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Chapter Eleven

My beast. My beast. My beast.

The phrase kept repeating in the Assassin’s mind, drowning out the other voices for the time being. He felt like a giddy boy just thinking about it. He was happy.

He hadn’t been happy in a very, very long time.

The Assassin wanted nothing more than to engulf Adalina in an embrace. He wanted to hold her as close to his chest as he could. He wanted to tell her how he loved her, not simply hope she knew. He wanted to kiss her.

But he could never, ever kiss his Beauty.

He knew the temptation was ever growing, however. So he decided after nearly a week and a half of the most silence he’d had in years that he needed to leave the castle.

“Only for a few days,” he said to Adalina.

“Someone to Assassinate?” she asked. It was a jesting voice, but he heard the concern behind it. Adalina, beautiful Adalina, was so pure at heart. She would never reconcile herself fully to what he did, who he was.

“A very bad someone,” he said. “The monster takes control, so I choose his targets with care.” For the first time in centuries, the Assassin and the Monster were not one and the same. He could tell a difference. Accentuate it.

It felt so freeing.

Travel was always strange for the Assassin. He saw nothing, but the voices painted the world around him in his mind. His eyes never saw a thing, but he knew more of his surroundings than anyone.

He knew every obstacle. The weather. Each person in the near vicinity and their every action. He knew everything on all sides, whether it was a threat or could be useful.

He could jump across rooftops, sneak through an entire castle unseen, attack a full party of men. He was unstoppable, undetectable, undefeatable.

He was a beast.

The monster would take over soon. His mind would go fuzzy and he would hunt by blood instead of by voice. He would make no decisions. He would only act, only kill.

There would be silence. Blissful, peaceful silence.

The Assassin walked through the forest, waiting for it to take over. But the trees never faded away, the voices never silenced.

“Where are you?” he growled.

“Waiting,” whispered a tree.

The monster did not answer.

“Do you not want to kill?” demanded the Assassin. “Our target lies just beyond the forest!”

The voices grew frantic.

“Twenty people armed fire coming posse party hunting after the beast rescue the beauty hunt the beast,” they chanted, voices rolling over one another.

The monster had been waiting.

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