She sat behind the bars on the cold, lifeless floor. Moonlight seeping from the small square window illuminated her downcast eyes. She hugged her knees tighter to her chest and leaned her back uncomfortably against the icy, bare walls.
She heard him before she saw him; the door opened slowly, creaking on its neglected hinges. He took a hesitant step forward, eyeing the dark prisons lined up on each side. Hungry eyes glinted back from the shadows, full of fear, hatred, despair.
His gaze settled on the jail at the far end of the prison. Her jail. He bit his lip and strode forward, ignoring the bony fingers that tried to claw at his legs only to shrink back at the dark energy spilling from him like waves. He was now a Darkling, after all.
She didn’t move when the bars slid to the ground with a flick of his hand. His eyes searched her face for a sign, anything; anything that would give him a clue as to what she felt now. Her face was as stony as ever, like it had always been the day his heart turned black.
He crouched down in front of her, willing her to look him in the eye. She stared at the floor. He wanted desperately to force her to acknowledge him, to control her actions and make her smile for the first time in days.
But that would’ve been wrong. And he didn’t want to harm her any more than what he’d already done.
Slowly, he lifted a hand towards her dark hair.
Almost immediately, cold fingers curled around his wrist in a firm grip. There was a stinging blur across his face and blood gushed into his mouth. The fingers released their hold and he stumbled back.
His red eyes widened in surprise. Something wet was dripping down the corner of his lips. Staring at the ground, he lifted a hand to his mouth. It came away smeared with red. Touching his throbbing cheek, he looked up.
Her eyes burned the color of the sun, glowing a blinding golden yellow. Her fierce gaze held his crimson one and burned through his pupils, to the back of his head. He resisted the urge to cry out. Fireworks were exploding in his head, lighting up and exposing his tainted heart. He needed to look away. He had to look away.
Please, he begged silently.
Agonizing seconds past before she softened. The yellow faded to their original deep brown and she lowered her head, almost in defeat.
Why? He frowned at her. He had never felt so much pain, not since he became a Darkling. He realized he’d almost forgotten that she had the same powers as him too. The same darkness in her heart.
“I guess,” he whispered, “things aren’t so simple anymore.”
She didn’t reply.
He stood, stepped out of her prison, and strode away, flicking his hand as he passed.
The bars slid towards the ceiling and connected with an echoing shudder.