Suddenly, Gavrael halted in his steps.
Evie whipped around when she pulled him and realised that he was not budging. "What's wrong? Don't forget you already agreed to cooperate, Gav." She reminded him, her resolve brimming in her eyes. Her hands tightened on his, quietly telling him that she would never let him change his mind and back off.
Looking at the expression on her face, Gavrael wondered for a moment on what she would do if he did back out of the promise that he had indirectly made to her. Somehow, he could only imagine her fuming in anger and then falling into an outburst of crying or hugging, just to force him to give in to her all over again. He did not like the fact that sometimes, his body seemed to be under her control, as if she had put a spell on this body of his to be unable to refuse her. Otherwise, how could his own body obey someone else more than him himself?
This strange happening was actually one of the many undeniable evidences that made him believe what she had said where this body had indeed lived on for many years as someone else, as Gavriel. And it made him wonder if his body was sometimes really being controlled by her or was it possible that…
"Gav!" Evie's voice brought him back to the present. "Are you listening to me?"
Gavrael stared into her eyes before dropping to their intertwined hands. He could not stand it the sight of their hands together anymore. "Don't you feel bothered at all or even disgusted when you are touching a dirty and bloody hand like mine at this moment?" he asked with a mask of neutral expression as he lifted both their linked hands for her to see.
Evie looked at their hands, noting very clearly that the contrast between her pale, clean hands to his very blood-covered and having an iron-like tang every time the wind blew past them. She noted the disparity, but she neither shied back nor responded to it, only to look up at him and gaze on quietly, knowing he had more to say about it.
As Evie's gaze at their hands, Gavrael continued. "I don't know where you're bringing me but… you don't want to be seen dragging a bloodied monster around such as me, do you?"
And for the first time, Gavrael felt disgusted with the blood that had tainted his skin into that dark red from the oxidising of blood in the air. No, he began to be disgusted with himself.
He looked around and the vampires, both soldiers and maids, had all halted in their tracks, bowing their heads. It was obvious they were all terrified that they dared not move, just in case they accidentally triggered his anger and end up being slaughtered for no reason at all. More than likely is that they were just waiting for him to be gone so they could move and breath with ease again.
Everyone acts like this towards him now. He remembered how his life was back then in the Under Land and he realized how large the difference was, then from now. This time, he had truly become a monster.
As the number of lives he had killed for many years suddenly flashed through his mind, he gritted his teeth and finally pulled his hand out from her grip. He had to wrestle them from her extra tight grip. Even as he pulled, he noticed the panicky flash of fear that had appeared in her eyes and his heart gave a funny little twist, causing him to wonder what that feeling was.
"I'm going to wash first." He explained in a rushed and unfeeling tone and turned away immediately. He could not stand to see Evie giving him that large, almost teary-eyed look.
Watching his quickly retreating back, and his bloody red hands, Evie felt a pang in her chest. Then she swallowed the lump that had built in her throat and chased after him, catching and holding onto his bloodied hand again.
He halted in shock at the feel of her dainty hands sliding into his large ones and took in a sharp, deep breath. "Stop this Evie, everyone will also see you as a monster if you –"
"You're the one who should stop, Gav. You're not a monster! And I don't care what others will end up thinking about me! I truly don't! All I care the most now is just you!" she told him insistently and Gavrael stilled for a long while before a forced laugh echoed from his lips.
When the sound of his laughter faded, his expression became solemn as he slowly turned around to look back at her. "You've truly grown a lot, Evie. But…" he paused while his eyes carefully searched her earnest face that was upturned to his, looking on and eagerly awaiting his next words.
Evie noticed that he looked as though he was struggling to stop himself from saying more. He let out another sharp breath before his expression suddenly changed and became hard.
"Whether you mean what you said or not, you cannot deny that the way I look right now is certainly one like a monster. And I'm not even in a battlefield yet. You won't be able to imagine once I am in the midst of a battle… I can't bear letting you hold my filthy hands any longer, Evie." He hissed out and Evie was heartbroken at the sight of the sheer disgust shining forth from his eyes.
She could hear in this tone, the hints of mockery and derision directed to himself, warring against the helplessness and sadness of him turning into a monster due to his magic becoming unstable. She knew that he did not want this to happen. But that was not within their control any longer.
She could tell he truly believed that he had turned into a monster now and she could not bear that thought as well. That is why she was so desperate to rush him to try out the method that she thought would be able to help him bring back Gavriel's memories.. However, she knew that he was very troubled by the blood on his hands that would transfer to hers when she held his.