The dream is always the same. I'm standing on a battle field, strong and proud, with armour on my body and a sword in my hand. Even with this war in front of my eyes, I don't feel lost or scared. I feel complete. Invincible.

Chapter 1- All Alone


My eyes flicker open to the dull dawn light and the loud scrapping of the branches against my window, it sounded like a demonic dog trying to pry its way into your home. The house creaks eerily and the cawing of crows sends shivers as cold as ice down my spine.

My heart beats rapidly as I try to calm myself. Beads of hot sweat trickle down my face and I can't believe how shockingly realistic my dreams are getting. All of them about mythical creatures like Centaurs and Angels.

I roll onto my side once the ceiling's pattern-less cream colours got boring and looked at the blinking time on my alarm clock. It reads 5:30 a.m. and I can't help but let a groan escapes my lips. I try desperately to return to a dreamless sleep but it is unsuccessful. So after tossing and turning for nearly an hour, I climb out from under my familiar, comforting covers I brought with me from England and step onto my new, foreign bedroom floor.

The room was still strange to me; it was so much bigger than my old one and all of my furniture didn't even begin to cover the large, empty place.

I turn to my mirror and stare at the unknown reflection looking back at me. My skin was abnormally pale, my usually straight black hair was frayed and bushy and dark circles encased my green eyes.

I sigh; deciding today was the day I would actually do something productive like having a nice, long shower and doing my make so I look at least half decent for going into my new town. I step into my en suite. The monochrome tiles are cold against my bare feet as I walk across them. Towels are folded and compressed into a shelf opposite the shower/bath. A simple toilet sits beside the shelf and the sink is in between the ledge and the bath. I twist on the shower and let the room fill with dense steam as I peel my sweat-stained pyjamas off my moist body.

The shower did me good, and after I do and redo my make-up a few times, to make sure I get it right, I turn my attention to picking out an outfit. It's coming up to 8 o' clock and the sun is hanging low but bright. There wasn't a cloud in the blue sky and the heat could be felt through the old, dirty window.

The weather is meant to be good all day, so I settle on dark high-waist shorts and a white tank top. Once clothed, I grab my backpack filled with the essentials like make-up, money, phone and iPod, because I've finally decided to leave this house and see what my new town is like.

My mother, her new fiancé and I moved the excluded island of Termon off the north-western shore of Ireland. It rains approximately 300 days of the year, and thankfully today wasn't one of them. Termon has one town, also called Termon, which is surrounded by a thick forest on each side. I guess Mick moved us here because he's trying to hide from something, or someone. I wouldn't be surprised if that sleaze owned a bunch of loan sharks money.

As I manoeuvre my way through the halls and down the stairs, the stale scent of beer soon envelopes my nose, thanks to my mum and Mick. Half empty bottles line the kitchen and living room after her engagement party last night. I was surprised anyone even came; we've been here for only a week. I didn't realise my mum knew anyone, but if you give her alcohol, she'll give you a party no matter what is happening around her.

My stomach rumbles noisily and I start my hunt for something to eat. I walk over to the cupboard, searching for food but finding nothing, just spam, tins of tomato soup and insta-noodles. My stomach rumbles again, louder than before. I glance at the plain clock that hangs above the kitchen counter and it the hands display 9 o'clock.

It is about an hours walk into town, but on an empty stomach, it seems like the only rational thing to do. So I slip into my white converses and leave the house with my bag hitched up on my shoulder. I was going to leave the house today anyway, better sooner that later.

Before I leave the dirt driveway, I look up at the old, wooden 'home' Mick had bought. I hadn't gotten a good look at it when we were pulling in to it because it was too dark to see anything and I haven't left the house since we got here. In the morning light, creepy was an understatement for this wooden monstrosity. It was a big house with vines climbing every inch of it. Trees surrounded the house and with the vines, it could barely be seen; hidden by nature. The panels of wood you could see were beginning to crack and rot and I have a feeling that we may need to find a new house next time a storm rolls it. I turn from the abomination that is my new life and walk down the enclosed-by-trees, country road.

The town was small, quaint but it seemed a bit empty. Most shops were still closed, but a few were opening or already opened. I walked down the street, looking for a nice café to eat at although, not many were open so I didn't have much of a choice. I decided on a small, cottage-like building that had the words 'Breakfast Fry' under their specials on the chalk board they had outside. The café was called Raven's and had a picture of a very scary looking raven on it. His eyes seemed to follow you, disturbing is what it is.

I sit down in one of the booths at the side of the small dining room. The tiles were a yellowish colour and so were the walls. There was no style, but I hoped the food would be better than the actually interior of the café. It was virtually empty counting out an old man reading the newspaper and a young male who seemed quite out of place. His scruffy black-brown hair sat like a dark bush on top of his head, like he had just woken up and his stained white t-shirt looked slept-in and creased. Although his figure was well built and his face was beautiful, unlike anyone's I've ever seen before. He was tanned and had high cheekbones which are complemented with his light pink lips and two, deep dimples on either side of his face.

"Hi ya, love. Have you decided what you would like to order?" I peel my eyes away from the boy and turn towards the chestnut-haired girl in front of me. She's small with her long hair tied back in a high pony tail, deep blues eyes as wide as the moon and a welcoming, friendly smile plastered on her face.

"Oh, yeah. Can I have a fry, please?" She writes down the order on a small note pad before looking back down at me.

"Would you like a drink with that, Hun?" She chirps, the happiness practically radiating off her; it pisses me off that she was this happy this earlier in the morning. I mean what time is it, 10? In England, I wouldn't even be awake at this time.

"Just a tea, please." I divert my eyes away from her after I pass her the correct amount of change, so I don't get another mouthful of her happiness. Instead, I look at the cheap, cliché café paintings, the mediocre drawings of sunsets and bays in the summer.

"Hi." The deep voice behind me and the hand and my shoulder catches me off guard and scares the living day lights out of me, making me jump 10 feet in the process. I turn around; ready to kill the person behind me but his amazingly amber eyes and his gentle lips prevent me from doing anything. It's the boy from the other table and with looks like his; he can get away with wearing dirty clothes. "Sorry to interrupt your admiration of those god-awful paintings but can I ask you something?"

I have no idea how to reply. I don't think I can, I'm completely focused on his looks. I mentally slap myself and turn away from his strangely perfect features and heavy stare as he sits in the chair across from me. He's taller than he looked when he was sitting down. If I had to estimate, I'd say he's 6 foot 2, but that's just a guess.

"I guess you can." I look everywhere but the golden Adonis that has seated himself in front of me, not wanting to be paralysed by his devious good-looks again.

"Are you new around here? Because I've lived here my whole life and not once have I ever saw you. And trust me; I would remember someone as beautiful as you." He says with hidden affection in his voice. I haven't been in this town for 10 minutes and I'm already getting hit on.

"Wow. That was so cheesy." I shake my head playfully and bite the inside of my cheek reminding myself to not act stupid. "Yeah, I'm new. I moved into an old, wooden house about half a mile outside of town. It's like in the middle of the woods or something. It's pretty creepy." I lean in across the table and he mimics. "I think it might be haunted." I whisper and wink before laughing. I finish speaking just in time for the young girl to come back with my greasy fry.

"You can't help introducing yourself, can you, Ellis?" She slaps him light-heartedly on the shoulder after resting my plate in front of me.

"Just being polite, Eirene." He replies with big doe eyes as he fluttered his lashes at her overdramatically.

"Well, aren't you going to introduce us?" She retorts and laughs bitter-sweetly.

"I would but she hasn't told me her name yet either."

They both turn to look in unison at me for answers, but unfortunately I had already started eating the delicious fry and I'm not speaking with my mouth full in front of strangers. That's rude. Plus, maybe these people could be my new friends; they seem nice enough to welcome the new girl. This isn't high school anymore; it can't be that hard to make new friends.

After the awkward hand gestures and the even more awkward silence, I was finally finished the food in my mouth and was able to speak.

"It's Lucinda Fisher." I feel uncomfortable, like I was on the stand at a court, being questioned, interrogated, by a lawyer or defendant. My palms are sweaty and my mouth is as dry as the Sahara desert in a post-apocalypse heat wave. Is it always this nerve-racking to make a pal?

The boy named Ellis's smile seemed to widen as he took in my words. The girls face was the opposite; she appeared to scowl or frown. I tried to tell myself this was normal, but I knew she had a problem with me. And she obviously, isn't trying to hide it.

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Lucinda Fisher." The girl whose name I think is Eirene sneers and stomps off back into the kitchen. I take another bite of my fry and have some of the tea. I nearly didn't notice Ellis still sitting there until he spoke again, this time in more sexually-charged voice.

"So Lucinda Fisher, I'm Ellis Nightingale. Since your new and all, maybe I could show you around the town?" His eyes carry down my viewable body and flick back up to my eyes.

I was about to decline when I stopped myself. Mum said this would be a fresh start, maybe it could be. Maybe I can try and get close to someone, maybe Ellis could be that someone.

"Why not," I shrug, trying to seem cool, "On one condition though."

He eagerly leaned forward, it made me feel flattered. I was never self-conscience, I was okay looking and I know it. I wasn't fat and I wasn't ugly. Although I wasn't anything spectacularly either. My black hair was bone straight and my pale complexion worked well with my bright green eyes.

"Anything." He says, awaiting my orders.

"You have to get dressed into something clean." He looks down at his stained top and laughs slightly.

"Not the best thing to be seen it, is it? I'll get dressed now; my friend owns the shop so I just need to run upstairs."

"Tell your friend that their fries are amazing."

"I will." He slips around the counter and into the kitchen. I eat my breakfast in a hurry but by the time I'm done, he still isn't ready. Typical boys, but once he came back down, his beauty had magnified by 100. His hair was still all over the place, but in a styled way. His designer grey top and black jeans meant he was rich, it didn't matter to me if he was rich or not but he has a good taste in fashion, bravo.

"Are you ready to go?" I look up at him and nod, unable to speak. Boys never had this affect on me, but I am only human.

We leave the café and I'm somewhat confused by the recent events. I don't do this, I don't hang around with guys I just met or act like a stupid teenager. I'm 18, I'm an adult and this isn't how I wanted to start living, by being a silly 14 year old again.

"So tell me a little about yourself." Ellis asks as we fall in step quickly.

"Well, I just turned 18 in July. My mum and her fiancé shipped me out here because, 'I was out of control'." I do bunny ears around the word as I speak it, I wasn't out of control. I was just being a teenager. "We originally lived in Ireland, but moved to England after my father died." The town bores me. They're all the same; they have shops, houses and the odd crazy person. Nature is what intrigues me, being in forests and lakes, looking at the beautiful, ever-changing scenery. That would be ideal for me.

"I'm sorry to hear about your dad, Lucinda. I lost my sister, too. The pain never really goes away, does it? It just gets easier to handle. Do you mind if I ask what happened?" He asks after we both offer each other an apologetic smile.

"No, I don't mind. My old shrink said it was good to talk about." I takes in a rasping breathe. "The police said it was suicide, they found tire tracks leading off a cliff and his car lodged at the bottom of the ocean. I don't believe them though, something happened to him. He wasn't depresses, he had a good life. Why would he kill himself?" I ask myself the question rather than Ellis. I was told to conform and just believe the 'truth'. But I know better.

"Some times people are just good at hiding their feelings, I guess." Ellis looked generally sad for me as he gripped my shoulder, comforting me. I rest my hand on his and look up at his golden eyes.

"That's the thing; he didn't hide anything from me. We were so close and we told each other everything. Even at age 11 he was telling about problems at work and how he is unable to pay the bills. He treated like I was a person and not some clueless child. He was a great man, Ellis. I miss him so much everyday." There is a catch in my voice as I bow my head to hide the tears that brim them. "What happened to your sister?" His features darken and tense up, I can see he doesn't like talk about it, but when I go to tell him he doesn't have to; he cuts me off with his voice as soft as butter.

"She was murdered." I can tell he wants to speak anymore about it, and I respect that. I don't pry as I let the conversation blow away in the gently, late-summer breeze. "I've just turned 20 in May, I'm originally from here, born and bred."

"So, is there anything to do around here?" I take my hand off his and stuff it into my pockets. The sun was high over our head as it beamed harsh rays of light over our exposed skin.

"Well, if you like nature, you could go camping, hiking, swimming. Although, if you don't, it leaves you with drinking as a pastime." He lights a bleated laugh escape his lips.

"Luckily enough, I'm a huge fan of all of them, including the drinking." I smile up at the masterpiece that is Ellis Nightingale. His eyes were sun. They held all the light and beauty I needed for a lifetime. He looks down at me with his shimmering orbs of gold and lifts me up into a hug, squeezes me tightly as if he never wanted to let go. I can safely say I didn't want him to let me go either. He smelt of rich, French vanilla and his clothes were soft against my bare arms.

He sets me down on the foot path as I gulp for air. "We are going to get on great, Lucy. I love hiking; I've been trying to persuade someone to come with me for years!" He beams at me showing his range of flawless teeth that were as white as a lily.

"It's Lucinda, and I can tell I don't really have a say in the matter?" I laugh sweetly, showing him I have no problem with.

"Nope, you don't Lucy."

"Lucinda." I stated.

"Who cares?"

I smile at the back and forth we're having but I can tell too, we are going to friends. It's been a while since I have gotten close to anyone; I don't even know if I can. I couldn't bear the thought of it after my dad. It destroyed me when he died; I fell down a deep, dark hole without the relief of hitting rock bottom.

We walk and talk through the whole town as he pointed out his old school and the leisure centre, everything really. But after a while, I grew bored of the dull town.

"Is there a beach?" I ask, once we did a full circle around Termon.

"Yes, there is a beach, but you'll need a car to get to it and unfortunately, I don't have one. Do you?"

I shake my head, disappointed. "No, sorry. It's getting late though, I better go home." It was getting late, although it was summer and it wasn't dark yet but still, my legs were tired and I hadn't planned on staying in town for this long, I just wanted some breakfast.

"I'll walk you home." Ellis smiles at me as he leads the way.

"Don't be silly, it's like an hour walk. I'll be fine by myself."

"Lucy, I'm walking you home. Don't argue with me, you'll lose." I liked Ellis; he didn't try and be someone else. He acted liked we've known each other for years, but yet we just met.

"Okay, but I just hope it rains when you're walking back."

We walked side-by-side, talking about nothing in particular. Yet, it was still that best conversation I've had in a long while. When we got to my house, it was grim. I could hear Mick and Olivia, my mum, screaming at each other and that was one thing I've learned never to walk in on again. The last time I tried standing up from my mum, I got hit in the face by Mick. It was "accidental", so he says, but I saw the smirk on his face afterwards. That smile didn't last for long because I then broke his nose. That bastard thinks he can bully me like he bullies my alcoholic mother.

I turn to Ellis and slowly take in all of his shining glory. "Wanna take a walk through the forest behind my house? I haven't gone near it yet, it might be better fun than listen to my mum and her fiancé fight." His eyes held sympathy for me, but sympathy isn't what I need. What I need is a house of my own.

"Of course, Lucy, let's go." I creep around the house and duck every time I pass a window. Ellis does the same behind me. We walk straight through my overgrown back garden and into the forest behind it.

"This is PinewoodForest; it fully encircles the whole town. I remember the story my mum used to tell me as a kid; that werewolves come out late at night and take any children that happens to be wondering inside it. She only told me this because I was fascinated with these woods," He rubs his hand over one of the tree's bark and inhales the earthy scent of the soil and pine. "I was always in them. In my old house, not so far away from, the forest was at the bottom of my garden too, so she used to get scared in case I came out here by myself."

I didn't bother to answer; instead I took in the forest. The smell of old oak trees and salt water filled my nose as the gentle breeze whipped through my shadowy hair. It was so silent, so peaceful.

I've always felt close to nature, my ancestors were supposedly Aimoré, which was an ancient Amazon tribe, but that was a myth my granny on my mother's side liked to tell me as a kid, before she passed. Who knows if it's the truth or not? All I knew for certain was, she too, had loved the earth as much as me.

"I can smell the sea, is it near by?" I turn back to face Ellis. His tanned skin looked like it was glowing in the afternoon sun. He looked golden, like a god that is blessing me with his presence. It's not physical possible to be that beautiful.

"Yeah, you just walk directly ahead and there's a huge cliff. And the weird thing about it is that the cliff is that it's completely straight; just a vertical drop." I furrow my brow at his knowledge of the cliff. Completely straight? What did I expect, a few hills thrown it there?

It seemed easy with Ellis, but there was something that disturbed me about him. He seemed… old. It wasn't in how he dressed, or spoke, but how he just was. Walking through the forest with him is great and the conversation is never boring but he seems different. Maybe different is what I need.

Ellis looks back at me with a smile on his face. "We're here."

"And where's here?" I ask trying to look past the trees.

"PinewoodPeak. Although, it holds the more historic name of Lover's leap."

"What does that mean?" I reply as his body sways toward mine. He stay close to me, I can smell his scent overpower the woods.

"Well, centuries ago, star-crossed lover's used to come here and jump to their ill-omened end." He says dryly as if he actually knew someone who did it.

When the trees end, we're standing at a clearing. There is a large piece of rock in front of me that sticks out of the, 'extremely straight' cliff. I walk to the edge and to my amazement; it's completely vertical, no jagged rocks or small, eroded holes; Just a sheer drop. Fuck, he was right.

"Wow, you weren't kidding when you meant straight." I laugh, backing away from the cliff. I sit down on a log beside Ellis.

"Yeah, it's one of those amazing nature things like the Grand Canyon, but just not as famous." He laughed slightly.

The sun was beginning to dip behind the far away mountains, turning the sky a fiery red. The temperature began to drop with the sun, although I felt nothing. My attention became focused on a nearby hill in the slight distance. The hill itself was of no interested to me but, if my eyes are correct, there was a girl standing on top. Her dress and hair bellowed in the wind, but once I blinked, she disappeared. I was about to tell Ellis about it, but something deep inside me told me to keep it a secret, just for a while.

Ellis' phone rang and he answered. I didn't listen to the conversation but the person on the other end sounded mad.

"I'm sorry Lucy, but I have to go. I was meant to be at work in the café an hour ago." He stood up and looked down on me. "Would you like me to walk you home?"

"No, I'll be okay. I might stay here for a while." I smile at him and say goodbye. I watch as he vanishes into the thick layer of trees.

I rise from the log once I notice the grey clouds pull over the already- blackened sky. I could hear the thunder before I saw the blue streak of lightening. The wind picks up rapidly as I run into the forest after Ellis. A dull pounding begins in my temples and my head gets heavy. I try and pick up speed but my legs are weak and I end up holding on to the trees for support. I scream Ellis' name but I have no idea how close he might be with the darkness and branches in my way. The thunder rattles again, closer this time. The pain that started in my temples expands throughout my body with each beat of my frail heart. Once it reached the tips of my toes, I feel my pulse drop. My vision blurs and I feel dizzy. I shout Ellis' name one last time before I no longer have energy to stand. I fall backwards onto the damp forest ground, my throat closing with every struggled attempt to live. I was all alone, breathing my last breath. It soon became too hard and the darkness engulfed me.