I'm so sorry for the long wait, I really had no idea it had been this long! I'm so sorry! I hope this makes it up to you all! XD

The tension between them was thick enough to be dented, let alone cut with the blades that Nny was picturing in his bag not too far from him. He didn't want Izzy to see Devi. It was a pointless endeavour that would amount to nothing and give just as much satisfaction. Izzy's curiosity was expected, understandable even. In a way so was her stubbornness. But her reasoning was so pitiful and resentful that he couldn't even register it.

Izzy stepped away again and headed for the bathroom. Normally when she was worked up like this, it was her cue to head to the gym and pull out her sword. Fencing had become her outlet, a chance to have some reminder of her lessons with Nny, and yet get out her anger too. But now that was gone. Any chance of a fight now would cause some serious damage, to him or her it wasn't certain, but it was undoubtedly true. Now, the best thing she could do was get out of there.

As soon as she was ready, she stepped out and chose to not even look at him, heading right for the front door to avoid any further tension. He was hiding something. She knew him well enough to know when he was hiding something. There was more to this than met the eye, why shouldn't she find out what? However, her hand had barely reached the handle when a familiar knife shot out and hovered dangerously at her throat.

"Try it." Nny permitted calmly, "But hand to blade combat was never a strong point for you, was it? But then again, whose strong point is it?"

To challenge him, while struggling not to tremble, she raised her chin, "What's stopping you? All you're doing is proving my point that there's more to this than meets the eye."

She should have known better. He didn't even blink at her stubbornness. Instead, he indeed figured that there was nothing stopping him and lay the blade on her throat. It dented into her skin by the smallest of millimetres before Nny continued to drag it across her neck. From the shock, she jumped back, hands curving around the clean cut. No real damage was done, the smallest trickle of blood became visible as if to mock her. That is all Nny intended; to remind her that he was not one to be taken for a pushover. Just to give her a startle. And it worked.

Defenceless with her own weapons confiscated and forced to give in, Izzy sighed, her breath clouding the metal which was still aimed at her, "You win..."

Arching an eyebrow smugly, he lowered the weapon, "Winning implies a game. I wasn't aware we were playing one." For a minute, the two continued to stare at one another, one in unease and the other in sceptical remorse. Nny picked up a flannel from the desk and tossed it to her, "It's not a deep cut."

She took it, finding that the bleeding had already stopped. Still annoyed and a little jittery, Izzy stared at the floor as she spoke, "Why don't you want me to see her, Nny? It's not that I don't believe you… but you have to admit that you're acting very strange about this."

"Strangeness…" he mused, "Such a choice word for me… I'm aware of how it seems, but even you know that sometimes things are best left alone when there's nothing that can be done to change it."

"But do you want to change it?"

He considered her question before smirking, "Are you developing your hero complex again, Izzy?"

Not wanting to feel more patronised than she had already, she mimicked his expression, "Someone's got to be the hero. I distinctly remember you telling me that it wasn't you. No mater how much your actions cancelled it out."

His eyes hardened, "I was never a hero. And I refuse to let you be one."

That caught her by surprise. In truth, she didn't see herself a hero, she only wanted to help. But the statement confused her. She understood why he didn't see himself as one, but the reference to him not allowing her to be a hero, against her intentions or not, counted, "Why's that?"

Nny looked away and at the blade in his hands and brought it to his eyes. A thin streak of Izzy's blood remained on the side. He shuddered in disgust, "Hero's are more likely to die."

That night, Izzy lay awake that night alone. Nny had left for an errand as he called it. She wasn't stupid, she knew what he would most likely be doing. With those knifes. To someone. Out there… An icy cold came over her at the thought. Her finger gingerly prodded the paper-cut in line on her neck. It didn't hurt, it just shocked her that he'd done it so suddenly, and over something so trivial. What was he hiding? If Devi was alive like he said, and was in a relationship, then why couldn't she see it? In fact, if he hadn't made such a fuss of keeping her at bay, then she most likely would have let it be.

No, why should she sit by and let him get the better of her? She was sick of this. Throwing off her nightclothes and changing into some warm clothes, Izzy narrowed her eyes in determination. She'd been through worse than a cut on the neck. Nny didn't own her, he couldn't treat her like some animal and keep her cooped up. And what was he making such a scene about? Enough was enough. Answers had to be found. Opening the door, Izzy peered out cautiously. Sure, she wasn't worried about Nny at this point… but she still didn't want to be caught.

She made sure that the coast was clear, and then she ran. There was no point in closing the door behind her, he would know what had happened anyway. Izzy wasn't doing this to spite him, or to be childish and get her own way. No, in fact this was because she needed to see for herself. Sure, Nny had never exactly lied to her, but his resentment was too great for him to be honest. Izzy believed the possibility that Devi was alive and with another partner. But what she didn't believe was that Nny was happy about it. She just wanted to see for herself why. And if she could amend it. After all, once Izzy had an idea inside her head, it was near impossible to erase it.

Johnny leant against the brickwork and observed with an arched eyebrow at a couple of focussed paramedics collected the remains of his victims. It amused him how he was in plain sight, spinning the handle of his weapon in his palm, the light of the streetlamp reflecting from it; and yet no one saw him. Sometimes he wondered if he just shot out the weapon once more, right now, would he finally get caught? No, most likely not. And that suited him fine. Occasionally. Other times he just wondered if he was caught, life would be simpler. In fact, the only reason he was out that night was because he recalled said victim mocking him on his boots the week prior. Why should they be permitted to judge so easily? Well, now he was returning the favour. He judged that they should be killed via knife number 43 aimed directly into throat wrist and genital area. Simple.

And so, he left. Wondering the streets in the cold he pondered going back to the motel and check on Izzy. But he didn't want to just yet. He wasn't her carer, as of late he wasn't even sure to call her a friend. Was she ever a friend? Labels were so insulting that he had forgotten how to separate them. But what made her so stubborn anyway? By know she should know it wasn't good for her health. Or his for that matter. He didn't want her in his business after being away so long. She had no right. It hadn't helped in the past, why would it now? Sometimes, he just wanted peace. But the sudden collision of a small form into his chest knocked the possibility away.

The stranger stepped back, "Sorry, I – Oh…"

That voice sounded both familiar, and deflated. The owner of it had kept their jacket hood up around their face and shoulders hunched; but he didn't wait long enough to mock the modest cover-up. Narrowing his eyes accusingly, he reached out and tugged back the clothing, forcing the figures chin upwards and forcing eye contact. At the confirmation of his suspicion, he let swallowed a bubble on anger.

"Uh… Hi, Nny…"

"Tell me, Izzy, what is it that gives you such joy in irritating me? And in public too."

She shrugged, "The thrill?"

Indicating to the unfortunate dots of scarlet on his shirt he allowed himself sarcasm, "Oh, it's a thrill you're after…"

Izzy rolled her eyes, "I'm sick of secrecy. And I think we both know what my curiosity is like."

"Like it was for a certain cat."

"Look who's talking." She mumbled, recalling that if it wasn't for his curiosity, she wouldn't be alive right now, "And anyway, I -"

She cut herself off as something caught her eye. At first, she was surprised and that melted away into mild ease at the familiarity. But then; dark suspicion. Johnny arched an eyebrow at her, turning his head to follow her gaze, and regretting it instantly. A couple were walking hand in hand down the sidewalk, entering a sleazy diner not far from where they stood. Nny tensed in irritation and looked back to Izzy.

"Just how did you know Devi would be here?"

Izzy blinked back to the present and stared at him in confusion, "Devi?"

"I assume by your timing, you intended to find her here." He nodded over his shoulder again.

In truth, Izzy had never actually seen Devi. All contact had been through technology. It honestly was pure luck and chance that she'd been there. But… "It wasn't Devi I was looking at."

Before he could question her, she had darted across the street and was peering through the window of the diner, cheeks rosy with annoyance and the cold. Rolling his eyes, he followed her. What was the relevance of this? Devi sat at a table with a strongly built male of some attractive nature. As far as Nny was concerned, it was infantile observing the couple like this. And it made him uncomfortable. Romance in general did. It was a pointless fantasy created by those too afraid to be alone. Unfortunately, Devi fitted that category it seemed…

"Are you satisfied?" he sighed in boredom, casually leaning against the window.

Izzy was glaring at the couple, "You never said who she was dating…" she snapped.

"Because I didn't care to find out." He replied bluntly.

That was true, she thought, "I don't believe this."

"And what's that?" he sighed, wishing she'd get to the point.

Her cell phone was fished from her pocket and she started jabbing numbers violently, "Keep an eye on him, you'll see."

Figuring there was no harm in listening, Nny turned to look at the couple once more. Devi looked so happy in this illusion of bliss. He was glad she had some taste of imagination before her end. Not at his hand it seemed, but in general. But what was it about this man that seemed to rile Izzy so? Nny became aware of Izzy awaiting someone to answer her call, but as ordered he kept his eyes on the couple. Suddenly, the man inside indicated for the conversation to pause, as he too pulled out a phone, and answered it.

"Hi, Trent, how're you?" Izzy asked.

Nny allowed himself a smirk of intrigue. The stranger alongside Devi moved his mouth in greeting, his voice travelling out from Izzy's phone. Well, well… Trent, the persistent caller; the domestic; was this stranger. No wonder Izzy was so angry all of a sudden. Was Nny amused at this? He didn't know. But it did give him some satisfaction in this. A cheat. A rat, you could say. And such connections… It was almost too perfect, too well timed… And yet, yes, he was entertained by this. However, things suddenly turned awkward.

"Well, you want to hear what I'm wearing, just for you?" Izzy asked, lowing her voice seductively, making Nny arch an eyebrow quizzically and wondering why he was being subjected to this, she continued, "A tight, long-sleeved black top with a silk choker to draw attention to my throat, look a little lower and you might see something you'll like. And don't forget the new hair, short and swept to the side, you like that right?" Suddenly, her voice changed and she snapped back to blunt sarcasm, "Oh no I'm sorry, that's not me, that's the girl you're sitting opposite right now. My mistake, bye Trent."

Johnny allowed himself a smirk as across the room Trent's frame froze, hunching slightly. Devi looked at him questioningly, no doubt catching glimpses of the conversation here and there. Nny was about to make a comment of approval, when he noticed his company had vanished. Turning on his heel, her shadow could just be seen storming around a corner and into the nightly gloom. Grudgingly, he chose to follow. Times like these did strange things to a person after all. And it was all to intriguing to find out what.

Izzy gritted her teeth in rage, skidding into an empty street and throwing her fists against a solid wall. The sudden jolt of pain didn't bother her, in fact it relieved her. She did it again, but it gave little satisfaction this time.

Maybe someone else's pain shall prove more useful…

She froze. Such a quiet whisper that she wasn't even sure it had been there. Right at the back of her mind… No, it wasn't real. It was just where her thoughts were in anger, they weren't right. She wasn't thinking straight. Imaginary… To prove it to herself, she punched the wall again, this time the knuckles of her fist stinging as they grazed.

How dare he, Izzy, doesn't he need punishment? I think we both know who can do that for us…

"Izzy?" Nny pressed, pulling her to the present harshly.

She shook herself, suddenly uneased and jumpy. Anger and fear, a terrible mixture, "Please, Nny, I don't want to hear it right now." Internally, she shivered; I don't want to hear anything right now…

Sorry to disappoint…


So… Devi's new man turned out to be Izzy's boyfriend, Trent… How's that one going to go? And where did that little voice come from with Izzy? And will Nny hear them too? Or will he be having to much fun in watching how things play out? Let's see…

Sorry again for the long wait" Please review and I hope you liked it XD