Green cat-like eyes. "The Godfrey eyes" they're often called. Inherent and beautiful. They match the white, marble skin in which they are set. These eyes—sometimes lined with pink bits of cocaine—track and pull you into their depths. Deceptively dark beneath the halo of bright green. It's only a façade. A decrepit, disgustingly vicious portrait, craved from carnage and pain and gore and blood and flesh. Bulked with fine white powders and cut with razors. It's a terrifically horrifying thing. Kept in the attic so dry that even the dust is parched or a basement so cold and damp that no amount of alcohol will warm your blood. Behind closed doors. Locked away. A secret so secure that it has been painted over and over so many times that sometimes, Roman forgets what he really looks like on the inside. He can't recall if what lies underneath this perfectly sculpted picture is a man or a monster.

His mirror image tilts his head, eyes cold and restless. He wants to know what it is inside him. What is this hunger? What is it that makes his mind form images of shady figures and death. And bible black snakes, lazy and sensual as they devour themselves over and over in circle after circle. Why is he so desperate to rip open his own skin? Is it because he knows, in his heart of hearts, that beneath all the wit and handsome flesh—underneath this pale and beautiful skin—underneath this face of an angel…there is nothing but a monster? Why does he constantly visualize seas of crimson? Dotted with hunks of pulsating flesh? Sometimes there is no image at all. Only a vast blackness. There is nothing, but he can feel the pull of these monstrous cravings, pulling him through a vortex.

He doesn't want to know what's on the other side.

Is it him? Is he a monster?

Oh but he must know. He must.

He thinks of Peter Rumancek and the little "g" tattooed onto his side. Roman remembers seeing it for the first time, when he went to the gypsy's trailer with a sense of curiosity for the supernatural. The need to prove there was something more than just…this.

The razor is a small comfort in his hand. He pricks his right temple with it's edge, pressing until his skull leaks blood. He watches the crimson liquid ooze from his head, crawling toward the ground at a slow, leisurely pace, and the hunger strikes him again. He presses his finger to the wound, dragging the digit down the curve of his cheek, smearing it until he had painted half his face in red. He brings the finger, now faintly covered in red, to his lips, plump and perfect—the kind that would give him trouble in prison as Peter had pointed out. He traces his lips once, pausing to purse them at his glass double, before running his finger across his cheek again to repeat the action a second time. Now ruby tinged and mildly warmed he stopped and stared. Tilts his head the other direction. Then leans forward until his forehead is pressed to the cold glass ahead of him.

"You're hideous." He hisses at himself, glaring at the boy in the mirror. Roman feels the inside of his nose begin to prickle as the pressure in his head increases. It starts in his eyes, then travels to his temples.

He leans back, pushing himself away in a feeble attempt to detach the monster clinging to his insides. "You're ugly." He says again, voice rising as the pressure increases.

With both hands planted on either side of the circular cut glass he begins shouting at himself. Words of confusion and anger and fear. Malicious words that tear at the small bit of innocence he has left. Blood runs in rivulets out of his nostrils, but he makes no move to stop the blood from dripping down his chin, splattering crimson along his neck and the top of his t-shirt. The white fabric absorbs the liquid, and Roman takes a moment to watch out of the corner of his eye as the blood stains the material, marring it forever.

He wants to scream.

So he does.

And somewhere in the troughs of the terribly sad and pathetic sound his body reacts without his knowledge, striking out at the pathetically tragic boy crying in the mirror. His double convulses as the shards erupt from the wall, and splatter on the carpet beneath his feet.

Roman breathes. He breathes as deeply and as cleanly as he can. But he feels some of the blood spilling from his nose reverse course and clog his nostrils, but he ignores this. He reaches and dabs at the underside of his nose delicately, as if he were bruised there, and stares at the long white fingers now tinted with red. He rubs the liquid between his thumb and index finger, reveling in the thick feel of it.

But he is brought from his revere by the gentle knock on the door of his bathroom. He needn't hear the sound of her mechanical voice to recognize her presence. He turns the right valve of the sink and immediately begins splashing his face with water.

"Just a second." He says hurriedly, thoroughly rinsing the blood from his face. Roman scrubs his skin with an unnecessary force, feeling the drag of his nails stinging his flesh as he desperately washes. And only when his entire face is faintly burning does he stop. He snatches the towel that rests on the seat of the toilet and dries his face. And opens the door after what he hopes isn't a long lapse of time.

Shelley stands with her head bowed, as she normally does, looking sheepish. He can sense the concern in her body language even before the small smile on her mouth turns down at the sight of the cut on his face.

Roman shrugs, with a smile that doesn't reach his eyes—which doesn't escape her notice. "I got a little carried away shaving."

Her face crinkles with worry. He shuffles her out of the bathroom. "What are you still doing up?" He sincerely hopes she isn't bent on being stubborn this evening.

Thankfully she isn't.

He escorts her back to her room to tuck her into bed. And as he pulls the covers over her towering form he makes himself smile as deeply as he can muster. He brushes the knuckles of his uninjured hand against her cheek and his heart swells as her skin glows beneath his touch.

"Goodnight, little firefly."

She grins at him as she burrows into the sheets and he kisses her head fondly. She is the only light in this empty old house. He waits in the doorway for a few moments until she offers him a small wave. Goodnight.

Roman smiles again, because it's Shelley, and flicks the light switch off. And just for a little while he can forget about the raging questions in the forefront of his mind.

Sooo I may have gotten a little obsessed/immersed in the Hemlock Grove series over the summer. And I might be a little bit in love with a few of the characters. I just started reading the book the series is based off and now I'm just filled with the urge to write character centric pieces like this. Anyway, this is a little different from my other stuff so please review and let me know if you have any suggestions for character centric one shots!

As always I do not own any of the charatcers~