“But Bianca, what has it always been with you and me but harmony? Think of our long years when we dwelt in the shrine, and went out on the night winds where I could carry us. Think of the quiet between us, or the long conversations in which I talked of so many things and you listened. Could two beings have been closer than we were?”
She bowed her head. She didn’t answer.
“And these last years,” I pleaded. “Think of all the pleasures we have shared, our secretive hunting in the forests, our visits to the country festivals, our quiet attendance in the great cathedrals when the candles burn and the choirs sing, our dancing at the Court Balls. Think of all of it.”
“I know, Marius,” she said. “But you lied to me. You didn’t tell me why we were coming to Dresden.”
“I confess, it’s true. Tell me what I can do to make up for it?”
“Nothing, Marius,” she answered. “I’m going.”
“But how will you live? You can’t live without me. This is madness.”
“No, I shall live quite well,” she said. “And I must go now. I must travel many miles before dawn.”
“And where will you sleep?”
“That is my worry now.”
I was almost on the point of frenzy. “Don’t follow me, Marius,” she said, as if she could read my mind which she could not.
“I can’t accept this,” I responded. A silence fell between us, and I realized she was looking at me, and I looked at her, unable to hide a particle of my unhappiness. “Bianca, don’t do this,” I pleaded.
“I saw your passion for her,” she whispered, “and I knew that in a moment you would cast me aside. Oh, don’t deny it. I saw it. And something in me was crushed. I couldn’t protect that thing. I couldn’t prevent its destruction. We were too close, you and I. And though I have loved you with my whole soul, so I believed I knew you completely, I didn’t know the being you were with her. I didn’t know the being whom I saw in her eyes.” She rose from the chair and moved away from me. She looked out the window. “I wish I had not heard all those many words,” she said, “but we have such gifts, we blood drinkers. And do you think I don’t realize that you would never have made me your child except for the fact that you needed me? Had you not been burnt and helpless, you would never have given me the Blood.”
“Will you listen to me when I tell you that’s not so? When first I saw you I loved you. It was only out of respect for your mortal life that I didn’t share these cursed gifts with you! It was you who filled my eyes and heart before I ever found Amadeo. I swear this to you. Don’t you remember the portraits I painted of you? Do you remember the hours I spent in your rooms? Think now on all that we’ve given each other.”
“You deceived me,” she said.
“Yes, I did,” I said. “And I admit it, and I swear that I shall never do it again. Not for Pandora or for anyone.” On and on I pleaded. “I can’t stay with you,” she said.
“I must go now.” She turned around and looked at me. She seemed wrapped in quiet and resolution.
“I’m begging you,” I said again. “Without pride, without reserve, I’m begging you, don’t leave me.”
“I must go,” she said. “And now, please, let me go down to take my leave of the Mother and the Father. I would do this alone if you would allow it.”
Excerpt from Blood and Gold – Anne Rice