Chapter One

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'It was books that made me feel that perhaps I wasn't completely alone.' Mila's eyes absorb the words of Cassandra Clare with pleasure like she has done a hundred times before, and every time she does she has to lower the book and take a breath. That sentence always strikes her with such familiarity. After her parents died books were her only escape from the cruel feeling of being alone. She lived for those few minutes where she got completely drawn into the book and forgot everything else around her. She first started reading four years ago when she was fifteen, and she is just as in love with books now as she was then.

As the sentence echo in her mind, she takes a look at her surroundings. Her apartment wasn't very big, but to her, it was home. She can see everything from her place on the couch because it is placed in the middle of the room. Beside her is a small table, and hanging on the wall in front of that is the TV hanging loosely on the wall. It's a wonder it hasn't fallen down yet. Besides the TV on the right is two bookshelves covering the remaining space of the wall. They are almost completely full of books, but there is still room for more, there always is. On the wall to the left of the couch is the door leading out to the balcony in the middle, and to it's left is a big window, but to it's right is what Mila calls her 'Murder Board.'

Ever since her parents were murdered she has been doing everything within her power to find out who brought her parents' life to an end. The police dropped the case after a few months ruling it as an ordinary mugging and said that sometimes when that happens some of the victims are unfortunately killed during the action. That was never good enough for Mila. She wanted to see the bastard or bastards behind bars. She was and is still determined to find out who killed them, but so far she has nothing.

To the right of the couch is the door leading out, and beside that is a small kitchen. Mila has never been a good cook, so she rarely uses it to make anything fancy. She prefers something much more simple, and if she does crave some more fancy she doesn't bother making it, she goes out to eat instead. Behind the couch are two doors. The first door leads into her bedroom which consists of a bed, and a dresser. The other leads into her bathroom. It's very small but fits a sizable shower, a toilet, and a sink. She has always said it was enough for her though. When you live alone you don't really need much.

Mila let's out a sigh, and if it weren't for the low music in the room someone might have heard the sadness in her breath. She lets her eyes once again focus on the book in her hand now that she has let the words properly sink in, and she is able to read on. Out of nowhere a crash booms from the hallway outside her apartment sounding like someone who fell. Her eyes widen, and her body makes a small jump causing her to lose the book in her hands. It closes on the way down and lands soundlessly on the couch.

Mila sits there for a moment before pushing herself up and walking over to the door. She stands up on her toes, and look through the peephole in the door out of curiosity. However, when she does so there is nothing there to see. She pulls away and moves her hand to the door handle before pulling it down. She opens the door just a little and sticks her head out of the crack. The first thing she sees is blood. Her eyes follow the trail, and seconds later her eyes fall upon a guy laying at the top of the stairs with a wound in his right leg. A small gasp leaves her mouth, and as if responding the guy lets out a hiss. She doesn't know if it was directed towards her or not, but when she noticed his hand on the wound she quickly realizes he hissed from the pain.

His curly hair is damp, and sticking to his sweaty forehead. Suddenly she realizes who he is. He has been living in the apartment next to her for two weeks. There are just two apartments on each floor, and the one beside hers on the top floor stood empty for a long time before he moved in. However, she has never really seen him other than occasionally catching a glimpse of him from behind as he walks into his apartment, and closes the door. She used to think of him as a ghost, but now that she sees him breathing, and bleeding in front of her she can see that he is very much alive.

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