95 A Temporary Arrangement*
Aegin and Ebony were awaiting him at the apartment when he got back. He'd spent a few hours wondering around the Port by moonlight. Mostly to have some semblence of peace, though the reasoning he gave was that he was looking at where they could get work the next morning. You could ascertain such a thing by how many ships were in each dock and the size of the ships. Were the ships anchored out further in the bay or at the dock itself? Were they sunken further in the water, weighed down by their cargo, or were their barnacled hulls visible above the water line? What about the warehouses on the docks? Did they look full or not? There were many things to consider that would determine the next day whether or not there would be much work available.
Rassa dropped down onto the small balcony attached to their apartment where Aegin waited for him, relaxing as he balanced his weight on the railing.
"Did you at least get what you left for?"
Rassa knew that it annoyed Aegin when he left Ebony with him.
"Did you at least make it back to the apartment without bloodshed?" Rassa replied.
Aegin rolled his eyes, "You make it sound like a sin to hit her".
Rassa's eyes narrowed and Aegin returned it with a deadpanned look, "She's fine"
Rassa turned away, letting silence spread between them for a moment before he changed the subject, "The Token District has few full warehouses and about 6 trade ships awaiting cargo. I think we'd better head there tomorrow".
Aegin nodded in response, "Is your plan to work here for cheap coin for the rest of your life? Because while you don't use it on food, it's still not much".
Aegin was right, the work at the docks was only just enough to feed them. The spare coin that Rassa earned was used towards their rent. Anything extra, which was very little, were used for bare necessities. Having Ebony has been useful in a way because they didn't need to go to a tailor for clothing. Ebony just needed the materials and she made the clothing herself. It was much cheaper. It was also how Rassa had acquired his new hood, and Aegin his new set of clothes that weren't as assassin-like as his previous attire. Rassa sighed as he looked at Aegin.
"You don't have to stick around," Rassa stated, "You're free to do what you please, Aegin, you don't have to follow behind me because you're worried I might snap".
Aegin turned away, clearly ashamed of being caught, "I...I promised your father".
"Who isn't around," Rassa replied, "I'm sure he won't know if you decide that you want something more out of your life than making sure I don't break".
Aegin sighed, "Rassa, what you went through, it-"
"I'll be inside," Rassa cut Aegin off.
He'd done it for a few weeks straight now, avoiding the conversation. He'd already survived through it, he didn't want to relive it, whether literally or through word-of-mouth. As good as Aegin was at observing, he really sucked at keeping to boundaries. Ebony on the other hand had found her boundaries pretty early.
Namely, she had to be cautious with any physical contact with Rassa. At first, Rassa hadn't realised he was even reacting. Ebony was far more intuitive however, and she picked up on it fast, from that first moment that she grabbed at him and Rassa drew away. He'd thought it was just that disgusting woman who'd defiled him. He hadn't realised that he'd become instinctually cautious around all women. He didn't hate them, nor was he scared of them...he just didn't like them touching him. It disturbed him that this change had occurred, and he'd been trying to change it, but every time it was the same subconscious reaction. It frustrated him to no end, and the last thing he wanted to do was talk about it.
Then there were his Life Lines. Some of them had changed permanently to resemble chains rather than solid lines. Others had appeared after he'd absorbed the souls of the Vampires who had resided within him whilst he was unsealed. They were like thorns on his Life Lines, a constant reminder of his ruthless behaviour that led to the destruction of so many. And of course, as if the chains weren't enough, a new Life Line had appeared around his neck, a collar of sorts that seemed to crumble at the front to symbolise his freedom. He had to wear shirts with high collars or always ensure his hood was up just so he could keep it hidden. It was a source of frustration, the constant reminder his Life Lines gave him, and made it all the more difficult for him to move on. Because he knew that was what he needed to do. But it never came.
Ebony was sitting at the small table they had in the main living area, a needle and threat in her hands as she sewed buttons onto a new jacket she was making. From the size of it, probably for Aegin. He was bulkier than Rassa. Ebony was truly full of patience if she was still making him things even after he treated her so horribly. She glanced up as Rassa entered, giving him a short nod which he acknowledged.
"Token District tomorrow," he spoke, then he slipped into the room that he and Aegin shared. Ebony gave no reply.
Rassa took off his jacket and placed it on the small dresser, looking out of the small window up at the stars and the moon. It was the only thing in his life that had been constant. A presense that was always there. It never judged him or pushed him. It was simply there. That was all he needed, at least for now.
He could not run from his past indefinitely, he was not naive enough to believe he could anymore. But still, he would run anyway. At least until he found something worth living for again.