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She did not believe that Shadows drew breath. Not even whilst hiding in a closet with a boy not a year above her own. Tender flesh had pressed against flesh, breath drawing from both parties in swift, shallow gasps. At times their breaths had completely stilled-an act the interlocked youths did not process as a slick film of chilled sweat covered their persons. The moment of physical vulnerability would be deemed intimate had they not been shaking in each other's hold, the dim, almost nonexistent glow of a dying candle the only light source that had broken through the closet's locked door, wooden boards uneven and splintered.

The pair of adolescents had stared through the slivers of cracks in the wooden boards, the resident of the humble shack subdued to a flimsy chair and stripped of clothing. A film of sweat had glistened upon the Imperial's lean body, the rope upon his hands rough and jagged upon his wrists and tied far too tight, blood trickling upon the floorboards. The man's breathing had come in swift, shallow gasps, as if he could not breathe out of the fear that was clenching his chest tightly shut. Blonde strands of hair had fallen chaotically in front of his face, obscuring his vision. He was not sure what was worse: seeing the woman, or knowing she was there, watching, waiting, but unable to sense where in the deafening silence.

And indeed, the woman had stood there, black robe laying upon her frame and hood shrouding any features. The slightest tilted decline of her head had indicated that the robed woman was watching her quarry with interest, head cocking. The dull light from the dying candle had produced a faint glimmer and flash of cold iron within her bony hands, yet she did not wield it threateningly. Not yet, for her gloved fingers had held the pommel lax, as if the dagger were ready to drop onto the floor were she to loosen her grip any further. The Silencer had looked upon the trapped man for several minutes, boots beginning to echo against the hollow floor as she had placed one foot in front of the other almost thoughtfully, skulking and creeping around the man as if she were a predator readying to strike.

A tongue had slathered against her own dry lips, the woman's eyes observing the man's muscles tense and ripple with every break in rhythm of her slow stroll. Her eyes had fallen to the trickle of blood that was slowly draining from his wrists, nostrils flaring to inhale the scent of blood-a particular taste she could never seem to sate. The woman had meandered until she came to the man's front once more, a cold leather hand lightly caressing his jaw and cheek, almost affectionately so as she encouraged the man to raise his gaze upon her. When the bound man had raised his head to look upon her, she had ran her thumb gently along his cheekbone. He spat in her face.

The sudden spray of saliva had sent the woman shrinking back within herself, a leathered hand rising to wipe the bodily fluid from her face, a film glistening upon her fingers. She had then turned her gaze upon the man, finger shaking slowly before the woman had regained her previous posture. Once more she had began to circle the tied man, footfalls slow and thoughtful, almost teasing. The Imperial had tensed upon feeling a cool hand run along his back, shoulders and nape, feminine fingers massaging his strained flesh. It was then he could feel her nails digging into his skin through the black leathers. She was warning him, and the warning was simple. Never do that again.

He had felt her hold upon him, tantalizing his aroused flesh and teasing with soft pinpricks of comfort, a gloved finger-now warm from his own flesh-lightly toiled with the strands of his hair. The Imperial had tried to ignore her affections, though could not help in falling lax upon the sensation, intimate and loving, as if a mother to a child. He almost dared to think lovers, as she began to gingerly interweave her boney fingers within his platinum locks, fingers lost in an ocean of gold. And then pain.

He had felt her nails dig into his scalp, lips curling into an animalistic snarl as his roots burned and screamed at the force, followed by the sound of shearing. As if the strings of a lute were being cut, their threads severed and pressure falling lax. A blade sheared his mane thread after thread until he had felt an almost unbearable coldness at his nape, feeling almost vulnerable and naked, lighter. His scalp had still screamed in pain, and in the woman's clutches were hazardous clumps of golden straw. Strands of hair had held fast to her weapon, as if intestines stuck within its cold iron fangs.

Her head had cocked, almost coyly as she sprinkled the once proud characteristic around the man in a tease, head slowly turning towards the closet. Looking directly at them through the wooden boards. Looking directly at the boy and girl, not even eighteen years of age. The pair had froze inside, breath caught in paralyzed lungs, awaiting like lambs for slaughter-blind, deaf and dumb for the wolf's jowls to close upon their throats. Yet the Silencer did not move. Rather, she turned her attention back towards the man whose blue eyes had shone with defiance and rage.

The cloaked figure had once more slowly circled the man, footfalls slow and lazy in stride. The man had visibly tensed as he felt the flat edge of the blade trail across his shoulders, upper back and neck, merciless iron teeth causing goosebumps to form upon his skin. A new film of perspiration had leaked across his whole body, his heart racing. He could no longer feel the pain of the rope cutting into his wrists, nor the throbbing, screaming pain of his scalp. All he felt, was the cold iron fear in his belly, and now on his skin, awaiting it's master's order to skewer his inners. He could swear the woman was now breathing more sharply, suddenly, intensely, nostrils flaring.

He had felt her move, a gloved hand gingerly trailing his skin, feeling the muscles dance underneath her touch. And then came the blade, softly pressing against his paling flesh, so close but so far away from drawing blood. Just a little more, just a little more was all she needed to break the integument. But she would not. She was not done toying with him. It did not matter. He knew he was not getting out alive.

His muscles trembled as he felt a feminine hand gently caress his chest, dagger poised towards his throat, tracing the bulge of his adam's apple as he nervously swallowed, chest clenching. He could feel her pressing her weight upon his back as she leaned over, cold breath upon his neck, the faint smell of death reaching his nostrils. He could practically feel the smirk that had toyed upon her lips.

The Imperial had waited. Waited for the blade to plunge into his throat, but had found it trailing-trailing down, down, down, tracing his exposed navel. He had felt her free hand drape along his neck and toy with his ear, wincing as he felt the cold fangs of the dagger feel oddly warm against his inner thigh. Pain again.

The man felt pain once more as she slowly, almost cautiously cut into his thigh. A thin, single line, crisp and precise of one who has had years of experience. Just enough to cut the thin, fragile skin of his inner leg and draw blood upon the iron shard. The young man could swear he could hear it again; The woman inhaling behind him, nostrils flaring underneath a shadowed hood.

Carefully did the woman allow the a pool of crimson to rest upon the blade, stray blood trickling down his naked leg and onto the chair. The gleam of iron had flashed in the dull candlelight, stained with dark crimson as the weapon drifted towards his person once more, the flat of the dagger running against his chest, smearing his own life blood. Her hand was no longer teasing, pulling upon his ear, but instead had fallen to her side, the Silencer slowly skulking to the Imperial's front, head cocked once more.

The young man had looked upon her, the cloaked figure approaching, leaning her leath frame above his, touching yet not, the woman suspended above him. She had kept herself just above his naked lap, the Imperial's eyes looking anywhere but at her shadowed face. A finger had once more roamed his chest, intimate yet distant, smearing the swiftly drying blood. Pain again.

He felt her blade dig into his nape, teeth gritting, breath hitching and adam's apple bobbing, blood flowing, pain sharp and hot. But it was just the tip. Just the tip. And that was enough to make his blood run, to make her lips press against his slick skin, smear blood on wet tongue and teeth. He had gasped, tied hands clenching as he felt the Silencer attach to him like a leech, groaning and gasping, intimate, yet not.

The woman pulled away, blood smeared upon her pale lips as a wet tongue shimmered in the soft flame, cleaning the flesh. Her blade had once more drove into his flesh, the Imperial once more flinching, though refused to groan or whimper. Blood had pooled upon her dagger, and she had steadily raised the iron weapon to his lips. He had refused, turning his head, only for the Silencer to painfully grasp his jaw, forcing him to steady and look upon her, look upon his own blood now staining the weapon of the killer.

The young man was helpless as she had gingerly smeared the blood upon his lips, the Silencer taking care of her canvas as she applied the paint. It was then that he had felt it, her lips upon his, hungry and eager, searching for something lost, yet near. He could do nothing, would do nothing as she felt her tongue push and swirl against his bloodied lips, felt her teeth bite with the intent to draw more blood. He had felt the Silencer shift her weight upon his lap, a hand reaching behind and toying with the uneven remains of his cruelly cut hair.

He wondered where the dagger was, wondering when she would slip the metal between his ribs. He had wondered when she would stop her assault, the Imperial finding it harder to breathe as she began to smother him. Maybe he would get lucky. Maybe he would die from not breathing. That would be a merciful death than whatever this woman had in store for him.

In time, however, the woman had parted from him, lips connected with thick saliva and blood. He could see her smile through the darkness, keeping them separate yet so near. He could also feel the cold iron pointed against his chest, threatening to pierce his heart. Yet instead of thrusting her dagger into his chest, the woman had tilted her blade, the illumination of the soft candle barely strengthening the reflection in the iron shard, something his eyes could not see in the darkness. Under that darkened hood was a twisted smile. And within that twisted smile lay a pair of sharpened teeth.

A new fear had overwhelmed the man, eyes white and wide, struggling, struggling so hard, yet to no avail. He dared not speak, he dared not scream, he dared not-

The woman's head snapped away from him, gaze falling towards the closet, the sound of sharp breath stilling. Slowly, casually the Silencer had rose from her quarry, boots echoing against the hollowed floor as she approached the trapped youths. The adolescents had shrunk back within their sanctuary, the woman approaching the door, black form seeming to slip through the cracks.

The pair heard a rush of cloth, seeing a shadowed face peer through the cracks, indistinguishable. Until they had seen what was looking upon them. It was an eye, the iris a tainted crimson in the darkness, though the pupil had reflected in the soft glow of the nearby light. Peering through the cracks of the door, looking into blackness, they had seen the eye adjust, pupil focusing, narrowing upon their terrified faces which had reflected in the dark light. The woman had then rose, a twisted smile molding into her features. And then they saw the fangs, glistening and jagged. It was then the girl screamed.

The knob of the door bobbed and wobbled, and the sound of what seemed like nails scraping upon wood reached their ears. They had screamed, backing up in desperation, clawing at the walls and floor as a blade broke through the aged wood, sending splinters spraying like a burst of magic. The pair had dug at the floorboards, desperately clawing and stomping, prying the boards loose with pained and bleeding fingers.

Boy and girl slipped into the dank basement below, cornered like rats and clawing at the walls, but alas, there was no exit. They had heard the sound of the door breaking above them, the pair turning towards the hole above their heads, fleeing as they awaited for the creature to come at a distance.

Slowly, a head poked from the hole, nostrils flaring and eyes searching. When she found the young couple, she had grinned a twisted smile. The Silencer had jumped down, cat like with ease, blade lax in her hand. She had approached, slow and predatory, dagger lazily tapping on her hip, flicking blood to and fro. She was experienced, and calloused. But she was not prepared for the boy to charge. She was not prepared for the boy to knock her over in an attempt to steal her blade. She was not prepared for the boy to succeed.

Presented with an opening, the girl ran. Ran up the stairs and passed the basement door. Ran passed the still tied Imperial, ignoring his calls. She ran right out the door, and did not stop. For all she knew, her friend was dead. That man was dead. But it did not matter. At least she was alive. She was alive.

She had ran, blindly and swiftly, heart hammering and pounding so much she thought it would give. But she had made it. She was alive. She was-Pain.

She had felt it before the cold fangs had even pierced her skin, before a rough hand have even grabbed her hair and smeared blood upon her skin. She had seen the Silencer in the moon's light, the dagger gleaming in fresh crimson to the hilt, blood drenching her robe and hands.

And that twisted smile.

She was a fool.

Now she believed in Shadows.

Now she was dead, a dagger in her heart.

And that twisted smile still remained.


I believe

 

The Shadows breathe

 

With bloodshot eyes

 

and sharpened teeth