She loved walking at night, and feared it too – feared the shifting shadows, and what they might hide, loved the cool freshness and the moonlight silvering everything. Puddles gleamed on asphalt, and she watched the path in front of her to ensure she didn't give her feet an unexpected and unwanted bath. The moonlight was so bright tonight she could almost feel it, like sun cascading down onto her back. All around her, the world was lit almost white.

Despite her hyper-developed danger sense, developed over years of constant threat, she never felt him coming until too late. Strong hands seized her waist. There was no one around to hear her scream as she was lifted and thrown over his shoulder, thin strong fingers twisting her and holding her in place. All her writhing, her attempts to fall from his grip, or unbalance him and pull him over, were to no avail. Whimpering, she squirmed to look past his arm to see where they were going. The sight that met her eyes stopped her heart, sending it into her throat.

Her kidnapper was no mere human. Their destination was a vast gleaming starship, more particularly, a blinding white rectangle of light at the very bottom of the belly of the behemoth. She had never believed in aliens, but this was either the most elaborate, and expensive, hoax ever devised, or the real thing. She really was being abducted by aliens.

She felt herself going limp with overwhelming fright and the beginnings of despair. Once she was on that starship, there would be no avenue of escape. Her captor made no sign he'd noticed her abrupt lack of tension, and she wondered distantly if he'd done it to her, sapping her energy. As he set his foot on the bottom of the ramp, though, she came alive again, twisting and thrashing and snapping her teeth in a vain attempt to bite him. For a second, hope flared to life in her breast, when he dropped her – but before she could go more than one step, he'd seized her from behind again, in a vice-tight grip, pinning her arms to her sides and lifting her feet from the ground. The most she could do was wiggle, but stopped even that when they passed through the doorway.

Some detached part of her mind noted he had to have been walking backwards, because she could still see out, could still see the black-shadow pines, glinting argent, sable and silver painting the world outside. Even as the ramp lifted, closing, her eyes remained pinned on the ever-thinning wedge of her home. Only once the entrance had sealed entirely, did she look around at the sterile, strangely soft interior of the UFO.

Seemingly sensing her docility, her captor set her down. Her knees promptly buckled, sending her to the floor, and the same strong hands that had held her so securely now gently caught her before she could fall, lowering her almost tenderly. She looked up, seeing her abductor for the first time – and almost swooned. He was studying her intently, wearing a very faint smirk – but he was drop-dead gorgeous. Butterflies that had nothing to do with her mounting terror started fluttering in her stomach, as she gazed up at him.

His smile widened and he stood, reaching down a hand to help her up. She hesitantly took it, allowing him to literally lift her to her feet. Beneath them, the UFO lurched slightly, and she stumbled, her brief star-struck moment ending as she realized she really was being kidnapped by aliens. But as she stumbled, she fell into something solid, and warm and sturdy, and thin arms encircled her almost protectively, holding her steady, as a good smell washed over her, speaking strength and comfort. She went weak again, and he scooped her up. Acknowledging the futility of resistance, she looped her arms around his neck, letting him carry her where he wished.