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Dark Journey Chapter 1 Part 4
“Time to get messy,” Kerri hissed. She began to saw through the sternum using the serrated blade, a maniac gleam in her eye. The blade caught. Kerri snarled as she jerked it free. Lust of the kill beat in her, wiping away all other thought.
Kerri attacked the body. She ripped back skin and muscle, laying bare the glistening white ribs. Blood cover her arms up to the elbow. Kerri grabbed her sword once more and finished sawing through the sternum. Gripping the slippery bones in her hands, Kerri pulled with all her might. Her arms bulged and her breath came in gasps.
Finally, with an earsplitting crack, the ribs broke apart. The heart and lungs were laid bare to the glow of the candle. They glistened as the light danced over them, glittering like gems.
Kerri trailed her fingers over the heart. It was still warm. The tender meat yielded to the slightest pressure, bending inwards. Kerri fought the urge to sink her fingers into the soft tissue, ripping it to shreds. Instead she slid her knife from its sheath and, slowly and meticulously, carved out a piece shaped like a heart.
Holding it up, Kerri bared her teeth in a sickly grin. Bringing the piece of tissue closer to her face, Kerri inhaled. The warm smell of raw meat and the coppery smell of fresh blood filled her lungs with a potent, heady heat. She closed her eyes, wrapping herself in the warmth of Brynn’s death, sinking into that comfort.
A door closed somewhere in the hall. Kerri snapped back to her senses. Snarling at herself, she quickly sliced open the young man’s inner thigh. Blood oozed from the wound, staining the white sheet dark crimson. Dipping her fingers into the blood, Kerri wrote a message on the white wall of the room.
Vixen and The Cat
Pulling one of her small, plain knives from its sheath, Kerri pinned the piece of heart beside Vixen’s name, driving the blade deep into the wall. Voices echoed out in the hall. Swearing, Kerri grabbed the wool blanket and threw it over Brynn’s still, mutilated body. Grabbing her robe, Kerri ran over to the window and, looking back once at her victim, slipped into the shadows of the night.
“Well?” Vixen asked, following Kerri as she strode through the dark halls of the house towards her room.
“Target terminated,” Kerri replied, paying little attention to the woman following her. All she wanted to do was go to her room, take a long bath, and collapse in bed. The lust and joy of the kill had worn off, leaving a tired numbness behind.
“Excellent, Kerri!” Vixen said cheerfully, slinging an arm around the girl’s shoulder. “I trust all things went according to plan.”
“They always do,” Kerri replied, stepping deftly from beneath Vixen’s arm. Vixen’s eyes flashed in anger, but Kerri took no notice. She was too tired to deal with Vixen’s rages tonight.
“Come and have a drink with me,” Vixen said suddenly. “I know that Bane’s been dying to see you again.”
“I’m going to go to bed,” Kerri replied, reaching for the doorknob. Vixen whipped out her knife and placed it on Kerri’s wrist.
“That wasn’t a request, Kerri,” Vixen said quietly, pressing the cold metal against the fragile skin on the inside of Kerri’s wrist. Kerri looked at Vixen, her eyes cold. She felt nothing inside, only the need to be alone once more.
“Remove your blade,” Kerri said, her voice low.
“No,” Vixen replied, her voice close to a growl. Kerri’s eyes narrowed
“Remove your f***ing blade, Vixen,” Kerri snarled. “You do not want to f*** with me tonight.”
“You forget yourself, brat,” Vixen hissed, venom in her voice.
Kerri looked at the woman who had taken her in off the street and raised her. Hatred raced through her veins, burning her. Lightning fast, Kerri grabbed the blade from Vixen’s hand and slammed the larger woman against the wall, knife to her throat.
“No, Vixen,” Kerri replied, her voice tight. “You forget yourself. Forget what you have made me, and what the consequences are. Never pull a blade on me again, or you won’t like what happens next.”
With that Kerri drove the knife into the wall beside Vixen’s head. Turning, she opened the door and walked into her room, bolting the door behind her. Kerri paused, wondering if Vixen would be mad enough to attempt to break down the door. After a few moments silence, she heard Vixen swear softly and walk back down the stairs.
Grinning, Kerri walked to the bathroom, stripping off her weapons as she went. Leaving them in heap on the floor, Kerri slipped into the bathroom gratefully. A large copper tub sat in the middle of the room on clawed feet, sparkling enticingly in the light of the lamps.
Kerri pulled off her black assassin’s suit, dropping it onto the floor for the maids to take and wash. Turning on the tap, Kerri picked up her sword and pulled it from the sheath. Caked in dried blood, the metal looked rusted and old.
Using a rag from the linen closet, Kerri lovingly cleaned the blade until it gleamed in the light. Turning off the tap, Kerri laid the clean sword on the floor before inspecting the sheath. The inside was caked with blood, some of which was still wet. Kerri swore. It’d take hours to clean the leather.
Setting it aside, Kerri stepped into the bath. The hot water scalded her legs, making her gasp in pleasure. She sank into the scalding water until it touched her chin. Leaning back against the slippery side of the tub, Kerri relaxed, the tension easing from her muscles. Her mind was blank, filled with nothing but the feeling of warmth and security.
After drifting there for a long while, Kerri roused herself and began to wash the blood from her skin. Leaning her head back, she washed her hair as well. The soap smelled of citrus and lavender, washing the reek of the city from her nose.
Kerri sighed and sank back, the light tang of copper wafting around her. She stretched, flexing every muscle in her body. The last bit of tension was released as she relaxed lazily in the cooling water, looking out the window at the moon.