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Autumn winds shook the house, crows voiced their opinions, the grandfather clock struck 12, and tree branches scraped across window panes. Saisha, one of the house’s many maids, cowered under her comforter. She’d never liked the night or her many, gothic secrets. She much preferred the daytime, when nothing was hidden, and where she was truly safe. Yet she was planning, as she’d written in her journal, to run away with Lord Athanasios. He was the charming, handsome, and witty aristocrat with whom she’d fallen in love. She liked to think she’d had a similar affect on him, after all, why else would he have wanted to run away with her?
A slow, lovely smile pulled at Saisha’s lips as she thought of the young lord. Of his fierce, sea-green eyes, his long, towhead hair, his firm, muscular chest, of his soft, fair skin, his strong, callused hands, his thin, willful mouth, and his soft, feather-light kisses. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He was brave and confident and would someday make a great husband. Her husband, she reminded herself giddily.
Quiet as a mouse, Saisha crept out of bed. She quickly dressed in her pale blue worker’s gown and left the mansion she’d worked tirelessly in for most of her 17 year life, with nothing but a suitcase filled with the few clothes she owned. She walked quickly to the train station, her eagerness to see Athanasios controlling her thoughts and movements, urging her to hurry so she didn’t make him wait any longer. Until finally, after what felt like a fortnight of running, she was had arrived. She spotted him an instant later, and was still breathing hard as she rushed to him, falling into his strong embrace.
Athanasios looked down at his love with a fondness that superseded simple infatuation. He stroked her cheek lovingly with his thumb and kissed the bridge of her nose.
“Are you ready, my love?” he whispered to her softly.
“Yes-” she broke off, an eerie feeling filling her gut. Something wasn’t right. She looked around the station warily.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” he asked her nervously.
“I think something’s wrong.” She told him. “I think-Get down!” instinct overrides her actions, and she pushed him, putting all of her strength behind it, just before a shot rang out behind him. Athanasios fell, surprised by Saisha’s sudden attack, and was safely out of the way, but Saisha couldn’t get away quickly enough. The bullet struck her chest and shot out of her back. Her blood stained her dress and the ground as she fell back.
With an anguished cry, Athanasios picked up his fallen lover and clutched her firmly to him. Saisha, though barely alive, reached up to gently wipe his tears away and smiled at him. The fierce, unrelenting love she felt for him truly became evident as she lay there, dying in his arms. And then, before he could kiss her goodbye, the light, the shining, glorious light that had first attracted him to her, left her eyes. Her soft, delicate hand fell limp from his cheek and her blood poured from her wounds like a steady, crimson river.
“I tried to tell her.” A calm, but obviously manic voice, said from behind him. He looked over his shoulder, still clutching his dead lover to his chest, to find Lidia, a countess to whom he was once engaged, walking toward him, the smoking gun held in her hands. “I tried to tell her that you really didn’t love her. But she didn’t listen. So I had to get rid of her.”
“Wh-what?” he said shakily, to grief-stricken to be angry.
“I had to get rid of her.” She repeated. “She was in our way.” She pointed the gun at him. “And now, it’s time for us both to die so that we can truly be together forever.”
When Lidia shot him, he didn’t even try to avoid the bullet. He was shot in the chest, just as his love had been. He slumped next to Saisha and shakily took her hand. HE closed his eyes and died beside her.
While Lidia committed suicide a few yards away.