A/N: Don't read this if you haven't really readOF IMMORTALS AND DEMONS, because this is more or less a spoiler for that story.

Letting Go

Darkness swathes my ever thought. A silent whisper in the shrouds of the night. Not found is the light, not a lurid little flame of a candle. No more does the wind whistles here as the sun ceases to rise and the moon shuns me. Even the shadows have left to haunt me no more. Has my very home, the very land I was born in forsaken me? I cannot bear it anymore, I tell you. I cry out in madness. In pain. In my own agony for her.

But here I am, in this godforsaken place. Nothing resides here. Nothing but the dead. And for dead I am, the condemned of these eternal hells. Not hell, per se. No, I escaped that, didn't I? But let me ask you this, my very good friend who hears me now, what is hell when you are denied to love of your very life? Who's to say this isn't hell on damn earth?

But it is not by choice I meander through the world of the living, if with the living is what you call it. Something ties me to this earth, this Terithiea. I want to let go, but I can't. It is as if I have something still to do. But what I ask you, what is it that I must do? What will finally end my suffering?

For centuries I have been this way, drifting in and out of the living world, transcending between my own oblivion and the living; haunting the streets of Eldyn. I loathed that city, flourishing as it is. The city of Angels, as they call it. It was the last pious town in all of Terithiea. Or at least she called upon the judgment of the gods and goddesses, whom I still hold no belief in. That rubbish they call religion is nothing more than a hoax. But those mortals will believe anything, even the trash we fed them. Now I'm not saying we literally fed them a pretext of our beliefs, I'm just saying we the Demons believed mortals might be better off as… skeptics rather than adherents of religion. Religion ties everyone down. No freedom at all.

But the year has come now to 753 ME, or the Mortal Era. And it was seven hundred and fifty three years ago when I last saw her. And then I felt it. The imbalance and alteration of power and aura, the magic lifeblood of all living beings. And that was when I knew. She was home.

…………

I wandered over, a vapor of occult dust, over to her window. It was a hospital. A large white building that reeked of sickness and death. Only those weak in aura resided here. But there was that irregularity in aura. Something too powerful to be mortal. Yes, she was here, wasn't she? And this was her window to her room

I slid in, right through the walls. And there, upon the white sheets of the bed sat a young woman, her dark autumn hair strewn on the pillow like the rays of a twilight sun, shining so brightly. She breathed heavily, resting on her back, her head turned towards the window. Towards my direction. It tore my heart to see her emaciated body, those slim fingers on her pillow beside her face.

I lowered myself, to what would be my regular height. I knew I still kept my silhouette, if not my profile and details. In gliding steps, I approached her bed, barely rustling the world around me.

How I longed to reach out to her, to touch those autumn waves again. To feel those soft lips like pillows against my own. To here her sweet voice in my ear, telling me her woes. I wanted to hold her close to me, to tell her to mourn for me no longer. I knew what I was getting myself into, didn't I?

Maybe my movements stirred her. Or perhaps it was the thoughts of mine that were perceived by her. Or possibly the overflow of emotion flew from me into her being. Of which, I do not know. I only saw her eyes flutter open as she struggled to rise out of her bed. Her eyes were bright as she opened them. Green eye full of life and wonder. But the life drained from those bright eyes when she saw something that startled her. Me.

She gaped, a look of pure terror flooding her pallid face. "Y- you," she whispered, her fingertips touching her trembling lips. "I thought… I thought…"

I grinned, or at least tried too. I never knew what emotions I could physically express. "Yes," I whispered, "I am of the dead."

She shook her head, tousling her wild autumn hair. Her eyes were over-bright with tears that coursed down the side of her face. She looked away and back at me again, as if hesitant and not understanding reality.

"Raelin," she whispered my name, a summer breeze, it was.

She reached out a hand now, to touch me. I extended my own hand, as if to clasp hers. But her hand went right through my vaporous hand, sending a tingle through my body. I felt my heart shatter, my being quake. I saw her shudder, her eyes closing against the ever-flowing tears. She pulled back her hand, placing the fingertips to her lips.

She opened her eyes again, looking up at me. "Raelin, why? I couldn't bear it when I lost you."

I shook my head. Even after these last seven hundred years, I didn't know the answer myself, truly. Was it out of love? Was it love that pulled my body forward to take the place of Mikhail, the Immortal who loved Aeolyn so well? Oh how I longed for the answer.

"I loved you," I murmured, looking in her deep green eyes. I reached out to caress her cheek. "If I didn't, I wouldn't bear the agony you would have gone through." I closed my eyes briefly when my hand went right through her.

She bit her lower lip that trembled strongly. "But without you, my world wasn't complete. You made me who I am as much as Mikhail has. Don't you see, Raelin, I couldn't bear it either when I lost you. I love you too much to let you go." Tears trickled down her coloring cheeks.

I closed my eyes, unable to endure the wave of emotions that crashed down on me. It was only then I understood why I remained. Why I still roam with the dead. I was not the one with incomplete problems. The one with the heart that won't let go.

She went on speaking. "Raelin, don't leave me here in my desolation," she murmured, her voice choked. "I lost you once and I won't lose you again. You're the only one who has come back, don't you see? Love has brought you to me and love is what binds you to me. Please, Raelin, don't leave me here alone. I don't know what I'm going to do now that my land completely changed and I truly need a friend.

Her words struck my heart, breaking the wall I built in my years of wandering for this very moment. Years of hard work, all gone, just like that. If I could cry, I would.

I knelt by her bed now, her face level with my own. "Aeolyn, I want to stay with you, but I can't."

She shook her head. "Why not, Raelin? Why?"

"My life here, it was never meant to be. Can't you see, I'm an aberration in this world that frightens mortals at my very appearance. I don't want horror stories about me. I don't want to wander anymore, aimless and forever searching. And that I found you, the very object of my wandering, what good am I to you? I am useless to you. Time will heal your wounds, Aeolyn. And I know he will come for you."

The tears spilled harder, cascading down the pallid yet blotchy cheeks. "Raelin, I need you, though. I love you."

I bit my lower lip, a trait I have picked up from her. "I love you too, Aeolyn. But if you love me, can't you understand the suffering I have gone through? As much as I love you, as much as I want to hold you again, I simply to rest."

"Please don't let me let you go…"

"I'm sorry."

Somehow, I knew she wouldn't. She needed me too much. Was it selfish of me to desire this eternal sleep?

I closed my eyes from the world, slipping into that time-limited oblivion. But suddenly, I felt a warmth touch my own hand, bringing me back to reality. A soft and long-fingered hand curling lightly on my own. I opened my eyes slowly, but the feeling began to fade. Everything began to wilt like a dying flower. The world around me diminished gradually, hazing into a world with out hue. But I saw her, her mournful smile. I tried to smile back, but couldn't. I was wilting.

Her face dimmed, the light dying. But her smile remained. I turned my face away. I didn't want her to see my wretched face. My dying form. But her hand still held mine, warm and snug. It was too much for me to bear as I pulled away gently, turning away from her, and faded into the darkness of the night. And even as I faded, my being blown away by the occult winds, I saw the light of death and smiled.