"What are you writing?" I heard a voice whisper.

I jumped a little, startled. "I- um, I sometimes write my feelings down," I admitted, abashed. "Sometimes when I'm confused, or hurt, or-" I paused for a moment, pondering, "happy, I suppose that writing helps." I shrugged, determined not to let her see that I'm embarrassed that she had seen that I was writing.

Her lips curled upward. "You must be a good writer. After all-" she winked- "you write from your heart." Her nimble fingers pulled the paper up to her face. She began to read the text aloud, in a strong, clear voice:

And so, after long moments of confusion, I finally leave the shore.
I rush about, from each end of the ship, although I have no chore.
Then the tempest rolls in, loud, yet soft, and fierce, yet tender.
She is the most captivating and terrifying, in all of her deadly splendor.

She stopped here, her silvery eyes filled with mirth. "Who are you referring to in this passage?" she inquired. She bites her lip, seemingly trying to keep in the giggles.

I shrugged. "It's just someone I know."

She didn't press any further because we both knew who I was referring to. "I like this. You are most definitely a poet." She winked before sauntering away.

I jump a little, startled. I believe the woman is Lunessa for a moment. But it is impossible. Lunessa is dead. She is dead, and it is my fault. I deliberately let her die.

"Are you alright?" my companion asks, concern evident in her voice.

I clear my throat and nod vehemently. "Yes, I am. And I suppose I did have a way with words, but she was the better negotiator and the braver one. They were all brave."

"We've been given a secondary mission to complete within the next few days," Isaac informed the rest of us at breakfast one morning. "There's been a hostage taken in some warehouse nearby."

"We don't normally receive missions like this," Peridot protested.

The older man grimaced. "You're right. We don't. Unfortunately, this is a special case. The hostage happens to be one of the provincial ministers."

I almost choked on my drink. "Are you sure that one of the ministers has been taken? I don't believe the constables in charge of him would allow that to happen."

"It was one of the constables who kidnapped Minister Riat Luvela," she answered, becoming impatient with all of our protests. "I suggest we get to work now; it wouldn't do Avistia any good to lose a minister just before going into war."

I felt nervous just thinking about what we might have to do. My fingers twitched as we made our way to the warehouse.

When we arrived, the sight was too gruesome to be described. I could see the blood of wounded constables smeared on the ground. I almost ran, but I pulled myself together as she spoke to the lead constable.

"Why don't you just overtake the attacker?" she demanded.

Constable Orega Pullman glared at her sternly. "Bombs have been set up, and Rogue's threatened to detonate them all if we get too close. He has some accomplices keeping an eye out for him." The man gestured to a young brat who was walking toward us.

"Rogue's heard of you four," the brat drawled, "and he wants the girl to come in." His thumb jerked back in the direction of the warehouse. "Only the girl."

She stepped up. "All right." Then she turned to Isaac. "Keep an eye on these two. I don't want them getting into trouble."

Peridot grumbled about how she didn't trust him as she followed the brat.

I glanced around, waiting until Peridot distracted Isaac by mindlessly charging. As I predicted, he attempted a sprint, and Isaac ran after him. I slipped past the constables mindlessly running about and found an unattended window. I climbed in and dove behind a stack of crates. I listened quietly to the conversation between her and Rogue.

"I'm not going to give you anything for Minister Luvela," she spat venomously. "You don't deserve anything for such a crime as this."

I could hear the deranged man smirk. "Well, little darling, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to throw a little tantrum?" he taunted.

I shifted just as she attacked the man. I froze up, unable to rush in and help. This man was armed with bombs and other dangerous weapons, and although I had the element of surprise, I could never try to take him. But she did, even though he slammed her onto the ground within seconds.

"Not so tough now, are you, sweetheart?" he leered.

She spat on his face. "Don't call me that."

Rogue strolled over the the minister. "Look, sir," he japed. "There's no one who can save you now." He cackled as he brandished a knife in Minister Luvela's face. "Not even the little sweetheart over there. Poor thing can't even get up."

Suddenly Rogue was knocked unconscious on the ground, and she was untying the minister, panting hard. "I apologize, sir, for not being able to help you sooner," she breathed tiredly.

The minister darted out of the warehouse in a panic, not even bothering to thank her.

She grinned wearily at me. I was rather shocked; how did she know I was there? "I told him not to call me sweetheart," she chirped rather lightly.

I just laughed nervously. This girl had some nerve.

The woman grins cheekily, startling me. "I'm sure that no one was the braver."

I focus on the empty glass in front of me. "But I was not even brave enough to die for the love of my life, unlike Romeo." The entire situation was all my fault. I should have helped them.

"Sir, innocent lives will be lost if you continue like this!" I exclaimed.

Elected King Gabriel Thompson was determined. It was in his eyes. "You do not understand that, unless we wage war, the constant raids on Djyarar's and Avistia's border will not stop. If Avistia refuses to fight, so be it. Djyarar will reign victorious, and Avistia will fall."

She stood with a magnificent toss of her head. "As you said, sir, so be it." She stormed out of the room decisively. That's when I knew there was no preventing this war.

Thompson sat there, gawking at us. He couldn't believe we were walking out on him. Suddenly I heard his voice thunder, "Guards, seize these traitorous children!"

"We were taken," I whisper throatily, tears forming in my eyes. "Peridot was caught first, and Isaac tried to help. I knew they were lost, and they knew they were lost. Yet, I felt so guilty as I grabbed her hand and ran. We jumped onto our horses, but they were waiting for us. I fought, and she fought..." I gulp. "But it was all useless. I somehow broke through the guards, and... I ran. I ran like a coward. I- I left her there." I clench my fist. "I heard tales of their executions for so many years. But I only heard of Peridot's and Isaac's... Perhaps Thompson was so angry with Lunessa that he killed her in some sort of unspeakable manner. But I don't think she survived." A tear rolls down my cheek. "Their deaths are my fault. Maybe if I fought for Peridot and Isaac, they would have made it. We probably would have all went down, but we would have died together, at least. But my worst betrayal was when I left Lunessa there. I could have freed her; she was still fighting. She still had hope, but I'm sure I crushed her hope when I ran." My eyes burn as my tears stream down.

She places her hand over my fist. "It isn't your fault, Romeo. It doesn't sound like she would blame you at all." Her face is turned away from me, but I see the glint of a tear.

I sob in front of this familiar stranger until I fall asleep at the break of dawn.

She gazed at my sleeping form in front of her. My tears broke her heart. She shed so many tears before standing to leave. As she passed through the doorway, she turn to glanced at me one last time.

"I love you, Romeo," she murmured sorrowfully. "I have loved you ever since we met, even though we were only friends. You may not believe me now because you hate yourself, but I never stopped loving you, not even on that fateful day, five moons ago."

It's strange. I feel as though Lunessa, who I had lost five moons ago, had visited me last night. I even feel as though she reciprocates my love. What am I going on about?

I must have lost my sanity when I lost my love.

Author's Note:

That was... a very tragic ending. I never actually realized that until now... Uh... yeah.

I hope it wasn't too bad! So... That's the end of "Five Moons Ago"! (Actually, this has changed...)

Yes, I updated this last chapter. I was looking at it again and realized that I liked it better this way. It didn't change that much… I hope.

Keep believing (in whatever you believe in)!

~Sapphire Faith