Chapter 11

Nasir move quickly through the streets. He didn't have much time. He had left Ata at the city entrance, next to the other horses, and moved quickly inside. The first places had been to his father's clients. Telling them all that Adilah was now in charge of the business was met by several scowls. Nasir told them they would have to deal with a woman, or find someone else. Quite frankly, they grumped but didn't object.

And so Nasir moved on, finding Leila was the next stop. He moved to her house, but found that when he reached her door, he was at a loss for what to do. He could simply move away from the door, leave her behind. The sphere, which had become some sort of logical reasoning in his head, told him to leave. Just go and leave the city now, it was becoming too dangerous. He had already talked to Zubair, so he had nothing truly left to do than to go visit his mother and leave.

The voice in his head was telling him, screaming at him to leave now. Nasir, though for a moment, he was going completely crazy. The sphere was not his instincts, and he could tell the difference. Hi heart told him to say good bye to the people he loved. And so that's what he would do.

He knocked on the door and waited as the small girl came to the door. Her dark eyes lit up as she saw him, and she opened the door for his entrance. She hugged him, and gave him a soft kiss on his cheek.

"I am glad you came." She looked at him with a mixture of relief and doubt. "Haji came from the market and told me that you were leaving the city."

Nasir winced. The Egyptian beat him to her. He really should have expected it from the lithe young man, he always was a fast runner. "Yes, I have to go away for a bit."

"Why? You shouldn't have to leave!" She stomped her foot, and Nasir smiled fondly at her childish behavior.

"Leila, my love, I know this hard to understand, but I have to go. I'll be back again."

"No!" She screamed, making him jerk away in surprise. "Nasir, you promised to marry me! How could leave! I don't know where you are going, you don't know either. I don't know how long you will be away, or if you will ever return! Nasir, do not do this to me."

He wanted to flee, but also take the distraught girl into his arms. "Leila…" He could not finish whatever he wanted to say. His mind screamed danger. He needed to get away from this city, he felt watched.

"Leila, I am in danger, you are in danger. I have to leave, or we will both be killed." He was sadly satisfied that his confession made her shut up. "The artifact my father died for, I have it. It is the most valuable thing right now. If it falls into the hands of the Crusaders, then you can just wave our way of life away." He grabbed a hold of the girl's shoulders, hoping to make her see the danger that screamed in his mind, hoping she would understand that he, too, d\id not want to leave but had little choice.

Instead, she simply shook her head, her eyes closing. She turned her face away, showing him her flawless cheek. "If that thing is more valuable to you the us, then you can go with it and never come back." Her words hit him as if an explosion just occurred in his chest. He felt as if he was going to be sick.

"Leila…"

"No, I want nothing more to do with you. Leave…"

"Leila!"

"Leave!"

He gave no further fight, knowing it would be fruitless. He left the house, feeling as if the sphere was taunting him, telling him he should have listened. Even now, it was still screaming at him, trying to get him to leave the city. Again, he should have listened but simply didn't. He had one more stop, and he hoped his mother could do to ease the ache he felt in his chest.

It seemed surreal to him, as he drifted through the city of his childhood. He loved that girl more than anything he had before, she was more special to him than the air he breathed, but yet he still insisted on walking away.

Now he felt suffocated, and he so badly wanted to run back there and tell her that he would stay for her. He would do anything for her. And truly he would, he would do anything if it meant that she would love him again.

But yet he could not help but to think that it was better that she hated him. That way she wouldn't be waiting for him the rest of her life. She would move on if she no longer cared for the boy. So it was all okay that she hated him, she would be happier this way.

That thought made him both seethe in self loathing, but also sigh in relief. He would be happy if she was, but he also could never forget the yearning of being able to see her sitting in her room, patiently awaiting his return.

He shook himself from his thought as he approached the quaint little home. He moved to the door, and noticed that as the sun set closer to the horizon, the window inside did not glow with a lamp. His mother either was not home or something was wrong so as she couldn't light it.

The sphere, again, screamed for him to leave. To not open the door, to turn around and walk in the other direction. It was not safe here, he needed to leave the city, move east, never come back. Here was not safe, east was. He had to leave. The sphere kept repeating it. Leave, leave, leave.

He ignored it for the third and final time that night, and pushed open the door. It gave way with a heave squeak, something a bit unusual. He moved into the dark living room, suddenly assaulted by the worse smell he had ever in his life, rotting flesh.

He moved quickly through the darkness, covering his nose. He went to the table in the back where Adilah kept the oil lamp. He found it easily, and the matches. He lit the small lantern and turned to find the source of the horrible smell.

The rank air that had invaded his lungs seemed fit to leave him in that instance. He turned and wish he hadn't. The sight before him left him gasping but unable to fill his aching chest. The sphere was again chanting a 'told you so' type of mantra.

He shouldn't have come here, he instantly realized as he looked upon the blood on the floor, and the body that lay half in the kitchen.

Adilah, the poor woman, had fought her attacker with ever ounce of strength in her, but it simply had not been enough. Nasir could not bring himself to move the body, to leave the room, to stop staring. She was dead, she was dead, she was dead. He had to leave, he had to leave, he had to leave.

He ran from the room, leaving the lantern on where it smashed upon the ground. He knew it would catch the rugs in fire and burn the small home to the ground. He knew that his mother would burn along with them but could not bring himself to care.

All he knew was the urge to leave the city, to get away from the people chasing him, to get far away.

And so he did. He left the city, traveled to the mountains, met up with Saqr, and left. He traveled far away, always afraid to stop, always afraid to slow down, or his pursuers, his mistakes, would catch up to him, and choke the life from him too.

Fin

XXX

A/N: Okay, so this is the end of the first part of this story. There is more coming. I actually plan to give this a proper ending aside from those half-assed crap one I usually give. Unfortunately, I have a bit of shit on plate with school starting and all. The rest of this story or at least the next part will be postponed to a later date, most likely this winter, or next spring. It will be titled 'Cold Winds'. Thank you for reading, I will see you all next time.

D.R.M./Broken Wolf