I catch Lucy's eye and she nods towards Ray with a sad look on her face. I turn and see my younger brother standing with his shoulders hunched and looking small and fragile. Putting my arm around his shoulders I lead him out of the room and into the garden.
"Ray, don't worry, it'll work out alright." we sit down underneath the tree we used to play in as kids and two blood red tears roll down Ray's cheeks. I grab his shoulders and stare into his eyes in shock.
Blood tears. Tears of a broken heart.
"I just don't want her to hate me Ro." he wiped the tears away roughly, licking the blood off the back of his hands. "I don't want to cry and be a sap, I just want to be happy, I want her to be happy...with me."
I hug my little brother tight and then sit back and ruffle his hair. "How could she not like you eh kiddo?" I smile at him. "You two are so alike you know. The same way she didn't get the choice, neither did you, do you remember?"
Ray's face clouds over and he turns his head away and looks out at the forest. "I wanted to wait until my 19th birthday." he mutters. "I had no choice, it wasn't fair."
I put my hand on his arm "Exactly bro, and if you can remember how you felt, when you became, can you imagine how she feels? At least you had your family around you, she's just lost hers forever and has to get used to a new one."
Ray looks up at me startled. "I didn't think of it like that." he sounds surprised now more then sad. "Maybe I should...."
"Tell her" I finish for him. "Tell her what happened to you, and how you had to become because of that...that...egotistical, power hungry..." I grit my teeth as I spit his name out "Donovan."
Blade's partner Akuji happens to walk out just as I say it and her eyes widen in fear. "That name.." she whispers. "He... he gave me no choice. Blade saved me. I was going to die." Ray looks at her sadly. "My father gave me no choice. He thought I'd be too weak and cowardly to convince her to change because of what happened to me." Akuji nods "You should tell her." she half smiles "And if you need me to, I'll talk to her for you Ray." she turns from Ray to me.
"Lucy." she tilts her head to the side as she looks at me. "needs you now. She's bringing Maple out here first." and then she's gone and I blink. Lucy needs me? For what? What's wrong?
I turn back to Ray and see a look of fear and agony on his face. "Tell her ok?" I make him look me in the eye but his pain is too much for me. I'm the only one that knows the full story of what happened that day because Ray has forbidden me to speak of it. You see, I was there, and I couldn't protect him. "I'm sorry Ray." I whisper. "It's my fault for not being on guard properly."
Me and Ray share a very special bond that none of the others have. He almost died that day. So I had to finish Donovan's messy attempt at conversion and I made him a full blood, but not before the mental damage was done. Ray was the only one of my brothers that was linked to me by blood. Donovan, an assassin of the 3rd order, had tried to kill my brother because he was my father's son. Our enemies rewarded such achievements with status and power. But because of this, I forged a blood brother bond with Ray, and in doing so I broke one of the oaths by indirectly forcing family. You never forced family to become until they were ready to, but I had no choice. He was my younger brother. All it really meant was that Ray could find me no matter where I was, and I could find him. But it still felt like an invasion of privacy. Ray was my blood brother, and nobody knew but us two. I was giving him permission to tell Maple about me if he had to. It could cost me my life if the wrong people find out.
"I can't bring back those memories Ro, I'll go mad. How can I tell her what I can't even tell myself?" he looks at me pleadingly.
"Tell me what?" Maple stands there beside Lucy and I stumble to my feet. "I eh, we'll be going now." I grab Lucy's arm and drag her back inside, leaving Ray and Maple to talk.
"I have faith in you little bro." I whisper under my breath.