There's blood running down the mirror but there should be more.
Kanato all but hisses at the broken fragments of Yui's reflection in the nearly shattered mirror. If his fist meets the glass one more time, it'll all fall apart, just like…
A thousand pieces of her face bob and widen as she runs to him, her hot human body slamming against his back. "You've hurt yourself! Why would you-"
It's worse in the fragments. When he looks at the whole of her, eyes wide and guileless as a dog's, hands twisting at her sides and behind her back, he knows his brothers are idiots and she's nothing like their mother.
But in these little blood streaked slices, Kanato sees something else under the surface, something detestable. Her mouth is too thin but it could twist up in a knowing smirk, part in a mocking laugh. Her eyes are the wrong color but her lashes could lower seductively and lure in foolish men.
He spins around and seizes her by the shoulders, thumbs digging in until he can feel her fragile bones, so much easier to snap. "Only me… I'm the only one…"
"I'm the only one allowed to look like her!"
And he didn't, not really. Not the way that Ayato and Laito looked like each other. But she'd liked that Kanato was different. He could still remember her brushing his hair when he was very small, laughing softly.
That was one of the two things she had ever praised Kanato for. His voice, and looking like her.
He had been so confused when she started spending more time with Laito…
"I don't know what you mean, Kanato-kun!" There were tears in Yui's eyes, and she was shaking her head furiously. "You're scaring me!"
That was an amusing joke. As though he'd never scared her before.
But it made her different from Mother, at least.
Kanato loosens his grip slowly. He kisses the wet corners of her bright eyes.
"That's right… of course. You shouldn't ever know. Because you are Yui-san. And you wouldn't leave me… would you?"
"No," she whispers, her shoulders still quivering underneath his hands. But she doesn't look away.
Yui is a strange girl. He knows she's afraid, is always afraid. But she doesn't run from him like all the others. She doesn't call him names like hysteric and freak.
She actually tries to please him.
Kanato doesn't understand why she bothers.
Hesitantly, she lifts one of her hands to touch his wrist. "Kanato-kun… your hands are still bleeding. I… I can clean them up for you and bandage them, so you don't get an infection…"
He snorts. Things like infections don't bother vampires. "Don't be stupid."
"I'm not being stupid!" She's angry all of a sudden, gripping his wrist fiercely like he grips Teddy when everyone ignores him. "Why won't you accept it when I try to look after you? You can't just stand here bleeding!"
Why is this time different from all the others?
Why does she have to make it so hard for him? Why does he flinch away from the thought of taking her last breath?
Why did she choose him?
Why couldn't she be traitorous from the start, so he could have killed her before it hurt?
"Because…" Yui's hand flails about uselessly, fragile fingers clenching and unclenching as she bites her lip. "Because it's not sanitary, and even as a vampire, especially as a vampire, loss of blood isn't-"
"No," Kanato says impatiently. "Why am I supposed to believe you really care what happens to me?"
She hesitates. Of course she does.
He remembers the way the woman Yui isn't would laugh when challenged on her true motives, how easy it was for her to serenely admit that she was a faithless liar. How men would trip all over themselves to sell their soul to her regardless.
Yui has bright eyes and a simple mind, one far too innocent to understand the power Kanato's mother had.
Were you ever this innocent, Mother?
"I don't know why," Yui says, suddenly. "But I do. It makes me sad to see you hurt, Kanato-kun."
It would make her sad to see anyone hurt. She's that sort of person, sensitive and easily pushed to tears. It's annoying how she cares for everyone. Cheap.
"Is that all?"
He doesn't mean to sound petulant, doesn't even entirely understand why the thought of her fussing over others irritates him so. If she tried to fix a dove's wing, he would rip it off rather than see her smile gently at it.
"Huh?" Yui's brow creases, her face screwed up in adorable contemplation. Adorable. Why does he think these things now?
"Can you really say you'd be any less sad if you saw an injured dog or another human?" And that's when Kanato realizes what's been bothering him. "What if it were Ayato or Laito bleeding? Would you run to them the way you ran to me? Would you clean their wounds and tell them to be careful?"
"I…" She opens her mouth, then closes it. "I wouldn't."
"Don't lie to me!" Kanato screams.
Yui flinches, but continues anyway. "It would make me sad, but it wouldn't be the same as you hurting yourself. Because I don't like them."
And she blushes.
She doesn't have to say it. He can see it in her face, in the way her hand lingers on his wrist. Maybe she hasn't realized it yet herself.
"Do you want to clean this up like a good girl?" He raises his hands to her, which are still dripping. Now that he's not angry, it's rather an erotic sight.
Yui nods, eyes widening. "Just let me go for some bandages or-"
"Yui-san." He catches her by the arm before she can turn away from him, pulling her closer. "You're being stupid again." Stupid, but cute. Humans shouldn't be so cute. "Lick it up."
Her mouth drops open and she stares at him. "What?!"
The flash of revulsion in her eyes only strengthens his resolve.
"Now. Before my blood dries, lick it up."
Even this small quantity will make her stronger, and bring them closer together. His mother always liked Richter to drink her blood, so he thinks it must be pleasurable.
Yui's eyes dart to the door before she takes hold of his hand, slowly, carefully. Not hesitantly, he notices, but gently, like the way he is with Teddy.
Yui puts out her tongue slowly, lowering her eyes. Little licks at first, shy flicks of that sweet little tongue Kanato's so fond of. He's ripped out the tongues of annoying women before, but to do that to Yui would be unthinkable now.
When he doesn't chastise her, she grows bolder, taking two of his fingers into her warm mouth. Some of his blood smears past her lips, onto her cheek, but either she doesn't notice or she doesn't care, sucking and licking diligently. It's a remarkably lewd sight, even with her demurely lowered eyes. No, Kanato decides, especially with her lowered eyes, as though she's too embarrassed to look at him even as her tongue dips between his fingers to catch the last drops of blood.
"What a good girl," Kanato murmurs, stepping closer.
Yui says nothing, eyes still trained firmly on the ground. Stubborn.
He won't let her ignore him. He's tired of being ignored.
"Yui-san." He pretends to be patient. "Look at me."
Slowly, she raises her head. There are tears shining in her eyes.
It's beautiful, and it's terrible, all at once, and Kanato's stomach squirms a little at the sight.
"Aren't you pleased? See, my hand is all clean now."
"Yes, Kanato-kun," Yui whispers.
He has the strangest desire to comfort her, to touch her softly and lick away the tears. She is of him now, like Teddy. And sometimes when Kanato cries, he wants to be comforted.
A small, hesitant smile appears on her face. "Are you feeling better now, Kanato-kun?"
His blood coats Yui's mouth, smeared around the edges, messy and tempting. No one else will ever see her this way, he decides.
Kanato pushes Yui against the wall, kissing her bloody lips till she moans.
Everything she knows of sex, she knows from him, and that's how Kanato intends to keep it.
"Yui-san," Kanato whispers, stroking her face. "Won't you say you love me?"
Her mouth falls open, and Kanato laughs. She'll lick up his blood, but that shocks her. What a strange girl.
"…No." It's barely above a whisper.
He frowns. It's the answer he knew she'd give, the only answer there is. Even pretending to love him is too much to bear.
So why does her refusal feel like another shard of the mirror, cutting into his chest?
And now she's looking over his shoulder to the corner where Teddy is waiting patiently, as though Teddy will forgive her when Kanato won't.
"Look at me, not Teddy!" he shouts, grabbing her by the shoulders.
Yui shrinks under his grasp, lowering her eyes in submission. "I'm sorry, Kanato-kun… I only-"
"Shut up! I don't want to hear your excuses and lies."
Her lips part, then close again, as she visibly swallows.
As stupid as she can be, sometimes he thinks she's really very clever.
Maybe a little too clever.
"You would have made a beautiful doll…" Kanato muses out loud. "But dolls get boring. I thought humans were boring too, but you…"
She follows him even when she doesn't have to. She struggles, but mostly on the inside, and less and less every night.
Yui is warm in his arms, and her arms reach around to hold him back like Teddy never could.
He can hear her heart beating loudly, blood pulsing through her veins.
All for him.
Kanato drops to his knees, ignoring her surprised cry.
His hands map out the soft, pale expanse of her legs, fresh territory he's yet to mark. She trembles as he presses his thumb against her calf, kissing behind her knee.
"You liked it when I bit you here before, right?" He smiles up at her, pleased when her immediate reaction isn't to push him away or shake her head furiously.
Either she's grown used to his fangs, or she's learning.
Both possibilities are acceptable to Kanato.
Yui bites her lip, cheeks flushed. He thinks for a moment she is about to deny it, to tell him not to like she did at the beginning, but she stays silent, her chest rising and falling, perhaps a little faster than usual.
He knows that look in her eye, the way she clenches her fists as if to say, I will endure this. He'll never tell her, but he really likes it.
Kanato leans in, flicking his tongue against her thigh, and he hears her stifle a whimper.
One of her fists flies up to her face, very nearly pressing against her mouth, and Kanato growls "Don't."
"I want to hear the noises you make," Kanato breathes, nuzzling her thigh.
When his fangs sink in, smoothly as a spoon through pudding, she makes another little squeal, and he hears the thump of her shoulders hitting the wall.
Her blood is hot and rich in his mouth, the sweetest thing he's ever tasted, and her knees buckle as he sucks more out, her breath coming in harsh gasps.
He doesn't even have to think about making it pleasurable for her anymore. Her shameless body has grown accustomed to it.
He wants to smear her blood across her thigh, to bite into the other and make it drip down her legs until she can no longer bear to stand, to pull down her shorts and drag his nails over her hips, but her every drop of blood is precious to him now, and he thinks she is still too weak to stand such beautifully brutal treatment.
When Kanato pulls back, Yui is slumped against the wall, eyes squeezed shut as her fingers grasp fruitlessly at the wall. He's licked the wounds from his teeth clean, but still a thin trail of blood is beginning to ooze just below the line of her shorts. Not that she's likely to notice.
He laughs, and gets to his feet. "Yui-san. Open your eyes."
Slowly, hesitantly, she does.
"Such a good girl," Kanato coos, cupping her face with both hands.
Something strange runs through her face, an odd little smile turning up the corner off her mouth, and for a split second he sees it again, that hateful resemblance.
If Yui were Mother, she would run right from him into the arms of another, would let herself be covered with bites and laugh at his fury, just to remind him how little he means.
Kanato jerks his hands away and she loses her balance, skidding down the wall before she manages to get her feet underneath her, staring up at him with wide eyed innocence.
He doesn't want her to go.
"Kanato-kun…" Yui hesitates, halfway between kneeling and squatting, a position that is very nearly extremely appealing. "Are you okay?"
"I'm cold," he whispers.
And she stands, slowly, wobbling on her feet, and comes to him, laying her hot cheek against his cool one, wrapping her warm arms around his torso, the sound of her heartbeat echoing in Kanato's ears.
He remembers how it was that wonderful, terrible night, remembers the hole in Mother's chest where a heart used to be.
But she was never so warm, never clung to him with quivering fingers, never rested her head against his.
Something wet drops onto Kanato's shoulder. A tear?
"Are you crying, Yui-san?"
She takes a deep, shuddering breath, but refuses to answer him.
It comes in a rush of relief: Yui-san is pathetic.
Just like me.
Kanato kisses her cheek, slipping out of her embrace to see her red-rimmed eyes.
"Poor, pitiful Yui-san," he muses.
His chest aches at the sight of her looking so sorrowful, but it's not an entirely unpleasant feeling.
He wonders if her tears taste as sweet as the rest of her.
Just the thought makes him smile.
"I'll make you feel better," Kanato breathes, drawing her close again.
The first kiss to her cheek startles her. The second makes her shiver.
The third kiss he slips his tongue inside her mouth.
He's known for a long time that Yui is weak to pleasure, that soft kisses wear down her resistance faster than cruel punishments. But he can hardly help himself, not when she endures his cruelty so bravely, swallowing even her screams when he tells her to.
Still, when she's being so sweetly pliant, he wants to reward her.
Kanato takes her hand, draws her away from the hateful lying mirror, away from the ballroom where his brothers might stumble across them and jeer, out into the gardens where the night is their only witness.
Her secret depravity is for him and him alone.
"Kanato-kun? Where are we going?"
"Don't ask useless questions."
He lays her out in the grass, pushing up her sweater despite her protests, which fade away when he kisses her soft belly.
"If you protest again, I'll rip out your tongue."
Yui bites her lip, nodding to show she understands. She trembles underneath his hands, but not from fear, he thinks. At least, not only from fear.
Her shorts are easy to unfasten, to slide down her pale legs, which are almost beautiful in the moonlight.
Only her underwear stands between them now, and he sees her hands gripping the grass, her chest rising and falling rapidly.
Kanato can't resist leaning over her and licking her cheek.
"Are you afraid of me, Yui-san?" He tilts his head. "Or do you hate the feeling of my skin on yours that much?"
"I don't…." Yui bites her lip, not meeting his eyes. "I don't hate it…"
Humans are strange.
But he can't say he minds, entirely. Laito would say that Yui is lying, would be foolishly certain that it's in her nature to be like Mother was, insatiable and selfish in her desires.
But Laito does not know Yui as Kanato is coming to know Yui, and he never will.
When Yui's fingers release the grass, slowly, it is because she is looking up at Kanato's face, her eyes full of hesitant trust.
He can't quite put a name to the anxiety that separates her from her own desires, the clear but mysterious sorrow that fills her when he touches her despite how good he can make her feel, but whatever it is, it is absolutely foreign to a vampire.
Mother would have mocked her for it, Kanato realizes suddenly, and the thought makes him want to growl.
He kisses her roughly, claiming her with his mouth while his hand reaches down to feel the warmth between her thighs as she moans softly.
No one else will ever have you, Kanato vows. You are mine and only mine.
She inhales noisily when he lowers his head to kiss her mound through her underwear, her hands clutching at the grass again.
Kanato licks her hipbone and she whimpers, her hips shifting underneath him.
"Keep your eyes open," he warns her, sliding her underwear down her thighs, her knees, her calves, her feet.
Yui's cheeks grow pink. "O-open?"
"For now, at least." Kanato pulls up her legs, one knee over each of his shoulders, and smiles. "You can close them when I know you're only thinking about me."
He relishes the taste of her, salty-sweet, not quite his favorite flavor but close enough to make him enjoy delving his tongue inside, licking and sucking while her thighs quiver against his shoulders.
Even when she's forgotten to stifle her soft, urgent gasps and moans, she's never stupid enough to clamp those thighs around his head. He likes that, too.
And that, he loves that, when she's desperate enough to call his name, one of her hands up by her head, fingers clenching and unclenching at nothing.
For a second she meets his gaze, and then her eyes flutter shut.
The resemblance is gone.
Mother never clenched her teeth or raised a hand to cover her face before letting the hand drop back into the grass, clawing at it. Mother was never so adorable, even in the throes of pleasure brought on by Richter.
Kanato smiles, lowering his head once more.
You're not like her, are you, Yui-san? You're a good girl.
And good girls know their place.
He'll keep Yui by his side. He'll drag her down to his level until she's forgotten to even dream of escape.
It won't be much longer.