There was a core of innocence in Joseph--despite his enjoyment of women and art and the finer things of life that, on the outside, gave the appearance of a sybarite. It had always been there, molding him into the man any father could be proud of. It had remained through the losses and betrayals and battles.
It had remained even as his hands had become stained with blood.
Slade knew that core, that spark, was the true Joseph, and, as they fought--his son possessed and furious--himself breaking with every blow--he could see it struggling to be free.
When Joey begged his father for a merciful end, Slade knew he'd found it.
Drowning in his son's innocent green eyes, he plunged home the sword.
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