Asha: Just When Things Were Getting Interesting...

 "I'm more than okay; I'm over the moon. I'm in love." Jay replied in a voice that was more enticing than I could resist. I smirked at that, loving it and when he bent down for a kiss, I slid my arms around the back of his neck. I felt his laugh vibrate through my body as he slid his  arms to my back.

 We kissed for a long time, but suddenly, there was a knock on the door. I broke off reluctantly to open it. Behind me Jay gasped.

 "Jessica?"

The room span. Her.

I recognised her as well. She had been an assignment when I was the Shadow. Jessica Scott. I was ordered to turn and retrieve. It was the same time Lee learned I was the Shadow. And that I was still alive..

And now she was back. Mechanically, I let her in, not saying a word. My head was spinning. I remembered now why the assignment had been particularly hard. Why Zelthar had wanted me to work with Lee. I'd discovered she had already been turned. I was forced to steal her from her sire. Her sire who had a voice that had called to me like a siren song. Who had blonde hair that gathered the light and never seemed ruffled. Who had perfect crimson eyes that I still dreamed about.

I felt my eyes widen as it all clicked into place. Meanwhile, Jay was greeting Jessica, unaware of what I had peiced together.

"...It's so good to see you! What happened? One day you were there and the next... I looked for you..."

"Jay?" my voice came out more strangled than I liked. He looked up at me, then frowned in concern.

"Asha? What is it?"

"W-who is this?" I prayed I was wrong.

"This is Jessica. I sired her a long time ago, before I came here. I thought I'd never see her again."

I suddenly felt like the past was going to unravel everything all over again.

"Let me guess, she was taken in the middle of the day. You were both staying in an old house in the city. A masked stranger broke in, attacked you with swords, left you badly injured and dying and took Jessica. You knew she was female because of her hair and what she wore, but she overpowered you and Jessica. A professional, the only trace she left were the marks on your body." My mind seemed to have become oddly detached and I felt light-headed. My voice sounded distant.

"How did you...?" Realisation dawned on Jay's face.

"I'm so sorry, Jay." I said, my voice now cracking. "Zelthar had me over a barrel. I never had a choice with these assignements."

Jay just looked at me like I was a stranger. Jessica's head flicked between the two of us as though she was watching a tennis match. Confusion was etched all over her face.

"You're the one who took Jessica?" for the first time, Jay sounded hostile towards me.

"The Shadow took her, Jay. That's not me anymore-you know this!" I cried, desperate. Jay shook his head. The look on his face told me everything.

"Jay, I had no idea it was you until just now. I'm sorry." I turned to Jessica. "I'm sorry-"

"Don't talk to her." Jay didn't snap, but his voice was colder than I had ever heard it. The temperature in the room dropped a couple of degrees. His face was hard and when I reached to touch his arm, he pulled away from me. I tried to say something, but couldn't find the words past the confusion of emotions I was feeling. I turned to walk away, pausing at the door.

"I really am sorry, both of you." I said, looking at Jay. My breath puffed out in white clouds due to Jay's powers. Fighting the tears, I walked out, heading for the forest. In the end, as usual, I settled high in the branches of a large tree and hoped no one would find me.

The End

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