Note: It's been a while since I've written anything and I was experimenting a bit here so I'd love some feedback. :) Written for the Review Game's April Writing Challenge Contest. Check out the other entries and vote for your favorites April 8th -14th. This month's prompt was "I break your laws. Note that: your laws, not mine. But if I am bound by laws, they are of my own making, and I believe that is my right - to choose which authority to submit to and in what way."- Victor Pelevin, 'A Werewolf Problem in Central Russia'

Isobel's Shadow

Isobel lights a candle and I appear at her side.

"You didn't need to do that," she says and I can feel the restrained sob in her voice. She's been crying and the tear tracks on her face burn me, shame me. I drape over her shoulder and stroke her cheek, brushing away the evidence of her sadness.

"It's what you wanted," I say, and I know it's true. She just doesn't remember it that way.

"He did nothing wrong. I was safe." Isobel's perfect dark eyes turn to me and dart quickly away; pain throbs from her memory and I ache right along with her.

"I didn't mean to upset you," I croon, and scoop her up in my arms. "I don't like when you feel this way." I replace her tattered feelings with my own. Pain to comfort, worry to calm... I smooth over her hurts with my loving presence, changing her back to my beloved Isobel.

At long last, a flare of resignation builds inside her mind and I tame that as well. Resignation turns to acceptance and I settle down beside her. She sighs and lies peaceful. Isobel never stays angry with me for long.

"Do you still love me like I love you?" I ask her, and I know her response even before she nods.

A smile forms on her lips and she says, "Was there ever a doubt? How could I not?" I feel a barb in the statement but it is an old sarcasm now, an ironic echo of her long-gone anger. I know she couldn't feel that way anymore.

She falls asleep and I tend her dreams until the candle splutters out and I sleep.

In the morning light I wake to find her in fitful slumber. I appear beside her and her memories hit me unchecked.

I see the boy smiling at her. He watches and loves with his eyes. She is interested in him and jealousy surges inside me again at the thought. I want to destroy this dream and erase her fond feelings. But her memory overpowers me and I can't make him go away so easily. The moment plays out...

Isobel grows cautious as the boy draws closer. Not fearful but nervous, wondering, hoping... I glower at the memory of the boy. She's ensnared me now; I dream the boy returns the feeling. I feel the sweat on his palms and the thrill of his nerves. He hopes his voice won't crack, that she'll like him. I flit between them but can't act because he has done nothing wrong yet. I am wary, he is unaware.

He sits down beside her and I sit down beside her and lay my weight on her shoulder. She shivers, she shivers, and I settle as she remembers my presence but I can't shake her out of the dream yet.

They chat and Isobel is happy. She looks fondly on this moment. I sulk. I allow it; the boy seems honest enough. I watch over her and grow bored with their conversation and she feels me slip off to find something else to do. I regret...

Isobel laughs at something he says and he looks at her with a sweet dangerous emotion in his eyes. She bites her lip and her dread builds as she remembers the first time a boy looked at her this way. That first boy took from her and hurt her and the agony of the original betrayal makes her pull away as this boy leans in for more.

I feel Isobel's distress and rush over. She whimpers. She screams as the boy falls under my wrath. I delight in his agony as I tear into his flesh. I am vengeance, he is pain, and she is panic. The boy's cries stab her ears as she bolts and I gulp and revel and I lay a hand on her cheek as she stirs in the bed.

Isobel's heart races and tears threaten to spill from her wide eyes. I banish the thought from her mind and she closes her eyes to enjoy the comfort I send her way.

"He didn't do anything wrong, you know," she says. Isobel is quiet, pensive. She thinks I overreacted.

I huff. "You were afraid so I protected you. I did what you wanted."

"What I wanted at first," she says and unhappiness flows from her. Isobel is in pain and she is thinking of me, thinking I hurt her and did the wrong thing.

I am wounded and pull away. Her eyes remain closed but the heavy feeling looms out toward me.

"At first but not now?" I send a plea to her, I send my love; she shrugs it off but I am relentless. I push, I mold, I destroy the dark emotion and replace it with fondness.

Isobel sighs and shakes her head. "Now too," she admits and I embrace her. I am happy and I make sure she is happy. We lie together on the bed and her thoughts turn to the day after the first boy, the day she summoned a guardian shade and I enveloped her for the first time. I purr and she smiles.

"I'll protect you likes this forever, no matter what," I say because Isobel likes to hear the words.

I always do what Isobel wants.