Silent as the Shadows

For the Heir of Fire writing competition. Cara, a deadly assassin is sent on a job by her mysterious benefactor. But who is this benefactor and why do they want this man dead?

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3. Requirements

Cara slinked down a dark, dank alleyway, a few streets away from the scene of the crime. No one had seen her so really she would’ve been able to walk the streets freely, but Cara liked to be careful. She wasn’t out of the dark yet.

Fastening a red cloak around her neck, she hurried down another street. The established meeting place was still a fair distance away and she needed to be there before day break... which, judging by the slight pink tint to the sky, wasn’t far off.

She stopped for a moment, checking her dress. There were some slight red patches, but they weren’t anything noticeable. It was her right hand, her knife hand, Cara was worried about. When the Captain had begun to cough up blood, she hadn’t been able to move her hand away. And she had yet to clean it.

Cara slid her hand self consciously behind her blood red cloak.

But in that brief moment, she had made herself vulnerable, and apparently someone knew it, because the next thing she knew, Cara’s back hit the wall with a loud crack.

A gasp flew from her mouth before she could stop herself.

The hood was too far down his nose, casting a shadow across his face.

“Oh, you’re good,” He smirked, his mouth curling. “But not as good as you think.” Cara remained silent, praying her face would give nothing away. Her heart skipped a beat. She’d been seen... the benefactor would give her nothing.

“And you are...?” She raised her arm to push the cloak back but, quick as a flash, her caught her wrist. For a moment, they stared at each other in silence. The boy slowly let go of her wrist. Cara snatched it into her body.

“That depends.” He smirked again.

“On what?” Cara snapped in annoyance. He moved just that little bit closer.

“On how badly you want to keep what I saw a secret.” The boy replied, the smirk falling from his face. She glared at him; how dare he blackmail her!

Cara began to reach for the dagger stuffed into the ribbon tied around her waist. For a split second, she believed she'd got away with it. But only for a moment. Even before she’d reached the ribbon, he snatched up her hand and pinned her body to the wall with his own. All of her breath escaped her.

“Nice try,” A smile touched his lips, but she felt his mocking tone cut into her like a knife. Cara struggled to free herself, but he held her tight in his iron grasp. The boy gripped harder onto the arm he had pinned up against the wall, the brickwork behind her chaffing her soft skin.

“At least I don’t hide behind a mask.” Cara mocked, ceasing her squirms. “Afraid, are we?” His grip hardened and his face ducked in closer to hers. Is that an attempt to be intimidating? She thought in amusement.

“Do I look afraid to you?” He snarled, abruptly letting go and moving a few steps backwards, his arms out wide. The cloak and the gestures... boy, was this one a drama queen, Cara smirked to herself.

Cara stepped around him lightly, mock thinking. His eyes watched her like a hawk. She spun delicately on her heel and stopped in front of him.

“No,” She smiled sweetly. “But just because you don’t look afraid, doesn’t mean you aren’t.” The boy did not move an inch. He knew what she was asking. She was asking him to take down the hood, reveal his identity.

“Oh, come on, tough guy.” She smirked. “You’ve seen what I look like. Care to return the favour?” She toyed with the strings keeping the cloak tied around his neck. He flinched ever so slightly.

His hand swooped up and caught her by the wrist. Again with the wrist thing, she thought in annoyance. Her reactions were all over the place.

“You don’t know what you’re asking for.” He warned, his grip gentle.

“Don’t get all sensitive now,” Cara replied. “It’ll ruin the act.” A small, tentative smile appeared on his lips, which took her slightly by surprise. Interesting, she thought.

He dropped her hand and carefully lowered the hood, the light casting a glow on his face. His expression was grim.

It didn’t take Cara long to figure out why.

Mottled skin stretched from his left cheek, thinning out before reaching the top of his forehead. She gasped quietly, and for a moment forgot herself. Cara lightly grasped his face, as if frightened she might hurt him, and inspected the scar.

“Don’t get all sensitive now,” He whispered. “It’ll ruin the act.” Cara jolted out of her shocked state and stared at him. Despite the obvious, he was... god, he was really attractive. Thick, full, dark hair. Perfect, green, gold, brown, hazel eyes.

Yes, the scar was distracting. But it was sort of beautiful too. And in the strangest way possible, it suited him. The grim expression, the sad, beautiful eyes, the scar, they all fit his image.

“So... what exactly do you require in order for your silence?” Cara asked, trying not to get sidetracked by it all. And ‘by it all’, she meant his obvious good looks, which were throwing her off balance. Not literally, thank god.

He smiled wickedly and stepped closer.

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