In your head, they're clear- the dark skin of the fourth, turned ashen in death, the seventh's hair, spilling magnificently over her shoulders in cascades of orange, marred by rusted burgundy and brown. Not one of them over the age of five. Even now, even with a bullet in his brain, that fucking monster is still in control. They'll never find all of the bodies, and you're left with bitter rage, the type that simmers and grows, until there's nothing left and you're consumed by it totally. You can feel blood pounding in your ears, and it's like a heartbeat, a rhythmic tattoo urging you to do something, anything but sit docilely in this damned hotel bar.

You need to scream, to break, to hurt.

You bite the inside of your cheek, hard, and the metallic tang of blood in your mouth is comfortable. Your hands clench, and in your mind, you see the little red crescent moons forming, blood slick between your fingers. You can't help it. And this chills you the most, the time when the line between "us" and "them" is like an impression in the sand; impermanent, malformed, and blurring further with every wave of blinding rage cresting against your soul. You buzz with it, need to move, but you can't- brain disconnected from your body.

You look up at the man across from you, his head tilted back in an illusion of relaxation (you can see the tightness of his jaw, the way his hands wind together, knuckles a furious white). You follow the lines, the angular jaw and muscular neck, down his broad chest, suit jacket long forgotten, lingering on the bulge that seems to be growing, constrained by somber gray trousers. A fresh rush surges through your veins, and the warm, dark musk of cologne, sweat, and adrenaline meet your nose, sending you hurtling back into yourself, and you're suddenly aware of the warmed silk of your blouse where it grazes your neck, of the dull, throbbing pain in your palms, the fact that you're wet and thrumming with pent up energy.

'You're alive?' your body murmurs, a sick smile in its voice.

'Then prove it.'

Every sense is sharper, and you relish the burn of overload somewhere in the back of your brain. You're not sure when she will return to claim her body, but you find it doesn't really matter.

Your eyes return to his face, and his are heavily lidded, fixed on you, the brown nearly obscured completely by his dilated pupils. They're filled with a familiar sort of rage, the one you can see reflected in your own, with fear, disillusionment, and sheer, primal, arousal. They challenge, question, and, somehow, trust.

His chin tips up, and, for a moment, that strong, unmarked throat is bared again, pulse flickering at the base. 'Not unmarked for long,' the thought drifts through your mind before you can stop it, but now…

Heat skitters down your spine as his gaze drifts languidly down your body, taking in the crimson blouse stretched tight across your chest. Your lips part, almost imperceptibly, a quick breath sucked through your teeth. A tiny, wry smile tips up one corner of his mouth for a moment, and he lifts his eyes to yours, even darker than before.

You slide your room key across the table.

He doesn't bother to wait, pocketing the key and standing without a word, close enough that you can feel the heat of his body. He looks at you, expression impenetrable, for a scant moment before striding toward the elevator, not glancing back.

'Your Move.'

You rise slowly, legs shaking, and the heady anticipation is intoxicating- he's in your room by now. Waiting. You follow the same path, the staccato of your heels on tile marking the ascent- or descent, maybe- into whatever it is this means.

You fumble with the room key; your hands, usually steady and cool, are nearly useless, unable to negotiate when you're so fucking ready like this.

Finally the door swings open, and you step into the small room. It's completely dark but for the dim light creeping out from beneath the cheap curtains. Your heartbeat thunders, and your erratic panting is nearly all you can hear. You barely have time to appreciate the stillness before a hand shoots out from behind and wraps around your wrist, grip like velvet covered steel, and you're pulled flush against a solid frame that's both familiar and not. He nips lightly at the back of your neck, testing you, and there's a warning there, entrenched. The dichotomy between the strength of his grip and the softness of his lips is incredible, though you are under no delusions that this is about love, or even lust. It's about proving that, fuck it all, you're still alive.

He spins you around, fingers threading through yours, and pushes you against the wall, claiming your lips in a bruising, needy kiss. Catching your bottom lip between his teeth, he traps your hands above you with one of his own. His body is flush against yours and he's hard, pressing into you just there, fevered hand making quick work of your blouse and bra, sending buttons pinging to the floor. You think he might be killing you, as much as you can think at this point. He releases your hands, sucking and nibbling his way down your neck, stroking the sides of your breasts teasingly, before taking one nipple between his fingers, pinching. You cry out, grinding your hips into his, immensely gratified by the guttural groan that escapes him.

"Bed." you murmur huskily. He nods, almost imperceptibly, claims your lips in a brutal kiss, and you don't notice that he's walking you backwards until the edge of the mattress catches behind your knees. You fall back onto the bed, transfixed as he rips his tie off in a single fluid movement and begins to unbutton his shirt. Needing to touch, you sit up and pull him down onto the bed with you, your mouths once again fuse together, tongues warring for dominance as you struggle with each other's pants. He pushes you back onto the sheets, fingers inside your panties, and oh god he has good hands. You drag your fingernails down his back as his thumb circles your clit, and he grins, feral, as you hook your fingers over the edge of his boxers and drag them down slim hips. You wrap your hand around his cock, fisting slowly, and his head falls back, mouth open. He looks beautiful like this, you notice, but the thought is out of place here; beauty has nothing to do with it.

He's impatient- this is not the time for dragging out and tender caressing. He reaches forward, grabbing your hips and flipping you onto your stomach, and you rise onto your hands and knees, unable to keep from rocking into his hand as he slides a finger into you, then two, grazing your clit with the pad of his thumb. Your breathing becomes labored as he increases the pace; the warm tightening in your stomach tells you just one more finger- you're so close- but he pulls his hand away completely. You whimper at the loss of contact, body taut as a bowstring, every muscle quivering with anticipation, and you feel the head of his cock at your entrance, stretching you, the burn of penetration perfect, until he's buried inside, his hips against your ass.

Neither of you wait for your body to adjust; this is hard and fast, brutal, primal, and you grab the headboard for leverage, meeting him thrust for thrust. You're close again, waves of hot pleasure bubbling up, washing over your entire body. You grit your teeth, throat hoarse, needing him harder, faster, deeper; you're so fucking near you can taste it. He knows- the hand coiled in your hair pulls your head back, and he growls in your ear, voice dark and rough,"Come for me, Emily…"

His teeth clamp down onto your shoulder as his hand drifts down, fingernail scraping across your clit. A guttural moan rips itself from your throat; coming so hard your hips lock up, and he gives no quarter, fucking you through it, steady thrusts becoming erratic as your orgasm triggers his own. He cries out sharply, and you let go of the headboard, riding through the aftershocks as he collapses onto his forearms on top of you, supporting his own weight. Distant, despite being as close as two human beings can be.

He doesn't sleep there.

He never does.

You'll go to the other bed in the room, the one with clean sheets, and fall asleep with the smell of sweat and sex in the air and no one beside you.

But that's okay.

You're alive.