Chapter 1 // Chapter 2 // Chapter 3 // Chapter 4 // Chapter 5
Chapter 6 // Chapter 7 // Chapter 8

Chapter 4: Blood

Sebille woke up and opened her eyes in the dark room. She hadn’t actually been sleeping all that well; just tossing, turning and seeing disturbing dreams –most of which had been about that ghost room she had failed to enter. She sat up and scanned the room for any abnormalities, but everything seemed to be just right; with the exception of Null not being there. Sebille wondered why she’d waken completely and flipped the blanked off her body. She had a vague feeling of having heard a car engine, which was absurd as the room was far from the front of the house and it was rather well sound proofed. She set her bare feet on the wooden floor, flinched at the coldness and rose to her feet. For no apparent reason she tiptoed to the door and opened it slightly. The hallway was dark and the only glimmer of light was coming from the direction of the main staircase. Sebille opened the door carefully and tried not to make noise as she made her way to the stairs. As she approached she heard low spoken voices that she couldn’t quite make out.

She stopped right at the corner before the top of the stairs and took a deep breath. Nobody should know that she was there so it should be okay to take a peek. There was more speaking and although she couldn’t hear what was being said, she recognized the voice of the butler. Carefully she closed in on the corner and peeked downstairs; at first, she couldn’t quite see anything, but then she spotted two figures in the far corner of the room. The butler had his back turned to her and the light hit it. The tall figure before him, however, was completely in the light and though it was dim, she saw everything. Sebille almost gasped but had the brains to cover her mouth with her hand before doing so.

Null was covered in blood.

This time she could hear Sebastian speak; “I shall get you clean clothes, sir”. He bowed and started towards the other end of the room, which was also the direction the staircase was at. He stopped all of a sudden and turned his head slowly towards the top of the stairs, and Sebille jumped back behind the corner as fast as she could. Had he seen her? When she finally had the courage to peek again, the butler was gone and Null was walking towards the dark hallway they’d been standing by. Now, Sebille had a decision to make: she could either go back to the bedroom and pretend to have been asleep all this time, or she could go after Null.

This was real and she would have to face it eventually, so the decided to go with the latter option. She scampered down the stairs in a haste and almost ran after Null, though she did it all as silently as possible. She noticed a small shimmer of light coming from a slightly open door. She remembered that room from her exploration adventure: it was a small bathroom. When she said small, she meant compared to the other restrooms of the house, in a normal scale it would be spacious for one. She peeked in through the open door and saw Null hunched over the sink with his hands on both sides of it. He was looking down at the running water; there was blood on the marble by his left hand. Sebille took a deep breath and entered the room. Null didn’t seem to notice her as she approached, but once she was just several steps away from him, he suddenly looked up and at her through the mirror. His eyes weren’t empty at all like she thought they’d be. His face was stained by spatters of dried up blood and his eyes widened the moment they made eye contact through the mirror, “You can’t be here. Leave.” Was all he said before pulling his eyes off her and looking down. The sight wasn’t anything Sebille had ever seen before –in person anyway, and it almost made her nauseous. But most of all, it made her sad and worried, and left her feeling surreal. “No. I think I need to be here.” she walked to him, while he refused to look at her again.

This is real… and I need to face it. I can’t stay hidden in my own fantasy world and pretend that nothing is happening. It isn’t right and it isn’t living…” She didn’t know how to explain the feelings she had, she didn’t think there were even words for them. She walked to him and reached her hand towards him, but Null pulled his arm from her reach before she could touch it. Sebille sighed and leaned on the marble table looking at Null’s profile. The sight was quite awful and tears rose to her eyes when she thought that all that blood could belong to him.
She took a piece of paper, wet it under the running water and touched his cheek with it, and to her surprise he didn’t pull away, but he didn’t look at her either. She began wiping off the blood from his face, she worked slowly and carefully, observing Null’s reactions at the same time; “I knew what you did. I’ve always known what you’ve been doing. I’ve just shut my eyes from it.” Still, she couldn’t imagine Null actually killing anybody; he was always so gentle, although he worked so hard to hide it. Null still refused to face her, so she put her hand on his other, still bloody, cheek and turned his head towards her. He kept his eyes cast to the ground while she worked to clean the other half if his face as well. She paused to look at him. He was gorgeous and she truly loved him. Still, what he did hurt her. Sebille rose to her toes and gave him a long soft kiss on the lips. “This does not change anything. You’re still the same man to me.” she knew she sounded sappy but this time she didn’t care or didn’t pay attention to it much.

Finally, he was looking straight at her. She still saw the shame and deep despair that was in his eyes the moment their eyes met earlier, but she also saw hope. “I wish you’d let me be here for you…” her hands had now moved to clean his neck. The bloody shirt met with her fingers and she paused, then, she begun unbuttoning it. She was tired due to a restless night and due to the fact that she was now up in the small hours, but she wouldn’t stop before he was clean. To him, the blood would never truly be washed away, but she would still not stop. As she was sliding the shirt off his shoulders, she noticed that there was more blood on the table. That wasn’t right; blood spatter didn’t stain like that. She took his bloody left palm and held it in her own small hands, “This isn’t blood spatter…” He didn’t answer, and she was already pulling the shirt off him.  A steady stream of blood rode down his arm from a nasty looking cut, “This needs stitches… Sebastian, is there a sewing kit in the house?” She wasn’t sure how she’d known that he was standing just outside the bathroom door, as he hadn’t made any noise arriving. The butler emerged in the doorway holding a set of clothes and looking slightly sheepish, “Yes miss, in the medical kit under the sink.” He left the clothes on the small table by the door and was about to go for the kit but Sebille had already dived under the sink looking for it. Sebastian seemed to change his mind about staying, so he bowed and left. She dug up the kit and had the sewing supplies on her hand almost before she’d opened the box. Sebille turned to null with the needle and thread, “I’ve never done this before but I suppose it’s easier for me to do than have you operate on yourself… can’t be that hard, can it?” Null still didn’t speak, but he did observe her closely.

The sewing was easy, and Null never showed any signs of being in pain, but the thoughts that kept getting to her were much harder to handle. Her eyes were on the verge of tears, and she kept thinking that the cut could have been somewhere else where it would be much more serious. She wiped the now falling tears with her other hand and sniffed. Null was watching her calmly but she was quite sure he wasn’t as composed as he let her believe. She cut the thread, “Finished.” and put the kit away. “You still need a good cleaning, though.” she touched his hair with her fingertips. There was blood clotted in them as well, and Sebille was afraid to know who it belonged to –or had belonged. “I’ll shower,” This time his voice was barely audible.

They’d made their way back to their bedroom, yes she considered it theirs now, and Null had gone to the bathroom. He’d thrown the bloody clothes out to Sebastian and instructed him to burn them. Sebille was sitting on the huge bed all alone, her slender arms were wrapped around her knees and she was trying to see the starry sky by peering through the window on the far wall -unsuccessfully. Everything hurt. It hurt him, too. She no longer had the choice to keep denying the things that were happening, she’d chosen so. She buried her face to her knees and her unruly locks fell down to tickle her skin. She heard the bathroom door open and felt the weight on the bed shift. She’d grown accustomed to not hearing him as he moved, or feeling his presence. There were other ways of knowing when he was around –unless he wanted to stay hidden. Carefully she moved her hair out of the way and peeked at him, only to see that he’d lied down on his side with his back to her. She sat up straight; “Are you stupid?
He turned to her looking all… she wanted to say ‘huffy’ but that would be ridiculous; Null never showed emotions like that. “What?” He said and seemed to be in disbelief. “Turning your back on me like that. It just makes things worse! I need you here.” She pointed at the mattress two inches from where she was sitting. “And don’t give me that blood bullshit.” She added on impulse. Null actually managed to look a little sheepish before he moved closer.

She was now on her side, pulled against Null’s chest. Her eyes were closed but she wasn’t asleep, she didn’t think she could let the tiredness take her over before she was sure he wasn’t going anywhere.