∴ A Biting Chill ∴
The fire leaps in its ornate grate, but a shiver struggles free regardless. You breathe on your hands and fold your arms for warmth, casting your eyes warily around you. You feel uncommonly small in the echoing hall, dwarfed by the heavy crimson curtains, drawn despite the early hour.
Comparatively, the vampire somehow fills the space. He rests one hand on the stone mantle, a vision in crumpled shirtsleeves, red wine staining the lace at his throat. There is a dominance to his easy stance – a clear message that he owns this place. Not just the bones of it, the red velvet and glossy stone, but the space itself. The vastness is his. The emptiness is his. And the silence is his to break.
“You have brought me the piece?”
You nod, words sticking in your throat, and open the case. The vampire’s eyes flash as they take in the silver flame of the blade, the blood red hide of the grip, the clawlike curl of the black crossguard.
“Yes,” he whispers, long fingers stroking the leather. “It has been too long… Much too long. You have done a good thing to return this sword to my care. You shall be amply… rewarded.”
You flinch and suddenly the sword is in the vampire’s hands, his pale lips parted in a peal of silent laughter.