Stars shone bright in the black sky, casting a white glow over the city as the last rays of evening light disappeared over the horizon. High in the center of the pitch black tapestry, a bright white moon hovered, throwing beams of silver light down onto the darkened world. Street lamps stood tall in the darkness, casting eerie shadows and dingy fluorescent light on the pavement. Dark clouds gathered in the sky, blocking the moon’s light as they passed. Cool winds wafted through the city, the chilly gusts of air heavy with the crisp scent of rain. Shadows blurred vision to anything outside a ten foot radius, seeming to make the night darker. On a far wall, a clock ticked, counting the long and agonizing seconds that all seemed to blur together. It was only 7:00pm. The shop didn't officially open for another hour; allowing the many human slaves at least one more savory hour of time to themselves before the shop opened and they were bombarded with vampires wishing to purchase them. But there were those who used their money or titles to get in early and make a move for the better merchandise before the general masses would arrive at the opening hour. It was the middle of autumn, after all, so the curfew had shifted to an earlier time with the sunset. A bell chimed from the clock, going off in four steady dongs as the minute hand hit the top of the hour. "Mm..." A soft moan passed pale lips, a zonked mind from rousing from its deep sleep. Soma’s blue eyes blinked open, rolling sleepily to take in their surroundings. The room, which was really more of a narrow stretch of corridor, was dark, the fluorescent lights overhead providing only a faint dingy glow. It was difficult to tell at first, either because he was still groggy or because of the light, but the blonde was certain that there were other people there, sitting against the cold stone wall. He closed his eyes, a dull pain stabbing at the back of his head. Where was this place? The last thing he could remember, he had just locked up at the café and was headed home after working all day. Then there was nothing. The clock on the wall chimed again and the sound begged his attention. It was 7:30pm now. How was that possible? He didn’t leave work until almost nine. That could only mean that he’d lost nearly twenty-four hours. “Dammit.” Soma cursed under his breath and tried to move, finding he was fixed to that place along the wall. He couldn’t even look over his shoulder to see how or with what. He didn’t like to admit it, but he was in a bad situation.