Prologue – The Two Year Promise
It was silent.
All around her was silent, as large flakes of snow fell.
Slowly she opened her eyes, the right blue, the left grey, looking skyward to only see a never-ending blackness that was the night time sky. No stars or moon to be seen only the snow.
It would have been serein, a lovely sight as she lay with her back on the cold ground, as her dark copper red hair created a vibrant contrast to the snow itself, had it not been for the orange glow that was out of her perifocal vision. Slowly, turning her head to her right, she could see the remains of a burning car blurring into her focus.
It wasn’t her car. It belonged to someone she had only vaguely knew from her old college. The guy, Tom, was dead. In the fuzziness of her mind she vaguely heard his screams, making a horrible sound, almost like a wild animal in absolute pain, before his voice petered out of existence in garbled gasps, choking on his own blood as he had been ripped apart. And now he was partly burning along with the car. At least he wasn’t alive for that.
She looked back up to the dark sky, only to see someone looking down at her, obstructing her view of the endless sky. The person in question was a man, he looked to be in his late thirties to early forties, older than her by almost twenty years. With subtle features to his face, he could be described as handsome to some depending on one’s taste. As he looked down at her with brown eyes, his blonde hair showing faint signs of grey form age. A faint smearing of blood, but very little to almost unnoticeable amounts rested along his right cheek.
They merely looked to each other, in that muted silence, before she parted her lips and spoke in an even calm tone. “Is he dead?”
“He is,” the man said.
“Are you going to kill me?”
“That is the intention,” he said with some sort of accent that she couldn’t place as he slowly knelt down on the snow-covered ground before her. He looked to be dressed in a proper suite, at least from what she could tell from what peaked out underneath his coat.
“Oh…” she said as she felt gloved hands rest along the sides of her face. “Well that’s unfortunate.” His hold was firm yet gentle, as he stared down at her mismatched eyes as a single tear fell from her grey eye. “Would it be rude of me to ask you something then?”
His eyes looked to her intently, as his face seemed to twitch ever so slightly at her question. As though it amused him. “What is it?”
“Would it be too much to ask if you could give me two years? Two years to put all my affairs in order, would that be alright?”
“You think I will give that to you?” he asks his hands remained along her face.
“No, I merely thought to ask.”
“Why did you?” his voice holding a note of faint curiosity.
“My brother has problems with his legs, we’re moving to New York to start something new. I’d at least like to make sure that he’ll be alright before I’m dead, if that matters, I mean. He’s all I have, just us two.” The man paused, saying nothing, but did not brake eye contact. “It’s up to you, you’re my executioner…”
The edges of his mouth twitch, showing the faintest of smiles. “You’re awfully calm, given your situation.”
“And you haven’t killed me yet.” She retorts. “Should I take that as a sign or do you like talking to your victims before killing them?”
“A little bit of both actually.” He kept looking her in the eye as if contemplating what he would do. “You must really care for your brother if that’s what comes to your mind first when facing your death.”
“I do. When it’s just you and another, you feel as though it’s only the both of you against the world. I know it sounds altruistic, but that’s how it feels. Do you have family?”
He broke eye contact, glancing to the still heavily burning car before removing one hand to have his arm rest on his knee and looked back down at her. “Two years? Don’t you think that’s a little short?”
“I think it’ll be enough.”
The man stood, and slowly made his way to stand at her side, extending a hand clad in black leather. “Two years then.”
She looked to his hand and without another word took it as he pulled her to stand up right his hand now clasping her left as he looked at her. “Two years… and then you can kill me.”