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so where were the spiders...

As usual, this whole cock-up is Ethan's fault. He always wanted too goddamned much, even for our crowd, and he hadn't the least little sense of proportion. Anyone with a smidgen of common sense would have stayed the hell away from a runaway Watcher, but, no, Ethan couldn't see anything but your green eyes and your tight arse and your giddy, defiant scowl, like someone who'd just figured out after years of holding it in that he could tell the world to fuck off and it wouldn't come to an end. I'll be honest, Ripper, you were pretty fetching, with that look of yours that could burn through sheet metal, but even back then I wouldn't have died for your arse. It was Ethan's idea to go ahead with the spell--raising a demon of the third rank, all so he could pull you even closer. He had to have you every conceivable way, and you wouldn't go for that, not without some excuse, at least, so, of course, it had to be for the magic. And then he had to go and get jealous of the way the demon went after you when it was in Randall, and muck up the bounding spell. Which meant we set a bloody demon loose on the world, just so that he didn't have to feel shut out. And now I'm dead, and Thomas, and Philip will be soon. All because Ethan Rayne is an emotional sodding five-year-old who wanted all the toys at once. I've got to tell you, Ripper, your arse, or whatever it was you had locked away in your head that Ethan wanted so badly, just wasn't worth it.

Listen to me. I'm dead five minutes and I'm reverting to my old ways, like my mum was always afraid I would. I did come in out of the cold eventually, Ripper. I put away the magic and I went back to uni and I got my degree. Not as glorious as your First in Ancient History from Oxford, but it was enough. I let my hair grow out and I started wearing dresses from Marks and Sparks. I found a man who didn't even like Tolkien and we settled down together in a garden suburb and raised three kids and never once did I even put down a ward against gnomes in the rosebushes. And all that meant was that when Eyghon finally came for me, I was wide-open, defenceless against its attack. While I'm sure both you and he are going to figure out some way to beat it. If that's what respectability gets you--the hell with it.

I'm dead because of him and you, Ripper, and that bloody well entitles me to a request. If you do survive, you have to do something for me. Make a choice. Either kill him or let him have you, every conceivable way. I don't care which, so long as you choose. Because if I died just so the two of you can glower at each other like sullen schoolboys--and get more nice respectable people killed--for the rest of your lives...that would be too goddamned pitiful for words.


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