The Murderer's Daughter

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Chapter XI

Rasputin had been fed and was now finishing his second bowl of water as Lena made her way back to the house, the file still tightly pressed to her body, being careful not to crease the folder the picture and still unknown name lay. The wind blew her hair around and dried her skin as the door was shut and locked behind her, the warm house inviting and safe as she went to the kitchen. She needed some tea this evening. The world was so much different now, it seemed more open and powerful, like each hair on her body stood up on end when she felt such power radiate around her in invisible waves. As the tea kettle warmed up, she closed her eyes, and without thinking, held her hand over the spout of the kettle. She listened to the water begin to simmer. She wasn't sure why she was doing what she was doing, it would hurt to feel the steam against her skin no doubt, yet something in her mind told her to try it, then focus only on the pain, learning and improving her tolerance.

Her body went back into its paralyzed state, her limbs freezing into position and the whistling would begin soon as the water began to boil. Not yet. There was still time for her to compose herself and make sure that her anticipation did not take over. Not now. The seconds ticked by but she drowned out the sound of the clock behind her. She almost swayed off balance but her mind made sure to snap her back to consciousness, to focus on the task she was to test. There it was. The first sound. The first few bubbles the ran up the side of the kettle to be free into the air. The first fumes of the steam swirled playfully between her stretched fingers, twisting and shaping the vapors to conform to her hand and disappear again. Her hand began to sweat, the pain not yet appearing. Lena's eyes stayed shut, she wanted to complete this. To show herself that she could not be limited by pain, that she could push even herself when her father was not around. The test of the killing was the first of several. She was still learning, still improving.

Then it began to affect her. As the water started to boil, the steam increased its flow and power, wetting her hand more and the vapor made her skin tingle at first, slowly burning but not yet would she remove her hand away. She could still think, therefore she would be able to push herself. The voice in the back of her mind told her to keep trying, even though she felt her body ache with need to pull her hand out of harm's way. There was a limit coming up, she could feel it but not yet, she needed to pass it. Another voice in her head sounded. 'Stop, you don't need to prove anything.' But she had to. This was her choice and she had every power to keep going. But eventually, once the burning became unbearable, her hand jerked away. Was it her mind that made her do it or her body? Both mostly but yet what was the part of her that didn't want the pain to stop? She inspected her hand briefly, the skin pulled tight and easily showing the evidence of a palm size blister. She would need to wear a glove when she met the man tomorrow.

She used her free hand to pour the water into the cup and her lemon and ginger tea bag floated to the top, giving off a pleasant yet bitter smell. Why was she trying to test herself so much? What was the purpose and achievement of hurting herself like that? She had never done something like that before for she had an urge to know and a chance to find out. Perhaps there was something more wrong with her then expected. She waited for her tea while running her hand under cold water, watching the drops move from the tips of her nails and back into the sink, and for a split second she envisioned blood instead of water. There was no blood, the imagination was in the swirling red she saw. Lena had to blink several times before the blood went clear again. She sighed and shook her head. One death by her hands and now she was already going crazy. This was not professional behavior and she needed to keep herself under control. Lena turned off the water and looked at her hand, finding the blistering already starting but the pain was dull now, any pressure would bring it all back she knew fully well.

She wiped her hand dry gently and tossed the dripping tea bag away, leaving the cup filled with the perfect aroma for hr to enjoy while she looked and remembered every detail about the photo that was still hidden in the file. Lena retrieved it and went back to her room, turning on her lamp and sitting in the chair in the corner, opening the folder up on her lap and staring down at the features of the man who she would come to be able to spot in a storm. The photo was clear and well taken, but clearly the subject of the photo had no idea he was being photographed just like the photo of Jacob. This man also had a phone to his ear, a expression of anger written on his eyes yet his facial features simply showed a man having a simple conversation with a colleague of some sort. He had dark brown hair that was long yet well groomed, reaching past his ears in soft curls. His suit was a beige number with a light brown shirt, in Lena's opinion it was a terrible combination but she wouldn't say it out loud even to herself. He was tall, that was also clear when judging him against the small crowd around him. His name was printed on a small piece of paper. Hayden Miller. She smirked. It was such a common name that would barely leave an impact on anyone if they did not know of his abilities. Lena was one of those who did not know.

She took a few more long minutes to learn more of his profile. A thin yet muscular body was obvious under the suit. The air conditioning turned on and the air moved across her open and blistered hand and she flinched slightly. Her eyes glanced from Hayden's face look at the slightly swollen palm and fingers, seeing that the skin was tough and stiff looking, slightly shiny in the light of the lamp beside her. Lena flexed her fingers to only wince again. the skin was too tight for movement. She scowled at her lack of sense at the action she had done. Why was she so stupid as to let herself be scarred now by a simple curiosity. That habit would kill her one day. It took her ten more minutes to get to know Hayden Miller's profile before she closed it back in the folder and set it by her barely drank tea. Now she was bored. That word surprised her, to be bored meant she had nothing to do and she knew that there had to be something, anything that she could come up with to finish off the day. The sky was dark outside her covered window and she could feel the need for sleep starting to hit her. Lena finished her tea in a few quick swallows and rinsed it out in her bathroom sink, looking at herself for the first time after the kill in the mirror.

Her hair was still pinned out of her face, her make up still fresh besides a slightly dark rim line under her eyes where the steam of the tea kettle made the eyeliner drip. The red lips stayed perfect, the lip liner doing its job perfectly and Lena took a closer look at her eyes. Did they still look naive and innocent? If she kept killing, would people be able to see the dangerous look in her eyes as it began to grow? She needed to keep her act of innocent daughter played for everyone who she would encounter. Her eyes seemed more narrowed, still doe like, yet not as gentle and kind. Leaning further over the sink and closer to the mirror, she practiced making her eyes bright and gentle, struggling to maintain that when the thoughts of that day came back to her memory. Perhaps if she wore less eye makeup to accent her maturity? Then her personality would be gone. No, she just needed to not think of all that she secretly knew and go about her life. The man was dead, he was not important anymore.

At the moment, she had an idea. But of course her idea had a draw back. She would want to keep record of each kill she made. The drawback would be what if someone were to discover it? If she hid the pages where she kept her secrets behind her panel with the book, then she would perhaps be alright. But that idea would have to wait until she got to work on truly ridding herself of all evidence of the day. She turned on her shower and the steady fall of the water gave off a comforting sound that soothed her mood and rid her thoughts for a while. The steam began to fog the mirror and Lena hurried to bandage her hand in water proof gauze and stripped off her dress, hanging it on the hook behind her and brushing out her hair once the pins were pulled out and her long thick locks hung down her back. She didn't bother to wipe off her make up, the image of it falling down her cheeks in black streaks made her smile as the vision came to mind. It would be like her mask was coming off for the first time. But what was under the mask? I girl still discovering herself? Lena didn't think so but her emotions had been buried for a long time so she did not know for certain.

She didn't want to think about that. She needed to get her things taken care of tonight so she could get a fresh start in the morning. That would take a little while, she wanted to relax and not feel like there was a test on her shoulders. this was for her, to wash away and hidden guilt or pain that wanted to slowly break her down. She stepped into the shower and let the water run down her body. She closed her eyes and the water continued to soak into her hair and skin, dripping down and washing away any bad feelings she may have had before. The soap helped to made her body feel all the more new, like she had a fresh start and now she was clear of mind. Perhaps that was how someone felt once they prayed to a God. Lena did not believe in religions, she believed in Higher Power, a force so strong that that Power could grant you live at your last breath of grant you death at your first.

Once the shower was done she returned to her room, the water still dripping down her back and onto her carpet, the towel wrapped around her body lightly. The day was officially over, the world was quiet and the meeting fast approaching as she got dressed for bed and pulled back her sheets. How would she approach this man? How would she approach society? The questions came one after the other until she was pacing her room and answering each individual question in her mind and the journal idea was pushed aside until later. Finally, once her results were how she wanted them, then she went to sleep, laying on her back and playing the image of how she expected the meeting to go and how she would improve herself yet again.

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