Natalie stood on the balcony of her hotel room, watching the cars and people below her. If she leaned out and looked to the side, she could see the lake reflected in the windows. It wasn't much of a view, but she wasn't going to be well enough to see the real thing for a while.

She was fine physically. Several pints of blood had seen to that. She would always have a ragged scar on her neck, but scarves would hide it well enough. She could always pass it off as an animal attack to the curious, since that was how it had been reported at the hospital and to the police.

It was the mental wounds that weren't healing. She had refused to return home after being released from a hospital where all the bills had been paid. A lawyer had met her at the hotel when she had checked in, informing her of the death of Nicholas Knight. She had been the benificary of a trust, large enough to keep her comfortably for the rest of her life. He had been so confused when she had immediately signed over the papers to the Children's Hospital.

She hadn't wanted Nicholas' money. She had wanted his love.

What had that gotten her? A mass of scar tissue and nightmares of the deaths of untold numbers of women.

She looked at the sky; it was going to be dark soon. She moved back into the hotel and securely shut the door behind her. Her defenses looked so shoddy -- a cross, some garlic, a vial of holy water near the bed -- but it was all she had.

She couldn't even remember that night. There were bits, mostly voices, arguing above her. Then there has been a thud and a heavy weight was atop her. She had thought she felt the wind in her hair and then ... nothing. She had woken up in the hospital days later, her fever finally gone.

She would have to leave here, soon, she knew. She no longer felt safe in Toronto. That was obvious, or she wouldn't be hiding out in a hotel room. She didn't know who might be after her, but she couldn't rule out anyone. Unless she saw them in direct sunlight, she couldn't trust they were human.

Natalie's mother had always promised that there were no monsters, but she had been wrong. The worst monsters had the prettiest faces. The worst monsters used love to lure you in, then turned it on you to destroy you. They were Lucifer, the Lightbringer, who fell from grace, dragging the darkness down with him.

She sat on the bed and stared sightlessly out of the window at the setting sun. It would be night soon. What would light her way then?


The End