" Asha was it?"

"Best to forget that name. I haven't been Asha for a long time. Most people call me the Shadow." I spoke without looking at her, my voice sounding dead even to me.

"Well.. um. I just wanted to say... thanks." Jessica replied awkwardly. "For protecting me."

"Just doing my job." I turned to look over my shoulder. "Get some sleep okay? Tomorrow, I hand you over to Zelthar and you'll never see me again."

"Shame, you seem kinda nice." Jessica said, before rolling onto her side to sleep. I envied her at that point. I took the chance to drain our remaining supplies of blood, grimacing at the cold. I resisted the urge to slam a fist into the wall. Jessica had just put me in a very awkward position and now I had to make a choice; go back to the Council... or make my escape with Jessica.

It seemed like forever until she woke up. I stopped pacing and faced her.

"Okay, we have a choice. I can take you to Zelthar, to I don't know what and face whatever he has in store for me for injuring Lee. Or I can go on the run, with you if you chose and we spend however long it takes in hiding. Its up to you."

Jessica's face lit up. "I want to stay with you!" and for the first time, I smiled properly at her.

Unfortunately, Lee interrupted a second time, breaking down the door as before. Before I could move, he had me pinned on the floor, a silver dagger at my throat. I screamed as my skin began to burn at the contact.

"Hush my dear, this will only hurt for a little while. Then when you wake up, I'll have delivered the girl and I shall have you all to myself again." Lee purred in my ear, in the tone of a lover.

I tried to knee him but, anticipating me, Lee straddled my chest, crushing the air from my lungs. I choked, feeling my head spin.

"Drink up my dear." Lee hissed as he poured holy water down my throat. He gagged me, tying my hands and grabbed Jessica as I writhed in agony on the floor. Jessica was sobbing and screaming at me. I couldn't hear the words over the roar of pain in my ears. My veins felt full of white hot liquid as the holy water spread through my body. Lee had passed on to me a violent allergy to holy objects, in particular, blessed silver and holy water. He had given me a dose that was potentially lethal if I didn't feed. Feeding diluted the effects of the silver. I screamed against the gag as the pain intensified. I couldn't pass out-part of the effect of the poisoning I guessed-and was left writhing as the white-hot sensation increased steadily. I could feel tears on the side of my face, small streaks of skin that were marginally cooler than the rest of my skin, which felt like it was burning.

Dimly, I was aware of someone unfamiliar entering the room. They ran out again and I screamed against the gag, barely concious. I had the impression of someone pulling the gag out of my mouth, which was locked in a silent scream of pure agony that now defied words. Every muscle in my body was locked into the foetal position. I was on the point of dying when this stranger tipped something into my open mouth. It was blood. I drank greedily and eventually, still under the effects of the poison, I passed out.

The End

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