Man of the Shadows

by

Tracey Claybon


The Witchblade, Sara Pezzini, Ian Nottingham, and Kenneth Irons all belong to Top Dog Productions. They're not mine, though I really wish they were...

This story's based mostly on the TV series.

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A slip of the tongue to Kenneth Irons almost cost me everything.

I said that *we* may have underestimated Sara Pezzini. I should have said "you". I really meant "I."

Irons believes me to be a completely tame lap dog. He's only partly right. I'm geased, trained - whatever you want to call it - not to kill him, although I can't think of an worthier candidate for death. Because of the bonds of honor, loyalty - and in particular, conditioning - that are placed on me, I cannot harm him.

But where Sara is concerned, for the first time in a long time, I don't particularly wish to aid him.

I have been and done many things in my life - and, yes, lifetimes; where this bearer of the Witchblade is concerned, I am in an awkward position. I am Irons' knight. Because I am his liege man I owe him my first and absolute loyalties.

But Sara is even more deserving of my aid and loyalty than Irons. I can only aid her subtly, and only a little at a time - she must learn of her heritage and of her abilities at her own speed, with instinct and with minimal instructions from me OR Irons - at least until it's determined in full whether Light or Dark are to prevail in this bearer of the Witchblade.

If Dark, then Irons will own her body and soul, and the world will be a truly damned place.

If Light - then I will aid her openly as long as she needs me, to the end of my life, my blade and my skills.

By necessity, I am a man of the shadows - I walk in the darker places to guard the Lady Knight's back as she fights to save others and figures out what role she is to take in the struggle eternal this time.

I will not make the mistake I made tonight again, because there are so very few of us to guard Sara and remind her that the Light is the better option... her ghostly friend, her partner - and me.

When we first met, I'd warned her that nothing is as it appears to be.

I play the role now of lap dog to an evil liege lord so that I may aid my true charge and help her achieve her destiny.

Knowing that I'm doing my part in the pattern makes the shadows much easier to bear...

Because, I didn't underestimate Sara's heart and spirit. I believe she will be one of the greatest of the Witchblade's bearers. I just hope she gains her footing QUICKLY.

-FIN-