For a long time, Jake and I managed to keep away from Lee and Zelthar. There were no signs of either and I wondered what had happened to Lee at least. Though I hated him for turning me into a vampire, he was still my sire and there was an instinctive desire to at least make sure he was alive-though as far from me as was possible. I hoped Zelthar hadn't killed him, despite the fact it would solve one problem for Jake and I.
I was also plagued with worries about Zelthar appearing to take Jake away and take me to execution. I was an exiled criminal and a run-away bounty hunter. There was a dim hope that Zelthar had let me go, that maybe he was going to let me have a life. I always repressed that thought though. It was too dangerous.
Slowly, over the months, Jake and I stopped taking the most extreame measures to avoid detection. We settled a far cry from the Council's reach in a sprawling city, where very few vampires seemed to have made the effort to reach. We began to settle, renting a house and mixing with the humans. We lasted three months of peace.
Both Jake and I had a passion for nightclubs. As vampires, we found a wry amusement in watching the humans get more and more drunk and rediculous and we preyed on those who took advantage, leaving them just scared enough not to repeat their offence. Jake had, apparently, limitless money so we watched endless movies, went to concerts by our favorite bands, ate in expensive resturants just because we could. We lived as though it was one, long last day.
We had spent the day walking together in the setting sunlight, following a path that took you to the most beautiful points of the city. Night had just settled as we returned home for a quiet evening together. Jake was laughing as he swept me into his arms and carried me through the hall, kicking the door shut as he went. He swung me down gently to kiss me passionately.
"I love you Asha," he said, a little breathless " More than anything."
"And I love you," I replied, equally out of breath "More than I could ever say."
"How touching." The third voice had both Jake and I spinning around. We both faced the intruder, empty-handed. My weapons were upstairs and Jake was unprepared to fight. The injustice of who was there felt like a blow, crushing any relief I might have felt.
"Don't do this Lee, please." I met his icy green eyes beseechingly, feeling sick.
The green eyes narrowed to slits. "I suffered torture the likes of which you could not imagine my love. I suffered that for you. To let you have your time. Now, its time things went back to normal."
"You have to catch me first." I said, before wrenching my hand out of Jake's grip and sprinting upstairs to my swords. Just as I had them in my hands, Lee tackled me to the floor. I brought the hilt of one down on his head as the other skittered out of reach. He paused, dazed, allowing me to throw him off, sending him smashing through a wall. I found my mask, putting it on, and managed to shoulder my pack-which had lain ready but undisturbed the past months-before Lee stirred again. I grabbed Jake's pack and ran to the hall, where he was waiting.
"Run!" I yelled, throwing the pack to him. I heard shifting rubble, meaning Lee was on his feet upstairs. Jake nodded, leaving the house. I turned to follow, then felt a pair of powerful arms lift me off my feet. I yelled wildly as there was a kiss of blessed steel between my ribs.
Two Council agents had me by the arms. They laughed as I began to weaken.
"No!" Jake threw himself at one of them. There was a sickening crack as he flew limply back onto the street. He hit the pavement, leaving a crater and didn't move. One of them swore.
"He said leave them both alive, Lee." He grunted, turning as Lee arrived at the bottom stair.
"Unless it was necessary." Lee's voice was acidic and cold as he regarded the pair. "He also said do not harm the girl but you seem to have poisoned her."
The pair looked at me, realising that I could no longer stand. Lee took me from them, swinging me into his arms. I no longer had any strength or inclination to resist. He returned my swords to their scabbard.
"Your secrets are safe with me." Lee muttered, almost inaudiably. "I will not betray your identity. Your friend is dead though. You have to come back else you will be the same." He then gave me enough blood so that I could pass out, which I did so gratefully. The last image I had was of Jake's body discarded on the pavement. I knew it would be seared on my mind for years to come. I had killed the one I loved.