Like Old Blood

The knock on the study door was not loud, but it jolted Blake from his concentrated musing. Irritated, he barked “Enter!” and continued perusing the papers on his desk, pen hovering above the paper.

The door opened and closed, a mere shadow of movement at the edges of the candelabra’s light. Darkness seeped into the corners of the room, where a throbbing silence beckoned Blake’s attention. Just as the noble raised his head again, his furrowed brow arched suddenly in surprise. There was a small intake of breath, like a stifled gasp, and he shuddered.

Blake exhaled deeply and took stock of his surroundings. The intensity of the darkness was gone, and the man pushed the papers away to go stand by the hearth. This change in demeanor would have gone unnoticed, except the lord spun unexpectedly and swept the papers into the fire, where they crackled and added a bright yellow glow to the room.

From his hiding place behind a heavy curtain, Reller stared at Blake’s eyes.

They were red.

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