It was standard work, really. Blood elves used as disposable fodder, the sanguine coin in their veins dribbling down into hip-height jars. She'd strung their lifeless bodies onto ceiling hooks, their heads lolling like the the trough-fattened swine to either side of them. Their tongues were blue, their eyes covered in milky film. Copper-colored smears decorated their wrists, chests, and legs.
Yva Darrows had a career in butchery should magic ever bore her.
She hummed as she worked. The baby was at home with his uncle, the husband was in Uldum digging through dirt for treasure. She never said outright that she'd come to think of the desert as "Jak's personal sandbox". With that enormous ego of his, he'd think she was being condescending about it. Patronizing. Well, she was, but she wouldn't admit it. She simply couldn't fathom what would interest him in those stale-smelling crypts and gilded temples. He needed to get back to real work. Stabbing things. Killing for profit. Murder in the name of the high crown. She didn't miss the Arthas-tinged hollow man he'd once been, but she did miss the joys of a good, slaughter inspired fuck now and again. They'd been some of their finest moments - him full of adrenaline and rage at his tainted maker, her swollen with shadow magic and hanging onto lucidity by a fraying thread. Tangled sheets, tangled hair, blood smears where her hands gripped the headboard.
Most times the blood wasn't hers. Sometimes it was, and that was alright too. When the crests came, and there were many, the pain was part of the pleasure. Savage? Yes. Rutting more like beasts than people? Oh, yes. These days, there were only glimpses of that frenzied need, of that primal hunger and uncontrollable wanting. They had responsibilities. They had a son. And she was frail in comparison to what she'd once been. Her mortal shell could only take so much abuse. She'd had to learn her limitations - something she'd read about but never really experienced. Something she disliked tremendously.
She was a sliver of her former self.
What would Malkavet Blackheart say if he could see her now?
With a sour grunt, she impaled her dagger into a blood elf's side - the male one of the bunch. She couldn't bring herself to rid him of his britches. Pale dangling bits would be too much for her, and there was something ridiculous about blushing while standing in the pulpy remnants of so much carnage. Disappointing, really, that the man had been dead too long to bleed true anymore. He was sagging, blueish meat flayed wide by her blade.
It was like most of her ritual these days - unfulfilling.
Like Yva Darrows herself.
No, not Darrows. Balthasar.
She loved Jak, would always love him, and thus she'd sacrificed everything to be what she thought he wanted. She was alive. She was a good wife, a good mother. She'd taken his name and played at being Lady Balthasar, but somewhere deep inside, Yva Darrows screamed to be let out of her cage. She'd never abandon Jak or their son, but there had to be more to life than diapers, cooking, and paying taxes. There had to be some way to blend who she was, what she was at her ugly little core with this proper facade. She felt like a fake. She was a fake. The problem was everyone liked the fake. Even Tarquin Fucking Ap Danwyrith had gone soft and liked the fake. A proper bloody businessman with more babies in his bar than skittering, murderous shadows. Where were the Tiriths and the Elyles? Where was the terror and excitement? The thing she liked best about him -- the thing that had at one point in time attracted her to him though she'd never say so aloud -- was the slimy, savage killer lurking just beneath his surface.
Just like her, it was dormant. Her boss, her superior, was as banal as she was. He was a boring, sleeping version of the man he once was.
Fucking domesticity. Fucking good life.
"Bloody /Hell/." She screamed and whirled around, her fingers dribbling ice and malice, talons six inches long and curved shredding into a limp, lifeless form. She tore until meat dangled from her forearms and wrists, until pieces that ought to be inside marred the front of a once-pretty dress. She skidded in blood and intestines as she effaced another carcass, and then another, shrieking like a banshee all the while. Something ugly bubbled up inside of her, pushing at her skin and demanding release. Something whispering promises of greater days, of what she once had been and yet could be if she just let herself fall.
Fall, fall, fall.
Words to a song, that alluring precipice. That magical high that escaped her. Yes, yes. Elusive. But not any longer. Because this was what she was - a dark, malice-born witch who fed on the miseries she wrought. Who needed the violence to complete her. Blood-smeared and viscera stained. Perfection, damn the consequences of it all. Perfection in the ugliness of what sustained the shriveling remnants of her soul.
The shadows twitched, they slithered and crawled. They thrummed and surged to every primal scream erupting from her mouth. And from the darkest recesses of the void, an old glory snuffed, twitched his tentacles, and offered a glinting, fang-smeared smile. She fell to her knees, opened her arms, and -- when the hound started sipping at the shadows writhing around her arms -- Yva Darrows Balthasar started to weep.
Right before she started to laugh.
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