Rain, mud, blood. Trees passed by in a blur, my clothes clung to me, soaked from the abating rainfall. Every splash of water around my feet set my heart into a greater panic. The blood mixed into the ground and it grew brighter and greater. Oh God, oh no, oh God, I have to find her. Sticks and shrubs jumped out at me, jabbing my legs and slowing my pace. I could see the sprawling prints where she had fallen, the blood thicker than the watery mud it floated in. I have to find her.

After so long, so much time gaining her trust, she managed to slip away. This wasn't meant to happen. I did not expect that I would be running after her through darkening woods, tracking her for what felt like miles. This wasn't meant to happen. She trusted me, didn't she? I have to find her. It wasn't supposed to be like this. What happened to the warmth of the fire in that little cottage? What happened to what I planned? It slipped away with her.

My breaths grew more apprehensive with each inhale, worried; frightened. She's getting close to town. I still couldn't see her, but I kept calling out desperately. Where is she? The panic in my heart lead the beat to my feet, pushing me forward despite it all. Never had I felt so desperate. That wasn't meant to happen. She trusted me. She trusted me.

I called out again, one more time, my voice on the fringe of cracking from wear. My lungs burned in the cold, evening air, but I still kept moving. I had to find her. I had to. Another call and my voice broke, pathetic. Yet, there was an answer. I could hear her coming to me, how ironic. She called my name, limping pitifully out of the darkness.

Her smile of relief was humorous to me, she didn't know, thank God she didn't know. I watched her fall down at my feet, weeping and trembling. She told me of the man pursuing her; a murderer, a monster, she said. I smiled back at her, cold contempt in my eyes.

"At least I have you to protect me." She exclaimed, her relief was tangible.

Metal clicked in my hand, as cold and heavy as my heart. That, was where she was wrong.