• I woke a few hours later to the sound of his even breathing. My smile was gone, having thought of the situation while sleeping.
    Lasarn was alive. I had watched him die, felt his heart stop beating as he took his last breath in my arms; yet here he was, lying next to me. It just didn’t make sense; no magic, not even demonic cursing, was strong enough to bring an Elf back from something like that. This could only mean one thing…he lied to me, left me at the mercy of our enemies…when I needed him most. How could I ever look at him the way I once did?
    As carefully as I could, I twisted out of his arms and silently crossed the room, sitting on Mana’s bed, watching him. Surprisingly, he didn’t move, and I quickly realized that his already-angelic face was even more angelic in sleep. It really has been a long time, I thought to myself, and I had to look away before I lost my nerve. The crinkle of parchment in my back pocket caught my attention. Remembering the note, I pulled it from my pocket and ran my fingers along the scrawled letters. She’s more important than you could possibly imagine. I still didn’t understand, but I did know that I had to find Mana, even if it meant leaving Lasarn behind unguarded. I slinked closer and brushed my fingers along his jaw. His hand instinctively took hold of mine, and he looked up at me with a confused expression.
    “Aurelia…?” he murmured, and I could tell he was still half-dazed with sleep. It would be easy enough to make him think he was dreaming, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that to him, not when I had just found him again. I bit my lip for a second, then forced a sweet smile.
    “Yea honey, it’s me. I was just checking on Elizabeth.” I almost choked on the name, but he smiled.
    “Mana’s fine Aury, come back to bed…” I froze, my eyes wide, my mouth agape. Lasarn started to drift back to sleep, so I grabbed his arm and shook him until he woke up. “What? What happened?” He was alert this time, searching the room for any sign of danger.
    “What did you just say about Mana?!” I demanded, making him look at me.
    “What are you talking about?”
    “Dammit, is Mana…Elizabeth? Is she our daughter?” He was silent for a moment as my questions suck in, then nodded.
    “I thought you knew…” he muttered.
    “Oh my…” The realization was like getting hit by a semi truck. I sat down beside Lasarn, who sat up with his arms around me in case I had a breakdown.
    “Honey, are you alright?” he asked. I couldn’t move or respond. It seemed like hours before I could even look at him.
    “How could I let this happen? It can’t be true…she lived among mortals…” I felt the tears glide along my face, “she got away from this world.”
    “You and I know there is no getting away from who we are. It caught up with her the same way it caught up with us.” The tears came faster.
    “But why did they have to choose her? They had me; they didn’t have to take her life away, not when she was so young…” He wiped the tears from my face.
    “Aurelia let me tell you something; I tried to keep them from both of you. They didn’t want you or her. They wanted me, and I thought that if I left, they would follow me and you and Elizabeth could have a normal life. When the city was defeated…” his voice trailed off, and I finally understood. He had left to protect us, and faked his own death to make sure I didn’t follow into harm’s way. It was my stubbornness that had pushed him to it. Figures; I was the one at fault for everything, big surprise.
    I was on my feet in an instant, grabbing my weapons and heading for the door. Lasarn caught me around the waist, pulling me into his arms despite my many protests and complaints.
    “Where do you think you’re going?” he asked. I glared at him with all the fury I could muster.
    “I’m going to find my daughter. Now let me go…” I growled, but he wouldn’t budge. *Lasarn, don’t make me hurt you.*
    “As if you really could,” he retorted. In answer to his skepticism, I dug my nails into his arm. He yelped, releasing me at once, and I bounded across the room before he had a chance to recover. He looked at me with cold eyes. “Aurelia, she’s fine. You really think I’d let her walk around unprotected? She’s just like you; just give her some time to burn off her anger and she’ll come back.” I thought about it for a moment, then sighed. It was so frustrating how right he always was.
    This is going to get real old real fast, I thought as I leaned my sword against the wall and sat down on the bed. He kissed me and laid back down, his eyes already closing before he hit the pillow. I sat cross-legged beside him, having already gotten enough sleep, watching him. I was careful not to touch him again, because I didn’t want to wake him, and slowly the hours ticked by.
    It was sunrise when Mana came walking through the door; her hiking boots in her hand. She stopped when she saw me.
    “That’s not Edward,” was all she said as she sat on the chair. “Maybe the manager was right, about you at least.” I stared in shocked disbelief. Mana had never acted this way with me before. Lasarn stirred in his sleep.
    “Don’t speak that way to your mother, young lady,” he murmured, going back to sleep. Mana froze, staring at him.
    “What did he just say?” she asked, slowly. I just sat there, trying to figure out a way to explain the situation to her.
    “Mana, honey…” I soothed, instantly seeing the panic in her eyes. Extremely slowly, I got off the bed and started walking to her.
    “Did he just say you were my…? Then he must be…but I…and you…”Despite the face we no longer needed oxygen to survive, Mana was close to hyperventilating, and if her demon thought they were in danger, I was pretty sure all he would break loose right there in the motel room. I was just about to confront her when she swooned.