Richard threw the book away in disgust. The pages fluttered as the book spun across the room to slam into the far wall with a resounding thud. He grabbed his hair with both hands and pulled his head between his knees to keep from screaming. Even then, a guttural sound, somewhere between a moan and growl, escaped his clenched jaws.
He’d spent months now researching, following every lead he could find, digging into the depths of the most obscure references and causal mentions, trying to find a single piece of hope that he could keep his new found power without it resulting in the crushing loss of health he had experienced as a result. And all that time spent had resulted in nothing. There was no hope. There was no way to continue doing blood magic at the level he desired and stay healthy at the same time.
“So be it.”
He released his head and his eyes, red and wet from frustration and pain, scanned the room to where the book had fallen. The book wasn’t the problem, it had just been the final fruitless hope and, as such, had borne the brunt of his exhaustion and exasperation.
Standing and crossing the room, he retrieved the book, closed it nicely, and placed it on the stack of books that now needed to be returned to their owners. That wasn’t going to be cheap. Some of these books had come from halfway around the world. Some had come from further. But return them he would. Just because he wouldn’t sacrifice his health for this craft didn’t mean he would keep the knowledge from others. Perhaps they had more self-control than he did. Perhaps they were willing to give up their health.
Richard locked up and headed for his car, waving to Bree across the street as he stood at the driver door.
“Glad to see you are feeling better,” she called across to him.
“Your color is back and you no longer look like a stiff wind could knock you over.”
Richard laughed and leaned against the now opened door. “Yeah, I am feeling better, thank you.”
She smiled and nodded and then asked, “Where you headed.”
“Going to the beach. Trying to get some more of that fresh air and sunshine a friend of mine recommended.”
“Have fun,” she replied, even as she returned her attention to the garden patch she was weeding.
He smirked as he started the car and drove off.
Fun? That wasn’t really the idea at all.
Power? Now that was what he was after, what he wanted, what he craved.