It was a far cry from our previous luxury. When before, we lived according to the limits of our imagination, now we lived in the shadows, trying to remain hidden. We found a tiny loft appartment, with access to the rooftops of the city. We hunted the people who would not be missed or who would not remember us the next day. We never left any trace. Jake eventually healed up to his former strength and I was able to let a little of the strain settle on his shoulders as well. We lived with one eye over our shoulder, unable to relax. We did not sleep, as we had no need to once we were free of injuries and during the day, we kept watch, hidden in our tiny flat and mostly quiet. After a few weeks, by unspoken consent, we sat down and began to talk about what we were going to do next.
"I want to find Jay and Jessica." I said quietly, not looking at Jake, worried at his reaction. I was loathe to leave him again, but I knew that if he was against this, I would have to.
Jake sighed. "You do realise you're stuck with me for that?" My head flicked up and he had a small smile in his eyes. "I'm not letting you go alone, Asha."
I smiled in relief, then felt it fade as I realised the magnitude of the task ahead. "Where do we start?"
Eventually, we worked out that the house I had taken Jessica from, and the place Jay had taken Jake, was the same place. We agreed that it would be a place to start and safer than staying in this city, which still felt foreign to us, where there were likely to be agents of the Council tracking us by now. We needed somewhere new. The area where we were headed was at least familiar. We knew where the agents were and how to avoid them. We could live without the constant phantom of Zelthar's wrath and maybe rest a little easier.
That afternoon, while the sun slowly turned the sky a cascade of reds and orange, we packed the few belongings we had collected, left a packet of cash to cover the rent and the keys with the doorman and left the little loft apartment with little regret. Under the cover of night, we ran side-by-side, feeling more free than we had in a long time. We made it to the woods by dawn and watched the sun rise, Jake holding me in his arms, on the edge of the trees.
"Somehow, I think its going to be okay." Jake murmured. "When this is over, I think that the past will finally let you and me go."
I closed my eyes and leaned into his body, feeling the warmth of the sun soak through us for the first time in weeks. His arms tightened just a little around me, holding me closer. Unconciously, the corners of my mouth lifted.
"I hope you're right Jake."