She laid in bed that night with her mind spinning. She rolled over onto her stomach and let the tears flow without trying to stop them. She sighed then stood up.

She stretched and decided to go for a walk. She walked over to her bar and started with a few chin-ups and fifty sit-ups. She ran in place until the sweat poured from her pores. She opened her door and crossed the hall to her bathroom and grabbed a towel to dry off. She went back to her room ,walking silently as to not wake her mother, and went into her room.

She shut her door and went to her closet. She threw open the door and grabbed the first shirt she could grab, which turned out to be her red silk halter, and then grabbed her black leather pants. She slipped into her black heels then brushed out her hair. She brushed on a little lip gloss and in no time she was ready to go for a walk. She went to her dresser and slipped her knives into place. . . One on her hip, one on her back, and one on both ankles.

She walked quietly out of her house and headed for the beach. She walked the half mile in about five minutes. She sat on the bench and watched the sunrise. She put her face in her hands and started crying.

She felt a presence and looked up. About five yards away a guy was looking at her. He was dressed for a run. He was about seventeen or eighteen. He wore gray sweats and a black sweater. He looked vaguely familiar to her then she realized he was from her school.

She took one look at him and turned to walk away. No sooner had she started walking away did she double over and vomited. She started crying. She hated feeling this weak and she loathed herself for hating the feeling of feeling weak. She started shaking uncontrollably. She was a very complicated person.

He saw her double over and quickly ran to her. He grabbed the hand towel that he kept around his neck and wrapped his arm around her waist to steady her. She started to say thank you when he started dabbing the hand towel on her mouth to clean it off, then he gave her a bit of his water to rinse out her mouth.

"Are you okay?" he sounded so sincere, but she knew him better than he thought and she didn't trust him, not one bit. He was rich and he rubbed it in wherever he went. The finest restaurants and the finest foods. Yeah she's rich too you're probably thinking , but she didn't flaunt it. But boy oh boy did he. "Can I help you home? You look weak."

Oh no he didn't just say that to her! That was the last thing she needed to hear tonight. She looked at him and quickly and shot him an evil look. "I'm not weak so don't say I am." She removed his hand from around her waist and started to walk away only to stumble.

He grabbed her real quick and smiled.

"Leave me alone. Can't you just do that?"

"No I can't do just that because I am a selfish jerk who only wants attention." He smiled wickedly and she once again removed herself from his grasp only to stumble only this time when he tried to help her she shot him her evil look and started reaching for her knife.

He saw her move and he wondered what she was reaching for. The worst he thought was that it was a knife and she was going to gut him. He shook his head and started to laugh. That's preposterous he thought to himself.

She noticed the slight shake of his head and wondered what he was thinking. She stopped mid-reach and realized that he was just trying to help and that he meant her no harm. She left the knife in its place and looked at him and said, "Can you help me home I know I'm a little weak right now." It pained her a lot to say that.

"Yeah I'll help you home if you promise not to knife me." He didn't realize how close he had come to that just about happening. He chuckled and offered her his hand to regain her balance.

"Thanks," she replied grumpily.

"You're welcome," he replied equally grumpy. He couldn't hold back and he laughed and she stared at him like he was a lunatic.

"Are you okay? You're acting like a moron."

"Yeah I am fine but you are to grumpy for me to handle."

"You're dumb." She turned to walk away but his grip on her hand tightened and she resentfully stayed in her place until his laughter subsided.

"Are you done?" she asked him when his laughter died out.

"Umm . . . I think so, so let's get your home. He looked at his watch and said," Let's get you home because I have school in an hour."

"I have school too, so let's get me home."

He picked her up and headed down the street. "Which way to your house?"

"Just keep walking for about a half mile and I'll show you my house." She grinned a little, and he smiled.

They walked a bit in silence with her hand on her knife. He started to slow down. She noticed and asked him why he was slowing down.

He looked at her and said, "What's your name? I know you, I just know I do, but I can't place it." He continued walking.

"Adora. Adora Crown. You're name is Joseph, isn't it?"

"Yeah it is. So how do I know you?"

"We go to school together."

He stopped walking, then looked at her and said, "Yeah I recognize you now. You're the one who's dad was murd . . . ," he stopped short and put her down..

"Yeah I am. If you don't mind I think I can make it home I live just a few blocks from here." She turned away and started down the street. At that time the street was almost deserted. A few cars passed her on her way home, but other than that no one else was there.

He stepped through the shadows. He was an expert on this. He followed her on her way home. He felt the urge to protect her just this one time because she was emotional right now and even she knew that emotions cause distractions when it comes to fighting. He was worried that her feelings for him would get in the way of her fighting expertise. He knew she was good but she wasn't good enough to bury her emotions deep inside until the fight was done.

He crossed the balcony silent as a cat and continued thinking of her even as he jumped off the balcony. He saw her head turn just a notch as he landed but she didn't pay attention. He wondered what that guy had said to her to get her upset again.

He watched as she wiped away a tear that had snuck past her best defenses. He heard a noise, it was really well concealed but having a vampire's senses it stood out. He looked and he noticed the guy who she had just left. He was sneaking up on her and hardly making a sound at all. Most people couldn't do that without some sort of help. Who was this person and why did he look so familiar?

He jogged toward her just as the other got to her. She turned to him and he gathered her up in his arms and held her while she cried. Alexander could have killed himself for doing that to her. He had constantly watched her as she grew up and trained her body to respond to even the slightest hint that something was wrong, and here she was falling right into this guy's trap. What had he done to her? This was all his fault and he felt horribly for it.

He watched as he turned her around and walked her toward her house. Jealously crawled up his spine and hardened his heart. How could she just forget him that easily. His skin crawled as all the plans for protecting her melted from his thoughts and he turned and walked back home. He turned around and his cloak swished around behind him.

Just as she started to feel so depressed that it was unbearable she heard a soft landing. She secretly hoped that it was Alexander but even she knew better than to hope for to long.

She heard another noise and turned around. It was Joseph. She looked at him and he opened his arms and cradled her as she cried. He held her and whispered that it would be all right.

She looked at him and asked him, "Can you walk me home?"

"Yeah I'll walk you home, Adora."

"Thank you," she sniffled and they turned and walked toward her house. They had just started walking when she heard a swish of a cloak, a noise she knew all too well.

Her head swirled around and a small murmur escaped her lips. "Alexander!"

No one was there and Joseph tightened his grip on her. She turned around, shot him a questioning look, and headed toward her house.

Joseph walked her to her door and said, "I'll be back for you in about forty-five minutes."

"You don't have to do that."

"Yes I do because you are going to school today whether or not I have to drag you." He looked skeptical about her. Then he looked at the house. "Think it's big enough?"

"What are you talking about your house is bigger."

He grinned at her and said, "Have you been watching me?"

"No, I haven't. You just blow the money like you have an unlimited income."

"So now you're watching how much I spend?"

"Stop! That's not funny." She was trying hard not to laugh but it didn't work.

"Stop what? You're the one stalking me." He grinned .

At that comment she stopped still and stood up straight. "So I'll see you in forty-five?" She said this as a signal of the end of the conversation.

"Okay I'll pick you up in forty-five, so be ready. I'll see you then." He turned and headed down her driveway.