I can't see. I can't hear. I think you are close to me.

The earl who courts death.

How fitting it is that a member of the Hargreaves family is 'graced' with such a name. He's a collector of poisons. That is quite a dangerous hobby, and if he's not careful with what he does he might end up as the earl who courted death but had drowned in its frozen embrace. What exactly is it that makes him so popular among the ladies?

It's those eyes.

"I hate my eyes." His pleasant voice teased my ears. He must have noticed me staring because before I could turn away, he had continued on. "You seem taken with my eyes. You have…a collection. Your collection is as morbid as my own. You collect eyes, I collect poisons. Now, do tell me why you are so infatuated with me."

"My dear earl," My voice was unnaturally cold and full of malice, though it wasn't how I meant it to be. For some unknown reason I find myself being very cruel when I have no reason to be that way. "You are in no position to order me around. And, you should mind your tone…" I eyed him carefully, only to realize I was staring deeply into those beautiful eyes. "I love your eyes; they are such an amazing color."

The look I received from him at that very moment was so shockingly harsh that I nearly cringed. It was the thought of having him see me in pain that made me remain in my current position. He could be so painfully addicting and not even know it. Slowly his head tilted to the side and I watched in unrevealed awe as each silky strand of his dark hair slipped to the side and even a chose to stop their journey and remain on his face to conceal parts of his delicate face.

"Why are you looking at me like I'm your next meal?" Annoyance rang clear in his voice and had caused my cheeks to redden with embarrassment.

He had caught me looking at him. And in doing so he had looked at me; with those eyes. The ropes that wrapped around his wrists and ankles seemed rather tight, and I wanted so desperately to run over and remove them. If I untied him from that chair he would leave me.

I will not permit that.

My feet had carried me to him without me knowing. He was right; I was so taken with his sheer presence that I could not focus on anything else beside him. Even when held captive he still manages to amaze me. When I'm this close to him –only a short step away- I find my body longing to touch him. This desire is terribly strong.

"If you will permit it, I'd like to take the seat behind me." It was clear that that he was being sarcastic because we were the only living creatures in the dim, lonely room. And also because he had rolled his eyes.

"You do know that I'm the one with the authority, do you not?" My eyes trailed over his frail body. His soft lips were barely parted; so inviting. His chest rose and fell with each slowly drawn out breath. His long fingers were tucked into far-from-threatening fists. And most of all were his eyes that excited me, the way they were outlined by beautifully thick lashes and half-lidded with what I wished was loathing, which would bring an oddly masochistic pleasure to me.

The rapid beating of my heart shook me out of my thoughts. It was shameful: the way he made me feel. Just looking at him in such a vulnerable state made me weak in the knees. His tongue slipped out teasingly to moisten his lips. I could suddenly feel my shaky breathes as they came and went. My back arched and my face now hovered an inch from his. His thin brows then arched in a curious way to signal that he was nearly as confused as I were in love.

"I believe this is where you say something rude and then storm off." His calm attitude was somewhat disturbing. How he could remain calm and collected was a mystery. Never before had anyone refrained from making a scene when being held captive.

"I do believe you are wrong in this assumption." My eyes briefly met his.

Of course he was the one to break the contact, though I still focused my eyes on his. They were so stunning, how could I look anywhere else? They still seemed to glow their lovely golden color in the dim lighting. He was a sight to behold, even though his shirt was missing the few top buttons and the collar was bent out of its shape. His hair, nearly as lovely as his eyes, had managed to maintain its natural shine.

I have given up my hope for all of humanity; except for him.

My lips pressed against his and before I knew it he had kissed back. His scent was all too enjoyable and the taste of his mouth was delicious. I had no way of pinpointing exactly what it was he tasted of. A mix of something spicy, almost like cinnamon with a hint of rum or whiskey. And there was also that sweet taste of something similar to peppermint. When our eyes met once again I noticed a new gleam dancing within his eyes. Now I did not know what to think and out of fear I let myself glance away. The scalpel withheld in my right hand was gripped tighter while my left hand was occupied with the task of rubbing against his inner thighs. At this, his eyes grew wide and I couldn't help but grin.

"Stop." The word that left his mouth was airy, forced out immediately after he had gasped. It nearly made me melt, the way he had become so defenseless. "It doesn't…feel right." His brows furrowed and his perfect teeth bit down upon his lower lip.

"I'm sorry that you feel that way." I entertained myself by whispering into his left ear, earning a gentle shiver from him in a silent reply. "I, however, am enjoying myself."

The scalpel was raised towards the corner of his left eye, where it dug down into the flawless flesh of his face. Now he would have more scars to add to his undesired collection. A steady trickle of garnet-colored liquid passed through the open wound and trailed down his face. I instantly felt a pang of regret for harming such a beautiful creature, but seeing his face contorted in pain was enough to please me.

"Stop." He choked out the word, trying so hard to not scream out for help he knew wouldn't arrive.

"Oh…" I exhaled with a cocky grin tugging at the corners of my lips. "But you excite me so. I cannot stop, because it makes me glad to see you suffer."

The scalpel dug in at the corner of his eyes, wiggling quickly to try to loosen it and then remove it as quick as possible. He writhed in agony and struggled to break free. That, however, was causing him more pain. He screamed out so suddenly that I had nearly stopped, but watching those eyes I knew I must continue on. The bittersweet liquid dripped out from behind his eyes, and I relished the thought that the earl who courts death was made of the same substance as all before him. He was nothing but a mortal, and I had the power of life and death within my sinful grasp. I felt a liquid begin to stain my own face. When my hand wiped away at it I realized I was crying.

How foolish; to cry over someone like this. He could have never loved me back. Although my heart is telling me otherwise.

"Now you can only look at me." I dipped my finger in the jar of water that was now a pale pink, poking at the removed eyes that floated lifelessly inside. "You only have eyes for me."

I glanced over at my beloved in the chair beside me. His head was limp, resting on the chair he sat on. His lips were parted, as if he were about to speak but could not. My eyes remained on his empty eye sockets, and I embraced the thought of having his eyes in my precious collection. The bleeding had stopped, but it appeared as if he had been crying tears of blood.

The tears of an angel fallen from grace.

That's exactly what he had been. And I, even though I was ranked below him, I had the power to take back that grace. I stood up and leaned over his body, letting my lips brush against his as I let them approach his ear. With the jar tightly held in my arms, I let a smirk befall my face.

"Humans fall so easily. But you were so hard to take down. You were no human. Now you are free from the restraints that bound you to this pathetic world."

My whisper was calm, and it irritated me to no end. I looked at his face one final time and adored the fact that he now appeared even more lovely and fragile than before.

Once beautiful eyes; now gouged out.

"I love you, my dearest Cain."

I can't see. I can't hear. I think you are close to me.