Pride More Powerful Than Her Compassion
Elsabet woke this morning, to discover a rabbit cowering under the draping coverlet next to her bed. Whiskers twitching and huge brown eyes intent on her. So adorable she immediately leaned over to sweep him up to cuddle her shoulder. But looking at him she realized he was white and covered in hair so dense it nearly stuck straight out.
By far the fluffiest of his kind.
“Fluffy bunny…” She echoed aloud, face hardening as it leapt from her arms and fled to a far corner.
His presence here was Sebastian’s challenge. Sighing as she decided, she eased from the coverlet and climbed from bed.
Crouching, she whispered. “I’m sorry Friend. Forgive me, my pride.” In a smooth leap she sprung. Wings carrying her to drop on her prey, talons flexed. She snapped its neck to save it suffering.
As Bast climbed the stairs, he smiled at the joke he’d played. He’d found it hunting this morning. Ridiculously adorable thing.
Immediately recalling her words. ‘Bring me some fluffy bunny.’ He’d been unable to resist. Does she even remembers saying it?
Has she befriended the little meal or is it even now quaking under her bed from her infuriated ranting?
“Elsabet.” He called, knocking on the door before turning the pushing the handle.
“Come in.” She called softly. Surprisingly accommodating.
If she’d only call me to her bed so invitingly. Those lovely bright blue eyes melting with desire…His pleasant thoughts came to an abrupt halt at the sight welcoming him. She sat on the edge of her bed in a white gown. Places at the shoulder and knee saturated in blood. She blinked innocently at him as if unaware of the fluid seeping from her lips to dribble down her chin.
It was a rather gruesome sight. Obviously intended to horrify him.
“Ah. I see you found lunch.” He smiled coldly, not missing a beat. “I’d so hoped you’d enjoy the gift.”
Poor bunny. He was instantly remorseful at its untimely death. For no reason. Not even as a meal.
She deflated and smoothed her gown.
And a point for me, Little Harpie. He noted in satisfaction.
Approaching her he said “Ah, My Dear…You’ve something just…” He used his thumb to brush the trail of blood from her chin and across her lips. “Here.” Drawing a satin kerchief from his pocket he applied it liberally to her shoulder. “And here.” Brushing her breast made her stiffen. “And a wee smidge here.” He touched the cloth to where her gown melded the inside of one thigh under a significant damp patch.
She swatted him off. “Cease your pawing. You’ve made your point.”
“Oh, I don’t mind.” He paused with the sopping handkerchief gripped lightly in his fingers. He stared down at her. “Do you know how breathtaking you are?”
“You’re trying to infuriate me.” She grated out.
Absolutely. And it’s working.
“That fact makes it no less the truth.” Shocking her, he caught her small pointed chin in his hand to turn her face up, so he could inspect the depths of her face. “Ah. There is guilt. You do feel remorse for feasting on the little animal. Hmm.” He said thoughtfully.
Pity her pride is more powerful than her compassion.
She’ll regret it later.
He wandered to the corner table and moved a vase and a small ceramic figurine. “Worry not, he’d have been my lunch if not yours.”
It was my fault for bringing him here. You needn’t dwell on the misery you’ll feel later. He sighed.
She rolled her eyes and scoffed.
He returned to stand over her. “It is interesting that there’s such a tender little heart in you. No wonder you’re always on guard. Must be a delicate matter to keep it so carefully guarded.”
He saw pain flash in her eyes and new he was on the mark. Finally, getting somewhere.
Mouth tight and eyes flashing in fury she leapt from the bed. Shoving him back a step as she drew a dagger. Already covered in her last victim’s blood.
Where’d you get that?
“Did you cut out its heart?”
She snarled and held it up threateningly. “I will yours!”
He lifted a brow and stared at her calmly. “That might prove more difficult than expected.”
“I doubt that.”
He shot her a warning look. “Never doubt me Elsabet.”
He strode to her. She lined the blade up with his chest and he walked into it until the tip pierced the skin above one of his pectoral muscles. Sliding through flesh and making a thick red drop well.
“What are you doing?” She blinked rapidly, stunned.
“Giving you, your chance.” He opened his arms wide to expose his torso to her.
You won’t do it. You’re not as vicious as you want me to believe.
She drew several quick breaths, eyes flicking as she decided what to do. Her face tightened as she steeled herself to attack.
And he realized he was wrong. He saw the change in her. In the storm of her eyes. Turning on his heel, he strode from the room.
“I hope your full belly assuages your guilt.”
She hissed waspishly.
“For your kind heart will demand you do.”
She shouted epithets.
Bast found despite all his bravado; he was angry she’d killed the rabbit.
Somehow, I’d secretly hoped she wouldn’t. Disappointed, he decided to find something else to distract him.
Two days later, Sebastian found her in the library. High on a ladder assessing a row of books acting every bit as though she’d not mercilessly slaughtered his fluffy little gift.
She knows I’m here. He wasn’t fooled by the fact that she ignored his presence. She always hears me anymore.
Today she wore some gray dress wound with black embroidered swirls. Trimmed in gold around the collar. Her hair was wild and free around her face. A sure sign she’s been in here only a short while.
Whenever she was looking through the books for long her hair would float up around her crown. Plaiting itself or knotting at the base of her skull. Out of her way.
His eyes roved over her slim figure. Noticing that over the years she’d become slightly more rounded from fine eating and leisure.
Even more beautiful. He noted.
“A cup of tea?” He offered.
She shot him a bland look. “What are you after today?”
“Everything.” He answered simply.