Afterimage Chapter Thirty-Five

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Based on an original series and alternate future by Sonny & Ais called In the Company of Shadows.

The story contains..

Slash (M/M), het (M/F) and graphic language, violence and sexual situations. Not intended for anyone under 18!


Book One: Evenfall See Evenfall chapter list.

Book Two: Afterimage
See Afterimage chapter list.

Interludes list

Book Three: Fade
See Fade chapter list.


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Chapter Thirty-Five (end of Afterimage)

Uploaded on 4/25/2009

For the first time in the past several months, Sin felt something other than helplessness and despair. For the first time since losing Boyd, something was filling the void that had been left inside him since the moment of their separation. Now, that emptiness was filled with a fire that raged inside him so violently that Sin felt like his head was spinning.

He couldn't focus, couldn't concentrate and everything seemed very unreal. As he'd stormed across the compound in a blind, seething rage, he'd wondered more than once if any of this was actually happening. Had he just fought his father or had he been hallucinating again? Had he struck out at an innocent bystander while in the throes of an episode?

Was any of this even happening or was it another one of his prolonged and horrifying dreams?

At one point he'd had the urge to reach out and touch something, someone, just to see if they were really there or if – in his confused daze – they would shimmer and sparkle like a reflection in water. There but not there. Alive but not alive.

Sin had gone on like that for several moments until he found himself abruptly turning away from the direction of his apartment and instead heading a roundabout way back to the Tower, taking the back entrance and the stairs two at a time until he arrived on the roof for no good reason at all.

Sin pushed the door shut and stood on the blacktop of the roof, palms spread open and pressed flat against the door as he allowed his head to drop.

He took a deep breath, and then another, trying to calm his racing heart and the furious cycle of thoughts that railroaded through his mind. It took several moments but after awhile he did feel calmer and Sin allowed himself to look up, to open his eyes and see the world once again without the red haze of anger and confusion clouding his vision.

Everything steadied and took shape; shapes solidified and as Sin walked to the edge of the roof, as he stared blankly into the expanse of sky, he took in the fact that his father really was alive.

Now that he had calmed to an extent, the feeling of a thousand pounds of guilt seemed to lift from his shoulders. The burden and the stain of his father's blood had washed away the moment Sin had looked up into Emilio's eyes, but at that moment the feeling of betrayal had been too much and Sin had completely missed the feeling of release.

The knowledge of his own innocence was striking but not as satisfying as it should have been. How could it be? He'd lost the most important person in his life due to his own psychosis which had stemmed largely from the trauma of believing that he'd murdered his father.

And it turned out to have all been a lie.

His father had lied to him, had faked his own death; had allowed Sin to believe himself guilty of patricide for so long, only to reappear without a shred of remorse.

Sin put his face in his hands and inhaled again, trying to fight the anger that was once again starting to build, trying to achieve an immaculate calm that wouldn't allow the dark part of him to get inside and take over.

But then Sin remembered Carhart's face so many months ago, his dismissal of Sin's trouble and guilt, his disregard for what Sin had wanted to confide; Carhart's failure to tell Sin the truth.

And Sin couldn't figure out why. After everything, after Carhart's desire to allegedly protect Sin during the last several years, why had he watched Sin fall apart in silence? Because the Agency hadn't wanted him to speak the truth of Emilio's survival? Because he'd been following orders?

Yet despite the anger that Sin felt towards the General, he still couldn't help doubting himself. Sin couldn't help wondering if what he saw as a betrayal was something Carhart had seen as logic and common sense. Maybe Sin was the one who was mistaking the entire situation just like Boyd had seemed to think in China and yet again, Sin was completely unable to stop the negative feelings that consumed him and pushed him to just cut all ties.

But what if that was the wrong reaction? What if Carhart's reasoning made sense and Boyd wasn't really so bad for fucking Kassian and Sin was the one taking everything too personally?

Because the issue couldn't really be everyone around him. How could everyone else be wrong? This wasn't a question of just the general masses on the compound but even the people who he'd gotten close to and trusted.

What he thought was right or logical never seemed to match up with the desires and beliefs of the people around him and the difference between him and others seemed to be a never-ending source of problems.

Maybe there was just something inherently wrong with him, something that repelled people, that drove them away. Something that made them want to reach out but then forced them to turn away to some degree when they realized that someone like him could never behave normally, could never understand things that seemed to so clear to everyone else. Something that made them determine there really was no point in continuing to try.

Boyd saw their damaged relationship and had gotten out of it. He'd realized that things would never improve between them in their current state and that there were people out there who weren't so dysfunctional.

Maybe Carhart had seen Sin at his worst, falling to pieces, and had held back the information anyway because whether or not Emilio had survived, in the end this information would have changed nothing; he knew Sin would be damaged regardless of when he'd found out about his father. Maybe he'd just accepted that and had figured that maybe Sin would eventually do the same; see the logic in it, see that Carhart was preserving his own sense of duty because the alternative wouldn't have made much a difference.

Maybe Sin was just selfish and thought everyone should think about his feelings before their own needs and responsibilities and this was another example of that.

But it still didn't stop the tightness in Sin's chest, the way it constricted, the way he dug his fingers into his hair. His eyes squeezed shut as he mourned the death of yet another failed connection, another failed relationship; another lost friend.

Every time he thought he understood people and what he had with them, the sense of peace, of happiness that it briefly stirred in his being, seemed to slip through his fingers like sand until it was gone.

This time, there really was nothing left.

He sat there on the roof for what seemed like hours-- until the sky darkened entirely and the day went from early evening to the middle of the night -- until the cool breeze of the day strengthened into a cold wind and the lamp posts began flickering on far below him.

He sat there until everything drained out of him and he felt nothing but emptiness once again. He decided that maybe it was better that way; maybe it was better if he remembered how to feel nothing.

But then the door creaked open behind him and Sin sensed his father instantly. The emptiness he'd thought he'd achieved disappeared and Sin couldn't help feeling disappointed that it seemed impossible for him to go back to the way he was before.

"Nice place you've got here," Emilio commented idly, walking over to his son and not even bothering to maintain his distance. He sidled right up to Sin and leaned against the short wall at the edge of the roof, eyes fixed on Sin.

Sin didn't reply and his body automatically tensed, his fingers balling into fists as he refused to meet that steady stare.

"It's actually a lot nicer than mine," Emilio continued nonchalantly. "They got me staying in a holding cell on the Fourth due to the ongoing construction of the compound and whatnot. And apparently I'm not allowed to go stay in one of their off-compound spots since I'm not trusted enough to leave without clearance."

Sin's eyes narrowed and he stared at the dark sky, at the faint light of the moon through the cloud coverage.

"Not that I'll let that stop me. It's like good old Vivienne is just daring me to bust out of here. Maybe she wants me to, though. I don't think she likes me too much." Emilio nodded to himself, smirking, and pulled out a half-smoked joint and a lighter. His eyes didn't leave Sin as he flicked the lighter and lit the joint, inhaling deeply.

Go away, Sin mentally urged his father. Just go the fuck away. I don't want to see you. I don't want to look at you.

"Your little boyfriend is pretty cute," Emilio said abruptly and seemingly out of the blue. "Too bad you're all... broken up now. Y'all were all sexed up and happy down in Mexico."

Sin scoffed softly, unable to stop himself, and just shook his head. "So that was you."

"Uh huh." Emilio exhaled slowly, the smoke wafting into Sin's face but Sin didn't even blink.

The news wasn't too surprising; it actually made sense. The location, the fact that Chingón had been able to track him undetected... Even the name had stuck out to him; when Boyd had mentioned it in Monterrey, Sin had distinctly remembered his father calling himself that jokingly many years ago, but he had ultimately dismissed it as a bizarre coincidence. At least, until now.

"Blondie went running to Zachary with details on me and my crew down there. I always figured Zach would figure out the 4FF thing if the Agency ever got interested in my group. It's an old code we used to use back in the day, back when shit was getting heavy and we were warning each other to get the fuck out of dodge. It's just some gibberish I made up but I knew he'd remember."

Emilio took another long puff and pulled himself up onto the wall, sitting precariously on the edge of the roof. His bloodshot eyes studied Sin intently, wandering along his form, taking in every detail of his face, his hands, the way he stood so rigidly. "So he looked into it and they tracked me down. 'Course they wouldn't have found me unless I wanted them to..."

Sin finally looked up and he couldn't keep the animosity from his expression. "Why don't you just go back to Mexico and leave me the fuck alone? You could get out of here if you wanted to."

Emilio leaned forward slightly, hooded eyes not leaving Sin, and he smiled around the smoke that drifted out of his mouth. "Nah. Now that they know I'm here it's too late. They'd track me down forever and that ain't no fun. I was looking over both shoulders even when they thought I was dead."

At the mention of that, Sin's gaze swung away and he tensed even more, teeth gritting together angrily. He couldn't handle being near his father; it was too much to take. Too much to understand.

"Just leave before I push you off the roof," he growled from between clenched teeth.

"Psssh." Emilio leaned closer, flicking the rest of his joint off the side of the roof, completely disregarding the fact that anger was radiating off his son. "That's just silly talk. If you really wanted me dead you wouldn't be so tight over thinking you'd killed me."

"Maybe it would have been better off if I really had," Sin replied woodenly, refusing to acknowledge their proximity, the fact that he could feel his father's breath on his face. But then Emilio actually reached out to idly run his fingers through Sin's hair and Sin couldn't help but shudder, backing away.

Emilio gave him a half smile and sat back, letting his black sneakers thump against the wall idly. "That's a stupid thing to say, boy. At least now you won't be a guilty wreck for the rest of your life. Even if you're all pissed off at me now..."

"I'm fucking furious at you now," Sin hissed stormily, snapping his eyes back to Emilio's face. "Do you have any fucking idea what I've been through since I came to this place? What my life has been like?"

A shadow crossed Emilio's face and for a moment he didn't look nearly as self-assured, as confident, but he still didn't look away. "I know everything, kiddo. I know about the box, about Lydia, about the collars and the way they let guards have fun beating the shit out of you when you're drugged up. I know all about it."

Slightly taken aback, Sin shook his head but didn't reply and Emilio explained simply, "Do you really think I didn't have a connection on the inside all of these years? That I wasn't checking up on my spawn?"

"Why would you even care?" Sin demanded bitterly. "You obviously didn't give a shit enough to let me know you were alive."

Emilio's face twisted into an impatient glare and he jumped off the wall, standing next to Sin and grabbing Sin's arm. He forced Sin to turn so that they were facing each other and gripped Sin's chin between his fingers tightly, eyes narrowed and completely unconcerned by the death glare Sin aimed at him.

"Grow up, boy," Emilio snapped coldly, irritation in his face, his shoulders. "I understand that you're all pissed off because you thought I knew about your guilt trip and shit, but I didn't. How the fuck would I? I don't remember much after you shot me, I don't remember much from the next few weeks after; I had to practically relearn how to function like a normal human because a bullet had scraped the side of my fucking brain."  

Sin didn't reply but his eyebrows did draw together slightly.

"I thought you were dead too for awhile but when I found out you wasn't, I didn't see the point in tracking you down, in fucking getting us both killed if Connors found out I was still alive. The only reason they kept you is 'cause he probably figured you didn't know what I knew-- that you wouldn't have gone if you knew the truth."

Sin shook his head slightly, finally jerking his face away from Emilio's grasp, finding it difficult to keep staring into his father's intense eyes. "What was the truth?"

This time Emilio scoffed and the sound was half amused, half disgusted. "I'm a notorious snoop and a thief. I found out some shit on Connors. I found out that before this city was hit, he'd been exchanging info with a big shot in the Russian government-- they was feeding each other info so that he always looked like he was two steps ahead of Russia for the big shots here but in reality, they were just playing a game. But then his Russian friend got sloppy and his people got wind of their partnership and the e-mails were traced to this city. Connors' inside guy got capped by his own people and they targeted this city specifically because of Connors' correspondence."

Sin stared at his father blankly, unmoved by the information that Connors had inadvertently been responsible for the destruction of the city. It explained a lot; why this city was specifically hit, why they'd gone after it more than once to ensure that it'd been obliterated. "I see."

"Yeah. You should see. Of all fucking people, Hsin, I thought you'd understand." Emilio scowled deeply, crossing his arms over his chest. "I got Zachary on my back, I got your boytoy on my back-- I figured you'd see where I was coming from, that you understand me enough to get why the fuck I wouldn't go running to bring you down with me just so we can play house and be together."

"I had no such delusions that you wanted to play at being daddy," Sin replied flatly. His eyes focused on the skyline, on the dark night sky. "It's not even about that. It's about the fact that these last few months have been a fucking mess and it turns out it was all for nothing."

"Wow, you just don't get it, man." Emilio actually looked disappointed in Sin, as if he was stupider than Emilio had anticipated him being. "There was nothing I could fucking do for you, boy. I knew how shitty your life was, but I knew you were strong enough to take it. I knew you could handle it. So why show my face and endanger your life and mine? It's a fucking stupid idea-- a stupid waste. I thought if it ever came to a point where it got too bad, you'd just get out."

"Get out." Sin smiled humorlessly, shaking his head. "It had never occurred to me that what they were doing... the way they treated me wasn't normal until recently. It never occurred to me to care."

"Well, that's tough," Emilio replied coldly. "Now get the fuck over it."

Once again, Sin didn't respond. He couldn't. He wasn't sure what he would do or how he would react if he released the anger that was bubbling up inside him.

"You think your life was such a sad story?" Emilio demanded hotly, once again reaching out and forcing Sin to look at him. Sin immediately shoved his father away and tensed up, but Emilio didn't seem to care.  

"Why don't you try my childhood on for size," Emilio went on darkly, eyes narrowing and glittering dangerously; Sin couldn't help wondering if that was how he looked when he was angry.

"My mom killed my sisters, my dad killed my mom, then he drove me to Brazil, without looking at me or talkin' to me, without changing my shirt that was still covered in my mom's brains and my sisters' blood, and he dropped me off on a doorstep without lookin' back. How about eatin' out of garbage cans for years? Dodging death squads that cleaned up the streets by killing all the little street kids, sucking dick so they'd let me get away, letting old women play with me in exchange for a meal? Or cutting a nine-year-old's throat 'cause she woulda cut mine to get the few bucks I'd just gotten off the rich couple in the hotel who'd paid me in exchange for lettin' them dress me up and shove things inside me while I was fucked up on dope that they'd pumped me full of."

Emilio didn't take his eyes off Sin and this time, Sin didn't look away.

"And all of that before I was ten."

"So that's why you didn't just leave me in Hong Kong." Sin had always wondered why his self-absorbed party-boy father had ever come to rescue him; what had possessed Emilio to take in a child at all. Now it made more sense... Now Sin understood, or at least he thought he did, and some of the animosity drifted away.

"That's right, mijo. I didn't want you growin' up like me. I didn't want you to be that way. So I did the only thing I knew how-- I kept you off the streets and I taught you how to be strong. I taught you how to protect yourself, how to make a living the only way I knew how, taught you how to be fucking independent and never have to rely on anyone. I wanted you to have all of my strengths and none of my weaknesses-- I didn't want you to be weak-minded and emotional like me, I didn't want you to be a fucking drug addict and an alcoholic like me. I wanted you to be someone who didn't need no one or nothing from no one."

Emilio shook his head slowly, his expression taut and almost angry. "And looks like I didn't train you as well as I thought. 'Cause you don't understand where I was coming from. I was never trying to be father of the fucking year. I was trying to teach you how to survive in this shit world without ever havin' to depend on anyone, even me, your fuck-up of a father."

"Well," Sin said dully, crossing his arms over his chest as Emilio's glare burned into him. "Now I know."

He wished he'd known then. He wished he'd never gotten some ridiculous idea in his head that his father had wanted them to be a team, a family even if it was a dysfunctional one; that they could trust each other even if they couldn't trust anyone else. Sin wished it had occurred to him as a child that his father had only been training him to be a fully autonomous being; that he'd never intended to stick around when he thought Sin's training was done.

Sin wished he'd realized from the start that when Emilio had told him not to trust anyone, not to get close to anyone, never to become vulnerable around anyone-- he'd been including himself in that statement.

Maybe if Sin had known, he wouldn't have taken his recent revelations so hard.

"I've changed since then," Emilio replied finally, looking away from his son and turning towards the edge of the roof to stare down at the compound below. "Somewhat. But you were an idiot for ever thinking that back then I'd have risked my life to come back for you."

Sin said nothing. There was really nothing to say. When his father said everything in such plain black and white language, it all just served to make Sin feel like a fool. It made him feel pathetic for ever feeling abandoned, for being so ridiculously psychologically fucked up when his father had had a much worse life. It made him feel stupid for being so weak, but even then, he still felt resentful.

He resented that his father could show up after all these years and completely shift the blame onto Sin, castigating him for being dumb enough to have expected his life to be any better than it was.

"Do you have anything more to add?" Sin asked dully. "If not, I think we're finished here."

Emilio sighed disgustedly and pointed at Sin, his finger inches from the younger man's face. "You need to grow up, Hsin. Grow the fuck up and stop worrying so much about shit that doesn't matter. Your past doesn't matter. It's done. It's fucking history. The people you've killed-- they ain't coming back. They don't matter. Life sucks, get over it, stop fucking letting it dictate the way you act and treat people."

Sin looked at his father sharply, eyes narrowed. "You don't even know me anymore. You don't even know what you're speaking about."  

"Oh really?" Emilio arched a derisive eyebrow at his son, leaning forward again. "You wanna know why I didn't think you'd give a shit about my plan? Why I thought you were strong enough to not let it affect you?"

"Sure, why not," Sin replied tonelessly, letting his eyes drift away again but this time Emilio took a step forward and gripped Sin's shoulders. Sin once again felt his body tense and start to react, he felt his fists twitching as he fought the desire to hit Emilio. It took every fiber of his being to stay still, to not start a fight that would likely end badly in one way or the other; instead, he glared into his father's eyes.

"That's why," Emilio said flatly. "That right there. Your automatic reaction to beat the fuck out of anyone who touches you, who gets to close to you, who gets under your fucking skin. You probably walk around this place with a huge chip on your shoulder, hating everyone because you don't trust no one, letting the shit that happened to you as a kid twist your fucked up little brain so that you think everyone is out to get you."

Sin stiffened and tried to back away but Emilio tightened his grip and pulled Sin closer until their faces were nearly touching. His father's green eyes drilled into his own and Sin couldn't look away even as he felt his earlier revelation echoing in his brain.  

"And that's the reason why everyone on the compound singled you out and called you a freak, boy. I don't care what no one says about me-- I taught you how to kill but you were capable of it before you met me and you had that fucked up attitude, that fucked up temper, before I was in the picture. I'm not saying these people had a right to put you in a box and do all the shit they did, but you didn't give them a reason not to think you're a fucking psychopathic freak, did you?"

Emilio finally released his grip on Sin and stepped back with a disgusted scoff, shaking his head at his son.

"What do you want from me?" Sin asked tiredly, not wanting to listen to anything else, even though he knew it was all true.

Emilio shrugged, a disappointed scowl on his handsome face. "I want you to tell me the difference between your life and mine. Tell me why mine is so much better."

"I never said it was."

"That's 'cause it ain't. I already outlined it all for you, boy. In fact, my life has been a lot shittier. I've seen worse shit and I've killed more people. The only difference between you and me is you're a psychopath and you can't help it and I'm a sociopath 'cause I just don't give a fuck." Emilio smirked and looked almost proud of that fact, eyes narrowing to stare at his son.

Sin just stared back, his expression purposely blank, his posture slack.

"But you act like a fucking weirdo. You act like a ticking time bomb. You freaked me out when you were eight years old, I can imagine how you freak people out now that you're grown. And that's why I never thought you'd really care too much if you thought I was dead-- why I thought you'd get over it and move on. 'Cause even though you're acting all hurt now, you never acted like you gave a shit back then. You stayed to yourself or was just as much of an asshole to me as I was to you. You didn't treat me like I was some father you loved-- I didn't even think you gave a shit about me in that way and I didn't care 'cause I wasn't sure I really gave a shit about you in that way other than not wanting you to be completely fucked over in life."

Emilio shrugged his shoulders again, his movements expressive and animated, although his eyes were hard and unyielding. He looked genuinely frustrated with his son, genuinely annoyed that Sin wasn't getting it.

But Sin was getting it.

He just wasn't letting his father know and that was apparently a case in point.

But he couldn't help it. He didn't want to admit that his father was probably right; he didn't want to admit that he had acted like a ticking time bomb, a kid who was so prone to quick violence and mean retorts that everyone just assumed he was a psychopath and a freak. And he definitely didn't want to admit that, because of his mother and what he'd seen and done in China, he couldn't trust people not to hurt him or exploit him.

He didn't want to tell Emilio that he was right; that Sin had let paranoia run his life and dictate his interactions; that eventually, he'd let his distrust of people even poison his relationship with Boyd.

He didn't want to show Emilio what he was feeling or how the words were affecting him so he just stood there, stared at his father, and said nothing. Because in the end, even though he was aware of his own behavior and how poor it actually was, it wasn't easy to change and he wasn't even sure if he should for his father.

This seemed to annoy his father more and Emilio turned away finally, frustration evident in his expression and posture. "I'm gonna be reinstated as an agent soon." Emilio looked over his shoulder at Sin and raised his eyebrows. "Learn to live with it."

When Sin just stared at him, Emilio strode away, flinging open the door violently before he disappeared. Sin could hear his footsteps pounding down the long flight of stairs that led to the top floor of the Tower.

Sin stood there just staring at the open door for a long time before he finally made the descent himself. The walk to his building seemed to take forever and when he finally arrived, Sin barely acknowledged Officer Daniels, even though the man was quite obviously trying to get his attention.

The door closed and the sound seemed unnecessarily loud in the silent apartment.

He stood in the middle of the living room and stared at the carpet blankly for a long time. He wasn't really quite sure how long he just stood there and allowed the events of the day and the conversation with his father to sink in but after awhile his body began to feel stiff and he mindlessly walked further into the apartment.

The cushions on the couch sank down as he sat on it, absently running his fingers along the stiff fabric, allowing his mind to wander into the depths of his memories. He thought of his childhood, his teenage years, the first time he'd met people on the compound...

He remembered Connors introducing him to Ryan, Ann and Lydia, unaware that his daughter had already come into contact with Sin, unaware that Lydia looked at him so warily because he'd broken her nose a year earlier just because she'd kissed him. Not yet aware that the kid he had in his hands wasn't a normal kid, that Sin didn't have a normal way of thinking. Unaware that Sin didn't know how to interact with people because he thought all people were just potential predators.

Sin remembered Connors looking at him with narrowed eyes but deciding that maybe putting the child assassin with kids around his own age would do some good-- make him more likely to integrate in the Agency, to form alliances and make connections. Because then he'd be more loyal, and a loyal agent was the best kind.

But Sin had just stared at Ryan and the twins coldly, with detachment, and when he'd spoken to them it had been with barely concealed sarcasm and disdain. He remembered sizing them up, memorizing things about them just in case he had to fight them some day, just in case they turned against him. He remembered coming to the conclusion that they weren't even worth that much of his time.

And that had been the end of that.

They'd complained to Connors about how creepy he was and the isolation had begun from there.

Sin stared at his hands and allowed himself to come back to the present, to recall his own thoughts from earlier in the evening when he'd wondered if something was just inherently wrong with him.

Now he felt that something definitely was; Emilio had summed it all up perfectly a few hours after seeing his son again for the first time in almost twenty years. Yet Sin wondered if it was really inherent or if it he'd just never considered the possibility of his own role in things.

He wondered if it wasn't something inevitable; if it was possible for him to change.

A knock on the door shattered the muted silence of the apartment but Sin didn't react. He didn't look up and he didn't move, not even when moments passed, not even when he heard the muffled beep of his door unlocking as someone swiped a keycard to gain entry.

Boyd walked in and shut the door behind him. His gaze searched the apartment and when his eyes fell on Sin, Boyd briefly appeared relieved but then he took in Sin's resigned posture, his blank expression, and Boyd's eyes took on a measure of somberness.

He walked over and silently sat down next to him Sin, reaching over to gently touch Sin's hand.

Even knowing that Boyd was next to him, for some reason the touch startled Sin. He looked up, wondering why Boyd was there; wondering what he wanted, why he'd come over in the middle of the night. What he thought he would gain by being there when things were barely civil between them lately.

But when Sin met Boyd's intense brown eyes, when he saw Boyd's hesitantly reassuring half-smile, a feeling of relief swept through Sin. He allowed it to warm him, to consume him; to wash all the doubts, suspicions and questions away.

Sin closed his eyes, took a shallow, shuddering breath, and when Boyd lightly squeezed his fingers, Sin wrapped his hand entirely around Boyd's and squeezed tight because none of those questions mattered anymore.

All that mattered was that Boyd was there. He was there for Sin, and when Sin opened his eyes to look at Boyd once more, Sin ignored all the self-doubt and paranoia.

Because at that moment he somehow knew that Boyd always would be.

End of Book Two: Afterimage

Important Note -- Please Read! This marks the end of Afterimage, Book Two of the series In the Company of Shadows by Sonny & Ais. This is NOT the end of the story! We will be writing oneshots between Afterimage/Book Two and Fade/Book Three.

You will want to read these oneshots! Unlike the side and back stories, which are inconsequential to the plot, these oneshots are standalone chapters in the main storyline. They will contain major plot points, important scenes, and will span a significant period of time in the story world-- if you skip the oneshots and start reading again once we post Fade, you will be very confused.

Thank you so much to everyone who's been reading with us along the way and we hope you continue to enjoy the series. WE LOVE FEEDBACK! Please consider leaving us some as the current form of payment for reading the story ^_~ (Mostly because it's really fun for us to see what readers think).

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Currently we're not planning to have a break in posting so check back in two weeks for the first oneshot release. And by the way, we have a tentative title for Book One -- Evenfall.
-Sonny & Ais