'the Darkling was a man with eyes of steel that never smiled when his lips did'
It was days like these that he thought of her. All doe eyes and dry humor and particles of light clinging to her skin. She looked so meek, so desperate to fit in, to be accepted that he let himself believe that he had her. That the carefully placed words and gentle kisses had well secured her loyalty and that finally, after so many centuries his goal would be achieved.
It was days like these that he hated her the most, when he was going back from the slaughter, none of the soldiers he cut down calming the rage he felt as he saw the burned and mauled flesh of the Grisha children.
It was days like these that he wanted to watch the world go black, until no otkazat'sya existed as anything else that a volcra, until the only people that were alive, the only people that were free were his people.
It was days like these when he missed her and what it all could be the most.
It has been a bit over twenty years now and he accepted that if someone like her were to appear again, it wouldn't be for the next few centuries. When the time is right, his opposite would reappear.
It was days like these when he was truly dangerous, so that no one, not even Ivan dared approach him.
Ivan was brutal and honest, and everything that he was he wore on his sleeve. He was a good second and the fact that he worshipped the ground he walked on made him easier to manipulate, and in the Darkling's eyes, more valuable. But he was still replaceable and if he interrupted their breakfast one more time the Darkling would be forced to find himself a new second.
But this time it seemed he had a valid reason as all eyes turned to the road and gasps of saints and ohh surrounded him.
He was the last one to look up, his jaw clenching as he saw a young girl fell on her knees, covered in dirt and blood. The order to help her left his lips like a crack of a whip and his oprachinki jumped up, simply waiting for his permission to do what they wanted.
But someone else got to her before his men and his blood froze in the veins. It's ironic really, that after all his time on earth his lungs fill with such a burning hatred at the sight of these blonde men with wolves. This hatred was probably one of the rare things he still truly felt.
His stood up, acting instinctively, his hand already rising to cut them in half. From his position he could clearly see the girl's face, her eyes squeezed shut in pain.
But even he was too late, for the next moment her eyes snapped open, a bloodthirsty smirk pulling at her lips as the druskelle drew blood. And then...
The world went white.
His hand dropped as screams and the stench of burning flesh filled his lungs once again. Only this time they filled him with satisfaction and the immortal inside him woke up again.
The picture he saw as the light faded away was perfect in its horror.
A road filled with blood, the burned flesh of the dead druskelle and their wolves scattered around in black piles, the Grisha girl on her knees, covered in blood but unburned as her skin glowed softly.
It was a picture of a nightmare. It was the picture of a Saint.
Then she fell unconscious, face down, and his people hurried to pick her up, the shock forgotten so that they could help their own.
And he walked among the ashes and the bones, all of the monsters dead, save from one. He was probably in his thirties, hiding behind a half burned thee, which is probably the only reason why he was still breathing.
He would have died anyway, the wounds the girl inflicted even from such a distance were beautifully lethal, but something in him wanted to feel the blonde's life slip between his fingers, and so the Darkling did the most otkazat'sya thing he did in the last century and took the druskelle's own dagger to cut a hole in his chest.
The man couldn't even scream, his face stuck in an expression of sheer terror as the Darkling cut and then, in one inhumanly graceful moment, stuck his hand inside his chest and ripped out the heart of the druskelle.
It was the first time ever the smile on his lips reached his eyes.