The Ravening

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Forever Chained

"Ironically, I was. Actually."

"What?" I snapped scathingly.

"A son of a whore. My mother was a whore." He explained.

I barely heard him. Recalling that as a condition of him telling me his name I had to do particular acts and say particular things. Including a claim of love. I'd thought it merely part of his cruel manipulations.

But it'd been particularly methodical. He'd known that he risked nothing in giving me his name and gained everything if I said those words. They sealed him to me.

Forever. From what I read.

"What have you done, Van?"

"My job." He sighed. "I'm rather good at it, actually."

"Why are you doing all this?"

"I don't know actually." He said quietly.

"What the hell does that mean!" I expostulated.

He hopped to his feet and descended on me. "I don't know what's happening and I don't know what I'm doing or why I'm feeling things."

"Well what's different about this time?" I said through gritted teeth.

"Everything!" He began pacing and I realized that his leisurely posture against the tree had been a guise for the anxiety washing through him.

He hides it well.

"You're truly good. Absent of sins to be punished for. An innocent victim. None of the others were. That's different. You've fought. You're pretty, spirited and intriguing and I'm infatuated. Nearly obsessed, truthfully. That's never happened before. I've never before been driven to talk to my victims throughout the day and night."

"You didn't do that before?"

He speaks to me endlessly. Haunting my every move.

Mouth compressed, he shook his head. "I merely lurked." He imitated fingers walking around eerily. "Then pounced when they were weakened. So that's different. Usually I happen on my victims for sins they committed. No one has been sacrificed, condemned to me before. And I've never loved one before. Everything about you is different." He deflated.

"You have to let me go."

He gave me an appalled look. "I'm not doing that."

"Be reasonable! You could do it."

"Never." He shook his head adamantly. Lips tight.

"How dare you!"

"How dare I what? Just because I make confessions to you doesn't mean I'm releasing you."

"Wait...Can you do that?"

Could he let me go if he chose.

His face relaxed and his mask fell into place.

"You can..." I said thoughtfully.

"Never." He vowed.

"Van."

He was gone.

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