The following is the second part of a two-part piece. It is highly recommended that you read the first piece before reading this one, if you have not already done so. You can find Part 1 here
A lance of fear speared through Amber.
Paul moved from the doorway, taking a step into the room. Her eyes, he saw, were transfixed on the long blade in his hand. Her features were seized by fear. He could read her emotions clearly. She was scared. She was scared of the knife. Paul almost laughed. It should be him she should be afraid of.
Amber spoke, and her voice echoed with her fright: “What are you doing with that?”
He didn’t reply. He enjoyed watching her fear too much. Seeing his victims’ hearts besieged by terror was always his favorite part.
“Paul? Say something. What are you going to do with that knife?”
Paul considered that for a moment, and then replied, “I am going to kill you.”
The color drained from Amber’s face. She rose from the bed and began to back away from him as he walked closer to her. She was moving toward a wall. It was an interesting behavior, thought Paul, that they all somehow backed themselves into a corner. The wall Amber was moving toward was a trap. Oh, well. It only made it easier for him.
Amber whimpered, “What? But why?”
Paul did not respond. He usually did, telling the previous ones just why he killed them. It was only gentlemanly; that was his view. He usually spoke to the previous ones, telling them about the greater beauty for which they gave their lives.
But today he would not. Looking at her terrified figure, Paul felt a stirring in his groin. He would make it quick today. Delaying it would only make it harder for him to keep himself from brutally ravishing her. He would make it quick, and then he would see to his own demanding need.
After he cut out her heart, of course.
That was his reason. It was the beautiful, all-consuming goal he carried. Paul Black firmly believed in the immortality of the beautiful human heart. In taking their hearts, he kept their souls forever. In this way they stayed with him for all eternity. And their beauty never waned with the passing of time. He thought of the forty-something hearts he kept preserved in the hidden room behind the fake door at the head of the bed. He thought of all the women who had given them to him. He smiled. Amber was standing mere feet from his collection.
But Paul Black wasn’t alone in his pursuit of human hearts. There was another – and as much as he hated to admit it – a more experienced collector of hearts. Virtually nothing was known about this competitor, only that the methods the competitor used were superior to his own. The only thing Paul had in the way of his competitor’s identity was an enigmatic nickname: The Queen of Hearts. Whereas Paul only took the hearts of women, his rival seemed to prefer men.
Paul’s attention snapped back to the present. Looking into his eyes, Amber decided that the man she had spent most of her evening with was a lunatic. She slowly inched toward the door that led out of the bedroom. Escape. She would try to escape. Reaching it, she flung it open and ran out of the room. Paul let her go. He loved the chase. It only served to increase the value of the reward.
He slowly walked after her, the hunter stalking the hunted.
Amber ran down the stairs, and her only thought was to leave this place, never mind the fact that she was wearing only a bra and panties and the night outside was cold. Her only thought was escape.
She reached the door. Her hands fumbled at the handle. Fear was dulling her reflexes. Finally her shaking hands caught a grip on the handle and turned it. It was locked.
Amber turned wildly. Phone phone phone phone. She needed to find a phone, at least. And then she would try and stall for time till the police got here.
There was no phone in the hallway. None in the dining room, either. She was getting desperate, now. And then Amber spotted one in the living room. She ran to it, tore it off its cradle and started to dial 911. And then she stopped. The phone in her hand was dead. There was no connection, no link to the outside, no hope.
And then, out of the corner of her eye, Amber saw…
Paul descended the stairs just in time to see Amber drop the phone in her hand. First the door, and then the phone. Sure, like he hadn’t thought of those.
Paul saw Amber’s eyes turn to him, see him coming down. Fear was still written in bold letters all over her face. She ran. Ran, ironically, into another dead end. The kitchen. Paul shook his head. He might have given her more credit than she deserved. Tiring of the chase already, he dashed after her. He would end this soon.
He emerged into the kitchen and saw Amber, running hard for her life, crash into the kitchen counter and fall, taking down all the dishes on the counter. She landed amidst broken porcelain. Bleeding, she struggled to rise, and then fell again.
Paul walked calmly forward, raising his knife, relishing the moment. Amber was six steps away…her heart would be the most prized of his collection…then four…God, she looked so sexy, almost naked and vulnerable, and about to die…then two…
Paul reached down and grabbed Amber’s hair, lifting her roughly to her feet and raising his knife…
And then Amber whirled suddenly and something pointy pricked Paul in his neck.
At first, he could not comprehend what had happened. Then, in the corner of his eye, he looked down, and saw the handle of the table knife sticking out of his neck…
…the knife Amber had stuck into him…
…the knife she had taken from the smashed remains of the dishes, when she had purposely crashed into the kitchen counter…the knife she had been washing when he started kissing her…
Paul looked into Amber’s eyes, not understanding. This was wrong. It wasn’t supposed to end this way…
Amber grabbed the knife, pulled it out and stuck it in again. And again. And again and again. Blood spurted out of the wound, drenching them both.
Paul’s knees buckled, and he fell, dropping his knife and gurgling blood.
And as Paul Black fell, his last thought was: This cannot be…
Amber watched his body collapse to the kitchen floor. She dropped the table knife and retreated into a corner, slumping to a sitting position on the floor.
For a long time, she sat unmoving, not shaking, not crying, nothing. She just sat.
After a while Amber arose. She slowly walked over to the shirtless corpse. Even in death Paul was handsome. It would be such a shame to mar such a beautiful figure, but waste not, want not.
Amber got down on her knees. Taking Paul’s knife from where it fell, she made a neat incision into his chest. It took her a long time, working past bone and muscle and sinew, but al last his chest was wide open, and she could see it, nestled beautifully between two lungs.
Taking delicate care, she stuck the knife in one final time and cut out his heart.
Afterward she walked to the sink and washed the blood off the knife, taking care to wipe her fingerprints off it. She was absolutely soaked in blood. Amber walked upstairs and took a long, hot shower, reveling in the blissful heat of the water. Emerging, she placed her wet bra and panties in her handbag. She would dry them when she got home. She dressed in her evening dress, the one that she discarded on the bed earlier on.
She searched the room. Not finding what she wanted, she went back downstairs. It was in his pocket: the key to the door outside. Amber pocketed it. She then went carefully over the whole house, wiping her fingerprints off any surface she had touched.
Then she walked to the front door, unlocked it and emerged into the evening chill. Amber carefully closed the door behind her and threw away the key. She patted her handbag lovingly. Inside it was the jar that held Paul Black’s heart. It would make a fine addition to her collection.
And then Amber Williams – also known by some for her clandestine hobbies as the Queen of Hearts – turned, and began the long walk toward home.
Well, there it is. Loved it? Hated it? Let us know what you think. The author is completely at your mercy in the comments section. *cringing* Be nice!