“All may be fair in love and war, but Kayleigh just stepped way over the line.” I sipped my water and stared straight ahead, trying to let the slightly slurred words of the man who’d sat down next to me flow past me without reacting. I wasn’t confident they would.
“I certainly wouldn’t want someone like that mad at me, that’s for sure.” Ugh. He wasn’t going to stop. It had been a long day, and all I wanted was some quiet. Nobody else in the bar was talking – couldn’t he tell I wanted to be left alone, especially right now?
“What do you think he did to her? I’ll bet it was something pretty bad to lead to all this.”
I took another sip of my water and sighed. “Look, if you have something to say, just come out and say it. This small talk is driving me crazy.”
“I wasn’t – I just.”
“I know what you just. You disapprove of my methods. You always have.”
“Not always. But … did you have to kill everyone in the place?”
“I didn’t kill everyone.” I drained the water and let the silence stretch on. He got my point.
“You couldn’t kill me if you wanted to. You love me too much.”
“I loved him. You, I tolerate. And you’re immortal.”
“There is that. Fine. I’ll rephrase. Did you have to kill all the humans in the place, Kayleigh?”
“Have to? No. Just the three we came for, if you want to be technical.” I’d actually killed them last, ostensibly just to make them watch. The truth was that it was a lot more fun to fight them when the rest were strewn around the room. It added a certain atmosphere to the fight when you had to avoid tripping over a severed arm or two.
“You’re getting worse, you know that?”
“Me? You’re the one downing bourbon like it’s ambrosia. Some days you can’t even get out of bed.”
“I’m not talking about that.” He looked at the amber liquid in his glass and sighed. “And this stuff’s frankly awful. I don’t know why I keep drinking it. I’m talking about you. I know why you killed David. And Alex. And those three in the corner – I can’t remember their names, but I remember what they did to you. Kayleigh, is there an end game to this?”
“Maybe. I don’t know. There’s not really anything they can do about it, you know.”
“No, but you’re like a kid burning ants with a magnifying glass. You killed the one that bit you, and the others around him, but at what point does it stop being fun? The ants can’t kill that kid, nor will they learn anything from the slaughter.”
I know he was hoping to make some headway, but the truth was, I didn’t care anymore. The killing was who I was, so I did it. What else was there?