I know...you're wondering, why on earth would I publish another story when I've got so many others to finish up? Well first of all this is a new combined story that I'm working on with my friend Alice-B-Black. She's been a fan of "A Maid's Tale" and an avid supporter of mine, since my days at Quizilla :)! So this first chapter is written by me. Sorry if it's too slow starting out, but oh well :). The next chapter will be written by Alice so I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

It was useless she figured. Absolutely useless.

She'd been standing in the midst of these people for over ten minutes trying to catch someone's attention. She was almost to the point of being overwhelmed and just fleeing from the cold hallway of the hospital.

No one paid her any attention though. She was perfectly healthy, no blood, ripped clothes, or massive wounds like so many others who occupied the many beds of the hospital's ward.

As her blue eyes watched a young girl being rushed by on stretcher, a massive wound to her side, she realized she had to get a grip. Being knocked out of her trance like state she knew that was the reason she was here. And that reason was to help people.

Biting the inside of her lip she took in a deep breath through her nose and stood up straighter. Boldly she marched over to the nurses station and loudly slapped her purse down onto the wooden counter.

"Excuse me," she said loudly so four nurses turned to face her. One was busy scribbling something into a folder, two others were sipping coffee, and the last one was typing at the computer.

"Can we help you?" the eldest looking up from the folder coldly. Her dark brown eyes gazed over the young blond questioningly.

"Er...yes," she began. Now that she had their full attention, all her boldness seemed to slip away and awkwardness took it's place.

"Well?" a younger looking nurse with red hair asked, as she sipped at her Styrofoam cup of coffee.

"Yes, sorry. I'm Maren Jenner. I was recently hired here and-," she was interrupted immediately.

"Who hired you?" the elderly woman asked, snapping the folder shut and shoving it into a file drawer.

"Dr. Snow...storm?" Maren struggled to remember the strange Russian doctor's name who had hired her over the phone.

"Ah, Dr. Snewstrum up in pediatrics. He knew we needed more help down here in the emergency care," the eldest smiled slightly.

"I'm sorry I'm interrupting everything. I just have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing," Maren awkwardly said.

"Well until you get your ID badge you'll have to get other nurses to get you into the pharmacy room. Other than that, grab a file and start caring for the patients. At least you were smart enough to show up in scrubs," the one typing at the computer said.

"Thanks," Maren smiled and walked around behind the nurses station.

"You can put your purse in here hun," the eldest nurse said, gesturing to the bottom drawer of the file cabinet.

"Don't worry we keep it locked," she winked as she sensed Maren's apprehensiveness.

As Maren dropped her black bag into the drawer, she turned and faced the other nurses.

"What did you say your name was again? Mary?" one asked, tossing her empty coffee cup into the trash.

"Uhm no...Maren," she responded as her cheeks blushed.

"Oh, sorry. I'm Jennifer," the nurse smiled softly and then pointed to the others. "The one at the computer is Mindy, the one still drinking coffee is Alexis. And then you have Carla. She is the head nurse here."

"It's nice to meet you all," Maren smiled, feeling a bit more at ease.

"Enough with introductions," Carla interrupted. "Like I said grab a patient's chart and get to work. The sick won't heal themselves."

"Yes m'am," she listened immediately and got ready for a long twelve hour shift on her first day.

"You did pretty well for your first day," Jennifer joked as the two sat on the break and sipped sodas.

"Thanks. I've worked in a hospital before. I just moved here about two weeks ago," Maren admitted.

Jennifer frowned, "So I guess you heard how high in demand our hospital was for nurses?"

"Yeah, that is strange. I mean all the patients seemed so similar," Maren shrugged.

"What do you mean?" Jennifer asked.

Maren tossed her empty can into the trash, "Nevermind."

Later that night as Maren sat on her bed, she stared at her tired reflection. Just out of the shower her blond hair dripped and caused her shirt to be slightly damp.

"Ugh, I need a touch up," she commented, not liking being able to see her darker roots showing through.

Falling back onto the softness of her comforter she sighed deeply. What a long first day!

Maren frowned though as she remembered Jennifer's surprised face in the break room. How could no one else see the similarity in all the patients.

Every patient either had some sort of bite wound or a bigger wound on their side, back, or even gut.

"I guess all the patients just blur together after a while," she covered her tired eyes with her arm as she relaxed.

Still a small part of her just couldn't accept that. Something was up, all the wounds were too similar. Something was going on in that hospital, and Maren was determined to connect the dots.

All that searching, so many left wounded and dead because of his hand.

No blood of any of his victims had satisfied him yet, quenched his insatiable thirst.

Growling he went through it in his mind again, all the faces of his victims. They ranged from children to the elderly. No one specific person had yet to give him the blood he needed to be satisfied.

"I'll keep drinking the blood of a thousand men if that's what it takes," he hissed into the darkness.

No one heard his proclamation. He was alone as always.

Always the loner, the silent hunter, the figure in the shadows just waiting for his next prey.

Licking his dry lips, he clutched his burning belly and grit his teeth in pain.

"Until this burning stops...this yearning for the right blend of blood...I won't stop hunting," he growled.

It was such a burden for him to go from mortal to mortal, ripping into their flesh, tearing through muscles and bones, seeking out his ideal blood.

Once found and drunk, never again would he have to worry about feeding as often. Every immortal knew that.

The blood lust would be much more tame. But for now...he was on a search for that one perfect kind of blood.

He knew it was someone in this are though, his gut feeling told him that. His mouth practically watered thinking about how that blood would taste when he found it.

And when he did, he would drink it down to the last precious drop.