MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE EXCERPT
“I thought you would come,” René sneered, without even bothering to turn around. “I thought I told you to leave this one alone.”
Dante stood in the doorway of Belinda’s bedroom in his true form; wings fully extended, jagged teeth bared. Colossal horns sprouted from both the sides of his head and at his shoulders. Angered by René’s actions, his eyes actually appeared to be boiling from beneath its sockets; rippling and blood red. Red lines pulsed and contorted beneath his skin, tangling themselves together, like vines on a tree.
“I thought you understood that this is our one true purpose. I most certainly shall not be diverted from that purpose by these mortals.”
What could only be described as a growl emanated from Dante’s grotesquely formed lips, as spittle dropped and fell to the floor. His wings prepared to take the stance of battle.
“If you care anything at all for this mortal, I’d be very careful about your next move. You see, I’m still inside of her and if for the sake of my own protection, I was forced to say, take my natural form, she’d never survive it. Besides, there’s no need to scold me now, big brother; I was finished anyway. I have one question for you, Dante. Did you really think you could keep her to yourself? You, of all people, should know by now, that this is not how we do things. I’m willing to share; why can’t you? In fact, she’s still alive. Why don’t you replenish now? You look like it’s been quite some time since you’ve restored.”
In fact, Dante had not taken another woman since he’d laid his eyes upon Belinda. It was a precarious position. He couldn’t survive without satisfying his basest desires, yet to do so was to forsake everything he stood for. He wanted her, but he wasn’t sure he would be able to control himself if he were with her. Too many times he had seen what could happen to a mortal if his kind did not exercise control. Through time, he had learned how to get what he needed without killing. It meant that he would often have to take women without their consent in order to supply the large numbers he needed. To depend on one woman, or even a few, meant that someone surely would die. And survival, not another’s death, was his only purpose.
“I, unlike you, understand my fate, René. Our survival does not require a human bloodbath.”
“Who said I wanted a bloodbath? I just want to have some fun.”
“Why do you insist on pushing my buttons at every turn? One of these days...”
“Brother, it’s best you not finish that sentence. No need to set unnecessary wheels in motion; at least not yet. Not while I’m still enjoying myself. Let’s agree to disagree while we play with this one. I assure you, there’s enough of her to satisfy both of us.”
Eager to rile Dante, just a bit, René began a partial transformation and traced his talons along Belinda’s face, continuing the length of her body, and drawing blood at her chest.
Never in his entire existence had Dante ever possessed such a strong desire to destroy one of his own. Until now, René had never been more than a slight annoyance to Dante. He had now progressed to a full-blown liability.
Within seconds of withdrawing from Belinda, René transformed into a smaller, lighter-hued replica of Dante, spread his wings and took flight. His evil laughter could be heard floating out upon the night air as he departed. In the distance, Dante could hear his last words mocking him.
“She... will... never ... be yours... Dante. I’ll... see... her... die... first.”