Seven years on:

It was a fine October morning and the although the sun was bright, the air was crisp and chill. Jason had received the message from Leonora Dubinsky regarding her visit some time previously. She always had been meticulous when it came to planning ahead. Jason sighed to himself. If only he himself had always been so judicious as she…

Immediately before the moment of Leo's arrival, Jason and his six year old daughter Lottie awaited in the hallway. "Auntie Leo is here now Lottie," he told his daughter.

Lottie looked up, her round face wreathed in smiles, "that's good Daddy, I like Auntie Leo." As Jason had predicted, Leo arrived the moment she said she would. As soon as she entered she threw her arms around him, pulling him into a tight embrace. "So good to see you again, Jason, so good, it's been too long," she breathed. He could smell her delicate perfume. They broke apart and she knelt down to embrace Lottie to. "Dear Lottie, how you've grown!" exclaimed Leo.

"Have you brought presents Auntie Leo?" asked Lottie. "I mean, sorry, I remember my manners. Can I take your coat?"

Leo chuckled. "You know what's what Lottie," she said fondly. They proceeded into the sitting room. Jason marvelled at the exquisite vision of beauty Leo had become. As a girl she had been very pretty, but a little skinny… now she had really grown into her looks, her whole form now rounded and full, her lustrous auburn hair reached past her shoulders, her exquisite features covered with lovely vibrant freckles and her cheeks, the delicate pink hue of a fox glove. He blinked, realising he had been staring and she beamed. "I can make you both a cup of tea now, I can" piped Lottie, brushing her long black hair away from her face. "Oh Lottie, really? You clever girl," said Leo, giving his daughter her characteristic sweet smile. "Jason, you must be so proud." Jason felt a twinge of regret at this moment. He wished he had chosen his girlfriends more wisely back in the days of Blacktowers High. Who knew how things could have turned out differently? As it was, you could say that he had been hagridden in the years of his foolish boyhood… As Lottie was bustling around the small kitchen down the hallway, bursting to show off her new skill, Leo turned her calm gaze to Jason. "Jason, honey, how have you been doing?" She asked. "Lottie is such a sweet kid. A credit to you."

"Thanks, appreciate it," said Jason. "Means a lot, given how she came to this world through my stupidity. How am I ever going to tell her?"

Leo's lovely face showed a pained expression. "It was never you fault…" she faltered. Now tears shone in her emerald green eyes. "Poor Kat…" she gasped. "Sorry," she murmured, covering her face with her hands.

"You said it," said Jason. "It is all my fault. That horrible Amber used me as a pawn…" his lips curled. He had nothing but bad memories surrounding the ex-girlfriend from his days at Black Towers. "Kat might have been crazy, but she deserved to live. Five years imprisonment… what else was that going to do for her? Lottie would have had to go into care at birth if I hadn't been able to take custody of her."

Leo quickly put her arms around him. "You have brought Lottie up very well," she told him, her voice trembling. Leo's arms around him felt reassuring.

"How will I ever tell her?" said Jason softly in Leo's ear. "Honey, your mother raped me while she was drunk and there you were." Leo trembled as she held him tight.

Lottie came in with a small tray and a teapot. "Ah I like hugs," she said, setting down the tray and setting herself determinedly between them.

With Lottie in the room, the adults thought it best to steer the conversation round to more mundane matters. "I get to visit mom and dad as well, coming back here," said Leo.

"Won't you stay with us, Auntie Leo?" asked Lottie.

"Leo has her career to think about, darling," said Jason. "She's got to establish herself as an engineer."

Leo gave him a smile. "I'll be back soon honey. I'll visit mom and dad at Hanukkah and I'll drop by."

"It's Christmas for us," piped Lottie. "But we don't celebrate Halloween-"

Leo and Jason froze at that. Neither of them had acknowledged Halloween for some time…

It was late that night, Leo was gone and Lottie was asleep. Jason was having his old nightmare; bound, helpless… Leo was sure that Kat had not realised what harm she was doing and that she had been mortified afterwards. It seemed she had anger management issues or something… He did not think she deserved to die in that horrible prison, but he could not very well have endured having to share the responsibility of raising Lottie with her. The old nightmare waxed again. Seven years ago this night… that green face of hers right up against his, her eyes still bloodshot with her tears. She was grinding her body into him. He felt himself losing control. He woke with a start. Suddenly with an icy chill, he could see a green face staring back at him out of the darkness.