by: Azure Dragon Warning: PG-13 Has a few references to f/f conduct ** Stars, moonlight and the near by water fountains made a romantic combination. The warm gentle breeze ticked her hair ruffling the heavy curls. It was delicious. There was a soft sound in the air that was her breathing, as Sasha stared out over the water. Remembering all to clearly that one night. The one time she did something that hurt more then dying had. Rain had fallen and the world was still, as if holding it's breath and waiting for more. Sasha was dressed in heavy jeans and a sweater, arms crossed and hair loose. She stood on the porch, watching with dark eyes as Raven prepared to leave. Again. It was something Sasha had seen a million times, but never tired of watching. The swift yet careful movements as the girl loaded her saddle bags. The way she checked her bike before swinging her leg over it. Watching her sit on the leather seat and take a moment to adjust to it. It was a beautiful thing. Raven turned her head and smiled slightly. " Keep looking at me like that and I'll be late." Sasha blinked and dropped her eyes. Stiffly she stepped off the porch and came over to the bike. It's gleaming body reflected starlight and made the whole scene seem like a dream. "So you're leaving for good this time?" Sasha asked dryly. Fighting to keep her voice level. "Seems like." Raven held her helmet in her lap. As if ready to either throw it away and stay or pull it on and disappear for good. " Unless I have a reason to stay?" Sasha pulled in a breath and looked into Raven's eyes. Dark, deep and holding a thousand secrets. All of which Sasha knew as if they were her own. Raven's black hair was thick and gleamed like the night sky. Even her skin, slightly pale because of the events leading up to this point, glowed with beauty. The word lodged it's self in her throat. It hurt so much to say, " No." "Sasha there is no shame in what happened. I know you don't believe me, but there isn't." "You can say that because that's true for you." Sasha's voice broke and she looked away. Hugging her arms to her even tighter she continued. " That's not true for me." Raven's hand was cool and soft as it brushed back loose curls. It was a feather against Sasha's cheek as she stared hard at that ground. "Don't blame yourself." Raven's voice was a soft whisper that chased through Sasha's senses. Reluctantly she looked up at her and couldn't look away. Starlight flowed through the dark blue eyes and sparkled like a million diamonds. Sasha drew in a breath and tasted the sweet vanilla perfume Raven always wore. The world fell away as she leaned forward and felt the brush of soft lips against her own. "No." Sasha pushed away and stood back a few feet. Her head swam as she looked anywhere but at Raven. " I hate it when you do that." Raven laughed softly. " I couldn't help myself." "You had better go." Raven sighed gently as she prepared to put on her helmet. "I love you Sasha." Staring into Raven's eyes, she almost believed her. "No you don't." With that Sasha turned away from her and never looked back. That had been five years ago and the pain was still fresh, the wound unhealed. Sasha Luna turned to look back into her uncle's house. It was quiet inside save for the whisper of a clock and the passage of time. Five years. It was a blink of an eye for her now. What was five years when you had forever? Sasha looked back into the courtyard and sighed. It was nothing. Her despair raged harder then usual tonight as she struggled with too many things. Tonight was beautiful and warm in the traditional way. It was a night for being out with your sweetheart, getting lost in love and never coming back. It wasn't a night for sorrow and grief. But it felt as though that was all she had now a days. Just her grief for all the things she had lost. All that in five years. What would it be like in a hundred? No wonder Uncle Julian was such a tight ass. Her mind kept replaying different scenes and taunting her with things lost. But her heart kept aching and it wasn't just for that lost moment in time with Raven, it was for Cash too. As much as she tried to make it, her love for him refused to die. It refused to quit and just disappear. That was the pain that ate at her tonight. It twisted her and cut through her. "I have to see him." She whispered and knew then that it was true. Quickly moving through the massive house she made her way to the garage. Her bike rumbled to life when she pressed the button. It felt good to sit here and listen. She had asked Raven once why she just sat there for a moment. "It's to feel the bike. It may look like a hunk of metal and wires and sure on some level it is. But even metal has to be respected. Taking a moment to appreciate the sound and feel of the machine, isn't going to kill you." Sasha grinned as the memory played out. Nothing would kill her now. She was dead already. Guiding the beast out of the garage she went through the gates and into the night. Starlight guiding her as she raced toward the Haven. ** As always the place was filled with Kindred and Human alike. At first Sasha saw members of her own clan and thought of leaving, then she saw Cash. He stood with his right profile toward her and was talking with a member of his Clan. She had forgotten the cut of his features, how sharp and clean they where. He was handsome. As she stood watching him, another night came to her. The night she had walked in here and acted so cool. It was the night she had danced with that son of a bitch Brujah. Just to make Cash jealous and to make him want her. Instead she had gotten a shit load of trouble and it was forever. Sasha gritted her teeth and pushed into the crowd. Making her way to the bar she sat on a stool and ordered a drink. The bartender knew her and gave her the 'right stuff'. Sasha stared too hard at the bar and twirled the glass in her fingers while she tried to gain her confidence. "Mind if I sit down?" "No." Sasha snapped and hunched even further in her on herself. "It seems to me, that is the only word you know around me." The scent of Vanilla Fields warmed the air around her. The weight of a presence that was familiar and made her tingle. Sasha turned very slowly to star into dark blue eyes filled with starlight. The full lips that were curled into a joyful grin. "You should see your face right about now." Raven teased lightly and sipped at her imported beer. Her gaze moving gently over the club. " This is a nice place you've got here. Down right classy." "It's not mine." Sasha muttered and kicked herself. " I mean, what are you doing here?" Raven flashed a wicked smile at a few people before turning her eyes back to Sasha. That smile had melted many a hearts and its effect was not lost on some of the club goers. Sasha frowned at Raven. "Oh alright." Raven faked annoyance and sighed. " I came here to vacation and just happened to hear about this place." "Vacation?" Sasha arched a brow. "Since when?" Raven waved her free hand. " Since...a while back." Sasha shook her head in resignation. Getting a straight answer from Raven was damn near impossible sometimes. Her gaze shifted to Cash and she couldn't help but feel anger. If only he had told her a straight answer. "You looked pretty pissed at him." Raven remarked as she causally regarded Cash. He took that moment to look over at them. His eyes showed surprise then concern then nothing. He flicked a glance at Raven and then turned back to his conversation. "He's cute...I suppose." "What do you know about it?" Sasha snapped angrily and sipped at her drink. "Hey, that wasn't called for. Just because I don't like men as intimate partners, does not mean I am blind to them. I can enjoy a good looking man as much as any woman." Sasha found herself smiling in spite of her mood. " You always did like my choices." "Only because it made you happy." Raven turned around fully in her seat and looked at Sasha. " He doesn't make you happy." "No. I mean he used to. But...it's just some things have changed and it's different now." Sasha found herself tripping over her words and shook her head. This wasn't like her at all. Where was the anger, the fire? Where was that rebel-rousing Brujah she had become? Gazing into Raven's face as she glanced around the club again, answered the question. It wasn't by choice or conscious action, but Sasha was affected by Raven. The way her voice carried and the expressions on her face. The way her hands moved as she tightened her grip on the beer. It was all so amazing. Sasha watched as her lovely face slid into a mask and the emotion disappeared completely. Sasha blinked and looked around, what was going on? The answer came in the form of a lovely woman with dark brown hair and brown eyes. The similarity in appearance between her and Sasha was uncanny. "There you are, I looking high and low for you." The girl came up and slid a single pale around Raven's shoulders. Leaning her thin body against Raven as she gazed at Sasha intently. Sasha instantly hated her and was surprised by her reaction. She moved to stand and got sight of Cash watching her again, there was something on his face. His expression made her pause and then feel strangely warm. He was curious but he was also jealous. Sasha had a very good idea of what was going through his mind at this moment. Raven stood, cutting off the view of Cash. " It was nice to see you again Sasha." "You're not leaving already are you?" The girl leaned forward, as if to warn Sasha off. " Yes we are." "But Raven we need to talk about a few things. I need your advice on this new bike I want to purchase." Raven's expression shifted a micro inch, she was trying very hard not to grin. She said nothing as Sasha continued, glancing over at Cash. He was watching more closely now. "Would it be possible to meet up tomorrow afternoon?" Sasha glanced at the other girl and saw the anger there. "I don't see why not." Raven said very calmly. "Do you have a place in mind?" "My uncle's house," Sasha regretted it instantly but couldn't take it back. " Say noon?" Quickly she wrote down the address on a spare napkin and shoved into Raven's hand. Raven didn't take her eyes off Sasha as she smiled slightly. "Noon it is." The girl opened her mouth to complain, but Raven simply kissed her and pulled her away into the crowd. Sasha watched them leave and looked back at Cash. He was frowning slightly, not sure of what to make of it. In truth, Sasha didn't know either. What had possessed her to endanger Raven this way? Cash and Julian would not take kindly to a stranger in their home. Not right now anyway. For an instant she had forgotten the reality of her life, now she remembered all to well. Damn it anyway. Chapter 2 Raven gazed up at the monolithic house and whistled softly. It sure as hell didn't compare to the broken down two story she called home. Grand and marvelous, sweeping and huge, were words that came quickly to mind. Strangely enough the words sad and lonely also came. There was a cloud that hung around this place, something that tickled her skin and sent off her warning bells. She knew it was a bad place to be for too long and it made her wonder why Sasha was here. Standing before the cut glass door she knocked and felt her heart rate jump. How many times had she stood on a girls step and knocked. This time the door opened and her heart relaxed. "I am here to Sasha Luna." The man stepped aside and let her in. Raven took in the vast sweeping luxury of this one room and felt a sharp tingle go through her. She turned and recognized the man from last night. He didn't look pleased to see her and that concerned her. "Sasha will be down in a minute. Would you like to wait in the sitting room?" His voice was edged and harsh. "Lead the way." Raven followed after him and was taken back by the whole place. "This is some house." "Mr. Luna has good taste." Raven smiled slightly, " He sure does." The young man stopped short and turned on her. Raven didn't flinch at the look he leveled on her. She had had met up with former boyfriends who were angry with their girlfriends. But there was however something slightly different about him. "I don't know how you know her, but Sasha is his niece. She is family." "I hear you loud and clear lover boy." Raven held up her hands as he glared at her. " Just take a chill pill. I am here because she asked me to come." He spoke in a forced whisper. "Just keep your distance is all I am saying." Raven felt her good will vanish and her true self showed through. " I do what I like." He took a step toward. " Not with Sasha you won't." "That is between Sasha and I, not you." Raven was fully aware of the alarm bells screaming in her head. She was also aware of the rush that was filling her skin. The prickling wash of power and the full understanding of what she would do it he touched her. "Cash." He jerked his head up at the warning tone. " Lilly." "Julian wants you on business." He glared at Raven before stepping around her and stalking off. Raven slowly unclenched her fists and closed her eyes against the nauseating after-rush. Strong hands grabbed her arms and kept her from falling. She opened her eyes and stared into spring-blue depths and a radiant smile. The woman nodded to the door Cash had been leading them to and they entered. "I saw you at the club last night." Lilly said gently as she crossed to the mini bar. Quickly pouring a drink as Raven sat down in one of the chairs. " I haven't seen Sasha so animated in months." Raven regarded her with cool eyes. The woman was gorgeous; full figured, feminine, alluring and stylish. Her skin was the color of pure snow, eyes like summer skies and hair the color of golden cinnamon. "Yeah well, I have that effect on people." Raven said lightly. Keeping her tone level and steady. " So that was your place?" Lilly nodded as she came over and handed Raven the drink. " How do you know Sasha exactly?" Raven smirked. " We go back a while. The woman seated herself across from her and watched her closely. " You care for her don't you?" Raven concealed her surprise at the question by taking a sip of her drink. " Why do you ask?" "Anyone who is willing to stand up to Cash like that must have a reason." Lilly tilted her head to the side as she smiled. " I haven't felt a real psychic in years." The drink almost crashed to the floor as Raven was startled to her bones. She stood up and began to move quickly around the room. "I've upset you." Lilly watched her with out moving in her chair. " I am sorry, it was just an observation." "How'd you know?" Raven paused by the window and gazed out at the sunlight. "I know many things." Sadness coated her words. " I know something about you." Raven turned to face her. "Like what?" "You are here for Sasha." Lilly met her eyes. " You want her back." Raven smiled gently. " I never had her in the first place. What's your name?" "Lilly." "You look like one." Raven turned away and ran her hand through her hair. " So are you warning me off too?" "Unlike Cash I don't have any reason to be jealous. I am just concerned." "Why?" Lilly stood up smoothly and joined her by the window. " Because as splendid as love is, it can also be fatal." She looked very steadily at Raven. " You are prepared to die I can see it in you. But Sasha isn't. Don't drag her down with you." Raven gazed at her and smiled gently. " You are a very perceptive lady." "I am that." Lilly gave her a light smile. "Sasha will be here any moment." Just on cue the door opened and she walked in. Raven drew in a breath and was keenly aware of the warm glowing sensation that was filing her system. The burning tingle of joy and the complete and total loss of her senses. Her hands shook with the emotion and she could only smile. "I am sure you will have a good time bike shopping or whatever it is you call it." Lilly left the room and Raven drowned her feelings. "Shall we?" Sasha nodded to outside and Raven followed her. " Do you want to take my bike or yours?" "We'll have to take yours. I let Cleo have my bike for the day." The sunlight was warm on her skin as Raven crossed the open courtyard to the garage. The whispering of fountains and the song of birds. A beautiful day. She watched Sasha as she walked and felt like laughing to herself. She was hopelessly caught by this woman and it was a hopelessly dead end. Oh well, her life was constantly like that. "Cleo seems nice." Sasha said carefully as she opened the garage door. " How'd you meet?" "She showed up at an Empowerment Ritual and then I punched her date out in a bar fight a few days later. She asked for my number at the next meeting." Raven didn't bother to keep the steel out of her tone. Sasha paused in the muted sunlight of the garage. " You are still head of that group?" "Yes. We even have a name now, the Summer Circle Coven." "You like your work with them?" Sasha asked causally as she perched on a nearby Jaguar. "I do. They are my friends." Raven gazed at the insides of a vintage car." Sasha watched her before she asked, "You don't love Cleo do you?" "I only have one heart to loose and I lost that years ago." Raven spotted Sasha' bike and grinned. "Still riding around on that old thing? No wonder you need a new one." She crossed to it and ran her hand over the familiar lines. "Feels like home." Sasha couldn't fight the blush that rose on her face. " So Cash really doesn't like you does he?" "You know about that? Then I guess you know the answer." Raven looked up at Sasha, her hands resting on the handle bars. " So?" "So what?" Sasha was uncomfortable with the heat in the garage as she stood staring at her bike. "What's with you?" Raven asked critically. "What does that mean?" Sasha felt anger rise and it helped battle the confused feeling in her head. "Sasha come on. Last night you deliberately baited the guy using me. What do you hope to get out me?" "I don't....I don't want anything from you." Sasha stammered and knew it wasn't true. "Yes you do or you would never have brought me here." Raven crossed her arms and regarded Sasha carefully. " Now what is going on?" It all hit her in that moment, she did want something from Raven. She wanted to be alive again, she wanted to take the spirit of her death and exchange it for life. She wanted....to be human. "You wouldn't understand." Raven dropped her arms and crossed to Sasha, her fingers lightly brushing back her hair. The warmth in the garage built up and this time Sasha didn't care. She let Raven explore her hair, at first lightly, as though expecting to be pushed away. Then more fully as no punishment came. Sasha trusted Raven as her hands worked expertly through the curls, not catching or tangling in them. She was careful and slow. Not like Cash who had been wild and fast. Raven's hands touched her shoulders and stopped. "Don't-" Sasha murmured. "Don't what Sasha?" She opened her eyes and realized that her hands had been following Raven's. They rested on the girls shoulders, tight and fierce as if afraid she would disappear otherwise. "Don't stop." Raven watched her carefully for a long moment. Her thoughts showed in her eyes as she considered and carefully rethought everything. Sasha felt a wave of need smash through her trembling insides and it seized her. She pulled Raven down and kissed her deeply Sasha's hunger rose up at that feeling of the warmth and she could taste Raven's life. Strong, vital and full of starlight. Sweet with magic and hot with the power that flowed in the girls blood. She was cool and hot at the same time. Innocent while being knowledgeable. It all tasted like vanilla and something stronger, something warmer. It was the taste of humanity. "Sasha..." Raven's tone was rough and heavy, " This isn't the best place for this you know." Sasha pulled away and realized she was right. It was not comfortable making out on a motorbike. Giving Raven a liquid smile, Sasha grabbed her hand and lead them out of the garage. Her feet stopped dead at the sight of Cash and two of his friends. Raven came up short behind her. Sasha felt Raven's hand tighten on hers and she drew Sasha close. "What?" Sasha snapped as her Brujah blood rose to the surface. "Don't you have an errand to do?" Sasha lead Raven past them and into the house. Once on the stairs leading to the second floor she stopped and turned to Raven. Tracing the shape of her face with both hands she smiled again. "What happened out there?" Raven asked softly. " There was a total change in you." "Later." Sasha grabbed her hand and hurried to her room. Once the door was securely locked she turned and once again regarded Raven. She stood in the room totally comfortable and watching her with guarded eyes. They had done this five years ago and Sasha had pushed her away. She had shattered Raven's heart and knew it. Now here they were again. Human, Kindred and they were a moment away from repeating themselves. Raven knew it and the information showed on her face. "Do you want to stop now?" Sasha asked quietly. "No, I never wanted to stop. Do you?" Raven kept her tone absolutely neutral. Although her desire made her words heavy. "I've always regretted that night." Sasha crossed slowly to Raven. Her hands tracing lines along Raven's arms, they kept still by her sides. " I have always wondered if things would have been different had I not pushed you out." "And your conclusion is?" Sasha gazed into dark blue eyes and grinned. " You'll have to remind me of what I gave up." A slow, wicked smile curled Raven's full mouth. " That I can do." The rush that came with the first kiss was enough to make Sasha dizzy. She tumbled into her need and drifted away on glowing clouds of pure joy.