A/N: Sorry it took so long for me to get this out, I was traveling for work, then had a family emergency that called me away as soon as I had gotten home. So, apologizes made, I have a question of opinion for all of you. I have written the ending to this story, but its not nice. Angst filled drama.

I was thinking maybe of finishing this, writing a new (happier) ending then posting the currant ending as a separate story . . . so, opinions. Tell me what you think . . . would you prefer a happy closure to this story, or for me to post it as I see it happening?

:-) Takes for the support and the kind words.

Chapter 3

Llorett woke to the angry voices.

"We need her for this! I can't make this kind of call without her!"

"Well you're just going to have to figure it out yourself, I'm sorry." Zev's voice answered so quietly she had a hard time hearing him.

She opened her eyes and scanned the room, Alistair was standing in the doorway, trying to get in and . . . Zevran was blocking his entrance.

"Zev?" Her voice sounded weak even to her own ears. What had happened? The last thing she remembered was fear, for herself, for her friend, and the certainty of her own death.

Zev was at her side now, his expression blank, but pain and guilt clouded his eyes.

"Lor . . . how are you feeling?" He said softly, his eyes not quite meeting hers.

"Confused." She smiled up at him softly, trying to wrap her brain around what had happened, but feeling nothing but joy that he was okay, that he was standing next to her instead of living the horrid life of a slave.

"I would imagine so, my dear warden." His voice was sad.

She glanced up at the door, Alistair had disappeared, and the door was door clicking closed.

"You're okay?" She felt the need for reassurance, even seeing him standing next to her, his hand resting over hers.

"No." He said roughly "I'm not okay Llorett."

She blinked, feeling tears building behind her eyes. "I'm so sorry Zevran."

His face blank, he just looked at her. "Why?"


"Why do you say that you are sorry?"

She searched his face for clues, trying to understand why he seemed so cold. Not finding anything to help her, she cast her eyes down. "I didn't protect you from them. They were going to take you, and I didn't stop them."

"Take me?" His voice held that little hint of confusion and contempt. "He was going to kill you, that's what he was there for."

'Well . . . yes, but he wanted you more." She tried to explain.

"You thought I would just go with him." His voice was tense with controlled anger.

"You thought I would just go with him. That I would allow him to kill you, to touch you." his voice broke, and she couldn't help but look up towards him again. His eyes were closed, his face pinched with what she could only describe as pain.

"You . . . you thanked me." A single, small tear ran down his cheek.

She only felt more flustered, confused, hurt, angry and she didn't know why. Or, more she didn't know what had happened, so she didn't know which emotion she should let through.

She searched for something to day. "You were going to spare my pain, I saw my best friend in your eyes, in your actions. Even though you had no choice . . . even though I thought you had no choice but to go with him, you were still my friend."

He turned his back to her, shoulders heaving with some emotion. "I would have been no friend to you, Warden, if I was really what you thought."

She didn't understand.

At her silence he clenched his fists. "Is that what you think of me? That I would turn on you so fast? One appearance from my past . . .that for the crows I would allow him to cut your throat."

She couldn't find the words to express the horror that filled her at what he was saying. "I'm not her Zevran."

"No, you are not." His voice softens, "But neither am I the man I once was . . . I thought, you, of all people would understand that."

She floundered for the words, "That wasn't what I was thinking . . . I was thinking that I didn't protect you. I messed up and your life was going to turn into hell because of me. I wanted you to go with him."

That hadn't come out right, the way his body tensed told her that.

"No . . . I'm not explaining it right."

He turned to look at her, nothing but pain in his face.

"If nothing else, if our . .friendship . . meant nothing, I would have thought at least that you would know I would stand true to my oath to you."

Her brain was a fog, she was having trouble thinking, but she knew that this conversation was going all wrong, and she couldn't break through to figure out how to fix it.

"Your oath?" She mumbled feebly

His voice was angry again, repeating words he had said to her before. "I hereby give my oath of loyalty to you. I am your man, without reservation. My life is yours."

The fog cleared slightly, only to be replaced with a new one.

"No . . . I thought . . . I thought you understood." She fought the darkness that threatened to return her to unconsciousness. "I never said it, did I?" She trailed off. She had thought that Zevran understood that she wouldn't hold him to that, that if he had wanted to go, he could have.

"I don't want your life . . . your oath. I release you from it. What I want is for you to be free. All I could think about was them taking your freedom . . . I hadn't considered that you didn't feel free. I don't want you to be bound in slavery to me anymore than to them."

She could literally feel the frustration pouring from him. It was getting harder to stay awake, to think.

"You don't understand anything." He said sadly, the anger just below the softness of his words. "You want me to be free? You want me to be free to make my choices?"

She nodded slightly.

"You know this is the first time since we met that you tried to take a choice from me." She flinched.

"You should realize that I made that oath freely. You didn't force me to make it, you didn't even ask it of me. If you want my freedom, then you should respect my choice to make that oath to you."

Her eyes widened in understanding, a new fear filling her. Would she loose him due to her own stupidity? She opened her mouth to reply, but she couldn't force the words out, her vision blackening at the edges, she desperately tried to hold onto consciousness.

His face softened through the darkness filling her vision, realizing for the first time her struggle to stay awake.

Just before the blackness took her, she saw him lean closer, his words filled with feeling. "My life is yours."

A/N: next update will probably be next week, as I'm heading out of town again -sigh- I will try to get one out tomorrow if I have time, just its not likely.