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Asher's POV

"Aurelia," Asher's voice brings me out of my crying.

"Wh - at?" I hiccup through my tears.

"Why are you crying?" Asher looks almost genuinely worried.

"He - he - he's going to - " I burst into tears again, and simply show him the page.

Asher nods knowingly. "Well, I mean, she will too - "

"SHUT UP!" I snap angrily at him. "This is so sad!"

"Bet you haven't felt that before, huh?" Asher's tone is joking, but it's almost like he envies me for that.

I stop for a second. "Have you?"

"Yeah." Asher now talks quietly.

"Why?" I question, before I can stop myself.

"When did you learn what sadness is?" Asher turns his dark eyes onto me.

"When I became a tiati, probably," I laugh bitterly. "Guess becoming one really didn't help, huh?"

"You found out what it was because you murdered people every day," Asher says bluntly.

"Um, I gue - "

"I found out the same way, except younger," Asher tells me, his eyes blank.

"How young?" I can't stop asking personal questions, even though I probably should.

"I was seven years old," he chuckles bitterly.


"I'm - I'm sorry you had to go through that," I whisper. I'm the worst at comforting people, but luckily, Asher doesn't seem to need my honeyed words.

Asher shrugs me off, reaching for another book. "The people in the books have it worse. I'm glad it's just fiction."

I look up, my eyes wide. "It's - it's not real?"

Asher snorts, his demeanor changing drastically. "Oh my god, you thought it was real?"

I look to the side, embarrassed. "It seemed real."

"Aurelia, this is all fiction, chill," Asher tosses me his book. "This too."

"It's just that they have such different social order, I can't believe it's like that."

"Have you heard of the Eversio?" Asher suddenly asks, rummaging behind the books.

"Nope. It sounds like a drink, though. Oh my gods, are you getting me drunk?" I back away. 

"Only you, Aurelia," Asher shakes his head. "It's actually worse."

My eyes widen, and I contemplate how to escape. Just because Asher was a cute, sarcastic, funny guy, he was still a Defect, which meant he might, like, kill me.

"I don't know where you're going with this," I say cautiously.

Asher chuckles. "Relax, I won't hurt you."

"What is the Eviso?" I question.

"Eversio," He corrects. "And it's an organization."

"Of what?"

"Rebels," There was a slight hint of hesitation behind his voice.

I stay silent, thinking about my choices.

"A member of that gr -"

"Stop," I say with a steely voice. "You know I can't hear this."

"But Aurelia, you need to," Asher urges.

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