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Word Count: 1341

~Meara

The stairs spiral up to surface level.

I emerge through a hatch door entirely exposed to the outside world, which means magic recently revealed it. Immediately I slam the door behind me and take off running.

Darkness smothers the area, cut only by streams of moonlight that dapple the forest floor through the forest canopy.

I could go back and look for Hazel, but I have no idea where I am.

Thankfully going down the hill is far quicker than going up it. Usually I would take my time picking down the uneven path, but I practically fly down, desperate to put as much distance between myself and my mate.

At some point I slip, stumbling down onto my knees.

I knock my left knee and scrape my hands, but as quick as I can manage, I'm back up and running.

Eventually I make it to the foot of the hill and to a marker I recognise. From there, I weave through the forest and to a road I've travelled on many times.

Bending over, I brace my hands on my knees, raking in breath after breath.

I'm so damp with sweat my clothes cling to my skin, similar to how my hair is slicked against my forehead. Everything hurts now. I just want to be home, safe.

The rain seems to have chased me down the hill. It starts to drizzle at first, but soon enough, it's beating down on me viciously, just as Hazel said it would earlier.

Headlights distantly appear as I stare down the road, so bright I have to shield my eyes as they draw near.

Once they are close enough, I wave my arms around. Thankfully, they decelerate before pulling off to the side, wheels crunching against the loose gravel.

The window rolls down a crack. "Everything alright miss?"

"Where are we?" I question loudly, speaking over the sound of the rain smattering against the road. Lightening races through the clouds above me, briefly illuminating my soaked person.

"Rosewood street," he replies.

I nearly collapse with relief. "Perfect..."

"Do you need a ride somewhere?"

Glancing over my shoulder, I scan the forest line, half expecting Sire to emerge from the shadows to drag me back to his scary term to have his way with me.

There's nothing. Just vacant, cold darkness.

Throwing the door open, I clamber in. The driver winces as I dampen everything touch. He's an older man who looks stunned at the sight of me. He's probably wondering what I'm doing out here in the middle of the night.

"Would you be able to take me home? I live about ten minutes that way," I tell him, pointing down the road.

"It's opposite to where I was heading but..." he draws off, looking over my shivering form. "Alright then."

I shuck off my soaked jacket, trying not to look through the side window. What if Sire emerges and kills the kind driver? The thought makes my stomach churn.

"Thank you," I breathe out as he pulls back onto the road, leaving behind the omninous forest and cursed tomb.

The man glances down at my legs. "Are you injured?"

I look down. Blood has soaked through my pant leg, and the palms of my hands are littered with grazes. The more I stare, the more adrenaline that wears off, leaving behind a painful sting.

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