Episode V: Black Blood, Pt.2

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His voice was like velvet rolling down her skin—soft, smooth, weightless. It called out to her, and she fell powerless to its hypnotic vibrance. Their fingers intertwined, their feet waltzing gracefully over the marble dance floor in a masquerade ball--and among the violin sonnet and deep cello bass, the young elf could hear her own heart beating out of her chest.

He was exceptional. Breathtaking.

Syreene failed to recollect a time where she had fallen so hard for someone before. Aside from that brief crush she had, Narus managed to capture her soul at first glance. But it was forbidden love on more than one account, two lines the man of Brotherhood wouldn't cross. So why was he here, among a mass of proud dancers, escorting her in a ballroom bash?

She felt captivated by the romance of it all, while the warm crystal chandelier lights illuminated their radiance. He was stunning, and so was she, dressed in a jade-green night gown that hugged her slender curves elegantly, while matching the Arlecchino mask over his smiling face. And he'd continue to smile as they waltzed, mesmerized by her beauty.

"Kess, I know how I feel about you is no secret, but, you kinda seem oblivious to it," she said sheepishly, biting the corner of her lip in hesitation. But he gave her no response, simply showing off a soft smile that seemed to almost alleviate the nervous girl. "I know it's like we just met for the first time, being apart for so long, but I feel like I've known you all my life. You have this vibe to you that makes you instantly approachable, you know? I feel so calm when I'm around you. Like suddenly I'm feather-light, with no worries, and no care in the world."

Again, no reaction, Syreene allowing him to guide her through their waltz in silence. "I really like you, is what I'm trying to say. You're, as they call it, one of a kind." She giggled. "Boy, that sounded better in my head," she added, her eyes veering to the stage around them now screaming bloody murder. Syreene promptly pulled away from him in a gasp, looking over her shoulder to the piles of mangled corpses surrounding them in a pool of sin.

His sin.

Her hands flew over her trembling lips, the flashbacks of that night haunting her. Those village people, torn flesh, screams and cries upon hopeless victims. He was a monster. She was in love with a monster!

As her eyes peeled away from the massacre, she looked up to the priest of Dovve, finally uttering something cynical under his breath as he stripped off the mask.

His lycan mug a crowning piece over his bulked shoulders.

Syreene gasped--

--snapping out of her slumber, awakening to moonlight perched outside of the window. The elf must have been out for more than just a couple hours, as she realized the sun hadn't retired yet since she was awake last. She stretched her tingling fingertips over her head, the sensation from her numb, drooping arm regaining feeling. Turning away from the window across the low-floor bed, Syreene noticed the vertical lamp shade illuminating a hot orange.

She winced. Her vision adjusted.

Sitting upright, Syreene tried to rub the sleep from her eyes before the persistent banging of pots and pans from afar pushed her along the edge of the bed.

"Narus..."

She scratched the back of her head, the memory of this morning vague. "This whole day had to have been a dream. There's no way Kess is actually Narus. There's no way he murdered them. I don't want to believe it. I can't believe it! I— wait, how did I get here?"

Another crash echoed through the hallway, springing her out of bed.

"Ugh, for the love of—" Syreene forwarded to the kitchen to witness a very saddening sight— Cabil trying to cook. What a lost soul. She felt sympathetic, watching him burn himself on the hot skillet. The young elf still never really understood how the pyro managed to burn himself.

"Fucking shit!" With his thumb to his lips, he turned to Syreene observing him by the archway. "Ah, look who finally decided to wake up."

"What possibly-edible concoction are we dining on tonight?" She jested, picking up the fallen cookware circling the stove. She peeped into the skillet, strips of overcooked mystery meat. "Yum." She giggled. "I hope you can run a knife through that."

"How about I run a knife through all of that sarcasm?" He turned the heat on low before fetching a bowl of vegetables. "I came home to find you in bed around one. Left school early?"

She bit her lip, pulling her head out from the bottom cabinet with a crooked grin. "I was so tuckered out from Phys Ed, I ditched out early and skipped my elective. Is that okay?"

"Is that why you were knocked out all day?"

She rolled her eyes, pulling out two plates from the dish rack, and began setting the table. "You know, you could have gotten take out."

"What the hell were you doing that had you so exhausted?"

"Are you interrogating me?" she hissed, "Because it sounds like you're interrogating me."

He scoffed, "No, not at all. How was your morning classes?" he pressed on, running water into a pot to steam broccoli.

"They were fine, Cabil. Just like any other boring day."

"You had a chem test today, how did that go?"

"I aced it." Syreene plopped down on the cushion, munching on some trail mix. "It was like, super easy; was the first to finish the test."

"How about history?"

She arched a brow. "How about telling me why you're all of a sudden interested in my classes?"

Cabil dropped the pot of water on the stove, then turned to her. His gait was menacing; her brother slammed his hands on the table, leaning towards Syreene's reclining dumbfoundedness. "Did he... touch you?"

"What?!" With that creepy look on his face, Syreene couldn't tell if he was being serious or jesting.

"Stop playing games, Sy. Narus left a note by the door." He stood up, crossing his arms in agitation. "Training? I'm pretty sure I made it damn clear I didn't want you anywhere near his dojo. And on top of that, you cut class."

Syreene flashed him an irritated look, getting up for the bathroom. "Thanks for reminding me, I need to wash up."

"I'm not buying that over training bullshit. Why the hell did he have to drop you home?"

She turned to her overprotective brother with a high caliber of sass. "Well, what did the note say? Narus isn't a liar," Syreene grimaced, stopping herself short. "To be honest, I blacked out. I remember us training, then... nothing. I really must have been dehydrated. But you don't have to worry about me going there anymore anyway." She veered towards him. "You can save me a plate. I'll try to wolf that down after I figure out what I missed. Hopefully my bravery for eating your food will be rewarded with seeing another day."

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