"You've got no cause to hurt me…"

Carla Jean sat at her vanity, gazing for a blink of an eye out the bedroom window as she faced the man responsible for the death of so many people, some innocent some not; some directly, others not. He had crept into her mother's old home while she had been attending the burial. Now he sat across from her in a chair, glancing at her when he looked up from a cup he had placed beside him. He traced the rim of it with his index finger, almost as though he was nervous. His female victim was not like the others.

She tried to erase the past month's experiences and horrors she had endured stressing over where she could hide with her mother and safely dodge the bullet of lust for money. Closing her eyes for a moment to collect her thoughts before either of them spoken again, she imagined she was back in the trailer before all this began. She wondered what life would be like had her husband never found that case of tainted money. She pretended for just an instant that there was not in fact a mass murderer just a few feet from where she had once considered her safest and most adored place as a child. Her eyes darted open as she felt the thud of his footsteps, casting them upon his figure inching towards her. Never in her life had she been so terrified yet she tried to remain calm.

He eyed her cautiously, knowing she would remain paralyzed with fear as he came closer to her and knelt before her so gentleman-like. She turned her head away slightly to avoid his harsh stare directly, but he gently placed a firm hand on her face to turn it back towards his piercing gaze. His cold eyes made her feel as thoug he could see into her very soul, as if he were the personification of evil itself. She returned the exchange of complexity between their eyes with confusion, helplessness, and fragility without a single tear or cry. He was astounded by her composure. He had expected a woman to throw herself at him, pleading for her life with whatever she could offer.

But she was too pretty to beg.

He was disgusted at the thought of her whoring herself to him for the sake of a bit longer in such a pitiful existence. She ought to thank him really. He was offering her the chance to escape loneliness and debt that would otherwise consume her. But since she had impressed him so with her strength and poise, he wondered if for once he could consider not being a man entirely of his word.

He stroked his thumb gently over her cheek and felt her shudder slightly as his face inched towards hers.

"Don't…." she croaked with more defiance than he expected. She didn't say please; it was more like a command, as if she were in any position to be telling him what to do. He could see the tears forming in her eyes. There it was. Finally the human element was evident in this woman. Her natural response was to cry. However, she would rather die than offer what other women wouldn't hesitate to give up in a life or death situation. This made him even more perplexed.

"If you're going to kill me….I'd… rather you just get it over with. You agreed to kill me, not take away my honor too," she said slowly, looking over his entire face, searching for some sign or hope.

"You want it to be quick then? Painless and to the point?" he asked, burying his face in the crook of her neck. The warmth of his voice sent shivers down her spine.

"Ideally…yes…" she whispered, arching her back as he placed a cold hand there.

"Do not think I will enjoy it," he continued as he slid his fingers along her waist.

"Then why do you have to do it?" she asked softly, daring to lightly touch his cheek and hair.

"Because I am a man of my word. But…." He trailed off momentarily, " I never specified how…" Her touch was making him lose his mind.

She took a deep breath. There was no getting out of this juncture. Rationality would not save her at this point. She was victim to his whims of insanity, logic, or chance.

He could not give in now, not when he had come too far to lose too much. She was too easy on the eyes, too beautiful in every light, too innocent, too perfect. He hated that he must fulfill this unpleasant task while on Earth. For the first time with any eventual conquest (kill), he felt remorse for the act he had yet to commit.

With that thought, he abruptly stood up and sighed. She boldly stood up to be level with him. Carla's heart began to beat rapidly as she watched him retrieve the weapon from the corner. He turned steadily and she winced, expecting to be blown away, but instead felt the cold metal gently against her stomach. He was smiling and motioned for her to look down. In his other hand he held the bullets, proving the gun was not loaded and of no threat to her. He then laid the items on the bed beside them and looked at her peculiarly.

"So…what about this quick and painless method of yours?" she asked hesitantly as he tucked a stray hair behind her ear and rested his hand cupped under her chin.

"You have to earn it."