Author's Note: Just a brief drabble based upon the Count Cain series. First attempt, and there can be things read into it. So make of this what you will, but considered yourselves warned.

Though I walk the road to Hell. . .

I keep them at bay – the people that care about me. Lock up my secrets and paint my knowledge pure so as not to taint. At least, not any more than is necessary. Because this name is cursed, and as such, there is no full escape from its sins other than immaculate innocence. An innocence that knows nothing of this house, this name. Knows nothing of me.

And yet, there is you. I have never been able to do this to you. Perhaps you caught me early enough. Or maybe. . .You are simply you, and that is the one fact I have never been able to deny. Selfishly poisoning you with my every attempt to wipe clean my past.

I don't regret that either. No remorse for this road I have carved out of sin for myself. . .this path you walk with me. But you had your chance to escape.

Why didn't you?

Is it because I would have hated you for it? Hated you for breaking me.

Every time you touch me that is all I can think. You will break me. You could do it so very easily, and I wonder if you realize this. You must. There is a reason you follow me, a reason I allow (want) you to.

If I am your reason for living. . . .never stop telling me that. Each time those words fall from your lips, I think I understand - just a little bit - what it means to be vindicated. You don't have to mean it. Not anymore. After all this time, it only matters that it's you who says them. You are the only person I could ever accept such sentiments from.

You are mine. I'm not sure I could ever let anyone else have you. Even. . .even if I offer you your freedom, I don't mean it. Because I am yours.

So don't leave.

Love me. Hate me. Curse my very existence like so many others.

Just don't leave.