Aria: The Cheshire Cat

I hope Sylvester didn't mind me taking off like that. Aaw, I think he was mid-sentence, too. I'll apologise later. But first I had to make sure I didn't lose track of Asha. She stopped after a while and just sat. I watched her for a while, listening for the voices of others from the mansion. I could hear someone but they were too far away to pick up on mine or Asha's scents. I hung from a low tree branch by my knees and waited to see if Asha would notice me. I wish I'd been able to see myself, I must've looked like one of those horror movie vampires. She was too wrapped up in her own thoughts to notice me. I dropped down beside her and she jumped a little.

"It's okay, it's just me. There something you wanna talk about?" I asked softly.

She shook her head. I didn't like seeing her sad, I could tell she'd already been through a lot. I put my arm around her shoulders and smiled.

"I know the past can be a painful place and it doesn't do any good to dwell but when you get to that point in your life when you gotta confront your demons, you just gotta grab the bull by the horns and go for it".

"I can't" she said quietly, on the verge of tears.

"It's about time I faced one of my demons. I tell you what, you tell me what's up and I'll let you in on a secret of mine" I said cheerfully, although the act of sifting through my past scared me a little.

Asha seemed to relax a little. It took a while before she said anything but I gave her shoulder a squeeze when she did. "I... I got into some trouble with the Council. It wasn't even my fault, I just... I..."

"If that's all you can tell me, that's all you need to tell me. I won't push ya to say something you don't want to, that'd just be mean".

"Your turn then" she said quietly.

"I've had my fair share of run ins with the Council. Actually, most of 'em were to do with a good friend of mine. Cheshire. The Council...they... Have you ever heard of a girl called Sabrié?"

Asha shook her head.

"Then, I guess that's a story that'll have to wait. After all, it's not really my secret to tell. It's Cheshire's. And the Council's, and I know they sure as hell won't say anything about it".

"Cheshire... Strange name for a vampire".

"Well, after...what happened to Sabrié, Chesh could barely remember anythang about himself. So he called himself the Cheshire Cat instead. He's, uh, he's got a bit of a reputation for killing vampires. That's why the Council used to haul him in every other day. They never did charge him with anythang, though, 'cause of what happened to Sabrié. Oh, I'm babbling" I said nervously, realising I was breaking my promise to Cheshire. The two of us sat in silence for a while before I caught the scent. "Someone's coming".

The End

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