Revenge is Sweeter Than You Ever Were
Meghan Carter bent her head into her chest as far as her scarf would allow, trying to shield her bare cheeks from the harsh, cold wind, and attempted to pull her cheap, raggedy coat tighter around her body. When she failed she cursed loudly, ignoring the dirty looks she received from her fellow pedestrians. Frankly, she thought that they should be more concerned with their lives than with what was coming out of her mouth, considering the fifty-six percent chance that she could get attacked by a three-headed monster any minute, pedestrians getting caught in the crossfire.
She shook her head slightly and rolled her eyes, annoyed at the direction her thoughts had taken and continued to push through the blizzard that had declared war on Chicago for the last few days. This is so stupid, she thought. Why did a blizzard have to attack Chicago now?
The next few blocks were torture. The cold wind bit at what exposed skin it could find, and her hands, gloves forgotten in her desk at work, were freezing in her coat's silk pockets. Needless to say, when she looked up and realized that she was almost at her small brownstone house, she wanted to drop to her knees and give thanks to the gods. Of course, that would only make colder . . .
She smiled slightly, opened her black gate, and pounded up the steps to her house. She stomped the snow off of her shitkickers and rooted around for her keys in her tote bag while thinking, I need new boots.
When she found her house key she shoved it into the lock. Her hands shook with cold and as soon she opened the door, she launched her body into the house and slammed the door shut. She dropped her bags by the door and felt the familiar warmth of her house welcome her.
She was turning back to her door, ready to lock it when she felt something moving behind her. Feet. Brushing against the carpet. She froze, hand on the doorknob, frightened. Someone was in her house.
No, she realized. Not just someone. This was him. It had to be. In that moment her heart raced as sheer panic and fear hit her. Her palm felt sweaty on the doorknob and she felt like her knees were going to give out. She swallowed.
"Meghan, Meghan, Meghan . . ."
His voice was soft, almost kind, but she wasn't fooled. There was evil underneath that glossy exterior. Hatred. Anger. Death. Sickness. Shadows. He was the definition of evil. He was things of nightmares, that raw form of evil that you didn't understand until you witnessed it firsthand. Like father like son, she thought.
No. She swallowed and closed her eyes. This wasn't happening.
"Nico, Nico, N-nico . . . ?" Fear gave in and she stuttered over her words. Her stomach muscles tightened and she thought she was going to be sick. She gripped the doorknob and fought the urge to run. She shook her head slightly as her tears betrayed her and slipped down her cheeks.
"Look at me," he commanded and, when she didn't move, she felt a hand clamp down hard on her shoulder and his lips were at her ear. "Look at me," he repeated.
She shuddered and fear traveled through her body as the hand tightened on her shoulder and his voice grew more frustrated. Angry. Pissed off. Just do it, she told herself. Just move. And she did.
It was slowly and required every muscle in her body. She commanded her eyes to open and her legs to move as she turned in a small circle, back against the wooden door, ramrod straight. The weight of his hand disappeared from her shoulder. She stared at the floor. He wore black boots, she saw, and black jeans as well.
"Look at me," he commanded once more. She shook her head stubbornly and raised a hand to wipe away the tears trickling down her cheeks and onto her chin. He stopped her, grabbing her wrist with his hand and pressing it back against the door, hard. He was cold. So cold.
"Fine." His words were cold, full of hate and frustration. He seemed to growl and then he pushed his fingers under her chin and forced her to look at him.
He would have been beautiful, she thought, if he didn't have so much hellfire inside. That was what made him ugly. His cheekbones were high and it appeared that there were shadows under them. He had two piercings; one in his lip and one in his eyebrow. His hair was raven-black and messy, standing up in places. And his eyes . . . Oh, gods, his eyes . . . They were framed by dark lashes, black and filled with hate and disdain. All directed at her. She felt like she was looking into the abyss, staring at death itself.
She squeezed her eyes shut and she heard him laugh, satisfied, as he dropped her chin. There was the sound of a blade being unsheathed and she flinched, holding back a whimper. She had heard of his blade, the rumors of things he had done with it, who and what he had killed. It was three feet of Stygian iron and pure physical power. Abruptly she wondered if he had used it on any of her friends or family members. If he had, then she thought it fitting that he used it on her as well.
She wanted it to be quick, she realized. She had never wanted to die painfully or slowly. She had always imagined she would die in battle from a monster or go in her sleep, both quick ends for her. She had always hated pain. Yes, she thought. Quickly was the best way to go.
She deserved it. So many people had died because of her, because of her stupid mistakes. And she had just kept running, constantly moving and hoping that she wouldn't be next. She was a bitch. A coward. Yes. That was what she was. She was a soulless coward who was willing to let other people die for her. Had let them die for her for nearly six years.
She disgusted herself.
"Do it," she said hoarsely. "Get it over with." There was silence and then she said, "I want it over."
"I want it over," she whispered again, more to herself than to Nico, the words holding much more meaning than before.
And it was true, she realized. Completely and utterly true. She hadn't tried fighting him. She hadn't tried escaping. She hadn't tried using any of the skills she had learned so long ago at Camp Half-Blood to defend herself. She hadn't because, now that she was here, staring death in the face, she realized she didn't care. She didn't care if she died.
She wanted out, if anything else. Out of that horrible pit of guilt, depression, and self-hatred she was thrown into every time she discovered one of her friends, family murdered and knew that he had done it. That he had done it to get revenge on her. Years, she thought. Years of effort on his part and years of self-loathing and disgust on her part. Years of deranged killings, hatred, anger . . . all leading up to this moment. If she didn't die now, then what would her parents, sisters, brothers have died for?
Depression and hatred coiled in her stomach. She hated Nico di Angelo. He had destroyed her life all because of mistakes, made years ago. She breathed out and the tears, having stopped momentarily, picked up again.
It's all your fault. It always has been, always will be. It was her fault.
"Do it," she whispered, almost begging him.
The blade came down and it was all over.