In a moment he met Elena. He passed her: at night, under a sliver of moon. Her dress fanned out behind her, a pleasant smile on her face. He did not miss the extra ruffle in her dress that concealed a small dagger. And he did not miss the small drop of blood on her delicate lace glove. What a curious woman -- he thought.
At a party he fell in love with Elena. She was standing on the railing of the balcony -- he could see she wasn't wearing shoes. Her toes curled over the edge and her eyes were half closed. "Do you believe in peace?" She asked. It seemed a bit unattainable. He was trying out honesty. "You just aren't trying hard enough." It was almost an admonishment. He felt a little offended, and she must have been able to tell. "Do you know, when Giotto fights for someone else he burns hotter than any fire. It must be like holding the sun in his hand." So, he asked, what about when she fought for someone else? Both her eyes shut, she took a breath in and raised a foot off the railing. "It's like holding a heart in my hand. Hey . . . Daemon . . " And she held out a hand. "Why don't you try it?"
So, he tried it. And then he tried it again, and again. She watched him, and some days she would slip away into the long shadows of the afternoon (leaving her shoes at his doorstep, or under his desk, to let him know she had gone). In those quiet moments without her he sought out Giotto's company, traded words -- stories -- with him. "She loves peace more than anyone." Giotto said, of Elena. "And, more than anything."
On the days he felt particularly lost he would seek her out. Just once -- he caught her kneeling at the side of a small brook, her fingers trailing thin streams of red. "I thought you loved peace more than anyone." He said. She smiled, to herself, and then looked to him and smiled again. "Do you know why we're not with the law, Daemon?" And he said, because the law is corrupt. And she laughed. "No, because the law isn't enough." That's my pride, my love. He wasn't sure what she meant -- but then she stood up and pulled him away from the water and he could only follow.
Twice he caught her just before she went out, carefully arranging her shoes outside his door. "Hello." She said, and he was reassured. And more often than not he caught her hand, just to feel her palm against his.
He didn't need to learn devotion, but the feeling became euphoric. "The Vongola Family, ally to the weak and defenseless. I think that's your pride, Daemon." It built him up. He did not just believe them untouchable -- they were untouchable. That's my pride too, belief. He wanted to ask her, what isn't your pride? (He imagined she would turn, and be half-illuminated by a lamp, or the moon, or a light he couldn't identify and smile and say: strength, because without my pride it means nothing. He only imagines this, because it's all he has left these days, strength).
Daemon has two last memories of Elena. A brief memory where she is standing at his side, the small dagger tucked under a lace bow reassuring them both -- a weight between their barely touching hips. In that memory he can just see the curve of her smile and hear the beginning of her voice.
And the second, the one that drives him.