Kagen Silivasi had been a faithful servant to the house of Jadon, a loyal brother to his beloved siblings, and a consummate healer to his noble race, the Vampyr. He had tended broken bones, mended wounded flesh, and always, always, saved lives.
At any cost.
It was the least he could do.
Yet, it was never enough…not even close.
And therein lay the rub: that unidentifiable ember that burned at the center of his soul, masking, if not outright hiding, something so combustible and profound that he didn’t dare confront it, let alone try and name it.
It just was.
And his carefully controlled life—indeed, his seemingly perfect persona—concealed it like a pile of cooled gray ash, cleverly masking whatever lay beneath the slag, cloaking the nameless pain, concealing the anonymous rage.
Disguising the red-hot coals glowing just beneath the surface.
For reasons he couldn’t name or even comprehend, Kagen Silivasi worked tirelessly to remain detached from his past, to stay ahead of a memory he didn’t even possess, and he healed fervently in an attempt to avoid that mysterious, marginal part of his soul that frightened him the most, the part that wasn’t a healer at all.
The part that, given have a chance, would seek to take life rather than sustain it.
The part that wanted to hunt…and claim…and devour.
Until all the rivers ran crimson with blood.
Until somehow, those same blood rivers—those sanguine pools of righteous retribution—eventually swept away the original sin.