I woke up feeling terrible. There wasn't one spot on my body that didn't hurt. My head pounded and I could feel the dried blood on my shirt. My neck still throbbed from where Ciathan had tried to strangle me. I tried to sit up, but my vision kept swimming and I fell back to the ground.

Leaves… I thought, realizing I was outside. I couldn't string a thought together. My mind wandered, and I tried to remember to keep breathing. I wanted so badly to let the darkness overwhelm me, I wanted to go back to that dark place where it didn't hurt anymore, but for some reason, I wouldn't let myself surrender to it.

I lost track of how long it was that I lay there. It felt like years. But finally I was able to muster the courage to try moving again. I sat up slowly and almost fell back down again. I didn't dare try to stand up. I blinked and after another eternity, I looked around. The day was fading, the sun tinting the sky a dark blood red. It was then that my eyes fell on the bodies. I promptly heaved up all the contents of my stomach. One body was so mangled that you would never have guessed it was ever a body to begin with. A mass of limbs and blood and unrecognizable features…

Then there was Daven. His was a simple, clean cut.

But then my breath caught in my throat. Ciathan… he lay among the bodies.

I could feel the tears streaming down my face as I tried to crawl over to him. I lost count of how many times I fell down and forced myself to get back up. My body protested with each move I made, but I pushed on unheedingly. I ignored it when my wounds re-opened, spilling fresh blood on me. Somehow I finally made it to him.

It was strange, ever so strange. He was smiling. In the cold throes of death, he wore a smile on his face, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and also the most horrible.

Sobbing, I collapsed at his side. I clutched at his shirt, my tears falling on his neck. He wasn't moving. He never would again.

The sun eventually disappeared behind the horizon and the world went black. I never slept. My tears eventually stopped, leaving me feeling drained and alone. I watched the sun as it rose on the earth and I still lay in my dead lover's embrace. The sun rose on a new day, just as it had set on my old life, a life I would never know again.

Somehow I got up and made my way back to the village, only to find more bodies, more blood. I couldn't cry anymore, there weren't any tears left to shed. Despite the horrific sight, I couldn't hate Ciathan. I loved him… no, had loved him… and nothing would ever change that.

I sank down against a wall, resting my head against it, trying to ignore the pounding in my body. The sun shone bright on my face, a bitter reminder that life continued on whether you wanted it to or not. I just wanted to die. There had been so many times when I should have, but I had lived. Maybe now I could die in peace. But, no matter what I wished, the sun would set and rise again, always turning the sky a dark, blood-shot red. It was always red.