spun on the second man, who was taken aback by her actions. He moved towards her a moment later and kicked the knife swiftly out of her hand. Advancing further he took her arm and used his talon like nails to cut her wrist. She bit back a scream.

"You smell lovely," he hissed. He licked the cut and moaned with pleasure. "You taste absolutely wonderful." Almost immediately the pain had subsided. "The boss has good taste."

The monsters black eyes glittered as he smiled. His dark hair was buzzed and his skin pigment was unnatural; even for a vampire he looked ill. The third monster was walking towards us, his mouth open. His tongue ran over his fangs and his eyes were fixed on the open cut.

"Get away from her!" Behind the third man, Jared had stood and ran at the beast. He knocked him off his feet, the surprise allowed Calissa to break free of her captor and retrieve he knife. She saw the glint of the blade twinkling beneath the dumpster, ducking her assailants attack; she slid to the dumpster using her feet to stop her from hitting the wall. She retrieved the knife, jumped up and attacked the vampire. From the corner of her eye, she saw Jared struggling. Swiftly, Calissa brought the knife up in an arc shape, and slit the vampire's throat. He fell back, and Calissa finished the job.

Running over to help Jared, she saw that he was on the ground. Blind rage filled her as she saw the monster leaning over his neck. Calissa jumped onto the beast and brought him to the ground beside Jared. She straddled him and lifted her knife. Losing all sense of her training, she stabbed with nothing but brute force. The knife penetrated the throat. It wasn't enough to kill him, she knew that. She needed to pierce the heart, but she didn't care. This carelessness gave the vampire an advantage. He shoved her off of him and pinned her to the ground.

Just then a door opened and the gas station owner stepped outside.

"Hey! What is going on?" The man hobbled down the steps and walked closer. He held a gun, he shot into the air. "If ya'll don't get out of here, I'll kill ya myself."

"It looks like I will see you later." The vampire smiled. He ran his talon across Calissa's throat and licked it. Then he smeared his entire hand across the wound. Then he got up and disappeared.

"Hey, ya'll okay?" The store owner walked over to Calissa.

"Yeah," she lied. "We've been mugged. I already called the police, but my friend is hurt. I'm gonna take him to the hospital. My car is around the corner."

"Are you sure you don't need help?" The man asked. "Those monsters are always lurking around this part of town. I don't know what they are but they ain't human. I should call for an ambulance."

"I'm fine. GO!" She helped Jared stand and walked with him around the corner.

She found a beat up car and leaned Jared against it. She pulled and the doors to no avail, they were locked. She looked around for something to break the windows with. Running back to the dumpsters she saw the old man burning the two dead bodies.

"Smart guy," she said to herself. She picked up a large plank of wood and ran back to the car without him seeing. Calissa smashed the window then unlocked the car. She set Jared inside gently and took the driver's seat. She checked the car for keys, but found none. She didn't have time to properly high jack the vehicle, so instead she stabbed the knife into the ignition and hit the gas pedal.

They jerked to a start, and Calissa sped out of the neighborhood. Her mind and heart were racing, it had all happened so fast. Despite everything, she remembered every detail, and she knew what it meant. Behind her, Jared stirred.

"Calissa," he murmured, she looked back.

"I'm here Jared." She responded.

"That fucker bit me." He said before falling unconscious again.

"Hang on Jared, I am gonna help you."

She sped down the road. The car's left headlight was busted, and it made an odd squealing sound, but Calissa wasn't worried about that. They were less than a block from the house. She drove the car into the driveway and slammed on the brakes. Leaving the car running, Calissa hopped out of the car and swung Jared's door opened. She shook him slightly, and pulled his arms around hers. Pulling him up, she struggled to the front door.

On the porch, Calissa kicked the door. There was no immediate answer, which was shocking. She pounded furiously with her fists.

"Of all the times," she started and then the door opened.

"Jesus!" Maxwell hissed. Standing at his doorstep was Calissa holding a stranger blood covering them both. The boy's eyes rolled back and he started to shake violently. Max didn't need to ask what had happened, the boys symptoms were obvious.

"Max! Please, the change is happening. You have to help!" There was desperation in her voice. Maxwell turned to Gideon, who was seated on the arm of the couch.

"It seems we have company," he said calmly. Gideon raised an eyebrow and leaned to look.

"Maxwell, help me now or I will cut out your throat, feed it to you, and then kill you slowly." Calissa threatened her voice low and dangerous. Max sighed and lifted the man, bringing him inside.

"Gideon, come with me." Then he walked out of downstairs and out of sight. Before Calissa could follow the door locked behind them.

She paced around the front room and even pounded on the basement door; they wouldn't let her in. Eventually she gave up and sat in the kitchen.

It felt like an hour had passed before Calissa had heard anything, even though she knew it had only been moments. But then the screaming started.