In the company of the innkeeper Shade sat alone, gazing without seeing at the wreckage that, until a certain point last night, had been a busy tavern. Bloodstaines - his, and Rhaka's - were still visible, dark against the light walls and wooden floor. A hole in the wall stood testament to his unforgivable action where the sword had pierced through Rhaka's shoulder, impaling the hostile were panther. He shut his eyes in shame, wishing that last night had never happened. The werewolf had never lost control like that before, but Rhaka had pushed and prodded for so long, so cruelly, until finally he'd snapped.
Soft footsteps entered the room and he looked up to see the reason for the fight as she walked slowly towards the door, beckoning him after.
F'lair stood and followed the Panther outside. No words were needed, he knew what she was going to say - he could see it in her endless emerald eyes, and the very scent of sadness hung about her. No words were needed, yet without them the hope that, somehow, this was not going to happen would never be dispelled.
In the grey morning a misty rain was falling, renewing the life about them, yet something here was dying. She turned round, "Sha- F'lair, you have to understand," she knew that he understood, but to her nothing was for sure unless spoken. Unlike with F'lair, pure feelings were something she felt had to be expressed, "You...you can't stay. I don't want this but there's no choice," she bowed her head, soft curls of tousled brown hair falling about her face.
"There's always a choice," said the werewolf softly, almost inaudibly, but Panther's hearing was acute.
"No. Not this time. The fighting between you and Rhaka will tear the team apart. He's my second - I cannot make him leave," so it has to be you said the silence that followed.
Shade bit his lip, the black eye along with various other cuts and bruises he had sustained in last night's fight with Rhaka were healed, but this hurt was going to last much longer. Then he reached out a hand to her, "Calisha," the use of her real name adding import, "I don't want this either, I...I've lost so much, I don't know if I can lose you too."
"You've shown me what it is to appreciate life...and love. I'll always feel for you and I doubt I'll ever be the same again. But you know me better than anyone ever has so you know why we have to go through with this," gently she put her arms round him, embracing close as he returned what was much more than a mere gesture, and then pulled back, composing herself, "It's over," her voice strained and husky.
The were panther turned on her heal, walking back into the building to join the rest of her team of mercenaries, not looking back. F'lair was left out in the rain. He turned his face skywards, letting the gentle droplets run down his face, mingling with the tears that flowed freely there. For a moment he was about to follow her back in, but Calisha's mind would never be changed. She wanted him to stay, but her heart's voice was always drowned out by her head - following her back inside the building would make no difference. So he stepped out into the empty street and started walking away, not once stopping as he followed the lone path once more.
He had joined Panther and her team with nothing, and now he was leaving with even less. The emptiness inside all the more painful for having been filled by love now lost.
All characters, places and anything else portrayed in this story is copyright 2004 to the author, Isabelle Davis (Drakhenliche), and may not be used without express permission. Meccha/Soul (c) Elsa Lai 2004
Comments, questions, whatever, can be addressed to me at the www.NecroDragon.com forum.