Everytime someone added their support, my conviction grew. I knew we could do this. It seemed crazy but I knew things the others didn't. There were so many secrets that had been whispered into my ear that would devastate the Council if they became well-known. The small group of support I had meant a lot.
We might have a chance...if they agree to the rest of it.
"I'm not going to force anyone into this." I said, loud enough to carry across to where Sylvester stood with Aria. The tourtured look on his face cut me deeply. I knew we needed his help since he was one of the most experienced vampires here, but I didn't want to force anyone to help if they didn't want to do this.
"The thing is," I continued "Harmony is right. We faced all of those Hunters down without even hesitating about it. We can all fight well enough to take care of ourselves. We have all faced our demons before. What is so different in this case? We are going against a bunch of ordinary vampires with fancy titles. We have the advantage. They don't know we are here. They don't know we have all this information about them. We have a way in. We have the element of suprise. They have numbers, but it is going to take more than us lot to bring them together as a untied fromnt. The Council hasn't been united in over 1,000 years. I suspect many of the members would join us when they found out about it."
"You said we had a way in..." Sylvester called out cautiously. I noticed he was holding Aria's hand. "What is it?"
I swallowed nervously. My face froze into a mask of calm, although I could hear the catch in my own voice. "The Shadow."
A huge uproar went up. I flinched, even though I had expected this reaction. Of course I didn't want to do it, but it was the best way for us to get everything we needed. Over everyone else Jay was roaring, "No way Asha! I won't let you do it again! There are other ways! You don't have to go back to it!"
I closed my eyes for a moment, then shouted both mentally and normally, "QUIET!"
There was instant silence. Jay had grabbed my shoulders when he was shouting, looking into my face, trying to convince me. I put both my hands over his gently, looking into his eyes as camly as I could manage as I spoke to everyone.
"There might be other ways," I said evenly "But this will be the best way. This way we will have an even better advantage."
Shaking his head, Jay began to protest again "What about you?"
"I managed before." I replied quietly.
Harmony then spoke up "Why don't we all go and think about it for a while, then meet again later tonight? I'm sure Asha can call us all together when its time."
I smiled at her gratefully as people left muttering amongst themselves. Very quickly, it was just me and Jay left. Jay wasn't happy at all. I slid my arms around his waist, holding him breifly before he pulled away.
"Asha, I really don't like this." he muttered.
I took his hand, linking it with mine, so that he could see our two rings together. They shimmered in the light of the sun.
"Come for a walk with me," I replied. "There are some things we need to talk about."
Jay looked at me closely. The pained expression on his face ripped deep into me. I drew his face close to mine so that our foreheads touched. We both closed our eyes.
"Jay, I love you more than anything else. I want to be with you, and no one else, for the rest of my life." I could feel tears on my cheeks. I wasn't sure if they were mine or Jay's. "I don't want to go back to this any more than you want me to. But it is the only way we will be able to do this. I have to, for everyone's sake. If we let them carry on nothing will change and we would always be looking over our backs. Sooner or later someone would work out the I was the Shadow. They would come after me...and you. I couldn't bear it if they hurt you because of me. We need to do this for us as much as the others."
"I can't loose you Ash." Jay murmured, his voice cracking.
"I'm not going to leave you." I said, as he kissed me in a kind of desparate fierceness.