Author's Note: I don't think words can accurately describe how sorry I am for taking so long. I know I hate it when my favourite stories take forever to update. But I really, really, really tried to write this chapter sooner but seeing as it's the last chapter I wanted to make it really…wonderful. And it was really hard for me to write. Anyways, I hope you can all forgive me and I tried to make it extra long to make up for it.
Thank-you to all my reviewers throughout the story! You guys rock!
Anyways, I hope you enjoy. I do warn you, it turned out rather darker then I had expected. Angst…
That you were right in front of me…
The sharp sound cut the night, echoing strangely against the silence the moon hung from high above the two black forms below. He turned to the other, his brows furrowing against his crimson twins at the desperate scream.
"Kai…it's a brain tumor. The doctors…they discovered it when she was five. She had a radiation treatment and it became dormant…but now its back." His bold voice trembled. "Before the tumor was a small size but it grew rapidly and became larger then five centimeters so the doctors couldn't perform gamma knife surgery. They tried another treatment of radiation but it didn't work. Chemotherapy can't touch this type of tumor because it's imbedded in the cerebellum. There is nothing left…we've tried everything…" His voice broke, the sorrow dripping as water from melting ice. "S-She's suffered memory lapses, is having trouble with sight and hearing. Now she's bed-ridden. Eventually…she'll slip into a coma…her lungs will fill with fluid…and she'll stop breathing…She'll die. Because of the stress she has suffered the doctors say…Kai. There's no time left. Hilary…Hil. Her mother took her to her grandmother's house. Hil wanted to go. She loves…the swans."
His eyes sparked with the amethyst flame of nostalgia at the severed words that scored his heart to the marrow with a deep fear. The reality churned in his rational mind bred of hate and bitter sorrow, causing his stomach to lurch repulsively. So… there was nothing he could do. He could not save her from her premature death hanging suspended like a distant, void chasm. She would die and with her passing the sun would set. His hope would melt into a mesh of silver; the broken fragments of a dream.
A bird cried sharply in the pregnant silence. Crimson twins sealing he turned and vanished into the misty blackness of the dark.
The budding sunlight bloomed into the tiny sliver of ruby as her eyes were opened into the clotted sun. Slowly her lashes blinked out the faded remains of sleep and focused on the shining, singing mass above her. Her void gaze glazed in the nostalgia of forgotten memories. Yet there was still a trace of wonder tingeing the edge of her vision. A childlike wonder, as if even now at the end of all things, she could still feel the wonder that binds and holds captive the juvenile mind. A false ideal and she knew it, true, but maybe that's what made her different from others. That now, with her whole mind in the turmoil of death she could still feel and her feelings were of the most pure morale in the world, innocence.
She laughed slightly in spite of the tremendous pain. No, she wasn't feeling. This sensation could not be felt or touched. This emotion that had conquered her heart was not innocence. It could not be with all the things she had wished and thought in the dark of night when only shadows touched her mind. This was not even a feeling, for it was now part of her. It had taken over her whole being. This awareness was now her purpose; the only thing she clung to in the thin tendrils of her shattered life. This was…waiting.
Waiting as she had never known. Its pain and lust burned her like fresh wounds cut anew. How she could stand it without burning from its heat she could not know. She desired nothing more then release from this waiting. She hated it. She envied it. This waiting was her and she was it. But she could not escape, she knew, as long as she was aware of his presence.
Her mind was chaos. So much so that she could no longer recognize why she was waiting or what for. A mesh of silver fragments and dark; a blackness that was consuming everything except for white wings and crimson eyes. And that was all she could see and hear and think. Those eyes that burned her soul like acid and the wings that spread wide at her caress. And it consumed her as the waiting had consumed her. There was nothing more, just an endless pain. How she longed for liberation. How she longed for demise. But more then that she wanted the bond of those eyes that all her dreams offered her.
The footfalls fell as drops of frozen ice and his hammering heartbeats answered, an expostulation and reply. His breath cut like the frigid steel edge of a knife, like a wound scored by whiplash. Brows knitted furiously in powerful concentration matched his mouth drawn in a tight line. But his eyes were what shone in the gentle dark of dusk. Like two jewels of crimson blood they lay beneath the rutted slate of his brows, exuding a vapour of bitter indifference.
He was not invincible though. It was to his great shame that he perceived his weakness as fear. How ironic that his fault was a terror of his greatest asset: his bitter removal from life. Like a tidal wave this bitterness consumed him and he struggled to breathe against its icy might. She had broken his will and what remained of his heart. If he couldn't save her…if she left now…all that would be left was bitterness. Just this darkness that removed him from emotions. And he was afraid of it and humiliated of his fear. Because it wasn't for her. His fear…was for himself.
Purpose was an alien feeling. It could not be stranger to the thin palette of emotions that painted his world. He had simply existed before, his actions born of a reasonless mentality. But…it was not terrible this sensation of purpose, rather whole consuming, for it filled him like lifeblood. Not so long before he thought he would never feel again and now he was driven on like a wild animal by its instincts. And the trees, which had shadowed his thoughts with murmurs and whispers, urged him on with their wild waving, like a silent cheer. His mistrust of their call was not evident, for through his fierce concentration he did not perceive the sound of their rasping gasps. Instead his attention was confined by purpose and purpose confined by will, and thus it was so as his feet continued on their furrowed path to whatever fate gave forth.
As she lay the wind gently tugged at the trimming of white shift that hung near her thigh. Her eyes were open now, watching the darting movements of the tiny insects and frogs that moved near the gentle lapping of the waters edge. A smooth, gentle swelling of the tide did nothing to calm her. Its quiet stealth did naught but enhance her indifference, gradually melding with the acidic nature of her mind. The sun shone with blinding sight, the leaves whispered threats. The lake…it was like a cold chasm now, its depths the frigid walls of her tomb. She settled mutely into this oblivion she had created and considered a new, strange sensation.
The feeling that tugged in the corner of her mind was not loneliness. There were still beings here. The breeze that whispered secrets caressing past her ear and there was the low, vibrating hum of insects as a low base to the music of the water. Though she was weak, it was not the weariness that plagued her wits either. There was still the purpose that hung suspended upon her being. But it was the terrible sentiment of doom that had settled and clung like claws upon her now. Her exhaustion and illness was only a small star next to the universe of a hole in her heart this doom had punctured. And it seemed to her that nothing could feel this terrible. A forsaken, frigid emotion that ate her away like autumn frost at the green leaves of summer until they were dead and blackened, their thin wisps of life fading like the setting, crimson sun. But her failing thoughts were cut off at the faint resonance that touched her ears.
It was a small sound, like a crystal tear descending into water, but the ripples of the echoes spread over the quiet expanse of the lake and stilled her heart like no other echo ever had. Her ruby twins remained immobile, staring at the gleaming surface of the water; the sheen of golden glass. But her pale fingers gripped the arms of the water-stained wooden chair in a terrible anticipation. A single tear pooled in the corner of her eye and she closed her lashes against the onslaught that threatened to fall. The gentle tapping reverberation halted abruptly and her temperate, quivering sobs began. She covered her face against her naïve faith in him, against the foolish thoughts that trapped her brittle heart in deception. He had left her here. He was the reason she couldn't feel anymore; like a broken doll. She was like a broken, porcelain doll.
Until she felt the arms…the arms, that twined themselves around her shoulders. And the elbows that rested themselves just above her breasts. Then the feelings came rushing back like a torrent of tears and the pain became all too real.
"I'm sorry…don't cry…please, don't cry…"
But the whispered words only made her cry harder. Forceful, thick sobs that shook her entire frame and made her brows crease in violent emotions. It was a jumble; a thick mix of passions that swirled throughout her mind and heart. But she lifted her hand from her face and reached behind her head to feel the smooth firmness of a jaw line, which she knew to be his. Her fingers passed over the texture of the blue paint that formed the triangles on his cheeks and twined in the silky mesh of slate hair that hung by his ear. And the lips that gently kissed her neck she recognized and smiled through the paths her tears carved.
"I-I'm sorry I left…I didn't mean to hurt you…I-I just-"
"It's o.k… Kai… You don't have to say anything…"
Abruptly, Hilary's hands fell limp upon his arms wrapped around her and the breath in her throat stilled. A sound, half gasp, half sob ripped through the air like a gunshot. Her eyes lit with wonder and ecstasy distinct from her limp form. And the sound of wings lit the air with white feathers as swans gently glided onto the lake.
Kai looked on in revelation as the white shadows preened and rustled silken plumes. Small droplets of water hung suspended; the heavens were raining crystals. Their diminutive, ebony eyes looked in satisfaction and wonder as they straightened their feathers against the balmy air, their only color a bright orange. And the golden drops of the sun lay glistening as the radiant mirror of the water faded. Then it lay a glassy blue, as the gentle tips of the suns fingers no longer caressed its smooth length. Instead they bled ruby tears of blood onto the breasts of the earth; their tender casing torn against the sparkling tips of Twilight's crown. So the sun died one of her many deaths and the deep cobalt of Dusk marked her grave with a single tear, a star of crystal illumination.
His gaze moved with broken will onto the limp form of the girl in his arms. Her ruby eyes reflected the approaching darkness and the pale silhouettes of the dancing birds. Yet, they did not hold wonder or delight or dance with the sentiment of innocence as they so often had. Those twin ruby jewels were dead and pallid like the pale skin that surrounded them and the frail limbs that fell limp around them. As the wind stroked her chestnut tresses one last time she smiled an empty smile and closed her eyes with the last ray of the dieing sun. His head fell and he let his forehead meet the cool skin of her own as he placed a lone kiss of warmth on her pale rose lips before they turned blue with death.
"Free…I'm free now…"
And the heat of his single tear slid to meet with her frigid one, resting in the two jewel drops of ruby for her eyes, like the last blood bled from the sun's failing rays. And then, with a gentle sigh, she died in the balmy silence of the evening; in the arms of the one she loved.
You are my tomorrow
There's safety in your arms
Where you go
I can't follow
Still, you're the world where I belong…
The jaws of the death of night opened to devour the white mares of the moon as they meshed silver against the twisted blue and black. Their pawing golden hooves knocking upon the glass of heaven's doors, they broke its frame into shards of sparkling light that fell away into night's lips. And the sparkling lights, like crystal tears shone down in rivets upon the mirrored water of the lake below where the white shapes, like faded memories, pranced and glided upon its surface. Their eyes shone with the same reflected light as the lake's shell; truly creatures of the water. With their pale necks arched to the moon they sang mute words of terrible grief.
And below, the waters swelled with the gentle rhythm of a mothers lullaby. Back and forth, back and forth. They hummed to the very core of the earth their last song of separation. Their sorrow running deeper then the roots of the weeping willows whom wailed with them, or the feet of the crying hills.
So the sky and the birds and water and trees and hills all cried to the heavens in grief that cascaded like a waterfall against the force of heavens power. Their silent mourning and regret a song of sin and betrayal. There are only broken shards now, they sang, only broken shards now…
And every note of that song reminded him of her as he sat silent against the great swell of the force around him. Her innocence flowed through the very melody, her chocolate tresses in the gentle wind and her eyes bled from the wounding thorn of her death. She had ruined him with her passing. With her had flown his most core element, his only hope for redemption.
For when she died a part of him had died with her.
She had killed him.
She had destroyed him.
Above, thunder split the air and the swans took flight, leaving only blackness behind. He lifted his face to the rain and let it wash him clean of his sins, of his tears, of his emotions…of her.
I'm broken…A broken shell…
Author's Note: OMG! Can you believe I ended it like that? I can't even believe how evil I am. If felt this was the best ending however, besides I had always warned the readers that it would be a sad ending. I really think that Kai couldn't love Hilary in this story. Of course he loves her in his own way, but he's kind of hopeless. He fears his removal from emotions and Hilary is the only person he knows who can reconnect him to feeling something…anything. So when he loses her, he loses himself, what he used to be before he turned bitter through the hard events in his life (as stated in chapter 16). I really thought it was a beautiful ending though. Hilary is free from her thoughts of death and memories not to mention the symptoms of her disease. Kai won't have a very fun life, but he really didn't have any hope right from the beginning.
Anyways, thanks for being faihtful to the story and for the reviews and for putting up with me. I will be continuing my trilogy with Part II: What You Mean To Me. I hope you enjoyed Heaven's Call. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.