A/N: The very delayed sequel to Deception has arrived. Actually, it has been sitting comfortably in my computer for months of end, deliberating until I could get the story right. I changed the plot about three times until I was satisfied with it. I'm not going to explain much at this point because this chapter is just like a mourning moment for Woody, which by the way was so fun to write. I love cynical Woody. Much hotness. But I will say one thing: the beginning of this chapter is something that will occur halfway through this story. It's just something to keep you wondering until then.

Disclaimer: You really think I own it? Get out! All lyrics belong to "Never There (She Stabs)" by Strata. All rights reserved and nothing belongs to me! Except my plans, they're still safe inside my heart-shaped hand-grenade.

Summary: If you had to lose your life to find someone you lost once, would you take the risk?
Pairing: Devan/Woody, with some Woody/Jordan.
Rating: T - for violence, mild language, adult themes (always wanted to put that down...) and mild sexual references.

Twice Deceived
Chapter One: Ashes To Ashes

He sucked in a breath. Why was she doing this? He couldn't understand why she would want to hurt him. A year had passed between them and all she had to do was point a gun at him? He swallowed hard, aware of the danger he would face if he pulled his own trigger. The man beside her was taunting him again, whispering to pull the trigger. He did. He saw the blood as the bullet met with the man's forehead and he crashed immediately to the ground, a pool of crimson liquid spilling out from behind him.

He lowered his gun. But she did not. She only stared at him with those wide, green eyes. Her mouth was open and her breathing was quick, erratic. Words were whispered in a dead voice…

"What did you do?"

He swallowed again, not sure what was happening but not caring. He took a step forward, and was suddenly stopped when her gun stiffened in her tight grip. Her knuckles were growing white; he could see her fingers tightening intensely. Her eyes never glazed over with regret when she pulled her finger back over the trigger.

Pain ensued the tight blast and blood rushed immediately to the wound that gnashed the side of his head. His vision darkened and before he fell helplessly to the ground, he caught one final look at her. She still held the gun to him, her face ashen with regret.

Ashes to ashes…

I stared at my palm without conviction. The lines curved and some even met in indirect places but they were just lines in the end. Connections without any direction. The patterning on my hand hardly made any sense, just like everything else. Why did people have to die like that? Why couldn't God give them a second chance? It wasn't fair. Nothing was fair anymore.

Tears pricked my eyelids and I slammed my fist into the wall to stop them from falling. Pain bristled through my knuckles, into the tightly wound palm of my hand. My fingers tingled with a sense of feeling, but soon I felt the blood rise on my knuckles and everything went numb. I saw the blood but couldn't feel it trickle slowly down my bent fingers. I could only watch it. What good was seeing when you couldn't feel?

My left arm rested on the wall next to my bed, while I just stood there facing it, breathing in and out slowly. As I blew forcefully into the wall, the alcohol rebounded and I breathed it in with my nose. It still wasn't enough. Nothing was ever enough anymore. Not now that she's gone.

I am on the brink of losing everything
Hanging on the edge of every word she says
And you were never there
You were never there

Garret had said she was free now, that she had her freedom. I was constricted. I almost couldn't breathe. What kept me balancing against the wall was the intriguing swaying effect alcohol seemed to have on me. I found it amusing, that such a thing could make someone like me fall into nothing. The dizziness had long faded and I seemed to long for it. To feel pain. To feel something. But I couldn't. All I could do was smile ridiculously as I kept my balance by leaning my arm against the wall.

I glanced my eyes towards the bed. It had been a few days since I had woken up alone to the thought that I was falling in love. I wasn't. I knew that now. She hadn't even said goodbye. Just left a note that held little substance for me now, when just a few days ago her handwriting was the centre of my life. The way she curved her letters when she signed her name made me smile with content, for a signature was as unique as a lock of natural hair.

She stabs deep into me
Am I too blind to see what this has done to me?
She stabs deep into me
Am I too numb to feel this anymore?

dust to dust…

She had me blinded, blissfully unaware of what lay beyond our lives. What lay beyond the love we made, or the way her lips twitched when we would share a personal joke. Only now do I see that so much more lay beyond any of that. The smell of a rose petal was more important than the scent of her perfume. The knowledge of the truth was more important than the intrigue of a deceitful lie. The insanity of death was more important than the sanity of life. They were realistic. They were all what lay beyond. And if we only took the time to realise other people mattered more than we did, maybe she would still be alive. Maybe she would still be in that bed, tangled in the sheets. Maybe she would still be here…with me.

But she wasn't, and she's not. She never will be.

You were the one who could save me
You were the one who abandoned me

They had all gone to her memorial service. Fuck her precious memorial service. If she cared so much for the people she left behind, why wasn't she here? I needed her here. My secrets were locked in hers. My eyes were always reflected in hers. Her smile caused mine. She saved me when I was drowning. She breathed into me and gave me life.

I was drowning again…and she was the only one who could save me.

I am patiently waiting here to see
Which of us survives
When all of this collides with reality

Leaning forward, I gently rested my head against the cold wall. It stayed there while I closed over my eyes and took a silent breath. Could she really be gone? I didn't know. The more I thought about it the more I was convinced she would saunter through the door, her hands resting in her coat pockets and her expression searching for mine. I would smile and wait for her to walk over to me, like I always did. What would she say? I missed you? I'm sorry?

She'll never get the chance to.

She stabs deep into me
Am I too blind to see what this has done to me?
She stabs deep into me
Am I too numb to feel this anymore?

I vaulted myself up from the wall, making myself walk the length of the room until I found the bathroom. Pulling open random drawers, I searched frantically for something I hadn't used in a long time. I opened up the last drawer and found it. Without a second's hesitation, I unscrewed the lid and tilted the small vile, causing a number of minute capsules to fall into the palm of my hand. I closed my fingers over the pills and walked with the vile over to the bedside table, where an empty glass lay. The scotch next to it seemed to call to me and I poured it into the glass, not caring when the liquid spilled over the rim and onto the table. I was frantic, needing release. Throwing my head back, I allowed the pills to slip down my throat, then threw the glass back as well. The alcohol burned as it slid, but I couldn't feel its searing flames. I was numb.

You were never there

She was when she wanted to be. But when I needed her there, she never was. I remember the relieved faces of the Moran family when I had brought them the woman's son. They embraced each other in a tight hug. I hadn't looked back until I felt a gnawing at the back of my throat. When I turned my head to look at the family, tears threatened to spill. I would never feel that security with Devan anymore. She was gone.

You were never there

She was gone.

ashes to ashes…