While Zelthar babbled on about a perfect partnership, Lee eyed me up. I could hear his thoughts whirring, he had smelled me and recognised it, but couldn't place it. Yet.
"I work alone Zelthar, as always. Else I will not take this job."
Zelthar paused, looking at me curiously. "Indeed you have always refused help in the past, but my dear Shadow I really must-"
"Alone, Zelthar. That has always been my condition." I wanted to get away. Lee was looking intensely at me and my name had just appeared in his mind. He wasn't there, but very close to the truth. Zelthar considered for a long minute.
"A contest then" he beamed. "The one who completes the assignment first keeps their position."
I grabbed the packet and left swiftly. I was deep into the forest when Lee finally caught up with me.
"You're a fast runner, Shadow." he said, his tone wary. "But I have lived in these forests, fortunately, else I would not have caught you."
"What do you want?" My hands were on my weapons and I was poised, ready to fight.
"Merely your real name," he said, feigning a relaxed stance "And to let you know that you might want to find other employment." he smirked now "I'm too good for Zelthar to let me go."
"You're mistaken. Zelthar values his secret little pet too much to put her to waste." I said cooly "And I don't intend to risk anything changing."
"Your name?" Lee prompted, dismissing my assertion.
I tried not to show anything. I tried not to react. But it had been years since anyone had called me by my real name. So long since I had been anything since an emotionless killer, that I betrayed myself. I looked back.
Lee was on me before I could react. He pinned me to the ground, pulling the mask down.
"Asha, my love." He breathed, apparently genuinely moved. A moment later, I flung him into a tree, shattering it. Lee disappeared and I ran faster than ever. But he cut me off.
"Stay away from me Lee!" I cried, drawing both swords.
"Asha, I thought you were dead." He said, sounding genuinely pained. "You let me think you were dead." His voice hardened. "I mourned for you."
"You mourned because I escaped." I spat. "You cost me everything. You destroyed my life in every way possible. I hate you Lee. I was happy! I had a life, someone to love and a future. You took that away from me, made me nothing then took away any chance I had at rebuilding things. You made me a monster. You drove me to this. And you claim to love me?! If you really loved me, you would have let me be happy! You would have left me human!"
Lee's face darkened. "You are mine, Asha. That pathetic human was below you. And then, you settled for one who was even worse!"
"Jeremy!" I screamed. "His name was Jeremy before you massacred him. And Jake really loved me. And I loved him. We were going to be married. You took that away from me. And I will never forgive you."
Lee froze and I brought the hilt of both swords down on each of his temples. He would be knocked out long enough for me to lose him.