Okay, this is my first House of Night Fanfiction, so please take it easy lolz

Chapter 1

'Listen Within...' Nyx had told me, and right now my intuition was telling me to take a breath and relax... And a shower wouldn't hurt. I was standing slightly away from everyone, gazing up at the magnificent crescent moon Nyx sent down, congratulating us and encouraging us to keep following her path.

I closed my eyes, letting the nighttime air wash over me, calming down my frenzied thoughts. 'Guide me, Goddess.' I whispered into the breeze. I felt a slight shift in the wind. It pressed down on me, embracing me, comforting me. I sighed, contentedly.

"Dang, Z! You're standin' out her like you're havin' Shania Twain flashbacks!" a country twang interrupted my thoughts. My eyes sprung open, revealing a bright eyed- could you call red eyes bright?- Stevie Rae.

I smiled, reassured that I had my friends to support me. With their help, I was positive that we would follow Nyx's path. Then, my mind focused on what was happening. Stark was lying on the ground a few yards away, being tended to by Darius. He had gashes and cuts all over him.

I rushed over to him, kneeling down as Darius examined him. The concern for him was poorly disguised on my face.

"He'll be alright, he just needs rest." Darius said, trying to ease my stress levels that were just recently skyrocketing.

It didn't work.

"He just needs rest?! He has gashes all over himself! He looks half..." I trailed off. It caused me pain to think about Stark, my Warrior, anywhere close to dead.

His eyes fluttered open and I rested my hand on his cheek, ignoring the smell of his blood. "I'm okay, Z, I promise. No need to get a complex over me. It's my job." He said with a smirk. It was nice to see his attitude was back. Yeah, NOT. He thought it was funny! No. He didn't think anything that caused me pain was funny. He was flattered. A small smile spread across my lips- I was sure he saw it- but I didn't acknowledge him otherwise. I needed my Warrior safe.

"Darius, we need to get him to the infirmary." I said even though I had no clue where it was. Darius picked up Stark, who was so limp and pale my heart gave a deafening pound, then thudded so pathetically it was nonexistent.

"I will take care of him, Priestess. Go to your room and clean up. All is well, for now." he said, walking quickly into the distance with Aphrodite slinking next to him.

Yeah, 'for now'. I thought with a chill. That was always the problem wasn't it?

As I made my way back to the rooms where we were staying, I heard a faint whimper. It was so hushed that I could have made myself imagine that I didn't hear it. Something I so fiercely wanted to do. I froze in my place, hoping desperately that it was an animal or the wind. There it was again. It sounded like a guy, but I was hesitant to figure out what it was because if it were a guy, I didn't want to know if he was having an Aphrodite moment.

Not that it was her this time or anything. She was happy. Content with Darius, and we were... Friends. I realized with a start. I thought of my first year at House of Night and remembered how I had despised her so thoroughly, and now we were friends. She was helping me, and I was helping her. We had even had some laughs...

The third time I heard the whimper, I knew something was wrong. There was an edge of pain to it. It was coming from behind the stone walls. I ran hesitantly to where I thought the noise was coming from and froze once more. The ground was covered in blood and there was a guy lying there, maybe about 17 or 18 years old. But something was different about him...

His mark was slightly purple, whereas ours were sapphire. His was nearly filled in, all but a tiny sliver of skin that shown inside of his semi-filled in mark. He looked up at me, his eyes nearly falling back shut. I tapped his face slightly with frantic shaking fingers, urging him to wake up.

This time his eyes opened fully. His eyes shown silver in the moonlight, and I was taken aback by how calm he seemed despite his situation.

"Can you hear me?" I asked calmly. Slowly.

He started to shake his head but winced. I shook my head. "Stop, just don't move okay? I'll be right back with some help, I promise!" I said running off to find someone that would help. Anyone that would help this guy.

I vaguely remember the crescent moon being covered completely by a cloud, but when I looked up, no clouds were in sight. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I shivered and raced off to find assistance.

As I made my way back to the Abbey, a fierce wind blew. It wasn't like the one I'd just experienced with Nyx, but instead a cold one that brought the terrible sensation of loneliness. I gasped and stopped dead in my tracks. I could have sworn I heard someone whisper my name in the wind. It was a voice far too familiar, and that frightened me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw shadows, and automatically veered away from them. I spun around, hoping to catch whoever it was only to see that it was one of my friends. I needed something anything to tell me that I wasn't crazy. Instead, as I turned around, nothing was there. It was as if the images had vanished with the breeze. Aw hell I muttered to myself in my head. Within 5 minutes of defeating the big baddies and I was already getting a bad feeling about things. I knew that wasn't normal.

I turned slowly back around, shrieking as my face thudded into someone's chest. Eric. "Ugh! Eric! You can't sneak up on people like that!" I said, instantaneously going on the defensive for some reason. Our relationship had been headed downhill for a while now. I mean, it's not that he wasn't a great guy or anything, but I wasn't comfortable with the whole touchy feeling over possesive groping that was going on. I mean just because I had lost it to Loren Blake, one of the professors at the House of Night, didn't mean I was some kind of nympho ho!

"Woah, calm down, Z." He said, placing his hands on my shoulder, his voice going deep. I looked up at him. His eyes were dark with lust and his gaze was traveling up and down my body, making my knees go weak. Quite frankly I wasn't in the mood for this. I was annoyed with his possessiveness at the most inopportune times.

I stepped back. "I need help. There's a fledgling. He's hurt, but I can't get him to the infirmary by myself... Could you...?" I asked glancing behind me in the direction of the injured fledgling.

He seemed taken aback with my request, but shook it off nodding his head. "Sure, just show me where he is." He said, his voice going back to that friendly, sexy, nerdy guy that I used to heart so much.

I led him back to the place where I'd first encountered the fledgling. His marks were more purple than ours, but I prayed no one else would notice until I could figure out what to tell them. I did not need a repeat of last time. If everyone hated me again... Well let's just say that could very well be the end of the world. Literally.

As we rounded the corner where I'd found him I froze.

"Z, there's no one here." Eric said, running his hand through his dark curly hair.

"I-I dont." I started. I didn't understand. "I guess I just imagined it." I said.

"Z, there is no way that you could have-" Eric began.

"I'm tired! I haven't slept in days! There were bound to be side effects after a while." I told him. "I'm tired, Eric. Can you just take me to my room please?" That doesn't mean you can go all gropy on me! I wanted to add. I just needed someone big and strong to escort me there. I would have preferred My Warrior, but since he was injured I would let him rest.

Just as I thought, his voice went deep again as he took my hand. I pushed him away. "Eric, I'm seriously not in the mood. Just take me to my room. That's all I want right now." I said. The whole ridiculous stress from Kalona and Neferet had me majorly grumpy, so my words had some power behind them. I didn't apologize, I just let the High Priestess come out. He dropped his hand, and I could tell he was about to start into one of his 'Z, you never want me to touch you, how are we supposed to be together blah blah blah' things.

"Just forget it." I said walking away. "I'll go by myself." And with that I turned away in the direction of the rooms.