She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless

All your life you've never seen a woman
Taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?
Will you ever win?

Rhiannon ~ Fleetwood Mac

His face invades her mind in the quiet moments. Those instances where Annie stops just for a second to regroup, recharge. All those nights alone, living as someone else, in a strange apartment over a bar in Geneva. The tattoo artist she's rented this place from is genuine and she can rely on his friendship. But she misses the partnership of her friend and ally. A spy from a competing agency. The irony of how well they worked together despite such a compelling reason not to.

Eyal.

He's not the one she thought she'd find there in the spaces in between. No, he's not the one who's supposed to be there. Auggie should be that one. When she thinks of Auggie though, all she feels is guilt. Guilt for deceiving him, guilt for not including him in on her plan, guilt for not being able to make them work, though the burden doesn't fall solely on her. He is as much to blame with secrets and half-truths. They both have their unfinished personal business. And if Annie really examines the why of it all, she knows the answer. She just can't acknowledge it. Not right now. Maybe not ever. There is too much at stake.

The mission to find Henry Wilcox is the driving force of her existence now. Wheels she set in motion months ago. She died so that she could live under the radar, hide in the shadows and lurk in the evil of where this soulless man resides.

To catch him, she had to become him.

Throughout it all, Annie prays that she won't lose herself even though it's a sacrifice she's willing to make all the same.

In the darkness, when she stops her relentless pursuit and her mind is quiet, if for just a moment, Eyal is there. Steadfast, strong. Support and complete understanding. The man with the fathomless dark eyes and charming smile, that lilt of sarcasm in his voice and a charismatic intensity like no other, he knows what her sacrifice will cost. Better than anyone. He has lived this role many times, at the expense of his own desires, his own chance of happiness. He has already forsaken everything in the name of duty and patriotism, once almost losing her trust in the process. But the truth of the matter, the one she has only just come to know, is he could never lose her.

Not her trust.

Nor her heart.

She was a fool to walk away from him a year ago. Now, in the darkened room, with only herself and her thoughts, she sees her cowardice. Tastes it like a swift betrayal. Her need to run from the potential of what they could have been straight into the arms of someone who she thought represented safety, security and a normal life. Programmed and conditioned to believe that as an intelligent capable woman, she could indeed have it all. What she couldn't see then is that she can never live a normal life. She is a spy. Her very existence now is proof of that.

On the run, in the dark.

Out in the cold.

Eyal once chided her for being naïve, her desire to find the good in people blocked her ability to do what needed to be done. He was right. She was naïve. Foolish to believe that she wouldn't have to do despicable things to irredeemable people in the name of justice. Foolish to believe that she could balance and not become tainted by the malevolence of what they do. If he could see her now, she isn't sure he'd be proud of her strength or saddened by the darkness that grows inside of her day by day.

Their last goodbye spoke of his fear for her. Revealed a new depth to their inexplicable bond. His coming for her to lend a hand in her scheme, the poorly masked dread in his eyes as he helped her to sever all ties to her former life, the electricity of his hug and his inability to block his true feelings in that tiny moment of connection. The rush of emotions bolted through her like a dawn of realization. How could she have been so blind? He was never discreet about his desire for her but she always wrote it off as teasing, his constant need to push the boundaries. Never once did she really believe that his words would ring true.

Until that hug.

Until it was time to leave and she felt the compelling need to step back into that embrace and never let go. In that very second, within the space of a heartbeat, she almost walked away from it all. Her duty, her mission, the colossal undertaking, the man and the life she left behind. The tug to be with him and only him made her hesitate.

Neshema.

Beshert.

The inevitable.

Soul.

That moment of indecision annihilated the veil of denial between both of them. His feelings laid bare though he tried desperately to hide them and hers long hidden bubbled to the surface, churning in a battle between destiny and the course of her own choosing.

In they end, they both knew what they had to do. That the plan was set in motion and there was nothing but the reality of what they'd started. They would once again walk in separate directions––hopes, desires and dreams would have to wait for another day.

Selfless in the shadows.

Living in the darkness, to maybe one day return to the light.

Until then, she was a huntress.

She would not rest until her mission was complete.


Beshert - Hebrew for "inevitable", "preordained" commonly used for "soulmates".