"The two men you killed last night. I'd prefer we did this sooner rather than later, 'cause even though it's cool down here, if we give them another couple of days, it's going to start smelling pretty ripe."
He gave a cold laugh. "What do you think I'm going to tell you?"
I pursed my lips. "Let's start with an easy one. How about your name?"
"I'm not going to tell you my name, but you can call me X."
"X? Like Mr. X?"
He shrugged, but gave a smile that wasn't fitting for the situation. "Just X will do. And I know your name. Verity."
"I'm known as Vee now, but I guess you just answered another of my questions."
"Oh, and what's that?"
"That you're here because of my old life. No one else knows me as Verity now."
"I figured you'd worked that part out for yourself."
I was the one to shrug this time. "I had, but it's good to have confirmation of my suspicions. I'm going to a.s.sume you're not going to tell me who sent you?"
"You a.s.sume correctly. I won't say his name, but I'm sure you can guess."
He was right, I could.
I glanced over at the dust sheets. "But why did you kill the men you were with? Have you double crossed someone?"
He shook his head. "I work alone. Those men weren't with me. I saw them coming into your house while I was scoping the place out myself, and then I followed them in and shot them."
His answer surprised me. I didn't know what I'd been expecting, but it hadn't been that. I narrowed my eyes at him. "Why would you do that?"
"Because coming in here and killing you was supposed to be my job. I didn't want them to take that away from me."
He'd locked me with those blue eyes the whole time he'd spoken, somehow making me feel as though I was the one tied up, and he was the person interrogating me. I tried to push away the feeling. I couldn't let him intimidate me. I was the one in control here, and he had to tell me what I needed to know. I should have stuck to the facts, yet for some sick, twisted reason, I couldn't help myself. It was like tonguing a cavity in your molar-even though it hurt, you couldn't quite bring yourself to stop doing it.
"Why not let them do your job for you? Wouldn't that have saved you a lot of ha.s.sle?"
A slow smile crept across his lips, revealing a glimpse of white teeth behind. "I'd been watching you," he said, sending a s.h.i.+ver through me. "Something about you drew me in. You're very beautiful, you know-the glossy black hair, the dark eyes, the tattoos. I like your att.i.tude as well, how you don't take s.h.i.+t from anyone. I wanted to get close to you, just that once, before you died. Like I said, if the other two men had killed you, I never would have had that opportunity."
"How'd that work out for you?" I snapped, sickened by the idea of him wanting to get close to me before he killed me.
He laughed. "Not as great as I'd been expecting, b
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