This chapter is more like an introduction than an actual chapter. I did revise it to make it slightly longer, but I had to keep some of the style slightly more editorial than I will with successive chapters. (I have to keep the first few chapters more editorial because I'm setting the scene for later events.)

I have finished my major revisions. I will still edit sections with typos, but will no longer make significant changes to this story (probably). :)

Please, enjoy my story, and review. I like knowing what people think, and I am open to criticism. (Also, if anyone is interested, I have a Vampire Knight/Doctor Who crossover posted now. I would love for people to read and review it.)

Disclaimer: Vampire Knight does not, has not, and will not ever belong to me. I only ask that nobody take my characters or ideas.

Not my Time
A Vampire Knight Fanfiction

Chapter One: I Got Away

Perhaps it was my tragic flaw that I was so stubborn. My father used to call me pig-headed every time I fell off my horse, because it didn't matter how hard I hit the ground, I would simply jump up, and bring my horse back to the mounting block. Somehow, at the time, I had thought "pig-headed" was a compliment. My stubbornness ultimately caused me to become one of the best young riders in the tri-state area, and I even assisted my father in training my Quarter Horse gelding Kidd.

Ten years later, I was still stubborn, but I could no longer say that stubbornness was honing me into a more talented person. If anything, my stubbornness was only driving me closer to an early death.

I knew today wouldn't be a good day to come up to the house... But there are seldom good days now... I thought, cowering in the attic where I had entrenched myself. Each time I heard my father banging on the attic door, I cringed. Although the attic door was locked, it had taken so much abuse in recent days that I was certain it would not hold against the ferocity of my father.

What did I do to make him so angry? As I waited in the darkness of the attic, I reviewed the events that had led me to my current predicament.

This morning had been exceedingly calm. I had woken early in the morning, and had fed grain to our two remaining horses. Afterward, I went back up to the barn apartment to make myself breakfast before going into town to purchase necessities. Nothing significant had occurred, so I decided that tonight might be a good night to journey up to the house my father had resided in since my mother's death.

Deliberating carefully, I had been hesitant to gather supplies my father would need to survive another month. However, these days I always lived in fear of my father, and I realized that I must re-stock his supplies at some point in the month. Despite my reservations, I arrived at my father's house as darkness fell.

Opening the door to the kitchen was always the most frightening part of my task. Most of the time, my father lounged in the kitchen, and I could never be certain how docile he would be until I opened the door.

Some days were better than others. Occasionally, my father even seemed to recognize me, and he would act as if he cared about me. Those days, I didn't rush putting food and dishes into their proper places, and I even managed to clean-off a few surfaces before heading back to the barn apartment. Despite these occasional good days, the vast-majority of days were horrifyingly bad.

If my father was in a hostile mood, it would be a success just to toss the grocery bags onto the kitchen floor, and make a hasty retreat back to my barn apartment. Unfortunately, most days were a combination of good and bad. My father wouldn't recognize me, but he would remain at the kitchen table in a state somewhere between waking and sleeping. On these days, I would often be placing food items into the fridge before my father finally became hostile. Since he always sat near the kitchen door, my only escape route would be into the hallway, up the stairs, and into the attic.

Over the years, I had learned to be quick on my feet. If I had ever bothered to time myself running up that flight of stairs, I am certain it would have been slightly less than one second. Normally, I could reach the attic without my father catching me, but some days I would trip, or the attic door would be stuck or locked from a previous escape out of a window.

Tonight the window was stuck fast. My only hope of escaping without a scratch would be if my father finally decided to give up, or if he passed out. From the sound of the pounding at the door, neither would be occurring soon.

That door isn't going to hold... I thought, watching the door, as if that would prevent it from being thrown off its hinges.

After an extraordinary pounding, I was horrified to see that part of the lock had dislodged itself. Only a moment later the door burst open with a terrifying crack.

I ducked behind the wardrobe I'd hidden beside, and tried to keep my breathing as quiet as possible. With any luck, my father would believe that, like so many other days, I had escaped out the window, and he would simply turn to go back downstairs.

"I know you're in here..." my father whispered, eerily. As soon as he'd spoken, my heart-rate had increased significantly. I couldn't hear my father's footsteps over the deafening sound of my heart racing in terror.

He doesn't actually know I'm here... He must always say that when he finally breaks in... I attempted to reassure myself, but only moments later, I felt my father's hand gripping one of arms tightly.

He dragged me out of my hiding area before releasing me.

Briefly, I thought nothing bad was going to happen. In that one instant, I felt relieved, and thought that my father might not be so violent after-all.

It was just that one instant before everything went pitch black.

I couldn't remember him hitting me, and I couldn't recall any pain. Despite these two facts, I knew that my father had been the one to cause the darkness that surrounded me.

When did things get so bad? I wondered, and foggy events began to re-align themselves inside my mind.

My mom died in a tragic car accident on her way to work when I was six. I remember that day in flashes. It was about ten days after March 21st, my birthday where she had given me my first sketchbook – a book I treasured with all my heart because of how happy she had been as she gave it to me. I don't remember if I was close to my mom before she was gone, but I know for a fact that things would have been different if she had been here.

Often my father blamed me for the death of my mother. My older brother always assured me that he didn't mean it, but if anyone had witnessed our father's violent outbursts, they would not have been able to deny that when given the option of going after my brother, my sister, or myself, my father would always choose to target me.

Despite knowing that my father tended to direct his rage toward me, when my older brother wanted to study abroad, I made certain he didn't sacrifice his dream in order to protect me from our father. Soon after he left, my older sister decided to abandon me to our father's wrath. I never heard from her again.

After my siblings left, I moved out of the house my father had been living in. Above one of our larger barns was a full-apartment. It was comfortable, and many times I was able to forget that my father was on the property, let alone that he would have attacked me if he'd been given the opportunity.

A surreal cycle began. I would spend most of the month doing completely normal tasks: Feeding grain and hay to horses, grooming, purchasing round bales; managing our training farm under my father's name. Toward the end of the month, I would purchase necessities, and return to my father's house for a status check.

Only once a month did I recall that I had a father. By that time in my life he had become more like a monster than a father, and often I imagined him being some-what vampire-like. Not in the sense that he literally thirsted for my blood, but in the sense that he wanted to make me suffer.

Hours after being knocked unconscious by my father, I awoke in a pool of shattered glass and blood. At first, my body didn't register any pain, and I managed to climb unsteadily to my feet before realizing that I couldn't breathe properly.

My father was no longer in the attic, so I made my way carefully toward the damaged attic door, down the stairs, and back outside through the kitchen door. On my way past the master bedroom, I could hear snoring, and I was certain my father wasn't lurking in wait.

As on many nights after being beaten by my father, I decided to go to the graveyard on our family's property.

Although slightly morbid, this graveyard contained the graves of each of my ancestors. The graveyard was adorned with statues, and once used to be quite beautiful. I recalled that my mother would garden daily, and would always tell me that the dead were merely sleeping, and that it was our job as the living to keep them comfortable.

After my mother's death, I became so distracted by dealing with my father, trying to run our horse-farm, and attending school that I had neglected our graveyard. It had become overgrown, and any flowers that had been placed upon the tombstones had long since withered and died.

Often I would come out to the graveyard to sketch. Sketching was my way of bringing joy to those sleeping among this graveyard. I did not have the skill with flowers the way my mother had.

However, I did not get a chance to add any sketches to my sketchbook that day because there was a man in the graveyard. I found this occurrence to be odd since this graveyard was for my family only; however, I reasoned that the man must in some way be related to me. Perhaps he was an uncle I hadn't met before. I had only been six years old when the abuse had begun, so I was certain there were relatives I had yet to meet.

He had either black or dark brown hair and maroon eyes. He appeared paler than the average human, but I refused to judge him since I imagined that I looked as if I had recently been dragged out of the depths of hell itself, so I lowered my emerald green eyes to look back at the ground. I didn't want to admit it, but I was afraid of this handsome stranger. Part of this fear was a result in our difference in height, but another part of it was due to the darkness that seemed to engulf him.

Yet when he offered me his hand, I hesitated only a moment before taking it. After years of stubbornly insisting on remaining with my father, I was willing to place myself in the trust of a fearsome looking stranger who hadn't even spoken to me.

Soon after taking his hand, I began to feel faint. My eyelids grew heavy, and although I attempted to stay awake, an exterior force seemed to counter my attempts easily. In my mind I rationalized this sensation as being caused by a loss of blood, but as I fell out of consciousness I could have sworn that the stranger's eyes had gone from maroon to red.

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