‘You knew, all this time, you knew and you never told me.’ ‘Yes,’ he bowed his dark head, black hair dishevelled as it fell into his eyes that were beginning to shed their own tears. ‘I wanted to protect you. I thought if you never knew then this could never happen. I’m so sorry, please forgive me?’ ‘There’s nothing to forgive,’ came her answer, fainter than before. They both knew she had only moments, Jinn could feel the warm stickiness of her blood soaking through the bunched up fabric he pressed tighter still to her wounded stomach, carefully trying to avoid pushing the knife in even further though almost hoping he could force the blood back in through sheer will. The girl’s fingers twitched and he lowered his head, sheltering her fading gaze from the prying eyes of the few that remained to bear witness. His closer proximity allowed her to brush her cold fingers over his cheek, smearing her blood upon his smooth flesh. ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid,’ he murmured softly, a lovers caress for her ears only as he could feel the slowing of her heart, beat by beat. He pressed his face to hers, cheek against cheek in an attempt to warm her skin with his own. His lips brushed hers, catching her ragged and shallow breath. ‘I’m not afraid,’ she whispered, the determined tone affected by her seeping strength. ‘I will wait for you, I swear. I’ll meet you again in a good place,’ he said and caught her smile with his lips, his black eyes open as he kissed her for the last time so that he caught the exact moment when her life-spark fluttered out and his heart shattered in a way he never knew it could.