His blood pooled around his fallen body, the deep red fading to a soft lavender as his spells wore off. He gasped in a painful breath, forcing himself to lift his head, watching as the beautiful women, his beautiful women, came to their senses and walked out of the large, ornate double doors. Each one cast an emotionless glance at him, and then disappeared back into the village, where they had been missing for so long.
The blue-haired man looked down upon him, grinning as he used the cloth of his dress to wipe the blood from his blade. Tossing his blonde wig to the fallen Duke's fingertips, he turned on his heel and left. The Duke reached out as the last woman left, the green-haired beauty, the girl from his childhood. He opened his mouth to speak, but she left him with a short glance.
But I love you.
He let his head fall once again, closing his eyes and clenching his teeth. The life was draining out of him, through the two-inch cut in his chest, which had gone straight into his heart. All of the years he had built his harem had been put to waste because his eyes had played tricks on him. The blue-haired man, dressing as a woman, decieving him. And the Duke would die alone.
But he didn't hear the soft sound of bare feet crossing the linoleum floor toward him. Her mind was under her own control again, but once she had seen the dying Duke on the floor, she couldn't make herself leave. She didn't remember why she was here, or who the violet-haired man was, or what had happened in who knows how long, but she felt sorry for the man who laid in the puddle of his own lavender blood.
She gently rolled the Duke onto his back, laying him down and stroking his sweaty cheek. He opened his eyes to see one of his women, the pink-haired one. Luka. Luka was her name, he remembered. He opened his mouth again, but no words came out. Only the strained sound of his hoarse breathing. Luka put a finger to his lips, quieting him.
"Shh, do not speak," she whispered. "You are much too weak."
The Duke allowed himself to close his eyes again, focusing on his breathing, on staying alive. The poison from the blade was slowly seeping through his body, through his veins, making him feel like he was on fire. A slow and painful death. Like the blue-haired man had wanted.
But the Duke couldn't help but let his mind wander to the pink-haired woman who was holding him. Why was she staying? Had she no memory of what he had done to her and those other women? It was as if she actually cared. The Duke never really had anyone who cared.
Not even the green-haired girl from his childhood, who he had thought was his soul mate. She had taunted him along with everyone else. And he still loved her through everything. But was it really love? Or something else? Something that he had confused with love.
Now it was Luka who sat here, holding him while he died. He hadn't known Luka before he had lured her into his home. But he found his nights with Luka seemed to stand out from the rest. He hadn't exactly realized it before, but now he realized that with Luka, it had been more than just satisfying the need in him. It had been love.
He opened his eyes slightly, finding Luka's caring blue eyes on him. She wasn't looking at his face, rather at the source of the blood coating his clothing. And there were tears running down her cheeks. The Duke lifted a shaky hand to her face, gently wiping away her tears with his thumb, and the gesture caused her to look at his eyes suddenly.
"Do not cry," he breathed, attempting to smile. "I do not want my last memories to be watching you cry."
Luka let out a small, pathetic laugh through her tears. "I am sorry, but I believe that cannot be helped."
"Why do you cry?" he asked. "You do not know me."
A short silence. Luka closed her eyes and let her head hang for a moment. Then she lifted her head once again, meeting the Duke's eyes. Swimming in the girl's beautiful blue orbs was understanding, and care, and love.
"Because I do not believe that those innocent should be taken at so young of an age," she said, stroking the Duke's cheek.
"I am not innocent," he said, somehow managing a dark tone in his wavering voice.
"Everyone has a chance to be saved," Luka whispered. "It is not too late."
He chuckled, but the sound came out as a cough. "I am dying. It is too late. It has been for the past several years for me."
Luka didn't continue. Instead, she simply carressed the Duke's face, attempting to sooth the pain he was in. The pain was fading. But not because of Luka's care. Death was creeping up on him. His eyes drifted closed and he relaxed into Luka's embrace, letting the darkness come. His time was done. He had no way to right the wrongs he had committed. It was over.
Luka held him as his movements ceased, and his body began to grow cold. And though she still didn't know why, she cried. Maybe it was because it was the first time she had witnessed death. Maybe it was because of her beliefs, that everyone could be saved, yet the Duke was not spared. Maybe it was because of the small connection she felt she might have had with him.
She stayed there for hours. She would alternate between crying for him, and singing to him, and just laying there with him. She fell asleep for a while, her head laying on his chest as a pillow. Evening came and she still laid there, her clothing and her hair stained with mixtures of the Duke's red and lavender blood. For some reason, she didn't want to leave him alone.
So she decided that she wouldn't.
She sat up, her eyes now dead and emotionless as they drifted across the floor. She dipped her fingers into the pool of blood that she and the Duke laid in, then lifted her fingers to her lips. The blood was still laced with the poison that had covered the blue-haired man's blade. She licked the blood from her fingers and swallowed, already feeling the burning liquid make its way down her throat, into her body.
It wasn't until the next day that the two were discovered. The Duke on his back, and Luka laying across his chest. Luka's family wept, and cursed the Duke's name. There was a funeral for Luka, and nothing was done about the Duke. They suspected Luka was murdered by the Duke. Little did they know that she had commited the act herself.
To be with her true love.