Jaw set, I stride out the door.I'm coming for you, Willow. Just hold on a little longer.
I'm alonein my apartment, curtains drawn, doors locked. But the prickling on my neck tells me I'm being watched. My heart races as I peer through the blinds into the dark night below. A shadowy figure stands under the streetlamp, face obscured.
My phone buzzes, an unknown number. With trembling hands, I answer.
"Hello, Willow," an icy voice slithers through the speaker. "You look so beautiful tonight. That little black dress is just perfect."
I gasp, peering down at my attire. How does he know what I'm wearing?
"Surprised? You shouldn't be. I've been watching you, my dear. I know your every move."
"What do you want from me?" I ask, my voice quivering.
"All in good time, my sweet."
The line goes dead, his bone-chilling words lingering. I drop the phone, hands clasped over my hammering heart.
My breath catches as I hear a faint scratching at the door.
Vincent found me.
I spring into action, adrenaline pumping through my veins. My only chance is to run. The scratching grows louder as I race to the window and wrench it open.
The fire escape looms below me, rusted metal steps leading down into the dark alley. I sling my leg over the sill, glancing back as the apartment door splinters open. Vincent's hulking form fills the doorway, eyes glinting.
"Leaving so soon, my pet? The fun hasn't even started," he purrs.
I scream as he lunges, just barely slipping from his grasp. My feet hit the fire escape, and I'm flying down the steps. Vincent's thunderous footsteps echo above me as I leap to the ground.
The alley swallows me into darkness. I run blindly, my heels clicking on the pavement. Have to get away, have to escape.
But his voice drifts through the shadows, seeming to come from every direction at once.
"You can't hide, Willow. I'll always find you..."
I burst out of the alley onto the empty street, the glow of the streetlights my only guide. My lungs burn as I sprint down the sidewalk, my hair whipping behind me. I dare a glance back, my heart seizing when I see Vincent's hulking form in pursuit.
He's gaining on me. I veer left, scrambling through a gap in a chainlink fence into a vacant construction site. The half-built frames of houses and skeletal beams loom like monsters in the dark. I weave between them, praying for somewhere to hide.
Vincent's heavy footsteps echo closer. "Why run, my pet? Don't you want to play?" His voice seems to come from everywhere at once, taunting me.
I spot a bulldozer and crawl underneath it, tucking myself into the shadows. My pulse thunders in my ears.
Go away, just go away!
Crunching footsteps circle the dozer. I clamp a hand over my mouth, tears streaming down my face. Suddenly, Vincent's upside-down face appears as he crouches to peer under the dozer.
"There you are. Found you."
I scream as he grabs my ankles and drags me out. I kick and claw at the dirt, but his grip is iron. He flips me onto my back, straddling me. I beat against his chest, but he pins my wrists above my head. His face looms over mine, his eyes cold yet hungry.