Cian opened his fingers and dropped the sandwich on the tabletop. He’d hurt Miranda. After he’d poured his soul into her, along with his tainted seed, he had shredded her to bits. He didn’t need words to tell him this – her expression said everything. Pain. Betrayal. Sorrow – all of it shone in her eyes, gutting him until he bled alongside her. It might have been easier if he had just carved out her heart.
If he ever had the chance to make this right again, he would fall to his knees at her feet and beg. She would never believe he was over two-thousand years old, that his blood was half demonic, and all the other fantastic reasons he had forced her away. But maybe, just maybe, he could find something right to say. Something that mended all the bisected bits of her heart.
Angry with his fate, frustrated with his impossible choices, he kicked the chair opposing him. It skittered across the kitchen floor, clanged into the counter, and topped sideways. The clatter satisfied a portion of his agitation.
“You’re in love with her,” Rhiannon observed quietly as she stepped into the doorway.
Cian swore beneath his breath, in no mood for his sister’s well-intended badgerings.
“That’s what this is about isn’t it? The brooding. The indecision. The inability to do anything but rage.” She moved across the room and eased into the chair at his right. Her warm hand fell on his arm, her touch soothing to his agitated skin. “Why didn’t you tell me, Ci?”
Tell her what? That their curse was ripping him in half? That for the first time in his immortal creation he loathed what he was? What they all were? He clenched his teeth and looked away from her probing blue eyes.
“Now I understand why Belen was so mad about you disappearing into your room with her.” A soft chuckle accompanied the wry shake of her head. “You have something he wants.”
“Sibling rivalry at its damnedest,” Cian muttered.
She cocked her head, watching him with keen intelligence. Perhaps a touch of higher wisdom. Cian didn’t know exactly what she latched onto, but he resented her intuition. Her ability to read him so well.
“Miranda,” she murmured thoughtfully.
He glanced sideways at his sister. Not once had he revealed Miranda’s name. Unless they’d been eavesdropping on his encounter in the hall, no one should know.
“Belen knew her name. He’s met her, hasn’t he?”
Visions of the one evening the three of them had spent together flashed before his eyes. Belen sugarcoating his voice, wrapping seduction around Miranda in attempts to draw her away from Cian. Coercion meant to entice, pleasure he would grant, all the while plotting how he intended to draw out her death.
Surprising even to himself, a low growl rumbled in the back of Cian’s throat.
“Cian, tell her.”
He slammed his palms down on the tabletop and rocketed to his feet. “Tell her, what exactly, Rhiannon? That I’ve envisioned methods of killing her that make acts of torture look like child’s play?”