One last excerpt from this story before I set it aside for a month or so and then get to editing/rewriting.
Warning for depictions of a really unhealthy relationship.
“I wish that I could keep you with me forever,” he murmurs.
She stops midway through tearing into the meat, slippery grease and blood dribbling down her chin and spattering on the tablecloth.
“I’ll kill you, eventually, one way or another,” he continues, letting the fork slide to one side. “It’s what I do.”
She swallows a too-thick hunk of flesh. “I’d say you’re defined more by your propensity for imprisonment. Eventual death is more of an added benefit, in the end.”
“I don’t think you understand. I want you. You’re… fascinating. I wish that I could change at will like you do.” He pushes his plate towards her.
She hesitates, then drags it to herself and starts to tear the meat with her claws. “At will. Ha. It’s hardly within my control.”
He leans his head on the heel of his hand. “Neither is my curse, but I live with it.”
“Even if others have to die,” she says coolly.
“Everything has to die so that another can live. I thought that a monster would understand that.”
“You do a disproportionate amount of killing, Blaine.” She rips the meat into smaller pieces, sprinkling her sleeves with drops of blood.
He stares at her with an unreadable expression, prompting her to add, “What?”
“You said my name. I liked it.” A blush colors his face and she curses the reminder of just how young he is, just how handsome. “What is your name, beast?”
She huffs a laugh. He’s imprisoned her, slept with her, eaten her dreams, and it only now occurs to him to ask. Better late than never, though she doesn’t have a very satisfactory answer.
She shakes her head. “It’s been too long since I’ve heard it. I don’t remember. I didn’t have any use for a name when I was on my own.”
“You’re not alone anymore.” He touches her hand, not noticing or uncaring that he gets the blood and grease smeared on his fingertips. “I can make one up, if you’d like.”
The idea of being named by him makes her feel quite distinctly like she would be sealing her fate, accepting her position as his pet.
“No. I’ll remember, someday. Or else I’ll just make one up myself. I suppose you wouldn’t know the difference, regardless.”
“I suppose I wouldn’t.”
She retracts her bloody, greasy hand. “So. You intend to keep me here until my mind breaks?”
He licks the juices from his fingertips, eyes glittering. “Perhaps some time after that, if you continue to amuse me. If it reassures you, my mother and father endured many years of having me feed from them before they passed.”
“Passed,” she scoffs, returning to her meal with a wet bite. “You make it sound incidental.”
His voice sharpens. “Whether it was intentional or not, the result is the same.”
She’ll never be able to convince him to cease his cruelty. She realizes it then more than ever in that moment.