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The cold world slept, unaware of the nightmare that was among them. Only fools and the desperate dared the frigid night. It was the worst blizzard in the history of the city. Howling winds, snow piled against doorways, cars buried beneath a mountain of the frosty death, and best of all, the perfect night for a murder.
Inside a warehouse, located far from the city, a scream echoed on cold, heartless walls. The smell of metal saturated the air, spreading across the large building. An industrial space heater pumped life into the bleak and bitter space.
The man wiped the blood from the elegant blade of his butterfly knife, careful not to let the crimson fluid touch his immaculate clothes. He turned and dropped the fouled cloth in a garbage receptacle. Turning back, a rustle drew his eyes toward the floor.
He gazed down at her, a small lift to his lips. She had stopped thrashing by this point and her eyes were beginning to glaze over; a curtain falling at the end of a Broadway show. She struggled to lift one hand, her pink lips forming a single word.
The broken sound of her voice, a single key on an ancient piano, seemed to float over the hush of the room. The man tilted his head, his artistically disheveled blonde hair shifting with the slight movement. A spark of amusement lit up his bright green gaze, the same spark that had drawn the woman to him; the same as a moth is drawn to a flame. A beautiful butterfly caught in a spiders web.
The woman opened her bloodied mouth, “Do you hate me?”
Streams of red-tinted salt water trickled down her face, her chest moving slower than before. The man crouched on the cold cement, reaching out one of his strangler’s hands to caress her blood-splattered cheek. Gently wiping away her tears, the husky breath of his voice fluttered the soft chestnut hair of the woman as he moved his face closer to hers.
“No, I could never hate you.” He brushed his lips across her temple before rocking back on his heels. He stood quickly and watched as hope filled the woman's eyes.
So many of them hope, though the man would never truly understand why. He could not comprehend love—dying for it. The woman fell for the man of her dreams, perfectly tailored to her ideal; rich, tall, handsome, smart, funny, and just a bit quirky.
She made the same mistake as most women. She got too close to the heart of the beast, so close that, if love was not blind, then she would have seen that it was not a heart of a man. In fact, she would have seen that he had no heart at all. At least, not in the emotional fashion as many attribute the organ.
She struggled to lift herself toward him, her breath beginning to quicken. She had lost too much blood.
“You love me?” She rasped, her voice rattling like an old, broken window. Her lips lifted in a hesitant smile.
The man grinned, his teeth flashing in a charming mockery of delight. He reached his hands toward her as if to embrace his wounded lover.
“No,” he whispered in her ear as his hands wrapped around her thin neck. “I could never love you.”