An awkward silence had fallen. No one seemed to be able to think of how to respond to Aria's question. I muttered some excuse and wandered off. I didn't want to think of fights, Councils, Shadows or anything. I just wanted to enjoy being happy for a while.
A familiar voice floated through from the door, just as I walked into the hallway. I stopped dead in the middle of the hall as we faced each other.
"You." We said in unison.
I stayed stock-still, not moving a muscle. I waited for him to make a move. He refused to look me in the eye as the moments streched out. I could hear the others talking in the living room. Apparently they had not heard Raven returning. Eventually, I gave up waiting.
"I don't blame you for attacking me." I said quietly. "You have every right to hate me." His head shot up and it was my turn to look at the ground. I sensed suprise overriding his anger at me. I decided to speak while he was off-guard.
"I never wanted anyone to get hurt because of me. But it has happened. I feel terrible about it. If I could change places with her I would. Despite everything tying me here." I finished wryly, holding up my hand so he could see the two rings there.
"Who's the guy?" he replied, not acknowlegeing my explination.
"Jay." I said, lifting my head and smiling without meaning to. I quickly schooled my expression, realising it probably was not the best time.
He grunted in response to that, continuing to walk in.
"Raven," I said, catching his arm as he walked past. "I truly am sorry."
He looked me in the eye for the first time. "I know."
"I'm not asking you to forgive me. But I hope you can one day. I'll still be fighting on the same side as you. I'll be watching your back if you ever need it." I turned to go, not wanting him to see that I was upset. I meant every word I had said. I also sensed how angry Raven still was.