"Everybody, get down!" Uri shouted, picking up Ariel, the youngest of the group, into his arms. He could hear her heart pounding in her chest, the fear that everyone was feeling encompassed by a single tiny girl's heartbeat. As he ran for the safe house, he could hear the sounds of a car behind him, a sound that filled even the man with fear. It seemed that only the Church had cars anymore, as well as good weapons and resources, but Uri had made due these past ten years, and he would make due now. As the demons he was housing followed him towards his house through the large peach orchard that surrounded his house, he made sure that no one fell behind, not fancying losing another to the Church. Hearing a gunshot, everyone instinctively hit the ground, ducking into the underbrush of peach trees. The bullets were almost certainly made of silver and blessed by a high priest of the Church, which would create a living hell for demons if they touched it. Shivering in the early spring air of the nighttime forest, the demons waited for the sounds of pursuit. After a few minutes of this, Uri had them running for his house again, soon catching sight of it. "There," he said, pointing, still holding the red-headed half-demon in his arms. As they circled towards the back entrance, he unlocked the door before making sure everyone got into the house. It was a rather large house, for being in the middle of nowhere. It was painted white on the outside, with two wraparound porches and several large balconies on the third floor. It was perfect for shooting at demons who would much rather eat a human than get to safety, and Uri had it built like a fort. The inside was considered lavishly decorated, by cities' standards. Each room looked as it had hundreds of years ago, when it had been a hiding place for African slaves and not demons. "Everyone, there's a room beneath the stairs. It should fit all of you. I'll deal with the Church bastards." Locking the door behind him, he bustled around his house, locking windows and finding one of his only weapons, a nice shotgun he had gotten from a Church official. He still had a few shots for it, though he used it more for a threatening look than to actually shoot someone. The Church also gave him a monthly bullet ration, thinking him simply a model citizen who deserved some protection. He did have a registered shotgun, but the blessed bullets the Church gave him were much more suited for their shotguns, so he used that instead. As soon as he saw all five of the demons get into the room beneath his stairs, which was rather large considering where it was placed, he unrolled the curtain that hung over the stairway. If asked, he would pass it off as a decoration, and not something to allow the door to remain hidden. Heart beating fast, he looked out of the curtains of the front windows, seeing the lights of a car coming up the long dirt driveway leading up to his house. Turning on a few lights, he made it look like he had been in the sitting room reading a book. When he heard the inevitable ding-dong of the doorbell, he couldn't help but jump, though he knew who it was. Standing up, he set down the book on the coffee table, and walked to the door. Unlocking it, he forced a smile as he saw who it was, four Army officials, though he would have wished he could take a knife right to their guts. "Hello, sirs. Can I help you?" "You are Uri Belyakov?" asked the one with the highest rank, a sergeant in the Church's army. "Yes, sir. I have my identification right here." He dug in his pockets for his wallet, glad to find he hadn't dropped it while he had been in the orchards. Opening it, he took out his ID, showing the official it. "Is there a problem?" As a lower-ranking soldier used an ocular testing device to make sure he wasn't a demon posing as Uri Belyakov, the sergeant said, "We saw a group of demons heading this way. The orchard is your property, is it not, Mr. Belyakov? I'll have you know that they were in it. I cannot say if they harmed the orchard in any way, and my condolences if they did." "Oh..." Uri said, trying to appear like he had no idea what the official was talking about. "Well, I heard some weird noises coming from Mr. Whittaker's home, which is about a mile north of mine. He might have seen something." Uri offers a helpful smile, glad when the ocular testing device was taken away from his right eye, knowing that it read out positive. "That's all I can help with." He was lucky this time. Fortunately for Uri, the officials didn't search his house, and he was able to let them leave on good terms, even offering them coffee for their trouble. However, as soon as he shut the door when they left, he was grumbling to himself, his mood darkened by their presence. Returning to the curtain on the stairs, he opened the door to the room under the stairs, letting everyone out. "The second and third floors are bedrooms. Take whichever ones you want." He smiled at them, glad that he had kept the demons safe. There was a human among them, Ariel's mother, but she was sickly, and didn't blend with the demons well at all. After making sure his group all found beds easily enough, he went to the attic, lighting a candle in the window there, letting anyone who needed it that it was safe to appear on his doorstep. Returning to the sitting room, he continued reading once more, deciding to stay up all night and keep watch.