Far away from everyone's earshot, I let myself cry. I hated how my past always came back to ruin everything and now, it had destroyed the one thing I treasured most. What was worse; I had tried to save Jessica. I had tried to escape with her, she was my last assignment. But Lee had taken her and left me dying from poisoning through holy water and blessed silver. Thanks to Kyoshiro, I was no longer allergic, but back then, it was deadly to me, an inheritance from my sire. Despite the poison I had fought to save Jessica, as best I could. For a long time, I could hear her screaming to help as Lee dragged her off to Zelthar. The guilt was something I had lived for until she appeared just now. I wondered what happened to her.
My thoughts drifted to Jay. Jay. I had left him for dead when I'd abducted Jessica. Even then, I'd felt terrible, I hated hurting people like that. But it was complete the assignment or die. My throat burned with tears, it felt like being poisoned had done; white hot pain flowing into every corner of my body. I was sure I'd lost Jay now. I'd left him for dead and taken the vampire he had sired.
I heard a noise below and a moment later, Jay was next to me in the tree.
"I'm so sorry Jay!" I exclaimed through my tears.
He smiled at me, pulling me against his chest for a hug. When I looked up, I watched as his face softened and he bent his head to kiss me. We broke apart and I looked down, unsure if I was forgiven. He caught my chin to tilt my face up to his.
"Its okay," he smiled the crooked smile I remembered from when we first met. The one he knew I loved. He brushed the last of the tears from my cheeks and kissed me lightly on the forehead. "I know you are not that person anymore. There's nothing to forgive you for, Asha."
I threw my arms around him then, holding him tight, just fiercely grateful to have him back. "I love you." I murmured against his chest.
"I love you too Asha."
Eventually, we went back inside and found where everyone else was sat. Mostly, they were chatting to Jessica, finding out about her. I hung back as Jay went to sit with her. They were asking about her past and she was telling them about when she was taken.
"She attacked Jay..there was a lot of blood.. I don't remember much else since she knocked me out. When I woke up, we were in some hotel. She gave me some blood and told me that she was taking me to Zelthar and the Council. She treated me as kindly as possible I guess. She told me she had no choice; that Zelthar would execute her otherwise." At this point, Jay looked up at me- I hadn't told him much about being the Shadow other than I wanted to forget it. "She told me that she wanted to protect me from some other guy who enjoyed inflicting pain.. I just took her word for it really, I had nowhere to go as I'd figured Jay was dead." I winced slightly at the pain in her voice as she said that, hating that it was my fault. "I guess I fell asleep because I remember her waking me up. Lee was trying to get me... the Shadow protected me." Everybody then glanced up at me, putting the peices together. I looked down, unable to meet their eyes. "She managed to get us away to another place.. but Lee found us there again. He-he poisoned her.. I could hear her screaming.. She tried to escape with me though. She told me she wanted to leave Zelthar and that she would take me with her if I wanted. If Lee hadn't taken me then we might have made it too.."
Quietly, I left the room. I couldn't face the glances everyone was giving me. I sat quietly in the window of another room, looking out over the gardens.
I was suprised when a couple of people came in to find me.