Her lips pressed onto his with the finality of a sword stroke. The last time they would meet, the last time they could ever be together… it was their last battle.

He couldn't muster even a grin as his heart seemed to climb higher and higher, threatening to erupt from within. He clenched her face, as his own was in hers also, and they held this moment for what seemed to be a lifetime.

If it was a lifetime, it was too short for both. A hand gripped her shoulder, but she hung on with every last ounce of strength she had. His eyes were clenched shut, squeezing tears from deep inside of him self, at once emptying the core of his being into a shell, hollow of all but pain. Feeling his tears on her cheek, she cried, not in despair or pain, but to let out at once every memory they shared together, to let the world know of the love she was being torn from. Finally she was pulled back, back into the darkness, and he stood weeping, fists clenched.

She was gone, he knew, and he was again powerless to help her. He was unable to save her, unable to save himself, and unable to save the memory of something so beautiful so as to have his heartless soul feel the twang of heartbreak.

His eyes shot open, revealing the blood red orbs within. Scarlet pupil dilated, he exhaled with great force, emitting a hallowing cry that echoed through every crevasse of the Earth. With unmatched agility, he turned and leapt from the ledge on which he stood, extending his arms and free falling into the darkness below.

The wind whipped his pale, scarred face, and like a pillow of rage, he became one with intense fury in an instant. He would be back, he promised, he would be back for the one who showed him both the pain and love which he so desired now, which his every bit of soul thirsted for.

From behind his shoulder blades, a pair of sleek black wings erupted. With a growl, he descended into the city, sweeping through the streets, searching among the masses for something, anything that could help him. Tears dropped like rain on to the stone houses below as the people screamed in horror.

Arrows and crossbow bolts, he realized, in a fleeting moment of horror. What had he done? He couldn't die, not before he saved her. He couldn't die, couldn't die, not yet! But he had to do something, and so he decided on the one thing he could do well, the only other thing that had ever brought him satisfaction.

Swooping onto a balcony, he collapsed his wings and unsheathed the blades from either side of his waist. His eyes were red, deep, deep red like the crimson blood he desired to spill. His pointed tongue licked his lips in anticipation of the sweet juices of which he lusted. He would have to take the city, he realized. The city for his love.

He saw the lady in front of him, panicking at the mere sight of him. She hardly had time to scream before he dissected her face with a quick cross-cleave. Ahhh, there is my palette of choice, of whose colors there are but one…

Down the stairs, out the house, and into the street. It was a blur, and yet he was entirely coherent. He tore through the crowds, literally, raping the lifeforce of all who showed a hint of emotion, as if to mock his own empty self.

He hated every one of them with unequaled rage, as they were everything he wanted to destroy; everything that stood that he felt should fall. He would put them on their knees; he was their judgment.

So many scared faces, angry faces, ugly faces, all gone now. He laughed wickedly, unable to feel anything but the lust for death. A few slashes there, a few more sleeves without arms- all of them bodies without souls, sucking the light of life from the earth with every unworthy step they took.

He felt their hearts beating, their mind racing. The men, the women, and the few children he met, all screaming, begging him to release them from their pain. Who was he to refuse them?

Finally, he awoke. His arms ached with cuts and bruises from battles he would never remember having fought; his heart winced from the screams of people he would never forget.

He collapsed to the ground, his swords clanging beside him. He did not need to look to know what lay around him- the silence spoke in and of itself. There was no wind to distill the bitter silence that pervaded around him, the silence that itself seemed to at once fear and pity him.

He could no longer cry, he knew. What was left of him was stained in pools on the ground. The silence- he screamed, begged, ached for it to end. But it grew and grew, becoming a dense fog that overtook his senses. And yet he did not mind anymore. He was at peace and at war with his own existence, he realized. He had really always wanted to die, he knew, but he pitied himself too much to release his soul from his own self-reflection. He was trapped in a mirrored room with only himself, never knowing that the mask he wore was reflected at every point he turned.

It was over now, he thought, swimming towards the sea that came to wash him away. He crawled towards it, slowly at first, then frantically. He had no tears, no heavy breaths, just silence. The tide was receding, pulling him farther and farther in. He was floating face down in the water, and then he breathed in.

Thank God.