His Royal Highness, Prince of Italy
The opening of the solid mahogany door momentarily distracted the Prince from the meeting he was in the midst of, the prospect of reopening Italy's borders resulting in its fair share of fears that Sebastian attempted to assuage. For a vague moment, the navy of his gaze turned from the screen in front of him, eying his manservant almost inquisitively before his attention returned to the video call slightly to his right. He kept those parting words decidedly brief, excusing himself only to an echoing round of polite 'thank you's from those heads of Italy's government. A soft sigh left his lips, his nose twitching vaguely in a subconscious reaction to a scent he had yet to truly pay attention to. Rather, his fingers gingerly reached up to massage his temples in a small display of stress, only to inquire what had prompted Charles' presence. The very last thing he had anticipated, however, was the announcement that William was here to see him - the very name prompted his dark irises to snap upwards towards his manservant, the vampire merely repeating the name in disbelief. William? His William? He hadn't expected to see the man again, not after the Hunter had vanished without so much as a word. It had...hurt, naturally, particularly after he'd been promised that Will wouldn't leave and yet he had merely assumed the Hunter had moved on to the young woman who had ensnared his attention. What had changed to prompt his return now?
Those thoughts, however, were interrupted by Charles' soft inquiry on whether or not he desired to see William, the manservant more than willing to offer the Hunter some excuse should Sebastian desire it. That unspoken query was one Sebastian easily waved off as he insisted his desire to see his old friend immediately. He had only just stood from his leather seat before William was ushed into his office, the very sight of the Hunter prompted him to pause. How...different.....William looked from the dignified Duke that Sebastian knew. The scent of blood was altogether potent, clinging to him with a poignancy that brought to the surface Sebastian's own hunger. His tongue flicked languidly across his bottom lip and yet, it was those distinct changes to the Hunter that prompted Sebastian to remain utterly still. It was clear that wherever William had been and whatever he had been through had hardly ended well. There were bags under the man's eyes, his features far more sullen and malnourished then Sebastian remembered. He was thinner, those clothes hardly fitting as well as he was accustomed to seeing on the Duke. The anxiety within the Hunter rolled off in veritable waves, the fluttering of his heart altogether audible to the vampiric predator and god, the scent of blood!
It was the gentle sound of his office door closing that broke whatever spell had come over the vampire, Sebastian altogether quick in regaining his composure. It was his voice that finally seemed to cause William to stir, his query prompting a soft mutterance that only served to cause Sebastian's brows to furrow. He watched as William sank into one of the leather chairs in front of his desk. He watched as William's head dropped into his hands, the dark blue of his irises brushing over that visible shake to those once steady palms. Those words upon Will's lips hardly helped to answer any of the questions that bubbled within the forefront of his mind. "Who told you that?" He inquired, entirely oblivious of the hellish years his closest friend had spent in captivity. William's silence hardly boded well, though Sebastian knew well that a certain level of...tenderness was required, given the Duke's present state. "William?" He prompted softly, the word little more than a whisper upon his lips. Those words that were abruptly offered him, however, served to fill in those missing puzzle pieces.
How well Sebastian remembered his companion's vague insistence that the Dark Hunter Council was after him, even though he had never truly bothered to explain why, nor had Sebastian asked, either. He could hear that spike in Will's blood pressure, his heart somehow beating faster as the man struggled with those words he wished to say. The Englishman hardly interrupted, however, regardless of how utterly distracting the thudding melody was. Rather, the dark hue of his irises intently followed each movement of William's bloody hand, smearing the substance within the Dark Hunter's hair. The vampire's eyes fluttered closed for a moment, the Prince attempting to focus upon his breath rather than the cloying scent that filled his own office. It was the sound of movement that prompted his gaze to flutter open, the Prince surprisingly unphased by his friend's declaration that the Hunters that held him were not all eradicated. That almost pleading tone to William's voice hardly went unnoticed, those fears entirely plain to see to the Incubus.
A small, almost reassuring simper danced across his features as he stepped forward towards the Hunter. Tenderly, Sebastian reached for one of those trembling hands, carefully pulling it into his own. He was hardly oblivious of the blood that was beginning to dry on William's palm, much less the bruising around his friend's wrists. "William...it's fine. I understand, you're back now...right?" He inquired, forcing his gaze upwards towards his companion. "Everything's going to be okay now. You're shaking like bloody leaf." He observed, raising William's hand upwards ever so slightly as if to show his companion that which he'd noticed. "Why don't we get you in the shower, okay? This is...distracting." His tongue flicked over his lips as he glanced towards his companion with an almost apologetic smile. "And after you're not covered in blood...I need you to tell me exactly where you were. I can make some phone calls to take care of this. No one's going to come after you again, not while you're here." It was his best effort to reassure the Hunter and yet, if anyone could see this witch hunt come to an end...surely it was Dorian's godfather.