Liek awoke the next morning feeling better than he had ever been.
The aroma of breakfast filled his nostrils, and he grinned. Hannah had a wonderful meal prepared for him. Quail eggs, bread, and a small piece of meat left over from the previous night. She greeted him with a shy smile.
"Uh.... good morning, Hannah." Liek stuttered.
He could feel his face burning up. He felt frightened, but it was a fear that he had never felt before. It wasn't anything like the fear he felt when the dark-haired assassin attacked him, or when he was staring into the nail of the assassin of the previous night. He felt warm, his stomach fluttered, and he could barely speak. He stared down at his feet.
She must have thought he was a fool.
"Good morning, Liek." She returned.
Liek looked up at her in surprise. Her face was equally flushed. All he could do was smile.
His name was Ajin. Even though he was the weakest of the five assassins, he was the fastest and just as mysterious as the other four.
Cale could barely believe his luck. Ajin had agreed to help Cale find his brother, but only to deliver a warning. Liek was on his own after that.
"While I am sympathetic towards your feelings for your brother, he is still a traitor to our kind. I will not kill him during your mission, but afterwards, if I am given the order to, I will not hesitate in cutting off his head." He told him.
"I understand. Thank you for helping me."
Ajin had turned his head in embarrassment.
"I am not helping you. I am merely overlooking some minor details."
Cale could hardly keep up with his injured foot. The nail had pierced through the bone, and exited through the arch. Ajin was shocked that Cale was able to stand, let alone manage to stay behind him. He was also surprised by Cale's strength. He had never found anybody who could fight with such ferocity as Cale had done.
And how could Liek still be alive? Perhaps the two brothers were much stronger than they seemed.
Isaac could only chuckle to himself as he watched Liek around his daughter. He knew that the two of them felt very strongly for each other, but neither would admit it.
The fact was, he was happy that Hannah loved Liek. He was always worried that she would never be able to find a boy to fall in love with after her mother had died. Isaac smiled to himself. He could only wonder about the boy, though. He was very mysterious, even on the day they first saw him.
But as much as Isaac wondered about the boy, he was also slightly intimidated by him. He had seen almost the entire fight between Liek and the other assassin, and he could hardly believe what his eyes were seeing. He could barely follow their movements. He saw the way Liek fought against something that was twice as strong as him, and still managed to hold his own. When he saw the killer get on top of the boy, ready to slice him open with one of those horrid thumbnails, he knew he had to do something.
Isaac shook his head. As much as he feared the boy, he also found himself growing to love him like a son. And he knew that Liek felt the same.
By chance, Isaac happened to glace at the edge of the woods where two shapes were standing.
They each had two long thumbnails, just like the killer from the previous night. Isaac felt his stomach sink.
"Liek, come 'ere. We have visitors. Hannah, get inside and lock the door." He calmly said.
Liek faced his brother. He wasn't sure what to feel. On the one hand, he wanted to grab his brother, and lock him in an embrace and never let go. On the other, he wanted to ask him to leave. In either case, he would be civil towards his brother. It had been too long since they had seen each other. Isaac stepped forward.
"Mornin', sirs. Name's Isaac. What can I do fer ya?"
Isaac held out his hand to Ajin, and he was promptly ignored. Liek took Isaac aside.
"I'm sorry, Isaac. Could you go inside? I must speak to these men alone."
Isaac looked at Liek, then at the men.
"You sure there, boy? They look like the same-"
"I'll be fine. I promise."
Isaac looked into Liek's eyes and nodded. He knew that he was in no place to argue. He turned and walked back into his house. When Isaac disappeared into his home, Liek turned back to the two werewolves standing in front of him.
"Good morning, Cale."
"Good morning, Liek."
There, the two brothers stood and held each other. And for the first time in nearly ten years, Liek saw his older brother cry.
to be continued....