This was supposed to be part of my Metropolis Series... But I decided to discontinue that coz no one was reading. XD
Constructive criticism will be highly appreciated. This is a "one-shot".
Anyway... Uhm... I hope you enjoy reading this.
All in a Day's Work
Azriel Cain. The so-called Angel of Death, one of the best assassins in the business. He had worked for the guild master of Thanatos ever since he was nineteen years of age. From the beginning, his life had been hard. Growing up on the streets with no money and no home toughened him up, making him a good fighter and a relentless competitor. He was glad that he had a job, even if it was one littered with blood and violence. It gave him a purpose. A mission. Why should he care that he was a merchant of death? Why should he feel guilt every time he slashed another victim's throat? It was all in a day's work, right?
Besides, no one would miss the people he killed. Indeed, many would rejoice. The people he was sent to kill were usually corrupt officials, rich noblemen and noblewomen who trampled commoners under their silk, leather, or velvet shoes. Instead of feeling ashamed, he felt a sense of pride whenever his moniker was whispered fearfully in the streets of the well-to-do. It was their turn to feel scared, to feel afraid. It was their turn to know how it felt like to fall asleep, not knowing if they were to wake up again tomorrow. Azriel thought of this, and was glad.
He had been waiting at the Red Masque for what seemed like an eternity. Where was Damien? He had been told that he was once again needed, and that this was the place where he would be briefed. He looked inconspicuous here, dressed all in black, drinking beer at a corner. Suddenly a cold gust of wind blew around the tavern, signaling the entry of another customer. Azriel looked up and smiled. He was finally here. He raised up one of his black-gloved hands and signaled to his red-headed friend. Damien nodded at him, then gestured for him to follow. His friend went up a dark and rickety stair-case, holding a candle in one of his hands. Azriel raised his eyebrow and reluctantly followed. They arrived at a small room, bare except for a wooden table, two chairs, and a bed that looked like it was impossible to fall asleep on.
"Here's your target for the evening, Cain." They preferred to call each other by their last names. They didn't really know why; it was just something that they had silently agreed to do, no questions asked. They each also regarded each other friends, for though their worlds were ever-changing, they each were the only constant element in the other's life. Damien placed a photograph, face-down on the wooden table. Azriel lazily picked it up, wondering who the next one will be. Baron Chivalle perhaps? Duke Elmdor? His idle smile disappeared as he turned the picture over.
He stared at the photograph in his hand. No. This couldn't be true! He turned to Damien, the deliverer of the photo and the only link he had between himself and his superiors. "What is the meaning of this?" Azriel Cain stared at him with shocked blue eyes. Azriel was tall and imperially slim, he had a head of messy black locks and usually had the quiet demeanor of someone who lived in perfect symbiosis with the night.
"The boss wants you to kill her." Damien told him, his green eyes somber. "By dawn." He was glad that he didn't have his associate's job. He was merely a collector. Meaning, he cleaned up after the job was done. Azriel suddenly picked him up by the front of his shirt.
"Why her!" He bellowed, raising Damien so high that the messenger's feet barely scraped the floor. Damien Wormwood did not reply.
"Answer me!" He yelled again, knocking the messenger against a wall. His friend desperately pointed towards the ground, the veins on his neck visibly straining. He disgustedly dropped Damien, who abruptly started coughing once he landed on the floor. "Well?" Azriel asked again, calmly, once the collector's coughing had abated.
"Don't blame me, Cain. The boss--- He… He wants you to kill her to show your loyalty." Azriel turned towards him, his eyes flashing with anger.
"Loyalty? LOYALTY? I've been following his orders for eight years and he is still not certain about my allegiance! Please, Wormwood. Tell me the truth." Damien sighed and nodded. He turned his head away and looked out of the room's only window. It showed the night sky lit by billions of stars, and a bright crescent moon.
"You've been… Very close to her lately, Azriel. The boss… The boss is threatened. He tells me that if you do not kill her by daybreak, the whole of his guild will be after your neck." Damien glanced at him at the corner of his eye, expecting the assassin's face to be one of pain. But he was surprised to see that his face was blank, and that he had a far-away look in his eyes. Azriel stood up, his hand clenched. Damien could not see it, but he was clasping a small silver ring very tightly in his hand.
He waited for her in Prontera Park. His arms were stretched out along the top of a dark-green bench, though the paint was flaking and the bench itself was covered in so much graffiti that it was practically impossible to know what its original color was. This was where he had met her. And this was where they had met every night since then. He laid his head back, stared up at the crescent of celestial light above him, and thought back to about two months ago. That night, he had killed a noblewoman named Violette Von Deutch. She was a white-haired lady with a stern eyes and a sour face that always made her look as if she had swallowed a lemon. She was easy to kill, and he slashed her throat as she tried to bribe him. He hated people like her. They thought that money was the solution to everything.
Anyway. After that job was done, he had gone to Prontera Park, for he did not want to see Damien cleaning up the mess that he had made. He sat on a bench, and stared up at the night-sky. He closed his eyes and relished the peace and quiet.
"Hi there." Azriel sat bolt upright, instantly alert. "Hey, don't be alarmed!" He turned his head and saw, sitting beside him, an attractive girl whose brown hair curled and whose hazel eyes sparkled. Her cherry lips were stretched into a smile, though she tried to hide it behind her pale and creamy hands. After a few moments, she extended her right hand at him, and grinned. "I'm Sara. Who're you?" Azriel raised his eyebrow at her, wondering if she was for real.
"Why do you want to know?" Sara rolled her eyes.
"You don't really see much people wandering around the park at this hour." Az shrugged.
"That's true." She pouted and stared at him, her hazel eyes betraying a glint of mischief.
"And I always make it a point to get to know the cute nocturnal guys who hang out at parks." The dark-haired male felt his cheeks heat up, and he abruptly looked away from her. After a few moments, he asked her,
"And exactly how many 'cute nocturnal guys who hang out at parks' have you actually met?" Sara smiled again, her cheeks dimpling.
"Just one." Silence.
"By the way, I'm Azriel."
They met there the next night, and the next night, and the night after that. They talked about everything under the sun, or, in their case, everything under the stars. What they talked about ranged from the very serious, such as politics, the Orc land war, and their philosophies… To the very silly, like porings, Kafra girls, and ice cream flavors. It was during one of their talks, that he found out that she was an orphan who worked as a flower girl. He never told her his job, though. Whenever she asked him, he would quickly change the subject.
A week and a month after they met, Azriel took her hand and led her into the woods. "Az?" She asked, bewildered. She was the only one who called him that. He smiled at her,
"Follow me." She retracted her hand and held it close to her chest.
"Why?" Azriel held his hand out to her.
"Trust me." Slowly, she nodded and placed his hand in his. They walked silently through the woods, he walking swiftly and surely, while she simply let herself be led. It was very dark in those woods, and now and then, she would hear the faint sounds of wild animals in the bushes. She was scared. Yet she trusted him. He suddenly stopped, and Sara bumped into his back.
"We're here." She looked around. Pitch-black.
"But there's nothing here, Az."
"Are you sure?" She started to answer, but he put a finger to her lips. "Sshh… Sit down… Be still." Sara obediently sat down, but not without patting the ground first to make sure that she wouldn't sit on anything unpleasant. He sat down beside her. She reached over to take his hand. She wasn't sure how she found it in the darkness, but she did, and that was all that mattered.
Okay. This was really boring. Sara closed her eyes. Really. What kind of guy would take a girl to an exciting night of utter silence? It was quite pointless. They might as well have been strangers. She sighed. After waiting for a few more long, and utterly silent, moments, she opened her mouth to speak.
"Really, Az. I dunno ho--"
"Quiet Sara." She huffed, indignant.
"Well, I never!" Azriel sighed.
"Sara, keep quiet. Don't worry, they'll come out soon. Be patient."
"Be patient my ass! And who the hell are they? What the hell are we wai--" Azriel sighed again.
"I hope you can forgive me for this." He muttered under his breath. He leaned over and kissed her. Her eyes grew wide at first, then they slowly closed.
"Az… I…" Her eyes looked dreamy, and her lips were curved into a lazy, faraway smile. Her voice was soft, barely a whisper.
"Keep quiet, Sara." She sighed contentedly and leaned against him.
She awoke, aware that someone was shaking her. "Hurry. You might miss them." She opened her eyes, disoriented.
"Where am I?" She asked, sleepily. She wasn't even sure who spoke.
"You're at my little corner of paradise." Sara turned her head and saw a pale, dark-haired man staring at her, the ghost of a smile on his lips.
"Azriel!" It all came rushing back to her. The scary walk through the woods, the long bouts of boredom, the kiss. The Kiss. She felt her face heat up.
"Look around you." He told her, his voice cutting cleanly through the darkness. Except it didn't seem as dark now as before. Or was that just her imagination? She closed her eyes, then opened them again. Definitely brighter. She could clearly see Azriel's face; the curve of his lips, the pleased sparkle in his eyes. She turned her head and saw dozens of little balls of light. Some danced slowly in the air, while some lingered in the trees.
"Fireflies!" She murmured, delighted. Azriel smiled at her.
"I've never brought anyone else to this place before. It's my special place. Our special place."
"Az…" He pulled her close, and once again, they shared a passionate kiss. She slowly leaned back, bringing his body closer to hers.
"Sara." They shared a feverishly frenzied kiss. Azriel groaned, not enough of their skin was touching. Oh god, these clothes were so restricting. Her hair… She kissed his neck and Azriel's mind fell silent. And right then and there, they consummated their love, thrusting, touching, their bodies as one, a mere tangle of limbs and sweat. And their pleasure echoed through the forest, to the ever-changing light of the fireflies.
Azriel moved back to the present, as he fingered the photograph. He sat on the bench in Prontera Park, waiting, hoping that she would never come. But he knew that she would. She always did. He saw her approaching, carrying a basket full of flowers. "Az!" She cried. Her smile, though warm, cut through Azriel like a knife. She ran towards him, the flowers falling unto the ground. She hugged him, but pulled back when he remained unresponsive. She sat down beside him. "What's wrong?" He turned towards her.
"Sara. I'm sorry." The hazel-eyed woman did a double take.
"Why are you sorry?" He brought out the silver knife. She looked at it, then looked away. "Oh." She flashed him a sad smile. "I'm not stupid, you know. I know exactly what your line of work is." She took a flower from her basket and slowly plucked out all its petals. "I was wondering when exactly this would end. I've always known that this was how it would turn out." Azriel bowed his head.
"I'm sorry." She laughed.
"Don't be sorry. We had a blast. It was great." Her laugh sounded forced, even to her.
"I love you." Said he, as she took his hand and entwined their fingers. She said nothing as he touched the cold steel to her delicate neck. She said nothing as he, in one quick motion, slashed her throat. But then, as she died, she managed to gurgle out a strangled-sounding
"I love you too."