Welcome to the first official chapter. Yay!

Time for 1st person... wish me luck :)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Demonata. Darren Shan does. He has a wonderfully twisted mind... :D

I'm awake. It's incredible, but I'm awake.

My savior crouches beside me, tearing up the remains of his shirt to tie around my arm.

"There's not much I can do, sorry. Once the window closes the magic tends to dry up." He explains. Judging from his outlandish appearance, he's a Punk. And judging from what he just did, he's not just a Punk.

"M-magic?" I whisper. "Is that how you… how you…"

"How we." The punk clarifies, grinning broadly.

I notice all of a sudden that he is without a shirt, it being used to stem my rapid blood flow. I beg my cheeks not to flush, but I know they are. Of all the things to think about…

A slightly older, tattooed man in army fatigues strolls towards us. "Grady. What're you doing?"

"You didn't see her?"

"I saw the demon go for her." He shrugs. "I had a mage to deal with."

I'm shocked by his indifference to the atrocious act he's just committed. Has he no remorse?

"She's a mage, Shark."

I flinch- is Shark going to kill me now, too? Does he think I had anything to do with that horrifying creature? "I had nothing to do with-" I begin, but Grady cut me off.

"We know. What I meant is that you can use magic. We're mages, too. I'm Dervish- no whirling comments, please- and this is Shark."

The militaristic Shark nods at me. Dervish smiles nicely.

"I'm… I'm Ebele." I feel a flash of guilt, but let it go. I highly doubt Dervish is a real name- I've already heard Shark call him Grady- and seriously, no parents would name their infant son 'Shark'.

"Hi." Dervish's smile grows back into a grin. He turns momentarily to his cohort and holds a hushed conversation- when he looks back at me he's still just as seemingly content. "Where do you live, Ebele?"

"I…" I stop, embarrassed to elaborate. "Nowhere near here."

"Just your average daytrip to a demonic crossing, then." Shark smirks.

Dervish hides his grin now. "Is your family-"

"No. They don't know I'm here, I'm days away from home."

Shark mutters. "Perfect."

"Ebele… if you come with us, we can help you out."

I tug on a lock of tangled hair.

"Give you someplace to sleep." Shark offers, clearly having worked out I've been living rough for almost a week.

Gratefully, I accept their hospitality, hoping that wherever they take me, whatever I'm getting myself in for, it's better than what the last half hour has been.

Late- so late it's early.

I'm sitting at a table in a storage container furnished with basic necessities. I've been told it's Shark's place.

Nothing would make me happier right now than to be curled up on the cushions in my room, my turntable spitting out something soothing… But the only song I can think of as I watch Shark mend his fatigues is 'Sgt Pepper'.

I turn my attention to Dervish, sitting opposite me.

Lonely hearts…

I squash the assuming lyric, silently glad that the punk has a spare shirt. I suddenly wonder why I like Dervish, and how much I actually like him.

I study him as inconspicuously as possible. His spiked hair is tipped with purple dye, his face- now washed clean of blood- is kind and relatively good-looking, the sort that has always appealed to me, and his wiry frame is no longer covered by his leather jacket, which lies discarded over his chair back.

I'm awfully conscious of my tangled mess of sun-gold hair, worried the platinum dyed streaks have faded with the constant bucket-drenching I've given it to rid myself of congealed blood. My face must be rubbed raw.

"I guess we should do proper introductions." Dervish finally speaks.

It's been a very long silence until now.I'm not sure how glad I am it's broken.

"Dervish Grady, at your service." He chuckles.

"Does Shark have a last name?" I inquire.

The accused stares at me. "It's just Shark."

I smile an apology. "I'm Ebele… Sunn. And I'm confused. What… what happened out there?"

Both young men share a look, then start talking at the same time.

"After you." Shark graciously suggests.

"No no, my good man, after you." Dervish quips.

Shark shrugs, and begins to speak.

My world stops.