Thick rivulets of blood moved down the wall like snakes slithering into Hell. Lucius thought going there himself would be better than mucking out this foul slaughter. Hiding his brother’s crimes from Prince Remus. Death by fire, their punishment if caught.
Linus, too far gone to understand the danger, had killed another valuable hunter. Lucius labored to obliterate the evidence while Linus crouched over an arm sucking out the blood and marrow like a human sucking meat from a crab leg.
Lucius had turned his brother. Watching him deteriorate was penance. Figuring out how to reverse it, his only purpose.
Lucius stared in frustration at the naked female, then grabbed newspaper from the alley trash to cover her. Copious blood soaked through, turning it to pulp. He added more paper. Didn’t help. Blood spouted like a fountain from her torn jugular. He yanked his brother, who’d pounced on her again, away from her neck.
“You couldn’t have gone one more block?”
Linus whipped towards him. Lucius stifled a gasp. The nerdy, giraffe-legged brother was there. Then his eyes turned soulless, reflecting the red pooling beneath their feet, and his stark hunger. Pain stabbed Lucius where his heart once beat.
Lucius cradled Linus’s head in his lap. Just his head… which Lucius had to remove. He stared at the rectangular hole holding his brother’s body, then forced his gaze away to take in the fateful surroundings.
The graveyard was damp. Dew glistened on the grass. Dripped from cypress trees and giant yews. None of it made this real. They’d been vampires for five decades, inseparable. But Linus’s self-control had deserted him. He broke too many council laws.
“You never believed you could be ended, brother. Didn’t you once think it would be me who would have to do the ending?”