He isn’t prepared to look into her eyes and see something from the pits of hell. He should be—he’s imagined the moment again and again, drawn fangs in her mouth and emptiness where her soul should be.
“Hello, Rupert,” she says, and he shudders. It’s all wrong, gross, loathsome, a perfect automaton in a fleshly body. (He remembers seeing Eyghon wrap through her spine and take over her voice, but even then she did not seem so cruel, cold as an empty grave.) He wants, irrationally, to find the words that will bring her back. But his tongue is thick and his heart is sad, and this is not a time for magic or incantations. It is too bleak, too real.
His heart is frozen.
But she is not. She moves from his rose-strewn bed with all the heat that has gone from her blood—movements inhumanly fast, oddly jagged. His eyes are wide, open. And her lips are on his, teeth drawing blood, mouth sucking the air from his lungs, hands gripping and bruising and eyes now burning with the hollow depthless hate that has become so familiar to him.
He kisses her one last time.
She pulls away, sneering. Saliva drips between their lips, sickly and mixed with red. He looks her in the eyes, and he thinks that she would probably like her ashes scattered in the wind.
She sinks her fangs into his neck, and he puts his hand on the stake behind his back.
(He never says a word. He is the hollow man, and he has made so many ghosts.)