"Everybody but you can see that she loves you," Zevran said simply.
"Do we have to talk about this?" I asked.
"No, but we do need to discuss the girl, among other things," he said.
"What about her?"
"She's still a half-blood, yes?" I nodded. "Okay. Has she been Inducted yet?"
Zev raised his eyebrow. "No?"
"She hasn't even drunk blood yet."
"Okay. We will probably be at council by the time she needs to. That will make things easier. As for the other things... Why has our Messenger left us?"
"I never wanted to be chosen. I don't see why I have been forced into this."
"You have not been forced into it; She chose you. There is no going back on Her Word. You wish to disobey the one that gave you life?"
"I wouldn't call this life."
Zev sighed. "I know you wouldn't but this has happened for Her Plan. The greater good, if you will. You still convene with Her?"
"Then that is why we have not been destroyed as of yet."
"The Mistress doesn't have a problem with me not going to council."
"She gave us our Laws and so we must abide to them. It is Her decision whether or niot she picks favourites." I smiled at him.
I nodded. He smiled and disappeared into the air. I stood up and slowly walked back to the kitchen, thinking about what he'd said. I'd sort of forgotten I was the Messenger. It hadn't been that long since I'd last spoken with the Mistress but I'd slept since then.
I pushed open the door to the kitchen. Zoe was sat at the table. She made no move towards me, for which I was grateful. I stood in the doorway for a little while, looking at her looking at me.
"Who was that?" she asked.
"Zevran. He's a vampiric elf. One of my most trusted friends."
She nodded as I sat down opposite her.
"What does it mean to be half-blood?" she asked quietly.
"'Half-blood' used to be used as an insult before we needed a name for middle stage. A half-blood is just a vampire that hasn't drunk blood yet. You need to get the timing perfect; if you drink too early, you vomit and die. If you drink it too late, you'd already be dead because the chance has passed.
"You need to wait until the need, the desire, is unbearable. You need to wait until you want to do it, until you enjoy the killing. That's usually when humans are turned."
She nodded slowly, taking it in. She opened her mouth to say something but closed it and exhaled through her nose.
"What is it?" I asked.
She thought for a minute longer. I saw in her eyes that she changed what it was she was going to say. "What did Zevran want you to do?"
"You heard our conversation?" She blushed and nodded.
"I could hear it from here. Darran said you were whispered, but I could hear you anyway."
"Your senses are sharpening." I smiled to myself, about to answer her question. "For the past ten years, Zevran's being trying to get me to join his little... group. I thought you said you heard the conversation."
"I was talking to Darran at that point," she explained. "What's his group?"
"He's an assassin."
"He's an elf and a vampire, the best of both. He's got his elf gifts and his vampire ones."
"What are his vampire gifts? Riley said elves can control the elements."
Before I could answer, someone else took the words right out of my mouth.
"He's like me," Darran said from the door. I turned to look at him. He nodded, more to himself than to me. "I guess it's time you knew. Besides, I hear you've been asking."