The shadows of the living room are deeper than the ones upstairs. They're all encompassing and as I step into the far corner that gives me an easy view of the stairs, whole living room, and the kitchen entrance, I let those shadows wrap around me like the arms of a lover. I snuggle into them like you would a favorite blanket on a cold, rainy night.
John doesn't bother with trying to keep the stairs from creaking an announcement of his arrival as he all but stomps down them, his anger at Asher and the situation palpable. What's the point of trying to be sneaky? He knows I'm here and I know he recognized me. He cannot match me in stealth and so he doesn't bother to try.
At least he's more accepting of his imminent demise than Asher.
If he weren't such a proven coward, I would call his actions brave. But I know better. May have taken me nearly three decades to catch on, but now that I have? I won't be fooled ever again. And he certainly won't live long enough to try.
He curses harshly as he stumbles on the shoes I'd scattered about. I bite my lip until the thick tang of copper blooms on my tongue to keep from snickering. Of all the training ops, of all the missions with me, and he still hasn't learned my tricks? That's a whole new level of pathetic.
At least watching him fumble his way through my less deadly traps hasn't lost its hilarity.
"Really, Yihmés? Sabotaging the bottom of the stairs? How very sportsmanlike of you."
I raise an eyebrow even though he can't see me. His night vision was always shit and his awareness even worse than that. I could be inches from his face and he'd have no idea. But he's baiting me, trying to get me go play my hand before I'm ready. And I'm not going to fall for it.
"Why didn't you do me in upstairs?" he shuffles forward towards the main part of the living room, stopping just a foot shy of the coffee table that is far removed from the place he remembers it being in. If he were smart, he'd have figured that I'd done more than just move the shoes. But that would be expecting a level of intelligence he obviously doesn't have. "Why just knock me out and hide?"
I'm not hiding, you worthless meat sack. I'm waiting. There is a very clear difference.
"I know you're down here, Yihmés. This isn't that big of an apartment. And you weren't in Sarah or Aaron's rooms. They'd've cried out if you had been."
I can't keep silent anymore. The timing is just too easy and perfect since I can here Asher stomping around upstairs, making his slow way towards Sarah's room.
"If you think I couldn't take them both out separately without them alerting anyone else, you are stupider than I ever gave you credit for, Johnny boy. And I'm actually kind of insulted that you think so little of my skills."
He whirls around in a tight circle, narrowly missing the sharp edge of the coffee table in the process. Seems he forgot that not only can I project my voice, I can throw it at the same time. So trying to pinpoint where I am by that alone will only ever work if I want it to.
"Where are you?" he demands, scanning the room like he's capable of seeing shit all without light to help him. "I never pegged you for this cowardly bullshit. Show yourself!"
I growl lowly, the sound one that a predator in the wild makes just before it springs its trap. I let the sound trail off into a sickeningly sweet, dark laugh and watch as he shudders.
"I'm right behind you."
He jerks around, smacking into the coffee table and falling forward onto, hands flying out to keep him from face-fucking it just as Asher's scream of, "Jesus Christ! Sarah!" rings out from upstairs followed by rapid foot steps. I'm jumping over the couch and fisting my hand in John's hair, pulling his head up before he can even register what's going on, and snarl in his face, "That sound? That's the boyfriend you were cheating on discovering the body of the harlot you were fucking."
"You killed her?" John splutters.
"What, no, I did something better than that," I reply and my smile is vicious at the hope that fills his face. "I killed them both."
He makes a sound of confusion tinged with fear and I laugh as the hope and color drains from his face. "Just wait, John."
And sure enough Asher's heavy footfalls can be heard just before he screams, the sound cut short as he begins to violently vomit after light floods the stairs from Aaron's open bedroom door.
"Wh-why?" John demands, trying for bravado, acting like he isn't scared shitless.
But his expression tells me that we both know that's a lie.
"I told you why the day I met you," I answer tossing him away from the table into the center of the room. As he scrambles backwards, I step onto and over the table after him. "I can be three things to you: your best friend, your enemy, or your worst nightmare." I come to a halt at his hip, enjoying the way his eyes are wide and jaw slack. Because that he remembers. He'd seen me click over for so many people over the last thirty years. He knows what's next.
"And the day you came at me in my own home? That was the day you signed your death warrant. And I've come to collect what I'm owed."
I stomp on his right knee, a shiver rocking my body at the sound of the joint shattering, his howl cut short as the pain fully registers and he turns onto his left side to vomit.
I crouch down and roughly roll him onto his back. Upstairs Asher has stopped vomiting, the thud of him throwing himself against the other side of the hallway as far from Aaron's bedroom as possible making me smile. John swats at me, but his body is whoozy from the pain in his knee, the limb itself on fire and cold with it. If I planned to let him live, he would never be able to walk on it again.
"Please," he begs. What for I'm not certain and I doubt even he knows. For his life? For Asher's? A quick death? Mercy?
He'll get none of those things.
I shake my head. "Beg all you want, Johnny boy. It won't save you."
With that I toss the pint glass into the air, catch it and then launch it at the wall to my left where it pulverizes, shrapnel flying in all directions.
"John?!" Asher calls out but John can't answer.
John won't answer. At least...not in the way Asher is hoping for.
I grab up the biggest piece of the glass, turn it this way and that and then aim my smile at John who is crying now, blubbering out nonsensical pleas.
I lean forward and giggle out, "Better answer him before he gets worried."
The sound he makes as I slide the glass shard into the meaty part of his side just below his floating rib is orgasmic.
And it is only the beginning.