Keaira awoke to the sound of her door opening. Her hand slipped under her pillow, closing around the dagger she kept there. The sound of someone walking towards her made her whole body tense. But Keaira continued to pretend she was sleeping.

"Kea, wake up. Please." Sobbed a familiar voice. Keaira sat up and peered into the darkness.

"Sera?" Keaira took a flint and lit the candle by her bed. She gasped when she saw her friend. Sera's long black hair was matted with blood. Her slanted ebony eyes were both swollen and bruised. Then Keaira looked at baby Tiana, who was cradled in Sera's arms. "He didn't." Keaira whispered, horrified.

Sera followed Keaira's look and frowned. "He did."

Tiana stared back wide eyed, her beauty spoiled only by the dried blood under her nose.

"We have to kill him." Keaira mumbled.

Sera stared at her wide-eyed for a moment. Then she nodded, "maybe that is the only way."

Keaira looked at Sera wide eyed. She hadn't meant that seriously. But when she looked at Sera's swollen face and Tiana's huge, innocent eyes she made a decision. "I know a woman. She lives in the city. I think she can help." Keaira stood and started to get dressed. "I will talk to her tonight. Just go home, before he wakes up. He cannot suspect anything."

Sera frowned, looking lopsided with her swollen lip. "Are you sure?"

"I am."