"I forged the will!" Warren cried as the perfumed animal in his lap shoved her lethal fingernails against his throat. "My father's will, I forged a new one after Silus showed me his real one!"
The girl's fox-like eyes scanned his face, searching for any hints of a lie. "Why?" she hissed.
Warren pressed his lips together, his guts contracting with fear under her stare.
"Why did you forge a new one?" she growled, reaching for a sliver of metal which sat inside the folds of her flowing skirt. A split up one side of her petticoat revealed tight leather leggings which clung to her waist.
"Zara!" Silus hopped to his feet. "I really don't think there is any need for -"
"Shut up!" she yelled, glaring over her shoulder at the lawyer. "You of all people should know not to interfere with me getting my way."
Warren became slack-jawed as Silus's face paled. Never had he seen his friend, usually so suave and spilling over with confidence, have his words knocked out of him. Who was this girl, and what in the world was she capable of?
Silus hastily gathered his long black tailcoats from the sofa and scampered out of the study, slamming the door behind him. Warren fought the urge to vomit on the girl's tight ivory corset.
"Are you going to talk?" Zara asked calmly. She placed her blade between her teeth and began to undo Warren's belt with impressive efficiency. Warren's face flooded with shame at the erection which popped out to greet her.
"He left it all to her!" he screeched, panicked. "The house, the money; he left it all to that red-headed witch, so I forged a new one!"
"So you're a thief?" Zara growled.
"I'm not a thief!"
"You're dishonest and a traitor to your family."
"She's not family! If anything, she was his pet, his experiment!"
Zara's eyes closed in around themselves, her breath drawing closer to his face, her blade pressing up against his balls. "Lydia Hiddlestone was your father's pet? I find that a little hard to swallow."
Warren's eyes and nose were leaking down his face. He wished he could wipe it with his hands, but he feared that if he made too sudden a movement, Zara's blade would find its way inside him.
"Not Miss Hiddlestone. Molly. My father's ward, he used to call her. Miss Hiddlestone is - was - a family friend."
Just like that, Zara slipped from his lap, taking her blade with her. She stood with her back to Warren, picking up Silus's untouched scotch and taking a swig.
Warren shivered with relief and scrambled to do up his trousers with trembling fingers. "I say, sweetheart, you're a.... a feisty one, aren't you? You could do a fellow some real damage if you're not careful." He stood up to shake her hand.
She turned slowly and reached to take his, never breaking eye contact. "I find that being careful is the best way to do some real damage." She threw her other arm forward, still wielding the blade.
Warren Meriwether was raised in comfort, never experiencing real pain or discipline or even real mental exercise. It took his brain so long to catch up to Zara's movements that she had already sliced through his pants, into his right testicle, and yanked it back out again, before he even registered the pain searing through his pelvis.
"That's for calling me sweetheart." She twirled the blade in her hands before sliding it back inside her skirt. Warren couldn't tear his eyes away from her, couldn't move, couldn't even scream. She flashed him a smile. "I'll be in touch about the job."
Warren sank to his knees as she pulled open the window of the study and slipped into the darkness which awaited there. He caught a final glimpse of her long, shiny hair before he blacked out.