• I must admit, my paranoia the week after seeing Erik's face escaladed with each passing day. Due to this, I threw myself against a wall in fear whenever I heard footsteps outside my room or approaching me from down the corridor.

    On such an occasion, my head hit the wall in my room near my full-length bedside mirror. One can imagine my astonishment when I percieved the area to be hollow, and a quick ascertion revealed me a long, hidden stone passageway. I had allowed my couriosity to overcome my fear, thus recklessly entering the tunnel.

    My hand slid against the mildew drenched stones as my eyes adjusted to the faint light. Light...? Torches! I grabbed one withough bothering to fathom why it was lit, and continued on my way.

    After some time, I cane to where the path branched in three directions: left, middle, and right. Taking a gamble, I headed towards the right.

    I found myself in a large cavern. Along the wall was a large bench, nay, more like the stone seat grew out of the wall itself. The middle of the great room sported a pillar of rough, jagged stone; the foar end of the space branched off to a balcony, the very edge restricted by a stone railing. Admiring the view from the baloncy, I failed to see the shadows move behind me until it was too late. I turned, and nearly screamed.

    He was there. Oh God, how I had thought I had ascaped him. A look of surprise crossed his face, then he lunged, leaving me barely enough time to flinch.

    Thus I found myself kneeling at Erik's feet once more, though this time at the point of my own sword instead of his.

    "Kill me quickly," I begged, the tears starting to prickle at my eyes.

    "I'm not going to kill you." Was he laughing at me?

    "B-but earlier, you said that 'darkness awaits you.'" This statment was greated with a chuckle as he helped me stand and handed me my sword.

    "Yes, and look where you ae now. In the darkness." Breathing a sigh of relief, I turned to go but his hand shot out and caught my wrist.

    "In return for your life," he said, suddenly getting serious, "you must promise me three things. Give me yourr word, Gemma."

    "Monseiur," I whispered, my woice echoing in the cavern, "you have my word."

    "Good. First of all, the path by which I entered is restricted to you. Also, you remember where the main path diverged into three, yes? The left leads to a cliff, the right, to a labyrinth which no man has escaped alive. Promise me that your feet will never tread either of these paths."

    "I promise."

    "Secondly, I insist that we call each other Erik and Gemma. Bing called 'monseiur' makes me feel... old."

    To this I also gave my consent, though not without a smile.

    "Finally," he whispered, giving me an intense gaze, "you must promise to meet me here every night from now on."

    "I swear it," I answered. He gently smiled and slid his hand to mine. Kissing it like a true gentleman, he said:

    "It is late, Gemma dearest. Sleep; I will see you soon enough."

    I pulled my hand back and turned away in a mixture of fear and disgust. What a pompous, arrogent man!

    "I will see you soon enough." His words still rang in my ears.

    My fate had been sealed.

    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Four
    Part Five
    Part Six