Pretty Assassinations, Chapter 14

Chapter 14

 

 

 

I swing myself through the air. My mind rushing with ideas of how to take out Willful Ignorance. Before I know it I pull my gun out. I take a shot at her. It misses. She’s quick for an old lady, ducking behind a wall before I even really pull my gun out.

“Enough,” Desire states.

He steps in front of my way. I throw my entire arm back elbowing him in the chest. I hear him stutter out a few times clearly feeling the impact of my blow more than he imagined.

“Knife!” I hear someone scream.

It’s Sloth. She’s right. Desire reaches for his knife and somehow in the midst of him just grabbing it I am cut. He cuts me clean across the side of my abdomen and I jump back realizing the situation has changed now that he actually has a knife.

“I don’t want to do this,” he states.

I look over at Sloth. She’s been watching until now but she’s taking a step forward.

“Good because I know someone who does want to do this with you,” I tell Desire.

Sloth attacks Desire from the back. It’s a surprise attack. I think this is the right thing to do as I turn and navigate away. I have to be realistic here. Desire and I had a good relationship. Ok, we were cordial at least. Me and him fighting wouldn’t be a good thing. He was my brother for godsakes.

I think I’m doing the right thing until I cross paths with Willful Ignorance.

She stops me clean in my tracks.

Shit.

The only thing more awkward than fighting your brother is fighting your mother who wants to kill you because she doesn’t claim you as her true son.

“Do you see him?” she asks me.

She’s talking about her son…as always. I turn and see her pride and joy sparing with Sloth. I’ve never truly seen Sloth fight, not with much effort at least. She’s better than I thought. Desire is going for his knife, twisting and turning every which way. Sloth is quite aware, it seems, that you must stop Desire from getting to said knife. And she does a good job at that. Her quick, engineering of the environment proves that she was probably just as quick as Greed was. But so was Desire.

I didn’t have long. He was going to get to that knife.

And she was going to be out for the count.

“Move. This is my only warning. You know you are outmatched.”

“You’ve just come into yourself. A child with a nuclear button is still a child. I just have to kill you before you realize how to push the button.”

It sounds unique when she says it. As though she is some epic Hollywood villain who was about to launch the most amazing fucking attack of her lifetime. The thing was though she was wearing an apron. Like no lie. A full blown out apron. I look at her as though this wasn’t real life wondering what the fuck I was doing as a ninja about to fight this older woman who just so happened to be my mother. Whether she liked me or accepted me or not, I didn’t want to fight her.

Then again.

She was Willful Ignorance. She was Tom’s partner. She’d done awful things in her life and the world would be a much better place without her.

“No weapons at least.”

“You want to imagine I’ll play fair?” she asks.

I was hoping she wouldn’t. It might actually make me feel better about getting a little rough with her.

“Humor me,” I respond.

“Your conceited. Your cockiness will be your undoing. Mark my words.”

“Not by you.”

“By the memory of me,” she responds.

I don’t know what my so-called mother even means by that and I don’t wait to find out. Almost immediately I lunge forward throwing all my weight behind a kick! WHAM! The wood close to her head smashes but I jerk my food back quick enough to get in a quick follow up jab. It’s not the hit that I wanted but it’s enough to send Ignorance barreling backward.

She falls into a liquor bottle. It doesn’t take long before she breaks my rule of no weapons. She tosses two liquor bottles straight at my head. I dodge both easily but once again underestimate the old lady.

She throws a knife above me that triggers a chandelier to fall. Somehow a 6th sense kicks in telling me she’d be up to something odd and so I’m light enough on my feet to pivot slightly to the right. The chandelier would have took me out.

“What the fuck, old lady?”

“I still haven’t done my attack,” she states.

Just at that moment she throws something. I don’t see what it is. It’s so small. I don’t notice what it is until it’s too late. In a second my entire leg is engulfed in flames! Somehow she managed to get together all the things necessary to set me on fire. I was dripping in alcohol, the electric wires were everywhere from the chandelier and now a match.

I toss myself forward. My mind scared to death the fire will spread and wondering how much alcohol she was able to get on me. I throw myself towards the ground thinking like a ninja, looking around desperately. What would Sloth do? She would know how to put this out. I could make some sort of chemical mixture really quick if the kitchen had supplies. I wasn’t that good at mixtures but maybe it’s some hidden skill. Willful Ignorance and Desire were cooks after all. And for some weird reason I think about someone else.

What would Pride do?

Pride would do the obvious. I don’t need to think about what a ninja would do. I have to think about what a child would do. So Immediately I stop, I drop and I roll.

The fire goes out.

My hairs are torched, my jeans gone and I have sensitivity on my skin, but I’m not really burned. Maybe it’ll get worse latter, but right now it’s enough to keep going. That’s all I needed to do. Keep going. These Assembly assassins were tricky. It wasn’t like fighting anyone else in the world. For a lot of them it didn’t matter how strong you were. It mattered how much you can adapt. I was hoping this 6th sense had given me an edge in adaption but after realizing I almost burned to death by my mother maybe it didn’t.

She was just fucking 5 steps ahead at each point. This wasn’t Greed. This wasn’t Gluttony.

This was a real fucking fight.

And for the first time in a long time, I’m nervous.

“Humbled?” she asks, smiling so wide at her achievement of making me sweat that she finds the needs to sit down, “I think I deserve a rest for that, don’t I?”

“You can’t almost kill me and then sit down. Get up bitch. We settle this NOW!”

“Bitch, I’m still your mother.”

“You’re no mother to me.”

She smiles, “Then why I am I schooling you? You are too reliant on this Bloodborne bullshit. It is a benefit. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s a curse. For so long you’ve been so unsure of yourself.”

She really has some nerve. The fact that this old lady, this fucking BITCH of an assassin would be sitting here preaching to me about how to fight was just fucking vexing. I don’t even use the word vexing but that’s how irritated it makes me. I take a step forward, aggressive enough to make her get up and get on her guard.

“Are you worried?” I ask her, “That your precious Desire might not be the Bloodborne? Or maybe he is. Maybe he just awoke faster and I dunno…no one noticed?”

I shrug. Mocking her son gets underneath her skin. It wasn’t personal to Desire but I needed this bitch to take this fight serious.

“Is that what you think?” she asks clearly irritated, “He hasn’t awoken yet.”

“He’s already strong.”

“Exactly,” she states, “So imagine…after…”

“Enough.”

I attack her. She is irritating me with her chides. I’m fast. Real fast. My hands sweep towards her. I jab her, a uppercut attempt there and she probably thought her pushing back and attempting to make distance from me so she can use her stupid trick was going to work but it didn’t. I start using my long legs to get her as soon as she attempts to push further away. This draws her in. She’s a good fighter really close, horrible at foot-length and good damn devastating from far away. And the devastation would be to her opponent. So the trick here, was to not let my mother get too far away,  but when she starts getting too good take a risk and get to her at foot-length.

The strategy works for the most part.

I get her at foot-length and salt her with a violent series of kicks. She pushes in to avoid my kicks. We trade punch attempts and parry blocks. I’m stronger than her. I’m faster. She’s smarter. It seems that yes in most cases being stronger and faster does overpower the smartest fighter.

Still she seems comfortable enough to open that trap of hers again.

“Imagine after he awakens. Imagine what will make him awaken. I’ve gotten closer to him by providing him with material. But in that material I also gave him personal things. I wrote down all my secrets to being a successful assassin. He holds the writings of An Yu. He will become me when I die and much more. “

“Have you lost your mind?” I ask her, “Ignorance. You already pissed them off by forcing him to learn them in the first place. You might as well not pass it along. Or better yet pass it along to a girl. You gave it to Desire?”

“He is most worthy.”

“Says who? You don’t have a fucking say, old lady? You think Desire is so great, the moment he uses a skill like the Black Widow’s bite or whatever else you teach him…he is going to die.”

She switches up her fighting style as though reminded of all the dangers of the Black Widow Society. She isn’t as dangerous with the fighting style as I would imagine a real woman who studies the Black Widow would be. I think she relies too much on her tricks to ever have gotten good. Only way for her to truly have gotten good was to train with the Black Widows. Maybe that’s why they haven’t been that aggressive in pursuing her. But Desire would learn the right way. He would be a threat for the Black Widows.

They would come looking for him.

She had no idea what she just put her on son.

“He’ll kill them all.”

“I understand your name now. Willful Ignorance. You KNOW those ancient societies are not to be FUCKED with for a reason. That black widow society has women who could destroy all of us.”

“Not if their secrets are passed along.”

“If you really think the widows won’t come out and bite by then you’ve lost it. You’ve open the door to the ancient ones Ignorance and you won’t be able to close it.”

“Good. Maybe it’s about it’s about time it’s opened. Maybe it’s about time Tom realize he’s not the most powerful thing in the world. Maybe it’s time you, Tom and the ancient ones bow before the black minister…”

“Black minister?”

“You don’t know?” she laughs, “Funny. I thought that’s who you were really afraid of. The widows are meant to be the 1st concubines of the Black Minister. There role as 2nd wife is to protect him. I was even called when they knew I’d ascended but of course after more evaluation they decided to a new girl will be given my title taught by the other black widows left alive and serve. I assumed you would have started realizing the effects of being Bloodborne isn’t just that you can remember things you didn’t know you learned, but also that you can learn new things as well. You should have opened more books, sweetie.”

More of the fake mothering. I hated it.

“What is the Black Minister?”

“What do you think Tom aspires to be? Tom is only a member of the black counsel. They control everything. The Black Minister is the most powerful man in the room. And Tom is afraid my son will one day steal away the spot that he coveted.”

I had no idea how deep the branches of assassins went. I knew Tom had sponsors. I knew he came up with the idea of the Assassin’s Assembly and I knew why. What I didn’t know were who these other figures Ignorance were talking about were. They were ghosts to me.

“And you’re afraid I am?” I ask, “That’s why you hate me.”

She gets real quiet. So real mute now, huh, bitch? Let’s talk about it. She clears her throat and adjusts herself in her seat. I don’t think she can care to show that she is bothered by a single thing I’m saying.

“You’re a bump in the road,” she assures me, “And he’s coming along that road…right about now. It’s not made of yellow brick though. He’s no Dorothy. It’ll be made out of the flesh of your friends.”

More mocking . She’s smacked her lips when she said flesh as though wanting to eat it. She was a cannibal after all. I turn, none-the-less, to see what she’s talking about and she has a point. The point was that Desire was about to get to that knife.

He’s reaching for it and Sloth is on her feet trying to double back, run to the knife and claim it for herself. Let’s just say shit was getting tense between the two.

“RUN BACK!” I scream out to Sloth.

She looks back at me trying to figure out what I mean. I wave my hands. I’m waving them towards me and away from Desire. He was going for that knife. She wasn’t going to have time. She gets it but I wish she would have gotten it faster because Desire gets to that knife. He quickly throws himself backwards unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

And he slashes. The slash rips across Sloths back and I can hear the rip across the skin as Sloth falls to the ground.

I have no choice.

I step forward. If I don’t he could finish Sloth right there where she stood.

“That was my friend, Desire,” I state.

He has a knife now. He’s far more confident.

“Your friend came at me. She paid the price,” Desire states, “You are doing Tom’s bidding for him. Call this off.”

I have to admit I am thinking about it. This is getting way out of hand.

“Kill him. Kill him. Kill him. Kill him,” I hear echoing from Sloth on the ground spitting out blood and crawling over to me close enough that she can spit out, “I don’t know why you’re talking to him. What’s the talking for? Kill him.”

“Funny company you keep,” he states.

“Oh please. You’re with fucking Wrath and Urge.”

“Wrath and Urge are heroes.”

I roll my eyes, “They didn’t start off as heroes. Did they? From what I remember Wrath used to skin the kids that didn’t pass through his classes. And Urge. What was he some sort of heir to the kingdom. The one to take Tom’s place on whatever dark throne. The perfect assassin. Until he met…you that is.”

“He wouldn’t have made the Assembly evil if he inherited it.”

“Then why didn’t he? You ask him?” I ask, “Why after killing Tom or feeling that he did, would he not control those assassins. He already had the clout. He was already next in line.”

“Lack of interest.”

“No. He knew sooner or later those assassins just out in the world would be a problem. And they were. For both of you at times. There’s people behind the Assembly, Desire.”

“Sponsors.”

“Not fuckin’ sponsors. I’m talkin’ about a dark assembly…”

Desire squints and looks at me, “A what?”

“Don’t ask about it Desire,” Ignorance butts in, “That kind of stuff is the dangerous kind of stuff. Stuff you don’t want to be involved in.”

“She told me about it,” I state, “Willful Ignorance hates Tom. We all know that. She could have tried to kill him a million times but she hasn’t. She’s scared of something more. Have you never wondered who sourced the moderators. Really sourced them. Tom didn’t have the time. And other moderators wouldn’t be reliable enough. It was them. The ancient ones. And Tom barely has earned a seat at their table.”

Desire looks confused.

“This has nothing to do with us. Me, Urge and my friends just want to be left alone.”

“Aren’t I one of your friends?”

“You can be.”

“The ancient ones marked him,” Sloth states, “Don’t you understand. Help me up. The ancient ones marked him. Let’s get out of here. He’s good as dead anyway.”

She had a point. I had to convince Pride to calm down but I doubt he would want to go back to the Assembly. That meant we’d be on the run again. This time we’d just have to be stronger. We’d have to be better. I wasn’t joining another group like last time. This time I had my own group and it felt right.

I start helping her up and Desire is freaking out.

“What do you mean marked?”

“Ask Joan Crawford over there,” I state, “She was the one who told me.”

I manage to get Sloth up. At this point she is my concern and of course I had to find Pride. I had to figure out how the hell we were going to stop whatever Pride had going on with Urge. They were probably still tearing into each other.

“He’s lying. He’s thinks you’re a threat and he wants to turn us against one another. He knows you’re Bloodborne like him.”

“Oh yeah right bitch!” I scream out from a distance, “You tell your son how you have a dangerous ancient ninja clan of women about to rain down his ass because you like to overshare.”

“Stop walking,” Desire states.

I look over at Desire clearly being affected by hearing all of this. I don’t want to be near this woman She’s not helping but at the same time I can understand his confusion. I want to help.

“We don’t have time for this,” Sloth whispers.

I hush her as Desire approaches me. He walks really close to me. Closer than I would have let him get if I didn’t truly think at one point we were actually pretty close.

“If there is a threat to me, I would appreciate if you told me. Regardless of the situation you are having with our mother.”

“First, she’s not my mother. Secondly, I don’t know enough to tell you.”

“Tell me the little you do know.”

He’s aggressive, precise and close enough to force an answer just based on physical proximity. I should have probably walked away when I had the chance.

“Your mother was taught an ancient technique by a society. She shouldn’t have been. She’s passed that knowledge along to you.”

Desire turns to his mother. His mother is looking all confused.

Ignorance smiles, “You’ll kill them all.”

She’s cocky. She’s brash. The wrinkles around her eyes sparkle in this light as she shows off her best confidence face.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Desire asks.

“I gave you a list of all the things I’ve learned throughout the years. There are some things, yes, from certain older…clans that I’ve learned. And I’ve included that when I gifted several things to you. And yes, they will be upset if they knew an unauthorized person has access to their older…secrets.”

The way she stresses the word older was ridiculous. What she meant was ancient but I wanted to correct her but I think Desire understood here.

I turn to leave.

“Why didn’t you kill him?” Desire asks his mother.

Good question.

I forget how she didn’t.

“I set him on fire he put himself out.”

“You warned him, old woman,” Desire states, “Don’t play coy with me. If you wanted to burn him, he would have been toast.”

He calls her old woman too. It’s funny in a way. In a brotherly way. Not that we would ever be that close. Or maybe. Who knows?

She shrugs, “I warned him. This is because this is your moment Desire. Every assassin must claim their greatness. This is your road. Your path. Right in front of you. Him. You must go through him. Now. Kill him. I will make the ones who matter know this is part of your legacy. No, not just part. This is the beginning of your legacy. Nothing you’ve done matters until you kill Ardor.”

“Bitch you lost it. I ain’t sticking around for this,” I respond.

I start leaving. I try to get out of there but I hear Desire getting antsy. I’m already on edge and he’s breathing really heavy so I don’t like it. I’m more on edge now. More than ever.

Desire tries to physically stop me, “I need answers.”

He gets ahead of himself. Way ahead of himself. He reaches out and tries to turn me. Big mistake. I push him back. This cause him to push me.

“Finally,” I state.

That’s all it takes. For me it was him getting too touchy. I could further explain myself but I feel like the moment you put your hands on me there is no longer talk of friendship. You are my adversary. This time I had the weapons to hit my adversary back. So I do.

Bang!

I hit his head and Desire pushes back shocked by it. He quickly recovers though and comes at me. His feet jerk upwards from the ground quicker than bullet shots slapping me in my chest area even though I’m trying my best to block as many of them as possible. He has complete control of his lower body. He’s almost a master of it. I can tell by how his veins strain as he strikes again and again. I have to get on the offense. I find myself tackling him.

Old school tackling by the way.

I go straight for the feet. I take Desire out. I’m hitting him in his face, his throat and his chest. He’s hitting me back. Our punches are quick hard and violent. Blood smearing all over our bodies as we desperately try to maneuver one another into submission.

“Ardor!”

I turn to my right. It’s Sloth. She throws me something. It’s a syringe. I catch it perfectly. I look at her. She looks at me. We both know what this is. I look down at Desire. I have him in the right place. I can end this now. I can poison him right in this moment.

Desire still hasn’t noticed it until his mother screams out, “WATCH OUT!”

He turns noticing it. I stop hesitating at that moment but he’s already let up his defense. He punches me hard in the face. So hard that my cheek busts open and a huge hole forms right there in the middle of the flesh. It’s as sickly as you could imagine.

“Dammit…” Sloth hisses.

Strangely enough she can’t get to my side but someone does and when I look up I notice it’s Desire. He seems intent on checking on me and actually a bit concerned.

Just at that moment two figures come barreling into the room. We look up at the same time and see them. I thought my fight with Desire was bad. This was on another level. I could have sworn that Urge and Pride both went Super Saiyan and I was nothing more than one of the lame friends watching and commenting on a Dragon Ball Z episode. It’s a Millennial reference.

It all ends though when Pride sees that I am hurt though. It’s sort of cute. No more than that. It’s dare, I say it—-romantic. He manages to throw Urge off of him so violently that Urge hits the floors in a loud clack. Urge checks his back, makes sure it’s not broken and like the steel cold killer he is jumps right back to his feet in an aggressive manner. He seems to be expecting Pride to be counter-attacking him but Pride is across the room.

Pride is with me.

“You OK?”

“I look hideous.”

“Nah. Your jaw will heal. You’re still beautiful,” he states with a shrug not realizing that little moment just melted my heart in thousand ways. That’s when he quickly starts touching my flesh in his weird Pride way. He always goes over the line.

“Is he OK?” a voice asks.

I expect it to be Desire but it’s not. It’s Urge. Both of them are together and both of them look over at me as though they are concerned. They weren’t bad people. They were making that clear.

“I’m not your enemy Desire,” I state.

“We can fix this.”

“You want to fix this?”

“I saw you stop. You could have hurt me but you didn’t. You stopped,” he states, “So join us. Come with us. We can defeat Tom together.”

“Sloth showed me loyalty at a time when I needed it,” I state, “Where I go, she goes.”

“She’s poison.”

“She’s my poison,” I shrug.

“Fine,” he states, “But she’s not the relationship I worry about. Urge and Pride. Do you think Pride could go somewhere else for a while to avoid conflict while we unite to defeat Tom.”

Unite to defeat Tom. Hearing him say the words seem a little jarring to me. I never thought my goal in life was to defeat Tom. I planned on running off with my boyfriend and making sure Tom knew really well to leave us the FUCK alone. I see that this is definitely what Desire wanted though. Seeing that spark in his eye tells me he wants it a lot. Maybe more than anything. But there was a huge problem with his plan.

“I come with Pride.”

“I thought you came with Sloth.”

“I come with them both,” I correct him.

Desire sighs and leans in, “Listen. I don’t want to be a dick about this but we need to fix this. Right now there are people who will leave Tom. All those sins of his. They’ll leave if we can fix this. So we need to. You understand. Because if we don’t fix it, they don’t leave. They will help Tom get stronger. We won’t be able to stop him.”

“You won’t be able to stop him,” I correct Desire.

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying lets get out of dodge. What the fuck are you waiting on? You going to war with Tom? Really Desire? Think about Craving?”

“Don’t you dare? Who do you think I fight for everyday?” he aggressively comes back at me.

I don’t get Desire. He doesn’t get it. How could he? He still had Urge. Losing Craving and Urge was not the same for Desire. If he had lost Urge he would have regretted everything. He would have wanted a chance to really run away and live. It’s better to live a coward than to die a hero. I feel like because he didn’t lose Urge he doesn’t realize that lesson.

“I’m not losing anyone else I’m in love with,” I state, “I’m going to get stronger. So strong that Tom fears me. And if it’s not Tom then the black Counsel will fear me. I’ll get so strong that I’ll lead the Black Counsel.”

“I’m talking about destroying the Assembly and you’re talking about taking it over? Have you lost your fucking mind?”

“It’ll be easier.”

“It’ll be wrong?”

“So you rather just kill Tom and what maybe a few top dogs you didn’t know existed until a little while ago and everything is going to be OK? Because it won’t Desire. You can’t let loose the killers that Tom made into the world. They’ll come back. The Assembly is crucial.”

“He may have a point,” Urge states.

I’m shocked when Urge says what he says. I don’t think anyone else is though. I made sense. I just assumed Urge would be on Desire’s side, in public, no matter what. That clearly isn’t the case. And Desire’s reaction is PRICELESS. He has this glossed over look on his face as though he’s just dived into a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.

“What?”

“Maybe we take over. Maybe I take over.”

“That makes more sense,” I state, “I’m cool with it being you. But we’ll have to go higher than Tom. Someone’s pulling the strings and we need to take them out. We’ll discuss that then. Not now. Not in this moment. But you know? Someday.”

I was going into hiding. Fuck that.

“I can’t believe any of you,” Desire states.

“Baby—-“ Urge stops him.

I wish at that moment Urge loved Desire just a little less and could man up and force him into submission. But Desire is gone and Urge knows it. Urge wouldn’t be able to rein him in even if he straddled him down with ropes. Desire was mad, mad.

“Fuck that. He killed my best friend, Urge,” Desire states, “He killed Craving. Do you fucking idiots think I’m just going to let this man live. Ardor doesn’t give a fuck. And you know why? He’s got a new guy giving him Tarzan dick every night. He’s in a rush to experience it and the dumb Sloth bitch doesn’t realize she’s a third wheel.”

I’m shocked.

“Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?” I ask him.

It’s even worse when he ignores me as though I mean nothing.

“I said I would kill Tom. I meant it. I don’t give a fuck what the rest of you are doing,” Desire explains “I’m going to get my revenge. I’m going to kill Tom.”

“Well we can agree on this,” I state.

“What?”

“We need to weaken Tom. Who has enabled him more than anyone else in the world?” I ask.

I turn at that moment. Willful Ignorance. She’s shocked when I do it. This is another moment where I think there is someone who doesn’t really get what everyone else is thinking. She looks confused on why we all turn to her as though realizing something we hadn’t realized before.

“She is a fuckin bitch,” Urge states, “She fed us people…”

Desire doesn’t seem moved at all, “Did you hear me arguing Urge? Not with that part at least.”

“Desire! Desire I can’t believe you’re saying this! DESIRE…”

We walk towards her. Willful Ignorance isn’t going to survive tonight. She’s not going to come back. I tried to save the gruesome details of her death but see it is quite necessary in a journey like this. This was the death of one of the Greatest Assembly assassins after all.

We did her justice.

We tie her up. We torture her to get weak points about Tom. It lasts for some painstaking hours. She is more resilient than I think. I stop trying halfway through. Me and Pride go out into the bushes and fuck for HOURS. Desire keeps coming out and asking if we’re OK. He can hear the fucking. The whole forest smells like ass and balls. He’s jealous probably. It only makes us more excited to run out pretend like we care about the torture and run back in. It’s Urge who is the one to break her. He seems the best at torture which doesn’t seem to surprise the rest of us.

After torture we lead her outside. We gather around her. We dress in her favorite color. Purple. And we give her Asssembly rights. She knows this is going to be documented in Wrath’s book so she’s very precise.

“MY LAST WORDS ARE ADVICE TO MY SON,” SHE STATES, “TO CODENAME DESIRE. TO THE ONE WHO I BREATHE FOR. TO THE ONE WHO I LIVE FOR. TO THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. I UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE DOING THIS. FOR THIS I FORGIVE YOU. BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW DEEP INSIDE I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. A MOTHER ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT’S BEST…”

Strangely enough I turn expecting Desire to be rolling his eyes and looking irritated. He doesn’t. He looks interested.

“I’m listening…” Desire says.

Interesting. He’s listening. I look over at Pride. Pride looks over at me. We both nod. We’re thinking the same fucking thing. Desire is shady. Shady as fuck.

“Kill Ardor. The lifestyle of brothers you have in your mind cannot exist. You know this from Wrath and Urge. They despise each other. They haven’t killed one another because of you but sooner or later that friction will break. You know it. Kill Ardor. Now.”

She looks over at me.

I look at Desire. He takes a few steps towards me. He has a knife in his hands. For a moment I have to admit that I am seriously concerned. Is he going to do it? Would he do it.

But instead he gives me the knife.

“The kill is yours.”

“Mine. It’s your mother. You have the right. She never claimed me.”

“I know what Urge did by killing Victor Ward was taken personally by your lover. We are a pair Urge and I. I assume you and Pride are a pair?”

Pride and I look at one another. I’m shocked when it’s Pride who actually reaches over and grabs my hand. My heart melts. It feels right. I knew this was just the beginning of our partnership. We had so much more to go.

“Yeah, we are,” Pride answers for me.

“I want you two to kill my mother,” Desire states, “That way everything is even. It will be a symbol of peace between us at least.”

Peace. That is all we could probably hope for. We wanted two different things. We had two different paths. It would be powerful to work together. We’d be a major wrecking force but we were just at different places in our lives.

“We accept,” Pride states.

I’m shocked when he does. I was ready to turn him down. I was ready to say that Urge still needed to die. Pride took that away from me though.

Desire nods, “You can start.”

“Wait,” Sloth interrupts, “I need to get out of here. It was nice meeting you all but I get bored with funerals.”

“Nice to know I’m not entertaining you by dying,” Ignorance rolls her eyes.

Sloth reaches her hand out to Urge. That’s when Desire stops her.

“Shake his hand.”

“Excuse me?” Sloth asks.

“His?” Desire states pointing to Pride for some reason, “Shake his hand.”

Strange Desire would point to Pride. What the fuck was that about? Why him of all people?

“No,” Sloth states.

What the fuck?

“This is stupid,” I respond, walking up to Sloth, “Pride shake her hand. These people are so paranoid.”

Pride walks up to Sloth. I look over at Sloth. That’s when I notice it. A sweat on Sloth’s brow. Something was making her nervous and even more nervous the closer Pride came to her. She puts her hand down quickly making it clear that she didn’t want to shake hands with Pride. Sloth only wanted to shake hands with Urge.

It was an assassination attempt.

Easy. Simple. Dangerous.

She was still trying to take out Urge!

“STOP!” I scream at Pride a second before he reaches out to grab Sloth’s hands or tries to even extend his.

Pride hears me. He jumps backward even. His animal instincts kicking in.

And that’s when he does it.

That’s when Desire pushes her.

HE PUSHES SLOTH ONTO PRIDE!

I don’t know what happens. It happens so fast. Whatever Sloth had on her hands gets onto Pride. I’m screaming desperately. Pride’s skin is beginning to boil.

I’m over him.

And we have a conversation.

We have the most important conversation I’ve had in my life. The last conversation that matters. It was simple but I’ll never forget it. Because I loved Pride and he was about to die. And every word he says next matters…