The knife rested on Cassidy’s quiet chest.
One arm hung from the side of the bed, its wrist streaked with crimson.
There was a smile on her face.
A beautiful, peaceful smile.
Upon stale air floated the stench of blood, young and sweet. To Devon, a bitter fragrance that reminded him of all that had ever gone wrong in his long life.
Death. So much death. So much loss.
His one and only friend – poisoned; Cassidy’s mother – extinguished. Dead in his arms.
And now this… murder?
Instinctively, he closed the gates of his heart and lowered his gaze towards the room’s other occupant. Cassidy’s sister was sitting on the floor, heaped onto her knees, and screaming. It wasn’t the sort of screaming he’d grown accustomed to; it sounded neither hysterical nor crazy.
It only voiced pain. A deep and true suffering echoed by her sobbing. Did he not know her inner truth, he would have stepped forward and held her. He could not hate a crying woman. But he could not forgo safety, either. Not without knowing the truth.
Why would anyone have wanted to kill such a sweet, innocent child? Fourteen years old; a baby, in his perception of time. A young girl who still had over two decades of life ahead of her – plenty of time to live, love, laugh.
Plenty of time for him to enjoy Cassidy’s radiance. Now, all that remained was empty darkness.
“This isn’t—” –possible. She could not be dead. Surely, it was not blood that stained her wrist, that streaked along her fingers, that dripped onto the growing puddle that, slowly, seeped through the cracks of the wooden floorboards. Drip, by drip, by drip, absent life ebbing away.
“No…” Devon breathed, shaking his head. He could not accept Cassidy’s departure – and did he really have to? Did he really have to accept senseless death when he knew he had the power to prevent it? All it’d take was a flick of muscles and a toxic bite, and Cassidy would rise again. Was it not better for her to live on as a Vampire, than to die without reason? She could learn to cope with the bloodlust. He could teach her. How hard could it really be?
How hard would it be to watch her writhe in agony as that disease’d take root in her virtuous heart and turned her into a blood-sucking abomination?
Would it be just as painful as watching the woman he loved die in his arms? Or as excruciating as standing by her side for years, until his power eroded the last of her energy? All that’d remained was glittering blue dust.
And in this cruel moment he ardently wished for Cassidy’s body to mimic her mother’s and disappear. He couldn’t stop looking at her smile, frozen; at her fingers stained with death; at the silence of her fragile form, immobile, lost.
Nor could he stop staring at the knife resting on her quiet chest, now.
Choking, he couldn’t take his eyes off her spotless fingers, limp upon its handle.
He tried to deny the truth forming in his mind, but it was already too late.
Her wrist, sliced open.
And that smile on her beautiful face.
Devon dropped to his knees.
“You can’t have. You wouldn’t. You have no reason to. You—”
You can’t leave me; not like this.
Sorasiehn, Selessannea’s great-grandmother and his one and only friend, dying in his arms;
Selessannea, Cassidy’s mother and his one and only love, dying in his arms;
Cassidy, the child he’d sworn to love and protect as were she his very own…
…Why do you all leave me when I need you the most…