Prologue

The soft light gently caressed her cheek as she lifted her face to the sky. She sat in a shady, warm clearing, making the most of the rare day. For once she was outside, enjoying herself – rather than cooped up inside, alone with her thoughts and plans. Memories danced through her mind like the wind through a beautiful garden...

Hands clasped and legs crossed, the two sat facing each other. It was a warm, cloudless day, and they were taking the chance to meditate. There was barely a sound; their hearts beat together and their breath was paced in sync. Her thoughts were tranquil and her body was in a state of serenity. This was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life, she knew.

She tantalised herself, debating whether or not to indulge in a small glance. Deciding to risk it, she slit open her blue eyes. He squeezed her hands. "You're naughty," he teased. "Close your eyes." She did so, squeezing them shut once again. He chuckled lightly and she smiled uncontrollably.

She sighed deeply, wishing for those days again. The days when she could do more than just remember his gentle touch; more than just remember his soft words. She'd like to see his black hair fall over his dark eyes one more time – for real, not just as a faded memory. She wanted to watch his eyes light up when she stepped into the room, like she knew they always would. She wished she could just remember his name…

Lying down on the soft green grass, she twisted the ring on her finger. She'd no idea where she got it. All she knew was that she had to find whoever gave it to her. When she found them, she would find answers with it. She felt it intuitively. And she couldn't wait.

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He rolled out his tatami mat, climbing into it and laying his head against the pillow. Out of his pocket he lifted a small silver ring. He closed his eyes tightly and grasped it tightly in hand. Images flashed fleetingly behind his eyelids.

Long raven hair fell over piercing blue eyes. There stood a question, long-forgotten but still hanging in limbo. "Wait! No!" Don't take her yet! She stared at him through those big eyes of hers, like she couldn't believe this was happening to her.

Strong arms grabbed her thin ones and dragged her backwards towards the door. But – no! This wasn't fair! Why should she be punished for something he did?

Startled, he woke to find the room bathed in moonlight. He opened his palm and slowly ran his thumb over the small trinket. The engraved promise stood out boldly on the silver metal.

"Promise me, you'll never forget," he begged, pressing the ring's twin into her hand. "Never forget me, and never forget that I love you. I love you with all my essence. I always will; now promise me that you won't forget that. I wish I could take your place. Believe me, if there was a way for me to be in your position, I would snatch it up as fast as I could." He kissed her forehead quickly, before she was sucked out of his world and into another.

I will never forget you, if it's the last thing I do.