(Spoilers: The end of Blood and Gold.)
My Love Is A Lifetaker
Marius made his way down the stairs slowly. In truth, he did not know why he felt it so crucial to see Daniel just now. It was one of those very, very rare times that Marius had what mortals called, ‘lost it.’ This was the kind of thing Daniel could understand. Of course, Daniel understood much he did not willingly speak of.
Marius de Romanus, king among vampires, so they fancied him, had wanted revenge so badly he was moved to physical action towards Maharet. Knowing it was futile, and knowing he was weak. Weak before the twin Mothers, and before Amadeo. It was that, or fall to his knees and sob. One made so much more sense than the other.
His limbs felt heavy. Pride meant nothing. Upon the final stair he sat, and finally looked into the basement room. He expected to see Daniel bent over the big table of little houses, but the younger vampire was seated, his arms crossed over his chest, right foot perched loosely, unmoving, on the rung of the stool. He was taking a break. Having heard Marius’ footsteps on the floorboards above, Daniel had guessed he might have company tonight. His violet eyes gleamed in the darkness, settled on the rows of houses.
For a long moment, neither of them spoke. Mindlessly, Daniel’s eyes plotted the next portion of the table, but his mind retained nothing, wasn’t really in it, not with Marius sitting there, just waiting, perhaps unable to speak himself.
Daniel hadn’t spoken for awhile, but he broke the silence now. “So.” Still the orange glow of tiny windows filled his vision. He could feel, more than see, Marius look up, and when he turned his head just a little to capture the sight of the Ancient in his furtive periphery, and asked, “D’you kill him?”
Marius’ sigh was more visible, than audible. Curse Daniel’s simplicity with words. Daniel did not understand. It deserved more than that, Marius knew, even through his shame at having tried to hurt Maharet.
The Ancient instantly regretted recalling the act, because Daniel had barked out a sudden laugh. Incredulous. He turned then fully to Marius, and just stared, before shaking his head quickly, ashen hair making a wild frame around his fair face. “Jesus,” Daniel muttered.
Though it took everything, Marius kept his silence. The last person he felt he had to defend anything to, was Daniel. With a thick swallow, he confirmed. “Santino is gone, yes.”
This solicited from Daniel a brief nod. He murmured something to himself, just a mouthing of a word or two, impossible for Marius to catch it. Then he rose from the stool, long legs stretching to their full height, and grabbed a small bottle of paint. His long fingers worked to uncap it, and his gaze met Marius’ fully.
There was nothing accusatory in Daniel’s tone, but nothing warm, either. “And do you feel any fucking better?”
Marius drew himself up off the stair. The muscles in the Ancient’s neck tensed, his jaw set firmly. Cobalt blue eyes hardened against the truth of it. Daniel’s gaze was unrelenting. Marius’ fangs dug hard into his tongue on either side, to hold it. For what was there to say? It had changed nothing. Amadeo hadn’t understood.
Marius left the room without a word.
Daniel was certain he could smell blood.