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Malton chronicle.jpg This story is part of the Malton Chronicles.
This story is fan-made, and is not officially part of any background history for Urban Dead.

It was a beautiful reception hall, really. The lighting was soft, the polished marble shining brilliantly, except for a dark streak here and there. Two of the bulbs on the chandelier had gone out, but perfection was not to be expected after so long. The wide, sweeping staircase rose to the second floor, its thick metal railing dull from lack of care.

Daniel paced the lobby impatiently. What time had she said? And why were the lights on? All it would do is attract the monsters. And glass doors were some of the hardest to reinforce; agitated, he found one of the tables in the dining area and started dragging it toward the entrance.

He heard her laughter at the top of the stairs. “Daniel!” she called; he was apparently out of her line of sight. Her curled black locks bounced as she turned left and right, blue eyes searching for her lover. A purple evening gown, form fitted, crushed velvet, with a side slit at the hip. Black gloved hands listlessly holding a bottle of wine and a pair of wine glasses by the stems. He watched her lips form his name again, entranced.

“My God you’re beautiful.” He walked slowly towards the foot of the steps, every footfall echoing across the hall. She caught sight of him and smiled, running down the stairs. “Oh, I’m so glad you made it!” Her cheerful song elated him, almost forgetting his woes. “You should see them swarming. The mall’s been overtaken, I can see the fire from here.” He just noticed his radio buzzing the news and calling for help from someone, anyone. He turned it off and set it on the reception desk.

She set the glasses down carefully next to the wine then clung around his neck, kissing softly. “I hope you like the dress. I found it in one of the rooms and thought you might want to see me all dressed up, for once. I wasn’t even counting on the wine,” she smiled hopefully at him. He kissed her on the forehead and ran his fingers through her hair. “I feel a bit…underdressed for the occasion,” he replied mischievously, looking down at his tattered grey work-shirt and torn jeans.

She fiddled with the radio a bit until she found an orchestral piece playing. “Dance with me?” she asked breathily. He carefully lifted her outstretched hand as he wrapped his left arm around her waist, and they glided effortlessly across the floor. She pulled close to him and stared deeply into his hard brown eyes. “We’re not going to survive this time, are we?” she whispered.

“Why do you figure that, love?”

“You aren’t carrying your shotgun anymore.”

He closed his eyes, pausing in mid step. “I’m tired of fighting, Lydia. I’ve made my peace, and I’m ready to accept my fate. I hope you’ll come with me.”

She blinked a few times, then rested her head in the nape of his neck. “There’s nowhere left to run. This is all we can do.” The music played on softly as they twirled across the floor. The skyline was visible through the glass entranceway, where the sun fell and glowing fires began to light the horizon in every direction. One two three, one two three, one two three, around and around the room as chaos flowed ever closer.

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