Melanie didn't know what to think when she went to visit Seth. The man he was talking to had a dark aura about him. He had wood brown hair that had grown a bit past his ears, and a scar running from the corner of his mouth to his temple. He spoke confidently, and laughed loud, as he knew he was the dominant person. But Melanie could tell that he really liked Seth. She picked up Boomer, Seth's boa, and moved behind Seth. She put the snake's body on his shoulders and it's head on his. The conversation stopped, and Seth tried to look to see who did that. He smiled when he saw Melanie.

"Mel! It's been forever. How'd you get in?" he asked.

She looked at the other man for a brief second. His glare put her off guard. It was darker than anything that she had ever seen. She cleared her throat and smiled at Seth again. Then she took the spare key he gave her out of her pocket. Seth looked confused, probably trying to remember when he had given it to her. The other man just looked even more hostile.

"You gave me a key before I left, remember?" she teased, careful not to look at the other man.

"That's right!" Seth noticed her look at his friend. "Oh. Mel, this is Niall."

Melanie smiled at the man and sat next to her brother. Boomer got off his shoulder, and sat himself on hers instead. She glared at him as if to say traitor. But the snake was already fast asleep. She sighed and leaned back on the couch. The boys had already continued their conversation, and she could barely stay awake. But for some reason, she didn't feel safe near Niall. She just had this...feeling about him. Like something just wasn't quite right. It reminded her of someone she met on her travels. Irial, if she recalled correctly. A dangerous man indeed. What if Niall is like Irial? She asked herself. What if they knew each other? Melanie's eyes widened, and she jumped up off the couch. She took Boomer off her shoulder and practically threw him at Seth before rushing to the bathroom.

She slammed the door shut, and threw up in the toilet. Just thinking of what Irial made her do was bad. She gagged again. She tried to clear her mind, but the man's words kept coming back to her. Melanie, come here. I need you to do something. Closing her eyes, she willed all thoughts away. Someone knocked on the door, asking if she was okay. They didn't get an answer. Melanie sat on the floor, trying not to cry. Those memories haunted her. They were the reason she came back. He was the reason she came home. To forget everything. But that was proving harder than she thought. She stood up and opened the door. Seth stood there, looking concerned. She smiled. Gone for five years and he still worries about me.

"I'm sorry, but I have to leave," she said quietly. Seth's eyes widened.

"Why?" he asked.

Melanie automatically looked at Niall. He was standing at the end of the "hall", for lack of a better word, staring at her curiously.

"I suddenly feel sick." She pushed past Seth and into his "living room." But before she left, she turned and looked at Niall. "Did you happen to know a man name Irial?"

Niall froze and it became clear what the answer was.

She shook her head and left. Her eyes teared up. Even now, you're haunting me.

"Melanie, come here." Irial said, gesturing for the girl to come closer. She shook her head and stayed where she was. He terrified her, but she felt this strange pull to him. Almost like she wanted, no needed to do what he asked. But she couldn't. Not again. He smiled at her. It was a charming smile. Made him look even more beautiful than he already was. His dark hair, and his black eyes. Melanie looked away, but she just couldn't bring herself to leave. Not that he had actually done anything to her. He never touched her. Of course, she could never figure out why. He wouldn't even let her touch him.

"Melanie, do as I say. Come here," he said again.

She looked at him.

"Why?" she said.

Irial grinned up at her. He reached out and took her gloved hands. A burst of energy ran through her arm. Her eyes rolled back and she fell against him. He pet her head, wrapping his other arm around her waist. But she didn't care. Her entire body was shaking. This is what the other girls were talking about when they said it was hard to resist him. His touch was like a drug. Melanie shut her eyes, and willed herself to stay strong. But she couldn't. He leaned down to whisper in her ear.

"Because I need you to do something."

The sun was shining through the window when Melanie woke up. Her bangs were in her face, so she could only see part of the room. She yawned and sat up. Raking a hand through her pixie cut hair, she looked around. An old habit. She had to make sure that he hadn't found her. Not that she even thought he was looking. She sighed and looked at the ceiling. The ceiling fan was going, and the light was on. She cocked an eyebrow. She didn't remember leaving a light on. In fact, she spent most of the night curled up in the dark corner, all lights off. So how did...?

"Finally awake," a voice said next to her.

She jumped and turned, only to come face to face with Niall. His dark eyes watched her carefully, as if he were the predator and she were the prey. It was the most unnerving thing since she left Irial. She backed up to the other side of the bed, trying to get distance. But Niall grabbed her arm, stopping her. Immediately, she felt the same energy she always got when Irial kissed or touched her. Melanie gasped and tried to pull away.

"How do you know Irial?" Niall asked, ignoring her distress. Or simply not caring. Melanie looked him in the eye. Then she grabbed his wrist and tried to wrench it off of hers. But the energy only increased. Her eyes rolled back. It felt good. Better than good. She had missed this.

Niall watched her struggle. The way she reacted to his touch reminded him of Leslie. Or any girl who'd ever come in contact with him or Irial. They could never get enough, and without either of them, the girls died of withdrawal. So that's why, he thought. She was one of your playthings, cast aside. Niall sighed and dropped Melanie's hand. Her eyes shot open. They were clouded over, and confused as to why he stopped. Then they cleared, and she returned to being afraid of him. Grateful that he let go, but afraid.

"Where and when did you meet him?" Niall asked her.

She looked down at her hands. It was obvious that she regretted meeting him. Not many girls had the sense to feel that. Or they died before they had the chance. Niall was glad she wasn't one of those. He sat down, and watched as she wrung her hands in shame.

"I meet him a few towns over five years ago," she finally whispered.

Five years ago? Niall thought. She should've been dead by now. Irial never keeps a girl that long. Niall shook his head. Melanie must've meant something to the former Dark King.

"He never touched me unless I refused to do what he asked. He always wanted me to do horrible things."

Melanie looked at Niall, tears in her eyes. Part of him felt bad for her. But the other part laughed at her. That was her own fault for not running when she had the chance. Anything she was told to do was on her. He glared at her. It was her fault for being weak. She shrunk and changed the subject.

"How did you know him?"

Niall looked away and laid back onto the bed. But he was so close to her that he landed on her lap.

"He was my king and my lover."