I leap over a log and keep running. I look over my shoulder. There is nothing behind me, but I know he is there. I turn back around and pick up my pace. I see a large bush and jump behind it, hoping my dress won't tear. When behind the bush I get as low to the ground as possible and hold my breath. I wait for him to appear.

After what seems like hours I finally hear footsteps crunch on the leaves that cover the forest floor. They get closer and closer and then they stop. After a few minutes I hear deep laughter come from every direction.

"Stupid girl!" he laughs. The next thing I know I am pulled out from behind the bush and thrown across the forest. I hit a tree and I hear my ribs break before I feel them break. I try not to scream but it escapes. He laughs louder. I look up and see him standing above me.

"You think you can hide from me?" booms his voice. "Have you learned nothing? I could hear your heart from miles away. Besides, running only makes everything worse."

He lifts me up by the throat. I take hold of his hand, gasping for air. He laughs at my struggling and then slams me against a tree. I try to scream again at the pain, but I could barely breath let alone scream.

"Don't worry my dear, this will all end soon," he whispers. "The pain, the life, it will all end."

He then throws me again and I hit another tree. I scream again, while gasping for the air I needed. I try to crawl away, but I can't find the energy. Then he is next to me. He grabs the back of my neck and forces me to look into his evil eyes. "You will feel my pain," says a voice in my mind. He moves my hair away from my neck and leans down.

I feel something pierce my throat and instantly pain floods through me. I try to push him away, to stop the pain. Finally he pulls away and then everything goes black.

Chapter 1 LANDEN

"Have you seen the new girl?" asks Felix, my best friend.

"No, but Miss Vera looks great today," I reply, as I watch my principal get out of her car. She is wearing a navy blue skirt that slighty goes down past her knees and a matching navy blue blazer over a white blouse. Her brown hair goes down past her shoulders with slight curls. She is also wearing a light pink colored lipstick and her face is accented with light brown eyeshadow. She is twenty seven and too old for me, but that doesn't mean I can't have a little eye candy.

"Miss Vera always looks great, but the new girl is the hottest girl our age," Felix says watching Miss Vera too and then looks at me. I smile then leave Felix and walk toward Miss Vera, who is having trouble carrying a box from her car.

"Want some help Miss Vera?" I ask.

"Yes, that would be great," she says. I pick up the heavy box with no problem and follow Miss Vera into the school. "Since when does Landen Peters help people?"

"Miss Vera, when a women looks as good as you do, I always offer to help them," I reply. Miss Vera laughs a little as we enter the office. I follow her into her office.

"You can set it down right there in the corner by that empty shelf," Miss Vera says. I set the box down where she told me to.

"What's in there?" I ask.

"Shh, it's a dead body," Miss Vera replies jokingly. She gives me a quick grin as she kneals down next to the box and opens it. She pulls an encyclopedia out and hands it to me. "Can you put all of these on the empty shelf?"

"Sure," I say. I start to set the encyclopedias on the shelf as one of the secretaries knocks on Miss Vear's door.

"Miss Vera?" she asks, standing in the doorway.

"Yes ?" Miss Vera asks.

"The new girl Jaydelle Parker is here," says . She is an older women probably in her mid-forties. She is wearing a light pink blouse and tan dress pants. "You wanted to see her?"

"Yes, send her in please," Miss Vera says. leaves the doorway and a few seconds later a girl about my age walks into the room.

"There aren't any more of these books are there?" I ask.

"They are called Encyclopedias, and no that's all of them," Miss Vera says. "Jaydelle, you can have a seat in one of the chairs in front of my bed hun." The girl sits down and watches me from th corner of her eye.

"Alright, I'll catch you later Miss Vera," I say and start to walk out of the room.

"Landen, you really should start hanging out with girls your own age," Miss Vera says.

"I know, but I like older women, they're more experinced," I reply and wink at her. I then walk out of the room and shut the door behind me. I walk down the hallway and toward Felix's locker.