Just one look at Zelthar's face and I knew that there was another bombshell to come. He made an elaborate gesture towards Lee and I resisted the urge to snarl as he stepped forward.
"There's something that you never knew about me, partner" Lee grinned. The tone of his voice gave away just how much he was enjoying this. He alone out of the people here knew exactly what this was going to do to me. "I create images and illusions. I trick people into seeing things that aren't there."
The image of Jake's body being tossed aside on blood-soaked grass, Lee tearing his head from his shoulders played itself again and again in my mind's eye. An illusion. It had all been an illusion.
"The fire was very much a reality my dear. But when Lee here told me what he'd done, I had to applaud his ingenuity. And to think that you had cultivated such a weakness! My dear Shadow, you protected him well until now."
I could feel my icy exterior beginning to crack as the tips of my swords quivered slightly, just once. The flare of light in Lee's eyes showed me that he'd seen. He'd struck a major nerve.
"You have no need of him, Zelthar. Release him and you will have my unflinching loyalty." I hated the words but there was no question of whether Jake was worth it. I prayed that Jay was okay as I knew that he was on his own now. I hoped that he had gotten to Jessica whilst I kept Zelthar occupied.
He pretended to consider my words for just long enough for it to be insulting.
"But my dear, he is the only guarantee I have of your loyalty. Just as you are my guarantee of Lee's loyalty."
I felt a sick blow to my stomach as Lee raked a familiar, possessive look over my body. I now understood his alliance with Zelthar and the true depths of his madness where I was concerned.
"The only guarantee of my loyalty will be one where he goes free." I said, ignoring Jake's mental barrage of protests. I could see him tense as though preparing to fight.
Go for Lee. When I say, I'll immobilise Zelthar. Knock Lee out and run. I'll follow, I promise.
He gave me the tiniest of nods in reply.
"I'm afraid I cannot do that my dear."
"Then I'm afraid I cannot remain loyal to you, Zelthar."
As the words left my lips, I mentally gave Jake the signal he needed. I sent a mental attack to both Lee and Zelthar, stunning them whilst Jake and I made sure that they wouldn't follow for a while.
"We should kill them now." Jake snarled, his eyes on Lee.
"Leave it Jake, its not worth the hunt that the Council will put on our heads. Let's go."
Without another word, we took off into the night, leaving the Council house behind, but never leaving sight of one another. It was only once we were back in the nameless hotel room that Jay crossed my mind again. I explained to Jake the exact circumstances of how I'd come to be there. As if on queue, Jay entered the room, just as I was finishing. I knew instantly that something was wrong.
"They killed her." Was all he said before he collapsed on the floor.