Chapter 1

Rain pattered on my torn leather jacket. Everywhere around me was wet. I was wet. Not a single part of me was dry or warm. Shiny ringlets of dark black hair hung down around my face. When had I last washed my hair? Well, I sure didn't have to worry about that now. Rain water really was the cleanest thing you could ask for. That's what I always thought. Now it just seemed dirty and grimy and everything that could make my life miserable. Rain. Why did there have to be such a thing?

My mouth tasted like iron. It was as if I had just been sucking on a rusty spoon or a pipe. I spit out the bad taste. The red on the ground spread and leveled out in a puddle of rain. Eventually it dulled and was clear. I rubbed the edges of my lips and looked at my hand. There was more blood.

"You're not getting the money. Do you understand?"

My hands prickled against the rough, wet street. They were bleeding too, I could see. There were small clouds of blood seeping into the flow of water. I gave myself a push and rose to my feet.

I glared at the man who stood a few feet away from me. From the look in his eyes, it was obvious that he was scared. Had his little blood thirsty gang, gone and left on him?

"Oh, I'm getting what I came for." My voice came out scratchy. It was as if I hadn't spoken in weeks.

"I'll call the cops." His dark eyes flickered back and forth, never gazing directly into mine. His hand rested on the door to the back of the bar. He was outside, but it looked as if at any moment, he would bolt back inside.

"You know, it's strange that a tough guy like you should be so scared of a little girl like me. What do you say? Give me the cash and I won't embarrass you in front of your friends."

I waited a few seconds, watching emotions play on his face. It was amazing, having power over another person. At this moment I was controlling every emotion that he felt. I was going to win, no matter what.


That was unexpected. The guy couldn't exactly stand on his own, he had to have his buddies beat me up for him. But right now, he was standing in the rain, saying no to a bloody girl in a torn leather jacket who had a reason to have a very angry gang against her.

I didn't wait for him to change his mind. No one ever gets a second chance. In reality, everyone gets one. Only one. We get one life, we get one chance. This guy just had really bad luck on his choice of choices.

I slid the knife out of my boot and ran at him. Before he had a chance to blink or even react, I had the pristine silver blade pressed against his throat. Tiny prickles of blood stained the tip.

"Wrong word." I hissed.

I gripped the knife harder and prepared to slice a thin line across his tan throat.

There was a movement out of the corner of my eye at the opening of the alley. Against my better judgment, I didn't look over. I was too focused on the task at hand which was ending this foolish man's life.

There was a gunshot and pain bloomed up the side of my leg. I immediately fell to my knees, knife falling from my palm and landing with a clatter on the wet pavement. A scream escaped my lips before I thought better of it. This was worse than the other times I had been shot. Sharp pain touched every nerve in my right leg.

The door slammed closed behind the man. I tried to brace myself to get up and run, but my entire leg was immobile. Once again I was on the ground in the rain. How many times could this happen in just one night? I closed my eyes and swore. When I opened them again, a man was standing in front of me, gun in hand, pointing it straight at my head.

"Look if you wanted to kill me, you should have done it in one shot. It would look better on your report."

His mouth was tight. "I'm not a cop."

"Then who the hell are you?" I hissed.

"None of your business."

"It's my business if you shot me."

"You have information that I need."

"Someone always has information someone else needs." I pressed palm against my wound, trying to stop the flow of blood from emptying me dry.

"Where's Bliss Fortuna?"

Bliss Fortuna, Bliss Fortuna…. "I killed that bitch a couple weeks ago." I said, wincing as I tried to move my leg.

The gun in his hands shifted slightly to the ground next to my hand. He shot once.

I struggled to drag myself as far away from him as I could.

He shot again, this time on my other side.

"What do you want?" I screamed.

"What I want is for you to tell me the truth."

"She's dead." I repeated. My torn hands felt as though they were ablaze.

"You're lying." He stated.

"What, you a psychic or something?" I hissed sarcastically.

He looked briefly to the ashen sky as if collecting his thoughts, then he looked back at me. "You wearing down my patience. Tell me what you know about her. How do you know about her? What's your connection?"

"I don't care much for interrogations."

He stared me down, icy gaze showing no sign of emotion other than boiling anger.

"What did you two have like a thing or something? I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not. Fortuna's dead. Kicked the bucket. Six feet under. Whatever you prefer."

He paused. His gun was still held at my head though, which downright annoyed me. "Right. You must be her then."

Fear sunk in my gut. "What?"

"It's what I thought." His eyes widened. It was barely visible, but I noticed the movement. "You're Bliss Fortuna."

I let out a fake laugh. "And you're insane. She was blonde. And she's dead in case you didn't get that last part."

"A little hair dye did the trick for you. And no one ever found her body. They say she went missing."

"Missing, dead, it's all the same."

"Yea, well you're not either one of those."

"Therefore, logically, I'm not Bliss Fortuna."

"Well if you aren't Bliss Fortuna, then why did you kill her?"

I laughed. "She was an annoying little bitch. I thought I made myself clear the first time I said it."

"That's not good enough motive."

"Want the truth?" I finally had the knife I had been reaching for in my hand. I reached my arm back as if to scratch my head, then flung it at him. Unluckily, it didn't strike at his heart, where I had aimed, instead it sailed through the air, past him and fell, clattering to the pavement.

Shoving all the pain into the back of my head, I got to my feet and ran as fast as someone with a bullet in her leg could. I had made it to about the second door in the alley before I heard shots and water fly up from behind me. This guy was taking pot shots, it was obvious. He hit a dumpster, a fire escape and a few windows.

I was limping horribly by the time I had made it to the end of the alley. I didn't think about anything else except making it far enough away from that cop or whoever he was so that I wouldn't be tracked.

Headlights from cars blinded my vision for minutes at a time. The cold and wet was worse now that the wind had really kicked up. I had to find some sort of shelter.

After I had passes a few empty or closed stores, I walked into a small Mexican supermarket. The only person inside was a dark skinned woman standing at the counter.

"Where is your bathroom?" I asked, my voice weaker than I wanted it to be.

She stood with wide eyes for a few seconds, then pointed to the opposite end of the store.

I stuggled through a few isles, trying to grab onto something to help keep my balance. Boxes and bags of food fell to the floor behind me. Finally I found a bottle of something that look like Betadine, its contents a dark brown.

I staggered to the hallway. My hand reached forward and I pushed the door to the bathroom open. The light inside flickered warningly. I shut and locked the rusty door behind me.

"Knife, now where's my knife…" I muttered to myself.

I patted my clothes and checked my pockets. I remembered that my pocketknife was in my jacket pocket.

With the knife, I tore a strip of my gray shirt, and quickly wrapped it painfully tight around my thigh.

I ripped a hole in my jeans where the bullet was and turned on the faucet. A torrent of water rushed out. Cupping my hands, I splashed as much of it as possible on the heavy stream of blood pouring out of the wound.

Bright red blood trickled onto the dirty tile floor and mixed with the water.

The bottle of Betadine cracked under my fingers as I squeezed it over the hole. Luckily, the slight sting as the liquid hit the gushing wound was bearable. Much more bearable than the actual bullet itself.

Now I was safe from possible infection. However, I still had lost too much blood. The small room spun around me like a top. Gripping the cold porcelain sink, the pure black eyes in the mirror that were now ringed in red told me that I needed sleep. Lots of sleep.

I swear I only rested my head on that sink for a few minutes. All I needed was the chance to regain my thoughts and my self control. But when you've been to hell and back, time is different. It isn't as slow as it used to be.

Not when you're stuck there for four hundred years. Yes, I counted. I counted every single second of every single day. What else was I supposed to do?

But really, it had only been sixty years up on planet Earth. Those things mess with you, just a little bit.

So, when I opened my eyes and saw light seeping up from under the bathroom door, we'll just say that I wasn't surprised.

My eyes were a little less red, but not by much. Luckily my leg had stopped bleeding, but it was still tender and sore. I quickly washed the blood from the floor and the sink by the time someone started banging on the bathroom door.

"Just a second." I muttered, not bothering if they heard me or not. My blade was hidden in my jacket sleeve as a precaution against the curious.

I yanked the doorknob. My eyes ached against the sudden assault of bright late morning light.

The old woman stared at me with wide eyes. Wisps of thin gray hair framed her small face. She held a small purse in one bony hand.

Instead of saying anything and risk scaring her more, I simply smiled and limped out of the store, glass bell tinkling behind me.

Now all I had to do was find a permanent place to stay, like an apartment or sheltered alley, or anything warm and dry.

Luckily, I had gotten that prick of a vigilante or whatever he was off my tail yesterday. Today was a new day, a new morning full of promises. No, not promises. Why was I suddenly thinking like so optimistically? I would most likely not find a warm dry place to sleep the rest of the daylight in. Cold and wet and tired were a regular close enemy of mine, right next to a sore back and annoying neighbors.

"Do you know how long I've been sitting here?"

I really had thought that my day was starting off pretty bad. With five seconds of hearing that cocky voice, it had already managed to sink lower than the stupid crack in the sidewalk (which I had almost tripped over). I didn't want to turn around. Instead, I continued walking. Pushing all the pain to the place inside where I didn't feel anything, I stopped limping.

"How long does it take a person like you to remove a bullet?"

His voice followed me, but I heard no footsteps. I stuffed my hands in my pockets. Better to ignore the idiot than to feed into his continuous need for answers.

"Do you really want to risk another hole in that leg?"

I sighed and thought a second before making the decision to risk my peaceful future. "If I can walk after one, why not try for two?"

Of course, despite the effort, that didn't shut him up or get him to leave me alone.

"What are you?"

I didn't like his tone at all. It was half annoyance and half, what I guess was disgust. What gave him the right to feel either?

"I'm hoping that first word was a slip of the tongue, because otherwise, I am very offended."

I waited for his retort, but none came, so I turned around.

His icy, pale blue gaze was a mere breath away from mine. Not realizing until too late, I felt the cool metal against my stiff jacket, right up at my heart. He pulled the trigger, but there was no loud gunshot this time, only a small muffled thud as the bullet went through my chest.

My eyes went wide with shock as I watched him pull the gun away, his eyes betraying nothing but anger.

He crouched down next to me as I struggled to breathe past the blood and numbing pain coming from the open hole in my chest.

"You could have cooperated. Too bad I don't feel any remorse for killing things that aren't human."

Not human? Did he really know what I was?

I had thought he was just a P.I. or a rogue justice seeker recognizing my face and deciding to take matters into his own hands. Many people had tried before him, but they always turned up dead in ditches and alleyways.

Now I knew he was someone completely different. Probably a demon hunter or some other idiotic man who believed that he actually stood a chance against people like me.

I wanted to give him some retort that would make him second guess his assumption. I wanted him to know that I was human, or at least used to be, years ago.

The world quickly went black as I complete collapsed against the sidewalk, the bright sun shining against my ever cold skin.

So what do you think?

I starting writing this a year or two ago, I think. I haven't added anything to it in ages because I kind of didn't have most of it planned real well and I thought it sucked.

This was basically my first serious attempt at keeping at a single story.

I'd like to say my writing has improved greatly since I wrote this piece. (I hope)

I'd love to hear what you guys think. I have around 50,000 words actually written for this, but most of it needs to be re-worked and written. If there's enough positive reviews I'll post more. And no, I'm not trying to be one of those pesky authors who needs reviews to write (no offense to any of you out there). I love writing no matter how many review I get, but I'm not going to post up a story that no one really wants to read. So yeah.