I stared at the huge castle before me. The pale dome was glimmering in the moonlight, and the fountains at the end of the drive shone eerily. It was too quiet, we were surrounded by fields and trees and hills. This was not London, nor anywhere near it. 

Felix grabbed my arm and I lurched forwards, trailing behind him. Walking up the steps I was dragged along and when we got inside my jaw dropped. The walls were covered in the most ornate wallpaper, and portraits hung on the walls, though clearly the portraits were not of humans. It was the ceiling that amazed me, it may as well have been painted by Micheal Angelo. It was like someone had put the heavens into the artistry, it was so real, so extraordinary it made me gaze in wonder. 

I did not have long to look though as I was towed through the house and down a winding back stairs, my shoes clicked off the stone, my dress scrapping against it, making a hissing noise as I went. The stairway was dark, the only light coming from the candle carried by Petrov. 

When we reached the bottom, more candles were lit and my eyes widened in horror. It was a dungeon. The cold cut through me like a knife and moonlight crept through the tiny windows in the cell. He put me in one and said nothing as he left, snuffing out all the light and leaving me alone in the dark. 

I shivered violently, my bare arms frozen and my feet numbing from exhaustion. I slumped back against the wall, the stone scratching my skin and catching the fine material of my dress. Not that it mattered really. 

Rolling my head back I sighed, letting tears slide down my cheeks; only two weeks and I had been captured, I was a failure. I was surprised they had not searched me upon entering, but against the skin of my ankle I felt the coolness of my knife. I was grateful, it gave me a weapon, and weapons brought me hope. 

In the darkness, I could hear voices; whispers and echoes drifting around the cavernous halls. They made me nervous, and suddenly I remembered that I was very much alone. And no one was coming to save me. Even if the order did discover Petrov's location, it would be a miracle if they actually managed to rescue me, but I knew they would assume I was dead, it was standard procedure. 

Would my parents weep for me? Would Caroline cry and lament her fallen friend? Would they light a candle in my memory? Alas, I hoped so. It was nice to be missed, it made you feel valued, which was something we were not supposed to feel as slayers. Personal value led to pride, and pride always came before a fall. And slayers fall in flames. We do not fall, we do not falter. 

As well as voices, I could hear other things. Footsteps and movement above me, and the opening and closing of doors. But as the hours passed, things grew quieter, and eventually all the movement stopped, just as the sun began to peak over the horizon. 

My breathing seemed to slow as did my heartbeat as light chased away the shadows that threatened to overwhelm me. It was under a patch of sunlight that I finally found enough sanctuary to sleep, knowing the vampires would be asleep and that I would be left alone. 

All the time I was acutely aware, even whilst I slept. Part of my brain seemed to be on constant alert, even while the rest seemed to relax somewhat. I knew that the peace of the house would only last so long, the chaos was dormant; for the moment. 

The day seemed to stretch on and on, each hour and minute longer than the last, I drifted in and out of consciousness, unable to help the small lapses of sleep my body longed for. I lay my head in my arms, curled up in a ball on the cold stone. My back ached, my head throbbed and my muscles screamed from the physical exertion of yesterday, although slayers are stronger than humans, we are still mortal. And mortals are breakable. 

As the day drew on, I reflected on my purpose of being here. Because I was not already dead meant there was another purpose for me, assumably my sacrifice in order to gain access to Rowhurst. I could not allow that to happen. Nor did I want to be tortured for information. 

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