I took no pleasure in dispatching another opponant. For some reason, I kept getting chased by people in this game. I had no clue as to how they recognised me, since I didn't wear any uniform or brand marking me out. Like me, they worked on instinct.
I wiped my knife clean on a rag I carried and pocketed it again. Rolling my shoulders back to loosen the muscles, I carried on walking. I let my mind wander as I walked, finding it go back to the day I'd started this.
I was stirring the pasta sauce I was preparing for Selene as a surprise dinner to celebrate our first year as an engaged couple. Smells of tomato, garlic and basil permeated the air and I grinned. I knew it was her favorite. I'd got an expensive red wine and had put some candles on the table, along with a rose for her. Everything was set for a perfect romantic evening in. I'd even found her favorite film, despite loathing the vampires that did an impression of a disco ball.
I felt a pair of slender arms wrap themselves around my waist and I smiled as I felt every curve of Selene's body press themselves against my back.
"I'm home, gorgeous." She purred in my ear. "What's all this in aid of?"
"Its our anniversary babe." I replied, patiently.
A seductive chuckle told me she'd remembered. I turned around and was floored by what I saw. She'd silently come in and gotten changed into something she most definately would not have been wearing out of the bedroom.. and not for long in there either.
Her mouth quirked up in a sexy smile that I loved and I captured her lips with my own.
"I love you." I breathed.
She smiled, kissing me again in reply. We ended up taking the wine to bed, leaving the pasta. Selene poured us both a glass, turning to me with an odd look in her eye. Almost dead. I threw the thought from my mind, putting it down to the light. She watched as I drank from the glass. Setting it aside, I let her push me down as she straddled my hips. When I reached up to touch her face, I found my arms wouldn't move.
"What-" The effort to move my mouth seemed too much. I didn't utter another word, watching instead as her stunning blue eyes turned cold. She stepped off me.
"Bless you." Her voice was full of contempt, a tone I'd never heard her direct at me. "Poor, naive, young Liam.You never saw this coming?" She smiled, a dangerous, deadly smile. A long knife appeared in her hand. Like her it was slender. I was later to get intimately aquainted with this knife and find out that, like her, it was cold and lethal also.
"You're paralysed, idiot." She said as she saw the panic in my eyes. "Guess what? Your daddy; mister I-own-half-this-city, owes the mafia a little of his pocket money. And he's not paying up. See, my daddy doesn't like it when that happens. So you're going to pay instead. So sorry."
I would have choked if my muscles would respond. The sarcasm in her apology cut almost as deep as the realisation that I'd been used. I'd fallen completely for someone who was only out on a job. I felt sick. She tilted her head, contemplating me as she paraded the knife in front of my face.
"How pathetic. A psychology major can't even read someone he spent practically every day with for a year." She sneered. "Top of the class?" She straddled me, holding the blade lightly to my neck to whisper in my ear. "Class clown would be more accurate."
She played the knife in front of my eyes, letting the low light in the room flash along the blade. She smiled again.
"You're a sweet guy, I'll give you that. And you definately earned the nickname 'Adonis' I've heard around campus. See, I'd apologise if I was sorry, but I'm not. I'm married. My husband was not happy when I got this job. Its our anniversary tonight and I want to spend it with him. Thats right, darling little Liam. I never did love you."
I was unable to scream when she slipped the knife between my ribs. But I felt every inch of that blade. I also felt the excruciating agony of my lungs filling with my own blood. Her smile turned cold again.
"I guess you'll never learn from this mistake. Goodbye darling."
With that last, cold word in my ears, she plunged the knife, up to the hilt, into my chest. She left without looking back, not even watching me die. I was unable to even scream, feeling the breath leave me in silence.
I regained conciousness in my bed again, feeling the half-jellied, congealing blood coating the sheets. My blood. Confused, I got up, checking my body over. As good as new. No scars, no marks, nothing to betray Selene's actions. I looked back to the bed and yelled in horror. My very dead body was very much still there. Panting in fear, I backed away from the bed, turned tail and fled.
A few years later, I'd discovered how fragile the human body was in the Death Game. As a reminder to my goals, I always used a knife where I could. I wanted Selene dead, out of the game and a family protected from all that had caused me suffering. I had climbed to rank 88, achingly close to the instinctive goal of number one.
I found myself at a forgotten library, wandering in. I hadn't been anywhere near these places since Selene. We'd met in the university library. I wandered through the shelves, feeling nostalgic, when a brilliant gold book caught my eye. I leafed through it, finding my eyebrows dissappear into my hairline.
"So this is how this game works." I muttered, picking up the watch. "Cool."