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There’s a darkness inside of me. A black void that’s been there for so long I don’t remember what it’s like to not feel the painful numbness. Maybe the darkness has always been there.
Or maybe I’m so far gone into the dark there’s no coming out.
There was a time when all I wanted was the dark. To become it. To let it consume me. To leave its trail everywhere I went. I found joy in the darkness. But now…now the darkness has taken everything I had left to give, chewed it up, and spit it back out.
The void inside me is spreading, growing bigger and bigger, taking the ground out from under my feet like sand slipping away on the shore. I can step back onto more solid ground, but the tide will find me. No matter how many steps back I take, it always finds me.
I want so desperately to find something to cling to, some sort of solid ground to stand on. I need a purpose, something to live for.
But it’s impossible to do that when you’re dead.
“Do you want to go out tonight? Look for some virgins to fuck and feed from?” Eliza’s blue eyes sparkle like sapphires even under the dim lights of my office.
I sit back in the leather chair. “No, not tonight.”
“Want me to bring one back for you?”
“I’ve already eaten.”
“Well I haven’t.” She puts a manicured hand on her hip and lets out a dramatic sigh.
“Then go find someone to eat.”
She narrows her eyes and purses her lips. I shift my gaze back to my computer even though I’m done going through the payroll reports. It’s entirely my fault Eliza is this codependent, and I’ve spent the last few years slowly pushing her away.
It hurts her, I know.
It hurts me too. Or at least it used to. Now I don’t feel much of anything at all.
I put my hands on the armrests. “We should go to the bar.”
Eliza cocks an eyebrow. “We?”
“You have to learn how to manage the place.”
Eliza rolls her eyes and tosses her head back, sighing once again. It’s my fault she’s a spoiled brat too. She wanted for not in her human life and her afterlife has been even more indulgent.
But I love her, and seeing her happy makes me happy. Or at least it used to.
“I don’t want to.” She crosses her arms and gives me a pouty grin. “I’m going out tonight.”
Drawing my fangs, I spring up and speed over to her. She takes a step back, pressing herself against the office wall. Her eyes meet mine for half a second and then she looks down.
If there’s one thing and one thing only in this world that Eliza is afraid of, it’s disappointing me.
“Don’t make me command you,” I growl. Retracting my fangs, I inch back and cup my hand to her cheek. Her skin, now cold, is just as soft and smooth as it was the day I met her. The day I took her life and gave her so much more.
“Fine,” she huffs. “But I’m keeping all the tips tonight.”
“Of course.” I brush her blonde hair back and press my lips to her forehead. Eliza brings her hand up, wrapping her slender fingers around my wrist. “Your braids are exceptionally complicated today.”
She looks up, smiling. “I know. It looks good, doesn’t it?”
“It always does.” I break away, going back to my desk to power down my computer.
“I am,” I agree, not seeing the point in denying it. Eliza is beautiful. “I wouldn’t have turned you if you weren’t. An eternity with someone ugly…” I shake my head.
“Oh please,” she says. “You turned me to get revenge on my father and then left me in the ground.”
“Only for a few days. And I came back.”
She gives me her trademark glare followed by a rolling of her eyes. “I should hate you.”
“You tried, and it didn’t take.”
Her pout turns into a smile. “Fuck you, Lucas King. Now let’s go watch humans get drunk and do stupid shit.”
“I was wrong.” Eliza closes the office door behind her, drowning out the sounds of the bar. Opening this hipster bar was her idea, and it brings in an obscene amount of cash night after night. I’ll compliment her on it someday.
“That’s a first.” I look up from the calendar, done with scheduling employees for the rest of the week. “Care to enlighten me.”
“We don’t have to go out to find virgins to feed from. There are plenty in here.”
“There are always plenty of virgins in here.”
“You should come see this pathetic one hitting on the least interested woman in this place.”
She laughs. “Second least interested, I mean. Want to watch? She looks the type who has pepper spray on her keychain. It’s always so fun to watch humans writhe in pain.”