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Prologue Being threatened with death everyday can ruin a person, but after staring death in the face so many times you begin to grow accustomed to that fear. To Cassie, it became intoxicating. It made her heart pump faster, her blood race through her veins, and lungs throb an almost seductive rhythm beneath her chest. The adrenaline heightened her senses making her deadly. The icy wind bit at her pale skin, but nothing could shake her focus now. Her green eyes pierced fear into anyone who locked onto them. He was dead before she even twitched a finger. Every move he could make was already calculated in her head. He flinched as she wiped sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand. His movement made her half smile, before she lunged and pierced a knife through his heart. Her kill didn’t make a sound. Only the wind, as it danced through the branches, could be heard. Her hair slithered across her face and neck. As the moon came up from behind the hills she ran into the forest as silently as she had come. Chapter 1: CHAPTER ONE If there was anything about that night I wanted to remember, it’s that it was raining. The rain had always been comforting to me. It’s the only thing I can remember that doesn’t make me shudder. Had I really done that? How could I truly be capable of such an awful thing? There’s no doubt in my mind that I had been the one that killed him. His body lay at my feet, while I stared at my blood stained hands. Even now, after I’d scrubbed them raw, they still felt dirty and sticky. All I could remember was running. I ran as far away from the poor dead boy as I could. Nothing about him was familiar, and I couldn’t understand why I would have killed a stranger. How could I not remember killing him? How could I not remember him?
I stared blankly down at the bow in my lap. I’ve been haunted by this memory since the day it happened. It’s not that it’s a nightmare, but something about it still bothers me. I assassinate this boy in a place that seemed so familiar to me, though I don’t remember ever visiting it, but somehow I know it’s important. I still don’t know how I killed him or why, but even though I’ve murdered so many now, his death still bothers me. Was it even real? Was it a dream? It certainly haunted my dreams now. I couldn’t escape this memory, and I knew until I solved it, I never would.
My phone buzzed in my pocket. No more dwelling on my dreams. It was time to get back to work. John Douglas was his name, and my next target. I slung my bow over my left shoulder and jumped from the rock I had been resting on. John was in his late 30’s and was wanted assassinated for the sexual abuse of young children. Killing him wouldn’t be a problem for me. I whistle for Kilo, who bounded to my side in seconds.
“Find John,” I commanded.
Kilo pulled ahead of me, leading now. His eyes and ears alert. His nose was his guide. Keeping up with him took no effort at all. As we got closer to our target, he slowed blending into the tall grass blades. I caught sight of John instantly. He was crouched down near the river’s edge cupping water in his hand to drink. I shifted my weight to my left knee, and readied my bow. What an easy kill this would be. Though, all of them usually were easy kills. I pulled back my arrow and aimed for his heart. I smiled, and released my arrow. It flew through the air with easy grace. It was dead on, until John made his move. He leaped into the air effectively dodging my arrow. It glided into the water instead of his heart. He jumped towards me, and I flipped backwards out of his reach. John was faster. He used the palm of his hand to push down on my head, and slammed it into the ground. The smell and taste of the damp soil was nauseating. I stood up spitting blood and dirt out of my mouth. The wind blew my hair around, and John’s amused laughter filled the air. I wasn’t sure how to proceed. He was obviously quicker than me and I lost my element of surprise.
“You’re an immortal.” I hissed.
“And you’re an undertrained one.” He snickered in response.
“If you’re an immortal why are you attacking young children? Hurting people is against our laws.”
Instead of answering he kicked me in the stomach, and I found myself back in the dirt lying on my back. I gasped, trying to relax and get air back into my lungs. I kept my eyes on my attacker and he was wearing a half smile as he slowly walked towards me. I wasn’t trained to fight another immortal. I only had one way of getting out of this. I whistled, and Kilo bounded from the bushes and latched onto John’s arm. He cried out in pain, and tried yanking Kilo off. While he was distracted I rolled onto my feet and dived for my bow, aimed, and fired. John’s body slumped to the ground, and Kilo kept his eyes fixed on his target. I bent down, and pulled my arrow from his head. Taking it to the river I cleaned it off while searching for the one I had lost when I missed, but the current would have taken it down river by now. The full moon glistened off the water making it look like tiny crystals flowed down stream with the current. It was almost serine. The dead body behind me was the only thing breaking the peace of the forest. It wouldn’t be there for long though.
“Good boy,” I approved, patting Kilo on the head. He wagged his tail slightly and we headed away from the scene to report in our kill.
Nobody outside our world will know of what I did today. As I’m walking away from my success someone is cleaning up my mess. Nobody will read about it, hear about it, or be a part of it. We keep to ourselves in the forest where few humans lived. Nobody has ever explained the history of our kind. I don’t know where I come from or how all of this stared, but I know not to ask. I do as I’m told, without asking questions. I wasn’t always a killer. I use to live with my mother in our tiny home, where I picked flowers and played with Kino. I never had any friends, but by choice. I liked to keep to myself. All I needed was Kino and my mom, but she died when I turned 15, and that’s when my whole world changed. Losing her meant a quick trip to an orphanage. So I ran. Deep into the forest with Kino, I never looked back, and I never had to think twice about leaving. That’s when I ran into Robin. I had been hiding out in the forest for 5 days before she found me. I remember it like yesterday.
“There you are.” She smiled, warmly.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Robin, I’ve been sent here to find you.” She answered, stepping closer.
“Stay back!” I snapped. Kilo positioned himself in front of me. A low warning growl escaped his throat.
“Easy, I’m not here to hurt you. I just need you to come with me.”
“I’m not going to an orphanage.”
“I’m not taking you there.” She sighed. “Come with me and I’ll show you.”
“Fine, but he comes with me.” I gestured toward Kilo.
“Ok,” She agreed, and I followed her further into the forest.
It’s been five years since that day. I’ve been trained to kill, and never fail. We were flawless. Robin was my immortal guide. I reported in every kill I made and she gave me the information of my next target. We had elders, but I never saw or talked to them. It was forbidden. There are exceptions to every rule though. The elders picked a select few who were allowed to know there locations and speak with them. Robin was one of those select few. Every kill I reported in to her she reported in to the elders. She became my best friend right away. I loved her like a sister, and we watched over one another. Some missions were more difficult than others, and required two of us. Robin and I usually went on those missions. She was a better killer than I was, and she had a variety of weapons she used. She could kill her target close range with or without the element of surprise. While she went down to attack targets I waited farther away and usually up in a tree. I used my arrows to keep multiple targets off her, and even sent Kilo down to aide her, but she never needed him. She was skilled and got the job done quickly. Like her, I never failed at hitting my targets. Until today, that is.
“Cassie!” Robin exclaimed once she caught sight of me. “That took you longer than usual. What happened?”
“I almost failed.” I mumbled.
“John Douglas was an immortal. He dodged my arrow and attacked me. Kino held him off while I grabbed my arrows and shot him. I didn’t know how else to kill him, and if it wasn’t for Kino he probably would have killed me.” I explained.
“I think it’s time now.”
“Time for what?”
“To awaken your soul.”