I believed him, when he said he wouldn’t just kill her. I believed him, when he said he’d make it worse than that. For all the lies I’d caught him in, for all the betrayals, this wasn’t something I was going to push my luck on. I only had a few hours to get back to him with the drop, and while I could’ve taken forever to plan the perfect heist, he wasn’t going to wait a minute longer than he’d given me. She’d be tortured and left for me to find, piece by piece. All the while, she’d be knowing I failed her, and her last moments would be agony and despair.
I knew this, and I knew it with a chilling precision, with an unerring detail for one perfect, awful reason:
It wasn’t the first time he’d done it —
(visions of Leni, broken and bleeding, filled my meditation hours; her face could never wear accusations, but all the same, I knew this would be my fault)
— and if we didn’t catch him, it wouldn’t be the last.
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