Part 1

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My own screams woke me as I shot upright in bed. The sound echoed throughout the room and the lingering silence that came from the rest of the house tore at me once again.

No one was here to answer my calls; Nathan's bed was long cold and empty and North wasn't waiting for a phone call. He hadn't been for 12 months. 365 days I had been left alone to deal with the aftermath of my terrifying nightmares.

A year to the day I had lost them. Not to death but to an attack from Volto that left them in chemically induced comas. They'd gone out on a joint assignment and just never come home.

My nine boys were all sequestered in their own ward of the Charleston Academy Hospital.

In the first few weeks of the attack, any thought of the boys would have had me prostate with grief but as time slowly moved by, I'd become numb and withdrawn into myself. I spoke to people with a monotone listlessness that sometimes frightened people.

WIthin a couple of hours my life had gone from hopeful and bright to complete and utter devastation. Any stability that they had provided for me was gone and I found myself alone with no one to turn to who completely understood our situation.

They had been everything to me; protectors, teachers, friends, financial providers and shields. But without them around, I had been left to try and make my own way.

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