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Chapter Nine

“She cares.”

This time it was not the chipped cup, but the Assassin.

“She cried for me. She tries to help me, in all the little ways. She loves me.”

The voice, once so dark and strong and dripped with blood now only shook with a hesitant hope.

Hope. Fragile as a rose. And as barbed with pain.

“She pities you. She has forgotten the beast. And when I tear out her heart, she will see her life spill to the floor, and any so-called love will spill away with it forever,” growled the beast.

“She loves him she cares she cried she’s cleaning now she’s cooking she cares she cried she loves you chipped cup she cares.”

The Assassin needed her to care. It was his raft in an ocean of insanity, his bridge to a better life. He needed her love like a drowning man needs air and her touch like a starving man needs food.

She had only touched him the once. His burden had fallen away, and his mind was so perfectly clear for those few moments. Like her voice, but so much more pure. He had not dared touch her again; his burden only went to her. And death was a better fate than that. He would, and had, killed sooner than cursed another with the voices.

“You love her?” The chipped cup sat in his hand, voice loud in his mind.

“She loves me,” he whispered.

“And you love her?” pressed the cup.

“The voices don’t ask questions,” he mumbled, frowning. His mind was worse today. Things were slow, hazy. The voices were so loud.

So loud.

“Love her love you kill her timid walking corridor kill her behind you small smile heart race three weapons artery ki-”

“You didn’t eat lunch today,” said Adalina’s voice. So beautiful, bringing him blessed silence. Today it was laced with curiosity nervousness disappointment fear irritation kill her.

“I cooked some fore you,” she said. She’s biting her lip she wants to touch you she wants you to turn around and look at her rip her apart. “In case you weren’t feeling up to it today.”

She had cooked for him. For her master, simply because. For the sake of her own hunger as well, he was certain. But that didn’t change the fact that she wanted to help him, even when he had been so distracted by his own monstrosity to even do the one decent thing he did do for her.

She’s so beautiful.

It poured out of her. Her words, her actions, her soul, such a blazing beauty that the voices fled when her own was present.

He spun, hands clutching her arms.

“Fear in her eyes breath in her throat stiff muscle slice the artery distracted blush KILLHERNOW.”

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered. He couldn’t’ hear his own voice among the others. They had drowned out every part of him. But they told him of her reaction, and he watched it in his mind’s eye. Confusion. A blush. A little sliver of happiness. A bit of fear at the wave of voices now pounding against her mind. He reveled in every moment of it.

“She loves you. I love her. She’s beautiful. You need her. She cares for you.” His own voice, the one always lost to the sea of madness, now rang in harmony with the others. All save one.

"Kill her.”

He turned away from his Beauty, lest he lose her to the Beast.

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