Assassins

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Green blurred by from his window seat on the speed rail, creating a strange backdrop to his companions' reflections. Cy watched Kansas, Shiloh, and Az laughing as they talked, the vibration of metal on metal louder in his head than the conversation.

Az linked his fingers with Cy's on the seat between them, sharing every memory of Raven. The colors added Cy's feelings to each event, tearing down walls the voices built to trap Cy further. Nick's desperation to inhabit Cy's Vessel made no logical sense.

Pulling Jaxon into the plan and setting Az up for murder didn't either. They were missing information. One lifetime was in the translation and their enemy made a play during the memories Cy didn't have.

They weren't setting me up for murder, brother, Az thought. It was a message from Nick to say he could summon my Athame.

Yeah, but if Peabone hadn't been the one to show? Cy countered.

He turned his attention to Shiloh, who'd been watching him in the glass.

Shi's gaze was steady. "What do you want to know?"

"How you got to The Veil. The first time, before Wynter House. That came after, didn't it?"

Kansas rested his forehead on his brother's shoulder and Az sighed.

"Brother, do we have to rehash it?" Az asked.

"Our enemy isn't Nick. He's a pawn and I want to know who our enemy is. I don't have those memories. Gi rewrote history more than once, but she had to have help." Cy kept his voice even, never breaking eye contact with Shiloh. "Jaxon is only part, but someone dropped him into it right before Wynter House."

"Do you really want to know? Do you know what you're asking?" Kansas raised his eyebrows and Cy nodded.

"What are you hiding from me?" Cy demanded. "Did Raven end up with someone else? Lucah? Is that it?"

Az pressed his palm to Cy's. "Calm down."

"Cy, he didn't end up with Lucah." Shi sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Your mating to dad had nothing to do with the first time."

"Well, killing Nick won't solve the problem." Cy shook his head. "Finding dad won't do it, either."

"You want to slog through our memories to find an enemy?" Kansas raised his eyebrows and Cy cocked his head to the side. "Okay, so, yeah. We know who we're fighting."

"Tell me!" Cy whispered.

"You know, Cy." Shi rubbed his forehead.

Oh, he didn't, but he would find out.

The train slowed as it pulled into the station and Cy looked for Tristan from the window, but he wasn't there.

"I thought Tris was picking us up, brother," Kansas said.

Az jerked his hand away from Cy's as the Athame filled his palm. They exchanged a look and took the back exit, against the flow of those disembarking.

Tristan caught Cy's attention, a pink ice gaze in a sea of blues and browns. He'd been swallowed in the throng. One focused burst of fear turned Cy's colors red and he pushed through the crowd. Az, Kansas, and Shiloh split off, and Cy faced Lucah. Tristan stood between them, a copy of Az's Athame beading a line of red on Tris' throat. Conversations ceased, feet paused in one step to the next and Cy kept eye contact with Lucah, instead of Tristan.

"What do you want, brother?" Cy asked, diverting Lucah's attention long enough to form a circle. In the red stone on the end of the hilt, a tiny silver hourglass rested between the 'A' and the 'Z'. Az didn't manipulate time.

Lucah growled with laughter and Cy knew who he faced.

"Hello, Nicky." Kansas grinned.

Shiloh ran his left hand over his braid and the world moved on. "You have two minutes, Nick. State your business."

Nick frowned, watching the unsuspecting witnesses he drew for an execution hurry to their destinations. "Fine. Tristan for Cyan."

"Nice blade you have there." Kansas nodded. "I really like the hourglass. Auntie Gi give you that?"

Nick laughed. "Kansas, you never did learn, did you? I took Charlie away, you know. I took Char and Blue. You have no mate, now."

"Hmm. So, you intend to kill Tristan, too?" Kansas examined his fingernails. Cy listened, trying to remember who Charlie and Blue had been, but the information wasn't in his colors.

"I'm going to get rid of all of you," Nick said.

Az drew Cy's attention away, bending down and standing up again. He looked at Cy and held his hands up as he paced behind Nick. His very empty hands. Az pointed to the blade poised to stab Tristan and Cy gave a subtle shake of his head.

Shiloh pulled his hand from his pocket and Az's mouth fell open at the sight of his Athame. Only an Assassin could wield the blade. An Assassin. Well, damn. Justice had his own Assassin. And it wasn't Shiloh.

The switch was quick but effective. Shiloh summoned Tristan and Kansas plunged the blade into Lucah's chest. It thrust Nick out, and Kansas pulled Lucah to his knees.

Nick grinned until the point of a broadsword eased out of his stomach and War dropped his shield. War. "Time for you to die, Nick."

"I'm not alone," Nick whispered before the blade glowed an eerie shade of electric crackling blue. The Essence exploded; tiny blue fireflies that flew off in different directions until they were out of sight.

"Mine doesn't do that," Az grumbled and Scot laughed.

"Come on, Lucah." Scot hoisted their Human brother to his feet. Lucah's once vibrant crimson hair, now a shade of muddy brown and his eyes matched.

"Scot? There's blood on my shoes," Lucah whispered.

"We'll get you a new pair," Scot said as the air shimmered around them. Az arched a brow at Kansas when Scot and Lucah were gone.

"Come on, now. Did you think we'd let you commit fratricide? You still have a shot with dad, you know." Kansas smiled.

"I am not bait!" Tristan yelled and the screeching of rails for the next's train's arrival drowned out his fussing.

"We'll buy you a new pair of shoes, too." Shi patted him on the back.

"With a car to match." Tris nodded.

"Car?" Kansas raised his eyebrows. "That wasn't worth a whole car."

"Maybe a bumper?" Az suggested. "You can build it."

"Hubcaps," Shi said, causing Tristan to glare at him.

They teased Tris on the ride home, too, leaving Cy to plan his next gift to Raven. Four months between gifts wasn't too long, was it?

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