I watched the dagger arc towards me, ignoring the commotion by the door, up until the point someone called out.
"Jay!" the voice sounded vaguely familiar, as though from a dream.
My concentration flickered for an instant as Jay called my name as well. It was too late to put up my half-sword to deflect the dagger, so I dodged to one side, gasping as the icy steel burying itself to the hilt in my shoulder.
I heard Jay yell again.
"Stay back!" I yelled back. "Just stay back."
I didn't turn to look at Jay, knowing that if I did, I would want to go to him. Instead I focused on Jasper, wo was grinning.
"Feel the poison seeping in Shadow. Thats blessed steel you have there." He began to move closer. An idea struck me.
Jay, please, stay back. Please. Whatever happens..
I let myself fall to my knees, as though the holy steel had poisoned me, like it used to. Before someone healed me. Jasper's smile broadened and he stood over me. I had my half-swords grasped loosely in each hand. I'd only get one shot. My head hung low and I waited, breathing shallowly. His hand reached down, grabbing my chin and forcing me to look up at him. He was crouched so that our eyes were level. My skin crawled at his touch. He grinned.
"Such a waste.." He said softly. "You know, my brother introduced us Asha. When you had just turned. I wanted you then. You always were too good for him. He was so enraged when you left. Guess I got what he never did. Revenge. Goodbye. I hope you die painfully. Like he did."
He leaned forward, as though to kiss me. Moving as fast as I could, I thrust up with a half-sword. He gasped, straightening and stepping away. I stood in a ready stance, one sword coated in his blood. A gash had appeared just under his collarbone, blood soaking into the cloth around it. I cloud feel blood running down one arm but ignored it.
"How-?" Japser croaked.
"Go now Jasper. You have been defeated and you are now interfering. Do not return within the time limit," Ignoring the pain, I pulled out the dagger and threw it at his feet. "That belongs to you as well."
Glaring, hand pressed to his wound, he picked up the dagger and after looking at my half-swords, held steadily in a fighting pose, walked back into the forest. I breathed a sigh of relief, pulling of my mask as Jay came running up to me.
"Asha! Are you okay?!" he said urgently, taking in the blood that soaked one arm.
I nodded, feeling ill and thirsty. "I need a drink." I said quietly, brushing past him. An image of Jay bent over that Jemma girl had risen in my mind, killing any satisfaction I had gained from winning the fight. Jay just stood as I walked by him, the confusion obvious from his face. The hurt he felt echoed across our link. I shut it out. I didn't want to face that just yet.
A vampire stood by the door, vaguely familiar, dressed in a kimono and carrying a sword.
"Asha," he said, in the voice that had distracted me earlier. "I hear congratualtiosn are in order."
I looked at him for a long time, but could not place his face. "I'm sorry, I feel like I should know you from somewhere.." I paused a moment, still unable to come up with a name and not wanting to get it from his mind. That would be rude. "Do you want to come in for a drink? I sure could do with one."
He nodded. "That would be nice."
I gave him a false smile, leading him through to the kitchen and pouring two large glasses.
"I'm really sorry, but how do I know you? Its like I used to know you or something but I can't remember.." I said, after we had both drank a little. I began tearing strips off my shirt to bind up my shoulder while it healed. As I was doing so, our guest began to speak, looking as though he belonged in this kitchen.