Genevieve and I walked back towards the battle leaning on each other for strength, both of us tired from the day’s exertions.  We found her horse and mounted up, riding back towards the city.  The fighting was dying down as night fell over the land, and each side was beginning to withdraw.

            “That man called him Reza.  Do you recognize that name?” I asked her quietly as our horse trudged back towards the city-fortress.

            “Alexander told me it once.  It was the name written in blood when they found Daniel and Owen’s bodies.  The killer.”

            “The man with my face.  I saw him in the desert, in a vision.  He’s hunting our friends.”

            We reached the city gates with no event, and headed for Genevieve’s house after stabling her steed.  As soon as we got there Gwen and Zoë brought us both blankets to wrap around ourselves for warmth while we took off our frozen boots and got out of wet clothes.

            Zoë sat down in a nearby chair, holding herself as if she was as chilled as we were.  “I can’t believe Alex is dead.”  Neither of us answered.  There didn’t seem to be anything to say.

            “I was afraid you were both dead, too.”  Gwen said when she brought us hot chocolate a few moments later.  I looked up in surprise at this luxury item.

            “It’s the powdered stuff, and there’s not much left.  It seems to keep alright, however.”  Gwen explained in a whisper.  I thanked her and sipped the warm liquid slowly, wanting it to last.

            “I almost did die.”  Genevieve said after a long silence.  “I saw it coming.  Reza killed Alex and he would have killed me, but Ethan saved me.”  She started to cry again, and this time it was Gwendolyn who comforted her.

            “It’s okay.”  Gwen said, holding her and rocking. 

            “I’m not a warrior.  I should never have been out there.”  Eve said.  As she said this, I was taken aback.  Evidently, she had not noticed how well she fought out there, fuelled by her anger.  “I never had a chance against Reza.”

            She fell into a silent despondence, lost in thought.

            I stood up.  “I have to leave in the morning.”

            “What?”  Gwen said loudly.  “You just got here!”  I knew that she wanted me to stay, but I couldn’t.

            “Genevieve said it herself out there, I have to stop Donovan Reza.  That’s my purpose.  No one else stands a chance, I’m the only one who can.”  I said firmly.  I hated to say it.  After all, I had been without human companionship for fourteen years.  To have but a few days and then leave my sisters was like offering a dehydrated man a glass of water and then pulling it away before he had finished one gulp.  But I knew what I had to do.

            “Why?”  Gwen asked, persisting.  “I don’t see why you have to go.  He’s been on the loose for years, why now?”

            “Because I’m here now.”  I said simply.  “And you two can’t stay here either.  The Citadel troops will overrun the city in days, if not hours.  You should head east, while I go west to find him.”

            “No.”  Genevieve said, finally rejoining the conversation, stirring from her shock.  “We’ll come with you.  I can’t fight Reza, but I can make Neal pay for all he’s done…”

            “Genevieve, no.  I’m sorry, but no.  These past few days I’ve seen you risk your life enough.  And I’m afraid that your rage and thirst for vengeance risks your soul as well.”  I said insistently.  “I need to know that you are all safe.”

            With that, I drew my sword and sliced it through my sister without warning.  Its white light pierced her, causing a bright flash, and Genevieve fell to the ground.  Gwen let out a startled shriek, and Zoë covered her mouth as she gasped, but when they saw Evie get to her feet they calmed down.  Genevieve had been transformed in an instant:  the years of wear and tear had fallen away, even the stray grey strands in her hair had vanished.  She looked like the gorgeous thirty-four year old she should have been, and not the battle-hardened warrior-woman she had become.

            “Gwen, he’s right.”  She said calmly, her despair gone.  “It’s God’s will.  We can go home, where it’s safe.  Let Ethan follow his path, and we will follow ours.  No more killing, no more fighting, no more living like animals.”

            Gwen fell into our sister’s arms and sobbed, accepting that I had to leave her yet again, but clearly not happy with it.  Well, I wasn’t either.

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