I’m relieved when Tyler receives the text from Ryan because it gives me an excuse to leave. As soon as his head is turned, I run down the beach away from him. I know it is rude, but I can’t be around him. He looks just like Raven, the only difference is that Raven was covered in runes and could kill an army with only an iron splinter, whereas Tyler probably couldn’t even hold a gun right.

                I keep running down the beach and finally turn back to my house after dark. Soft violet lights keep the house from being in total darkness, but aren’t too bright for Karsaë eyes, like most human lights.

                I put my hands on the marble countertop and press my forehead against the cool stone. “Raven, why have you left me all alone?”

                “Because he was foolish and saved you instead of taking care of himself,” says a cool voice that slides across the dimly lit kitchen.

                I slowly look up. “Chance. How did you find me?”

                The healer laughs softly, the sound similar to sandpaper against wood. “It has taken me those two years since you left to find you, but all Karsaë were meant to live among their own kind, not creatures such as these.”

                “Creatures? They’re just like us, Chance. The only difference is that we devote our lives to one purpose and they devote theirs to something they love.”

                Chance smiles. “I can see that Leon was right, living amongst weaker creatures have made you start you think like them. You know that you can’t escape your past, or who and what you are, Zoë Wren. You are a Karsaë assassin, and you always will be. How long do you think you can hide behind weak creatures before you become completely like them?

                “Leon is wrong,” I say between clenched teeth. “You wanted to let me die, and Raven gave his life to save me. That’s noble. Isn’t that what all Karsaë are taught from the time they can hold up their own heads? The Karsaë are a noble species put here to preserve the nobility of the world.”

                “I can understand where your confusion stems from, but Raven was tainted before he tainted your mind, too.”

                “Tainted? Raven didn’t ‘taint’ me in anyway.”

                “Poor Zoë Wren! Did Raven never tell you that his mother was human? And that the child you and Raven left behind is part human, too?” Chance smiles mockingly. “Nala is a beautiful girl, just like her mother. Too bad she has to pay for her parents’ mistakes.”

                “What do you mean? If you hurt Nala…”

                Chance holds up a hand. “Your child is not hurt yet, but if you do not come back and do as you were meant to do, then she will. Part human, part Karsaë. Such a foul mix should never be allowed to pollute the earth. I’d hate to see what’d happen to her if you do not comply.” Chance claps his hands once in front of him and disappears in a cloud of black smoke.

                I glare at the spot where he was standing and pull Raven’s ring out of my shirt. “Raven, help me save our daughter.”

The End

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