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“Your pulse is my hope.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Warm. Fresh. Intoxicating. Delicious iron and lipids. The smell of high adrenaline and oxytocin. More, more, more…

“I love you…”

Wait … No. No, not again! Please, not again!

Krane blinked hard, returning to his senses, and yanked himself away from whatever his fangs were sunken into. The memories came rushing back. The outsider had lunged at MC, but he pushed him out of the way … He lost too much blood, he was dying … Despite his protests, MC kept offering his arm … His vision grew blurry, and he awaited death’s embrace … Feeling dread, he forced himself to open his eyes. He saw MC, with paling, taut flesh, and a blank expression. Empty, glassy eyes. No pulse. The chaos in the distance from the town grew louder, but the vampire bat paid it no mind, he was engulfed by despair.

Krane barely managed to hold himself together until they arrived at the mansion, where he quickly retreated to his chambers. Just after closing the door, he broke down into tears, falling to his knees and gripping his head tightly. Just once, just once, we wanted someone he loved to live. MC had given him hope, happiness, but now it was dashed to pieces, just like his heart. It could never be repaired. Not again. He spent the evening mourning, and wallowing in his agony, ignoring the turmoil outside. MC stood outside the bedroom on alert, as a dutiful servant should, with his master’s shadow clinging to his own.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

MC never left Krane’s side. He was favored above all the other servants, not that they cared. He was the first to greet the master when he awoke, and to bid him good evening. He fetched the bat his bloody tea, and held his umbrella when it rained. He always bid his master adieu when he left for work, and welcomed him home with a stiff smile. Some evenings Krane would ask MC to sit with him on his bed, and the hours that should have been used for resting were instead filled with regret-filled, gentle caresses, and hand holding, mournful kisses, and sweet nothings that always ended in heartbroken tears.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Krane sighed deeply and sunk into his chair, the noise echoing in the silent room. If he was being honest with himself, he didn’t want to keep going. There was nothing left that brought him joy, or made him content. Rest is what he desired. Eternal rest. Yet he forced himself to awake every night, and continue on with the routine his life had become. He had to keep going, for him. Krane half-fondly glanced sideways at the servant by his side, his shadow creeping up to embrace its own.

The sound of the doorbell reverberated across the mansion. One of his other servants promptly answered it, and inquired what business had brought the stranger to the Kastelic residence. Krane could hear the exchange from the parlor room, the voice that answered undoubtedly belonged to Vincent. Of course the library would come to investigate the sudden disappearance of the human. If not for cleaning up after the recent attack on the town by The Insightful, the Rakish would have come snooping around nights ago. There was no use in hiding the truth that stood unwavering by his side, so he merely waited to see what fate had in store for him next.