Ellie's hand is warm in mine as I tow her through the mist. Pleasant though it feels, I can't help but feel uncomfortable around her. As far as I've ever known, love has only brought ruin to my kind - and to Reapers in general. I smile coldly as an old memory comes to the surface. Eric provided me with some good sport that day. I'll admit I did have some fun watching his face as, piece by piece, I broke his heart with each swipe of my scythe ....
I push the memory aside hurriedly. I don't want Ellie eavesdropping on that particular memory. Not so much that it would scare her, but more than she would try and kill me for it. The Light Reapers almost did, not so long ago.
Finally we reach my house. Well, not so much a house as a hole in the ground leading to a series of bunker-like rooms. I pull aside the door cover and leap down into the darkness, pulling Ellie along with me. She yelps in alarm, even more so when she lands in my arms at the bottom. I grin and deposit her back on her feet.
"You didn't think I'd drop you now, did you?" I grin, giving her forehead a quick kiss before striding off into the bunker. I head for the living room area, flopping inelegantly down in one of the large armchairs, one leg curled under me and arms behind my head. A loud purring comes from across the room and a big black cat clambers up the side of the chair and drapes himself around my neck. I grin and scratch the cat's head, his purring soft and rhythmical in my ear.
"You never mentioned this place before." says Ellie. "Or that you had a cat."
"You never asked." I reply as the cat continues to purr in my ear. Ellie takes a seat in one of the other four chairs and looks at me.
"Do you live alone?" she asks.
"Yep. Just me and the cat." I reply. "Friends used to live with me once, you met Rafe I believe, he was one of them. There were five of us altogether, that's why there are five chairs here. But, times change, they decided to go their own ways and have places of their own now ... except Ginger." I bite my lip, remembering the lanky copperknob that met such an unpleasant end in the mortal world. It was a shock, losing him so suddenly. I kick that memory aside to, why does being with Ellie make me remember so many inconsequential things?
"Don't worry about the food." I say, seeing her chewing her apple carefully. "I can easily bring you back some more - perhaps if you're good I'll take you back to the surface sometime. Go out for dinner or whatever it is they do amongst humans."
Ellie giggles, and I find myself smiling too. It's strange how easily I can tap into her emotions, and how she can affect mine in return. It's not unpleasant, but already I can see a potential weakness. If I can feel her joy and sorrow, and presumably she can feel mine, does that mean someone could exploit that link to get rid of one of us - or both, should they feel the need. I bite my lip, perhaps I'd best keep to going surfaceside alone.
I doubt the Light Reapers will like what I've done, they'll be wanting revenge. I can't risk Ellie and I getting separated on the surface. Even if I can follow the link to her, we could both be in serious trouble by that time.
Come to think of it, we could already be in serious trouble now.