54 The Assassin Boy with Violet Eyes*
Rassa was Hungry. Again. Why was this the case? Because it seemed his captors hadn't been briefed on the consequences of NOT feeding him. It'd been nearly a week since they'd left Toulle, and the entire time Rassa had been in what he could only think of as a prison carriage with the Anthrite Mask chained over his face. As a consequence, he couldn't even complain about his treatment. The only thing he could do was stare out at his captors as they ate their own meals. One had been stupid enough to offer him water at one point. As if that was going to make any difference.
Rassa had looked back at him as if he was stupid. He wanted to scream at them, 'I need blood, idiots! Blood! Just feed me the blood of the game you catch for dinner, it would make skinning them a lot less messy!'
But unfortunately, Rassa hadn't miraculously developed telepathy. Nor any useful ability. He was just a boy wrapped in chains and stuck in a dark box.
It sucked, no pun intended.
The only one who seemed even remotely interested in Rassa and his plight was the boy he'd made eye contact with upon being thrown into his new prison. He'd learned the boy's name was Aegin. Mostly because the others made a point to order him around to do the menial jobs. It was clear the boy was the lowest ranked amongst them, not that he complained.
What intrigued Rassa more than anything else about the boy was his violet eyes. It was a strange colour, and Aegin, or at least what Rassa could see of him, wore it well. Rassa could tell that under those dark and tight fitting garbs Aegin was quite the looker, not that this thought had passed Rassa's mind more than once since he'd realised it. Rassa was more concerned about what the boy could offer him, and beauty was not something Rassa was interested in.
It was on the sixth night after his capture, when Aegin was on the night watch, that Rassa finally got the chance to do something about his predicament. Though, it was not anything that Rassa made an effort to do.
Aegin had seated himself on top of the carriage for the night watch. They'd been taking backroads and sleeping outside on the ground to avoid any unnecessary interactions and what came with them, questions. Rassa knew that even if they took the main roads, which would be stupid, that he would've been stuck in the carriage anyway, so he hardly complained. All he knew for sure was that their progress was slow compared to what it would have been had they been on the main roads. They were also heading south-east, towards the Garratone Ranges, though they were still a fair way off as well.
As Rassa tried to relax, staring up at the night sky, his hearing, which wasn't as dimmed as his other senses, picked up the incessent and repetitive tapping of metal on metal. Rassa's calm gaze gradually turned into that of a frown, and he looked up at the roof of the carriage, pinpointing the exact location of the noise. Rassa raised his hand and tapped on the roof of the carriage twice. Not hard enough to wake the others, but hard enough that it made Aegin jump in surprise. The message was clear.
Aegin was silent for a moment, then he shifted and hung from the top of the carriage peering through the bars at Rassa.
"You ain't done anything for a week and that's the best thing you can come up with?" Aegin whispered in honest confusion.
Rassa stared back unimpressed, picking up the chain attached to his mask then indicating to the carriage around him.
'What do you expect me to do?'
Aegin sighed, "I don't know, growl?"
Rassa's rolled his eyes. He wasn't an animal. Though he could growl, he'd done that before. This kid didn't need to know that though.
Clearly, Aegin thought Rassa had tapped on the carriage to ask for something.
Rassa looked at the kid with a raised eyebrow.
"Are you hungry? Thirsty? You haven't drunk anything in nearly a week".
Finally! Some sense!
Rassa tapped his belly, then his mask.
Aegin frowned, "Why do you need the mask anyway? Do you bite?"
Why the heck was this kid suddenly so talkative? He'd been silent and brooding for the entire trip, and now he what, wanted to make friends? What kind of kidnapping situation was this?
Rassa couldn't believe he was doing this, but he was hungry enough not to care how what he did next looked like.
Rassa took his two fingers and mimed his fangs in front of the mask.
Aegin just grinned in amusement, "What's that suppoed to be?"
Right. Vampires weren't exactly a known thing. Rassa had only had two lessons with Victor but he was beginning to forget his own reality.
Rassa sighed, then tapped his mask again before pointing at Aegin, shaking his head and slicing across his throat.
"You won't kill me if I take it off?" Aegin asked to confirm.
Aegin scoffed, "Exactly why should I believe that?"
Rassa's eyes dimmed once more, and he turned away, wasn't like he could prove it.
Aegin sighed, then disappeared from the window. There was a few moments of silence, then Rassa heard light footsteps behind him, and a hand snuck through the grate to the back of his head, unlocking the chain there. Rassa caught the mask before it hit the ground, then placed it down lightly and turned to Aegin who had what looked to be dried meat. Rassa frowned.
"I can't eat that".
His voice was a little raspy from not being used, and he swallowed as he looked at Aegin, nothing but honesty in his eyes. Aegin sighed.
"You hardly have room to be fussy," Aegin stated.
"No I...it won't alleviate the hunger," Rassa tried explaining.
"What do you want then? A three course meal? This is hardly the time or place to be asking for-"
"Blood. Fresh from the source. Any source," Rassa said flatly.
Aegin paused, looking at Rassa for a moment, "You're serious?"
Rassa nodded, "You have no idea why I'm in these chains in the first place, do you?"
Aegin shrugged, "It's not my job to know".
Rassa sighed in frustration, "Well maybe you should make it your job, because the last group of people who didn't feed me were slaughtered, and there were nearly 50 of them".
Aegin frowned, "Is that a threat?"
"Do you need it to be? Because I assure you, I'm quite happy to leave it as a warning".
Rassa wasn't exactly sure what Aegin saw in him at that moment. Whether it was his fear of repeating the massacre, his hunger, his frustration, his sadness, his desperation. But when asked many years later, Aegin would only reply with one sentence, the same one he said that day.
"If I get caught, I'm going to kill you".
With the look in those violet eyes, Rassa didn't doubt it. He never would.