Grim: 3

As daylight faded, Shade became more and more visible. I hadn’t moved the last three hours. I couldn’t. Not really. Not after what I had to do. “How long have you known?”
Shade shifted his hefty weight against the opposite wall that groaned in protest. “A few years.”
“Is that why you’ve been avoiding me?”
He sighed. “You know I only come to this realm if I have to.”
“You had to now, didn’t you?” I couldn’t help but scoff. Had I really seen Val just hours ago asking me to kill him?
“He kept away from you as long as he could, Bell. Give you that normal you wanted.”
A tortured laughter escaped me before I could contain it. My stomach churned. “I’ve lived these years alone on top of a bar for the last 140 years, serving booze to drunkards, Shade. Before that, we all know those years weren’t my finest moments.”
“He hurt you.”
“He didn’t hurt me.” I shook my head and pushed myself up off the dusty floor. “He ran away. That’s what he did.”
“He couldn’t watch her die.”
“Neither could I.” I squared my shoulders. I wanted to leave that place. Wander the streets with my thoughts, but I couldn’t see a damn thing in the darkness. “Mind showing me light?”
In moments, a slender white flame flickered in front of my eyes. Beneath them, the titan’s giant stone hands glowed a faint green, like lichen on trees. He took my hand in his and passed the flame over, where it floated just over my palm where it whooshed into a geyser before falling back down. No heat, no sting. Just a bright column of light. 
“Don’t let the darkness claim you, Bell.” Shade whispered. “Don’t fulfill a vow you once promised to break.”
I clasped my hand into a fist and watched the darkness fall. I could not bear for him to see tears rolling down my face. I was not that young scared Bell anymore. No tears for me, not this time. I wiped them away and patted Shade gently on the arm before slipping past him. “I can’t let the darkness go yet.”
I walked out of the old house into the night, making my way over and around any obstacle. I had a lot of thinking to do and a long night ahead, so I began walking. Aimless some would say. But what would they know about a troubled heart that still dreams. It was a long time ago, long time ago since it beat. 
Maybe there was a way out of this. The promise. The curse. The stinking bloody memories. 

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