Because every step you take drives a hard and hated stake into my soul.

Come back.

That is the only thought that I can grab onto, now, in the depths of my hellish introspection. You kept my sane. You watched my back. You saved my life on more than one occasion. You were a constant, for the short time that I knew you. You understood how difficult it was to do what we did for a living and stay calm, let alone keep from killing the innocent - and not-so-innocent. You understood why I can't smile with feeling anymore. You understood everything. You understood me.

Come back.

You helped me fight off the demons that hound me day and night, with no hesitation. Two men may become friends in many different ways, and saving each other's lives is one of them. I will never know what pushed a man like you to bullets and the grit of travel…but it's not important. I know that you knew about me. And Knives. You knew. You knew how many mistakes I have made. And you forgave.

But isn't that what you did? You forgave everyone their sins. You were a man of God.

And you died in His company.

I'm sorry, preacher man. I follow a another gospel, one not of my own choosing. The Gospel of the Plant Angels. They don't believe in forgiveness of sins. They don't believe in anything but their own superiority. I'm sorry.

I confessed my sins, in the very spot you died, the blood still soaking the carpet slowly. I confessed to loving you. I'm so, so sorry. That was why you were killed. Because I loved you.

I don't know how long I'll live, but eternity spent between the sands and the clouds will mean nothing, now that you're dead.

I loved you.

I'm sorry.

Come back to me, Nicholas.