IN THE WORKS
Another beginning that may go nowhere......
He had killed the light and now the darkness consumed him. A hundred years of darkness, as black as the hell that surely awaited him.
Xander stared into the distance. The view of his self-appointed prison never changed. Endless vistas of snow-covered mountains stretched away beneath cold gray skies. It was a barren land, devoid of prey, human or animal.
There was nothing to hunt here. No relief from the excruciating hunger that burned hot within him, or the constant pain that grew worse with each passing decade.
Turning away from the window, he stared at the life-sized portrait that hung on the wall opposite the huge stone fireplace, felt a familiar stab of guilt slice through his heart as he gazed at the beautiful young woman in the painting.
Deshandra. She had been the light to his darkness.
She stared back at him, her pale pink lips parted in a beguiling smile, her deep green eyes twinkling with mischief. A mass of honey-gold ringlets fell over her bare shoulders. Almost, he could feel the fine silken strands curling around his fingers.
Throwing back his head, he released his anguish in a long, ululating cry that echoed off the cold stone walls.
Pursued by guilt, he stalked the empty corridors of his private hell, haunted by his past, by eternities of darkness broken by one short year of light. No one had ever loved such as he. No one, save the fair maid Deshandra. Against his better judgement, defying centuries of experience, he had let himself love her.
Let her love him.
For the first time in his long existence, he had known happiness. Love. Laughter. Peace. He had convinced himself that he could make it last, that he could control his lust, keep the hunger at bay. That he could hold her in his arms and love her and not succumb to the darkness that was an integral part of him.
Throwing back his head, he bellowed his anguish. His rage.
Love had not been enough to protect her, nor strong enough to overcome his nature.
In the end, he had given in to his hellish thirst.
Only when she lay limp and pale in his embrace had the harsh reality of what he had done sink in.
But by then, it had been too late to save her.
He prowled his lair until he felt the first, faint stirring of a new day.
Enough! he thought, as he sought his rest. Enough.
Tomorrow, he would leave this place. He could not change the past. He could not bring Deshandra back.
He smiled faintly as the darkness consumed him.
He could not change what he was.
Perhaps it was time to embrace it.