"Wait, what did you just say?" I was in complete and utter shock. Maybe I really was hallucinating...
"I'm sorry," He repeated sincerely, "I didn't stop you from killing your family." I cast my eyes downward, remembering. Their screams echoed in my mind, and I didn't even notice the tears forming in my eyes.
"But that was my fault," I muttered darkly, "I killed you first." Then I realized something, and brightened slightly, "Hey- if Death found a way to bring you back, couldn't we bring them back, too?"
"No," I could feel my heart sinking again, and started re-counting the people I had killed in my mind, "But there's something I think you should see."
"Wha-" I started, but was cut off by the memory Niccolo had placed in my mind. "The image is missing... This is just darkness."
"Yes, that's what death looks like. Now shut up and listen." I shivered slightly- I was terrified of such thick darkness. It left my mind far too much room to wander...
Then I started hearing voices. So this memory was all auditorial- wait, that was... My little brother's voice... They were talking...
"My big sister... She was hurting me. She hurt mama and papa, too. Why did she do that?"
"I think I know her."
"Are you her friend?"
She only hurt you because she was being controlled.
Do you think you can fogrive her?"
"It wasn't her fault, so I forgive her."
"Are your parents here?"
"Yep! I'm going to leave with them. They say they've found someplace bright. Do you want to come with me?"
"I don't think I belong in a place like that."
The memory ended there. "Is that why we can't bring them back? Because they found the light?"
"That is one reason- but even if they had stayed in the darkness, it wouldn't have worked. You need a person's body to bring back their soul; your family was cremated."
"How do you know that?"
He shrugged lightly, "I kept my eye on things, every now and then. Promise me one thing?"
"Don't ever try to kill yourself again. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm pretty damn selfish, and even I value your life above mine. So trust me when I say the world would be a poorer place without you."
My face turned a light shade of red and my hand went to my short hair as I fidgeted uncomfortably. I never liked being the center of attention, and being the center of Niccolo's was just that much more unsettling... Though I couldn't say it was unpleasant. And he was acting differently towards me- he was acting like he cared... A lot.
"You're not serious..." I said shakily, a slight laugh in my voice.
"Oh, but I am," He replied smoothly, "How could I be lying? I've already died trying to save your sorry hide- don't make me do it again."
"But what about my blood manipulation...? Isn't that the only reason you didn't kill me the moment we met?"
"Things change," He stated simply, "Get used to it." He unlocked the cell door and stepped out, and motioned for me to leave also. I stepped forward slowly, aprehensively, still afraid that the moment I slipped out I would go on a crazy killing spree... "Oh, and Aretha," He continued as he locked the door again behind us, "If I ever do try to kill you... I want you to kill me first."
"What?" I started, but he was already dragging me to the door of the jail by my arm- could he really be serious about any of this? I went back to my first theory again- maybe I was dreaming... The only other option was that he actually cared that much... I mean, that's beyond just caring, it's something else... I shook my head. Impossible.