He didn’t notice her presence right away. He stared at the window by the bed, his chest hitching helpless sobs. He really wasn’t much more than a child, she thought. When she’d first brought him here, he’d been fresh and vigorous, poised between slim boyishness and virile manhood. Now his chest lay sunken, his limbs as wasted as an old man’s. His cheekbones stood out from his gaunt face.
She loved the young, strong ones the best. Her mother might enjoy dispatching men within hours, sometimes even minutes, but Naamah took pleasure in watching their lives slowly ebb away.
The young men in particular felt invincible. Their helplessness against her first shocked then infuriated them. They denied such weakness and cursed her while trying to fight. Their fear started as a pinprick they would at first refuse to acknowledge even to themselves. From there the terror grew until it finally devoured them whole. Then they screamed and begged even as their bodies betrayed them over and over.
This sweet morsel breathed shallowly, every intake of air an effort. Naamah knew his heart occasionally fluttered in exhausted arrhythmia. The next time she took him would be the last. The thought aroused her, and she stepped into the room.
He saw the movement and turned his eyes from the window. He moaned as his gaze fell on her but he didn’t scream. The strength for that was long past.