"I've been watching you, keeping an eye on you to see how you and Cordelia are getting along," Heather told me, keeping one hand positioned just above my heart. I was sure she could feel my heart beat thumping rapidly. She tucked a strand of ash blond hair behind her ear and met my eyes with an impish look.

"I admit I couldn't watch you very well during the day, for obvious reasons," she told me, flashing me a fanged grin, "but I see you two are faring well enough. Perhaps getting a little too cozy for my taste, but what do I know?"

"Are you going to kill me?" I asked, gathering the courage to speak while her eyes flicked to my pulse. She laughed, but the sound only made my heart beat faster.

"I don't know how much Cordelia's told you, but honestly James, you should know me better than that," she said, smiling innocently. The effect was disconcerting considering her fangs were well exposed and extended.

"I haven't seen you for a year," I reminded her.

"So it's been a year already? Time flies by so quickly," she dismissed the statement. I narrowed my eyes at her.

"I thought you were dead," I told her. She shrugged and let her hand fall from my chest. It was almost like we were having a normal conversation now, but I had the distinct feeling Heather wanted to do more than talk, which scared the shit out of me.

"Technically I am dead. Undead. Cordelia must have at least told you that much."

"She did. She failed to mention however you would be stopping by for a visit," I responded, wondering now if Cordelia knew Heather was alive, did she also know Heather was watching us?

"Well, she doesn't know. As far as she knows I'm still back at the," she paused with a frown, "facility." She finished the statement in a cold tone, but soon reverted back to her warm, smiling expression.

"Facility?" I asked. Cordelia had made no mention of a facility. The longer I talked with Heather, the more I grew to understand how ignorant I was of the situation at hand.

Heather sighed and cocked her hip.

"Look, I know you have questions. I'll gladly provide you with answers, but not now. The one thing you need to know right now is that you're in serious danger with Cordelia. The people that are coming after her don't mess around," Heather warned me.

"And why aren't they after you? You escaped didn't you?" I asked.

"I left under different circumstances than Cordy did, and even if they wanted to find me, they wouldn't be able to. I don't leave a trail anymore," she responded obscurely, smiling widely. Her permanent grin was becoming more and more eerie. On her pale and angular face, it looked entirely out of place and didn't quite meet her eyes. The overall effect reminded me of a little girl hiding a knife behind her back, ready to reveal her true face the moment you said the wrong thing.

"Why didn't you come to me earlier?" I asked, wondering if it had been possible for the whole debacle to be avoided in the first place. It was hard for me to remember that after all I'd been through, I'd really only been with Cordelia for two days. Normalcy seemed impossibly farther away than that however, hadn't my life been turned upside down for the past year or so?

I was distracted what ifs my question aroused. If Heather had come to me before Cordelia, I never would have left Guerran. Heather and I could have continued where we left off I thought wistfully. Then, I caught sight of her fangs again and let go off the thought immediately. Heather was obviously not the same girl I remembered.

"I wanted to, believe me. Being the way I am now though, I knew returning to Guerran would only tempt me to hurt those closest to me. I wouldn't be able to be the same person," Heather told me, her eyes conveying a deeper sense of sadness. I nodded, knowing full well even I couldn't return to Guerran now, knowing what I did.

"I wish we could continue this conversation James, but I'm hungry and you're much too tempting at the moment. I'm sure Cordelia will want to know what stalled you outside, but I'd prefer if you didn't tell her you saw me."

"You'll follow us if we leave?" I asked, needing assurance that this wouldn't be the last time I'd see Heather.

"I'll be waiting for you tomorrow night. Come and find me then, and we'll finish talking. Just be sure you don't arouse suspicion," she warned. I nodded and watched as she walked away, into the darkness of the woods.

It felt strange seeing Heather again after a year and feeling so distanced from her. It was almost as though I had just spoken to a stranger with Heather's name and face. The thought made me shiver involuntarily before I too turned away, returning to the inn without the clothes I promised Cordelia.

Upon returning to the lobby, I spotted Barbara cleaning up in the living room. Making up a story about our luggage being lost in the airport, I asked her if it would be possible for Cordelia to borrow some clothes while she washed her own. Barbara, responding with motherly concern, promised to find something for Cordelia.

I thanked her and returned to Cordelia's room as quickly as I could. The door was closed once I got there, and I knocked lightly, hesitant.


"Yeah, it's me," I responded.

"Hold on," she bid me while I waited outside the door. I could hear her put something down and then she opened the door, wrapped in a white fluffy towel with her wet hair pulled up into a bun.

"I just got out of the shower, I need to brush my hair," she told me, looking to see if I had anything with me. "Did you forget to bring the clothes you promised?"

"No, I asked Barbara if you could borrow some clothes actually. I figured you might like women's clothes better."

"Anything that will cover the necessary tidbits really. I'll need to buy more clothes eventually, maybe tomorrow morning, but for now I guess borrowing her clothes should work," she responded, letting her hair down and parting it to the side. She began to brush the tangle from her hair with her teeth gritted and I grew uncomfortable watching her, like I was invading during private moment.

"I think I'll go to bed now," I told her.

"Goodnight," she told me, preoccupied with her hair.

"Goodnight," I responded, intrigued by the fact she didn't seem to suspect anything of me, especially not that I'd just had a close encounter with Heather outside.

For all that she denied it, Cordelia was beginning to trust me too much for her own good.