I'm trying my hand at writing a novel for the first time. And I'd just like a little feedback on what little I have so far. I'm thinking of doing it as a story split between two characters perspectives, changing about every chapter. (Either that or I'll turn the entire thing so far into the frame for char 2's past) So anyway. Would you want to keep on reading after this? Chapter 1 The door opened. Even before the man walked into the room Theresa knew who it was. She'd always known. There was just something about him. An unmistakable presence. Anyone in his vicinity would feel it. If he wanted you to. Theresa couldn't even describe it. It was an overwhelming feeling seeing him enter a room, like if the earth trembled under his feet. All heads in the room would turn. No one could ignore him. You'd do anything to be near him, despite a fear you couldn't make heads or tails of. Theresa had known him for years and still he affected her this way. Nothing about him ever seemed to change. She hoped nothing ever would. Thus she was not surprised as he stepped into her office. They hadn't seen each other for over a year and still he looked the same. Still he commanded the room as he walked in. He seemed to be in his late 20s but whenever Theresa asked him his age he would give up a small chuckle before skillfully dodging the question. Yet this time there was something about him. He seemed.. darker somehow. No matter how intimidating she'd ever found him, she would never have described him as dark. He had been a bright person in every way. From his unruly white hair to his pale blue eyes and his white row of teeth that more often than not shone up in a big grin. But not this time. Not today. "I need my key." He said as if greetings were unnecessary. He had known she had noticed him coming. He'd made sure of it. "Okay." She smiled, ignoring what she thought was a rather rude entrance. "Wait a second." She said, turned around and started digging through her drawers. He'd just walked in one day last year, thrown the key on her desk and told her he'd be back for it. The hasty and unexplained good bye had led her to worry ever since. "Here it is." She showed him his key with a gesture that made it seem as if she was handing it to him. Hanging on a chain it was old and primitive looking, much like the jewellery he was prone to wearing. He especially seemed to have a penchant for pendants which he wrapped around his wrist. The key fit right in with these pendants and Theresa suspected there was more to it than met the eye. Just as he reached out for it, she closed her hand on the key. "Shall we go then?" She tried, as an excuse to accompany him. She'd make sure to squeeze a few more words out of him before she let him escape again. He seemed to deem it an acceptable compromise. "Ladies first." He said, trying a grin. It didn't quite have his old cheerfulness, but Theresa could tell it had been even worse not long ago. "Don't mind if I do." She returned his smile and walked past him out the hallway. His door was just a short walk away from hers, but it was like a different world. She'd been inside of it many times since he left her with the key. It was such a mysterious office he kept. Four different computer screens was set up on a sturdy old desk and the rest of the room was covered in documents and pages of old books. It almost always lay in darkness. Theresa would go inside from time to time to just walk around quietly looking at everything. But never touching. That's where she drew her line of breaking his trust. She had planned to start up a conversation as they walked but somehow they found themselves at his door before she'd been able to say a word. Surprised at herself she put the key in the lock and turned. When she opened the door everything looked the same as before. Not even dust seemed to settle in this room. The man beside her gave of a pleased little smile and walked into the room, leaving her standing in the hallway. "Thank you for taking care of it, Tess. I promise we'll get a chance to talk later." He said, smiling apologetically. Her heart sank. "Well, I'll see you later then." She sighed as she closed the door behind him. Later? She thought to herself. Will I always have to wait my turn with that man? She walked away pondering, conflicting emotions fighting in her chest. Chapter 2 Gilligan Blood sat down at his desk with a sigh. It had been thirteen months since last he'd done so and nothing had changed. Or rather, everything had changed, it just looked the same. For all that had happened over the course of a year, not a day seemed to have gone by in this place. But he knew it wouldn't last. It couldn't last. Before long this place, too, would be swallowed up by what was to come. And it was his responsibility to make sure it didn't. He truly wished it wasn't. He had never been good with responsibility. Escaping himself, his mind drifted away to a sunny island somehere in the mediterranean some three millenia past. He thought of the feeling of bare feet touching ground again and again as he ran, playing with his friends. He remembered his father's voice from afar. He remembered being safe. BANG! He snapped back to reality as his chair hit the floor. He'd fallen over. With the wind still knocked out of him he managed to get up. As he did he noticed someone standing in front of his desk. Ace. Of course. He should have known. He was the source of the noise; a tall black man now standing in the middle of the room. Ace, wearing the most expensive-looking suit Gil had ever seen, was probably the only man alive who could make dreads and pitch-black sunglasses look all business. Gil had often voiced his oppinion that the getup made him look like a 'Men In Black'-reject. The last traces of smoke were still dissipating around the man as Gilligan began to speak. "Hi, Ace." he managed to wheeze out as he fought to regain his breath. "Could you please, knock next time?" "Hello, Blood." the man in black said, trying to keep cool, but Gil couldn't help but grudgingly notice the smile creeping up his face. "Heard you were back in town." "For like an hour! God damn! Can't I get a minute before it's back to business?" He was getting agitated. He hadn't even had his coffeee yet. "You had sixty." Ace wasn't even bothering to hide his grin anymore and was now showing a mouthful of teeth. "Fine." Gil calmed down. "But I need my caffeine, so let's talk over coffee. And stop enjoying this so much! Damn sadist." Ace laughed at the remark and accepted the proposal. As always, Gil didn't really have any furniture for occasions like having coffee with someone else. Ace, who had gone through this almost ritual-like order of events many times in the past, simply sat down on the soft carpet that covered the room. He had to admit to himself that he actually enjoyed this more than most of his other meetings. Sitting on the floor reminded him of simpler times, and he found the thought of a living legend making him coffee exquisitely amusing. "So." Gil exclaimed as he finally joined the floor with cups in hand, handing one to his visitor. "Pray tell. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company tonight?" He exaggerated the words in an attempt to get another smile out of the man in black, but he had significantly mellowed down during the pause in conversation. "Lay off the faux courtesy." He managed to turn the entire sentence into a sigh. "I know you think it's funny, but it isn't." He looked tired. Really tired. He had the look of a man on the brink of exhaustion. Gilligan couldn't believe he hadn't noticed until now. "Everything is a mess." Ace explained. "We're preparing on every front, and not one of them is ready. Very few will be in time. Calleus is out recruiting and has had exceedingly bad luck. Cabal is likewise trying to raise an army of his own, but has so far been unsuccessful. Howard and Dawn are dead. Ariana hasn't been seen since shortly after you left and no one knows where to find her and..." He paused for a moment, reading Gilligan's face before continuing. "So basically I've come hoping to see how you've fared, and if you have any news, good or bad, on the matter?" Gil sat in quiet shock for the better part of a minute. He took a sudden breath as if to say something and then went quiet again. Then he regained his composure and managed to speak with only a slight quiver to his voice. "Well. As you know I've spent the year in Egypt trying to give us some more time. I'm sorry to say that I have failed in this. I've also failed to uncover any new ways to give us an edge." Now he paused to let the bad news sink in. Ace seemed, while disappointed, to at least have expected as much. He continued. "As for good news, I was able to recruit a rather large number of allies among the people of Egypt. And I know the whereabouts of Ariana. She tracked me down and told me what her aim was. And I believe her plan might actually give us an advantage we hadn't thought of before." A sliver of hope flickered to life in Ace's voice. "What is it? When will she be back?" "I'm afraid I can't tell you that. Let's just hope she succeeds. And in time for it to matter." He took a slow breath collecting his courage to ask. "How did Howie and Dawn die?" Gilligan felt his throat closing up as he spoke the words. "The way I've heard it, it was some kind of a research accident. Something about refining an energy source beyond known limits. Sounds to me like they might've succeeded." "I can't believe it..." It was true. He couldn't. "I've known them since my childhood. And they were ancient even then." "Death and taxes." Ace stated matter-of-factly. And the room fell silent. They finished their coffee without another word before Ace got up, said a quick good bye with the excuse of other business to attend to and disappeared again with another loud BANG! Left stood Gilligan Blood. Far away were the daydreams of his childhood. Gone were the feelings of calm and safety. Left was smoke. Left was sadness. Left were useless thoughts trying to come up with an answer that wasn't there to be found.