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IT was like one of those carefully constructed lies that always seem to crash and burn anyway.
She could still taste the perfume like a memory on her tongue. She could still feel the dull throb of regret like an echo of unbearable pain deep in her chest.
It wasn't something she felt like broadcasting.
Sunnydale had become too hard to live in. Her memory was everywhere, the pillows still smelled like rosemary and honey-vanilla body spray. The picture on her bedside table were a reflection of happiness she didn't want to yearn for anymore.
Death would have been easier.
Those sort of lies, carefully constructed and hidden deep within your soul, never work when you're lying to yourself. She didn't want the lie to crumble because then she'd have to face herself. She'd have to feel the pain. She'd have to mourn.
St Louis had been quiet.
The dingy hotel she lived in smelled like alcohol and rats. There was no soft perfume of rosemary, honey and vanilla. Sometimes she smelled it anyway.
It wasn't quiet anymore.
The master had found her. He wasn't happy that a powerful witch had hidden herself away in his precious city. She didn't know it would be a problem, she didn't know the master would be upset. She hadn't known that hiding made her a threat to anyone.
Death would have been easier, but life was starting to be good again.
The master had ordered her to stay in his circus, which amused her to no end. The circus had slowly become home. The people were nice, yet a little cautious of her at first. Now they were family.
St Louis was more home than Sunnydale ever had been.
Then she met one of the wereleopards, Cherry. A pretty blonde thing. They had began to date soon after. Life was starting to look up but that regret was swimming in her stomach and guilt had joined it. The dam broke. The lie fell in on itself.
Her family were there for her this time.
Willow was home.