Chapter 29: Sunlight And Moonlight

Rashel's leg throbbed, blood oozing out of the gash on her thigh. She shifted her weight onto John's arm, grimacing in pain. John carefully slipped a hand around her waist, and lifted her so her feet were just skimming the ground. With his other hand he punched an advancing guard in the face, blood splattering them both.

"Where's Lily?" Rashel asked quietly, tearing her gaze from Austin to look at Leo. It wasn't like Lily to be absent during an important event, and unless they were prepared she could ambush them later.

"Not here," Leo retorted darkly, his face was a cruel mask that stabbed at her heart every time she looked at him. Knowing fully that it was her fault that he had turned to madness.

"That's not what she meant," John hissed, a deep growl emitting from his throat.

"Oh, I know what she meant," Leo shifted his face slightly to take in John. "Did the monster in you escape? Should we call the zoo?"

John's eyes narrowed, his fingers tightening against her waist. "Don't bother, I don't think they want you back."

Leo chuckled, his eyes lingering possessively at Rashel. His eyes skimmed her tattered robe, sending a crawling feeling through her. John growled, curling Rashel into his side.

"Enjoying the view?" Rashel hissed, grasping John's shoulders hard to keep herself steady.

"The view's great, but once you've had a taste nothing else can compare," Leo smirked, deliberately staring at John, "You felt so warm and soft underneath me, Rashel. The way your back arched when I-"

Rashel felt the wind rush at her and she was on the stairs, the cold marble supporting her. A moment of dizziness passed, her head spinning with tunnel vision.

"Let go John," Leos voice was cold and commanding. Rashel looked up, clearing her head as she looked at them. John was crouched over Leo, the tip of his dagger pointed in the middle of Leo's chest. "Unless of course, you want Austin to stay chained to the ground forever,"

"If your filthy mouth even breaths her name,-" John said, voice calm with white hot fury.

"Does it bother you, monster? Do you not like me talking about Rashel? Or is it the way she moaned when I held her? Or the little noises she makes?-" The dagger quivered and then faster then lightening it raked down Leo's arm. Leo didn't react at first but then he screamed as the pain hit him. Rashel stared at Leo in horror. He was writhing under John,sputtering curses and insults as he grasped his arm.

"Are you proud of what you did Leonardo? Forcing yourself on someone you love because you thought it would make her love you back?" John grasped Leos wounded arm, twisting it harshly inwards,"Did you think it would work? Or did you not hear whose name she moaned?" Rashel took a deep shuddering breath, her eyes fixing on Austin. She had to help him while they were distracted. Austins eyes met hers, a bewildered sort of horror lying in them.

Testily, she pressed down on her leg, taking in a sharp breath as it throbbed. She gave up on putting weight on her leg, it would only damage it more. Instead she crawled towards the railing, propping herself up against it.

"I heard, but it was meaningless whose name it was. She was with me while you were...what were you doing John? Nothing? Not being able to help her...knowing that its your fault she had to do anything in the first place..."

Screaming and cursing followed the sickening sound of skin being sliced. Rashel ignored them, not stopping until she was at the bottom step.

"You. Disgust. Me." John spat slowly, his eyes lingering on rashel's distressed expression. He sighed, thrusting the dagger firmly into Leo's shoulder before getting up. He stared at the chains that held Austin for a moment, yanking the chain from the wall. The metal seemed to glow and held taunt, causing a gasp of suprise from Austin whose wrists was being crushed slowly.

"Go ahead and do that, John. For all that nonsesnse you said about loving Rashel, you sure are in a hurry to kill her brother."

"Don't," Rashel said softly, teetering forward to John. He reached out, catching her just before she fell and reined her in beside him.

"I'm sorry? Did I offend you whore?" The word took her by suprise, it sounded so primal and savage coming from someone who had never so much as uttered an oath at her. John's grip tightened and the only thing that stopped him from tearing apart the other half of Leo's limbs was Rashel. She looked like she was going to be sick, her body swaying gently.

"Leo..."She whispered quietly, squuezing her eyes shut to force back tears. He was a monster, but she had made him- no forced him to be what he was. She was no better then him.

"I'm a horrible terrible person for doing to you what I did, and after everything you did for me. But I dont love you. I never loved you, not before you kidnapped us and not before John came back into my life. I wont ever love you after what you forced me to do." The words were out before she could stop them, the part of her heart that remembered Leo as the boy who was by her side for 15 years- the one she got in trouble with and the one she loved like family- was finally being crushed from the weight of his actions.

Leos laugh was manically and it silenced anything John ws about to say. He laughed, his good arm flopping over his chest and his eyes fluttering open and closed. His right leg was twisted into an odd angle, a dagger jutting out from his thigh. "It's too late now Shel'. I gave you everything and you left me. You let your monster tear me up, and now your watching me die. Does it make you feel happy? Do you like the fact that I'm dying slowly?" Austin and John were tactfully ignoring him and Rashel, discussing something in low whispered voices. Rashel, leaned away from John's supporting arm, pivoting herself forward a step before collapsing beside Leonardo. She pulled her upper body up, dragging herself towards him.

With cat-like grace she yanked the dagger out of his shoulder, placing it carefully over his heart. Leo was watching her with wide resigned eyes, "I love you," He whispered quietly, closing his eyes as the dagger pierced his skin and sunk in deep. His body went cold in seconds.

A numb and gripping feeling tore through Rashel, not one of satisfaction and victory but of grief and despair. They had won the battle but lost so much more.

Someones arms enclosed her, a soft feathery voice whispering gently in her ear as the ground vanished. John's familar scent didn't help her, instead she wondered.

Is this how he had felt when she had died? A sense of lonliness and damp bitter cold that blew through you like a tundra?

She caught another face, Austins, staring worriedely at her. He and John contrasted in so many different ways. One of sunlight and one of moonlight. Grimacing, she closed her eyes, Leos death playing over and over in her head.