As it says above this is just a quick early peek at some of the plot in Hollow Black Corners of the Soul where we get a better idea of how Mateo wound up where and who he is and how Anton was as absolutely fucked in the head as he was by the time he met Katja. Don't forget you can find books 1-3 on Amazon in both paperback and ebook formats :) Happy reading!
As he grows, as he learns to be what he has become, Anton draws away from him, watching him with callous eyes from the dark as he hunts, and bitter cruelty when they share their bed. It is as if he sleeps alone and soon they both come to resent each other.
He can feel the hate building with him, the ache of love turned and manipulated to be nothing but regret and damning, dangerous self destruction. He knows that it was he who chose this path and that he ignored Anton’s warning words. Still his anger grows. How could he have known what would come? Was he to take Anton at his word, which had already been so vague and evading? I have changed for him. I have become a monster to be with him and he slips further and further from me each day. Am I to be punished for wanting to be what he needed? I gave him what he needed and still he was not whole, instead the emptiness in him is slipping into me, swallowing me up.
He looks up to the mirror again, watches as the warm almond flesh of his body begins to slip, decay and horror overshadowing the soul that still-impossibly- lives in his eyes no matter how dusty and dead they become. Over and over, he watches this change deepen, the contours of his face growing gaunt and ripping open to show the white bones of his skull beneath, the wormy masses that would now be devouring his flesh mottling the flesh that clings to him in that mirror image. He should not smell it, but he can detect the distinct and overpowering stench of death. It’s a horrid magic as true as the pain that eats at him now and as awful as the ache of abandoned love in his heart.
“What good does it do to sit here and watch what has been denied to time? Would you fester in death and decay when they no longer hold such power over you? Would you feed the last of your humanity to it?”
Rage slides like daggers down Mateo’s arms and then the large mirror is in his hands and soon thrown across the room to shatter. “What humanity? What is left but a monster you made-no-a monster I made because you let me! You made me into this! You took away my happiness and my pride! Ripped them from me bit by bit! Why? To feed yourself, to fill a hole within your being which has instead sought a new home in me! You speak so about your sadness and the depths to which you’ve descended as if I could save you! As if you would let me near enough! Why would I not mourn what has been taken from me? Why would you not allow me it, if you know it so well?”
Anton’s eyes sparkle in the candlelight, bright blue jewels flickering with something Mateo can’t quite name. His voice when it comes is low and nearly inaudible. “I never wanted this. I never wanted to create another. I swore I would leave all hope of companionship in my past, but there you were. It was you who sought me out and you who stayed with me when I warned you away. I should have devoured you that night, taken only what I needed and left you the corpse you have grown so enamored with! Instead I was weak! I saw you and all the life within you. You were a light in my darkness, an antidote to the past and so very appealing to a starving man.” His quiet laughter is thick with irony. “Now I-”
Mateo hears a sound, a low painful mewling and soon he traces it to his own chest. It’s a mournful sound, but deep under it and growing is the sound of rage. “You would tell me what I meant now? You would hold that from me until I am this?” Rage burns through his veins, the pain of it eating him up sending him across the room to Anton, still leaning there against the wall, heedless and unknowable.
His fists pound into the soft white of Anton’s chest over and over and then up into his throat, an eye, that smug mouth, and then it isn’t enough. His hands wrap around his throat and he squeezes, the agony of his compressing windpipe making Anton gasp, his eyes thick with tears and bitterness. His hands are wrapped tight around Mateo’s arms, trying to pull them away as he gasps, red blood coloring his face, and soon the flaming blue of his eyes. “I loved you. I wanted to be with you, to heal your pain and make something that could stand the test of time! I tried to be what you needed. You gave me no sign of your love, no clue that we were more than bedmates. How dare you drop this on my head when I am so far removed from what I wanted to be for you!”
Anton’s hands fall away from him and through the pain he looks up at Mateo, pleading as he lifts his throat, offering it to him. Mateo is not so far gone in his anger to miss his meaning. Take my life. End my suffering. Rage is overridden by a new emotion, choked away by horror and disgust.
His fingers and hands slowly unwind themselves from Anton’s throat and he lets him fall to the floor. “I will never offer you that. I will not be your monster.”
A horse gasp escapes Anton, his head heavy on his neck as he laughs. “Of course not. It would be too easy, too good for me after all that has come with the intent to tear me apart. How could I expect you to give me what I want? Go now. Get away from me while you still can. Find a place in this world where I am not!”
“You threaten me? Now? I have spared your life and so you will have no more to do with me?” Fear blooms in his chest. He knows so little about what he is and he can never go back to his old life now. His mother, decadent and open-minded creature that she is, would never understand.
Anton rises from the floor, sweeping away blood and spit. Even now the bruises and wounds are healing, slipping away into his flesh as if they’d never come to be. “I told you to go! I spare you! I let you live, Mateo, I let you seek some place where you might grow and even blossom away from my destruction, but if you would leave, I bid you do it now, before I come to another decision. I have killed before and I would do it again to regain my solitude! You can offer me nothing more and I would not be so forgiving given the chance.”
Tired, feeling lost and disoriented, he looked at Anton, there against the wall, and he took in the place they had called home for so long. He was surprised to feel something rising up in him that was not bound up in anger and realized that it was a certain sort of hope. He had been a prisoner in these rooms and in Anton’s arms. He had never thought to leave, to take the freedom he didn’t know he wanted. Regret and hope were a strange mix in his heart as he took Anton at his word and walked away.