Dedicated to anyone and everyone who has ever read Assassin or A Killer’s Game. I love you all for reading. :’)
After a while, my parents and Mrs. Wallace return to the kitchen, and Benny goes off to his room, leaving Seth and I alone. I lean back into him. We don’t say anything for a while, but this silence is companionable, and I sit through it comfortably.
“Thank you,” I say, breaking the silence. He smiles at me, his eyes lighting up.
“You said you’ll always be here for me. And you have. Not many people are capable of keeping their promises like that. Thank you.”
“Maybe I’m not most people,” he whispers into my ear. “You’re certainly not. You’re one thousand times better.”
“Maybe you’re not,” I reply.
Our faces are an inch apart. “Now. Where were we?”
I shove his chest lightly as he leans in closer. “Oh, don’t be so cheesy,” I tease, and kiss him. I push my worries about Pilot to the back of my mind, and just focus on Seth.
I don’t pull apart for air until I absolutely have to, and then I just lie there, my head on his chest.
“Does your ankle hurt?” he asks after a while. I shake my head no. It’s a half lie, because it still kind of stings, I just wasn’t paying attention to it.
“You fixed it,” I say dramatically, then burst into a fit of giggles.
“Oh, now who’s being cheesy?” Even though nothing’s really funny, we keep laughing, until our chests hurt and we can’t breathe. There’s something nice about it, the raw, innocent joy over nothing.
After that, we go back to kissing. Because while smiling is great, it’s only the second best thing you can do with your lips.
I guess I lose track of time, because when I finally seperate myself from Seth, it’s dark inside. A light comes on out of nowhere and I jump, but it’s only Mrs. Wallace.
“You kids having fun?” she asks with a wink. I can feel myself turning red. Er…awkward? “We’re having tea now. Join us if you’d like.”
“Tea?” Seth asks. “Didn’t we just have tea?”
Benny’s mother laughs. “I think you would call it ‘dinner.’ We’re having spaghetti bolognese.” My stomach rumbles, and I suddenly remember how hungry I was.
“Sounds delicious,” I say. Seth helps me to my feet—er, foot—and I hop over to the kitchen. Grinning, he begins bouncing on one leg comically. I slap his arm.
My parents and Benny are already sitting at a small dining table, a pot of something that looks insanely delicious adorning the middle.
I don’t care if I look like a pig, I eat like I’ve never eating before in my life. Spaghetti bolognese is amazing. Benny chatters incessantly the whole time, about the street names and the market and his mother’s cooking. He may be sixteen, but he’s got the attention span of a six-year-old.
I’m glad that he keeps talking though, it means I don’t have to. Which means I can focus on food. Which means I am a very happy camper when Benny switches topics yet again.
“I’ve always loved airplanes,” he’s saying. “I wish I could go in a airplane, but Mum says it’s much too expensive, and I can’t because we have to pay for food and other things like that. I saw an advert for a man who gave airplane rides for twenty pounds, but he was all the way in London, and Mum said that’s too far to go.”
Suddenly I’m hyperaware of the tiny green plane in my pocket, poking my thigh sharply. It gives me a sick feeling. Pilot…
“If I could have my own airplane, I’d have a red one,” Benny continues. “It would probably be really—”
He stops when something taps against the window. It sounds like three pebbles. Looking confused, Mrs. Wallace stands and looks outside.
“Why…there are three people there,” she says. My first thought is “crap, assassins!”, but then she continues, “Sasha, come here a moment. Is that…”
I reluctantly leave my food and join her at the window, squinting in the darkness to make out the faces of the figures below. It looks like two guys and a girl. And one of the faces looks strangely familiar. It couldn’t be…
I throw open the door and tackle Pilot the second he enters the room. It hurts my ankle, but I really don’t care. Seth is right behind me to help us both up, then he and and Pilot do that weird chest bump thing that guys do.
“I killed him,” Pilot whispers in my ear as he passes.
Behind him are two people, a boy and a girl. “James,” I say happily, recognizing the boy. I give him a quick hug. The girl looks familiar, though only slightly. But since she’s wearing a grey tracksuit, I figure that I must have seen her before.
“I’m Ginger,” she says brightly. “I knew Stephanie, and um…yeah.” She casts a glance at James, but he doesn’t react.
“Well, come in,” Mrs. Wallace says, “you look like you could use some food.” She’s right. All three of them are covered in dirt and bloody scratches. “You can use the washroom when you’re done.”
They eat and wash up, and when they’re done, I wash up and change into a big t-shirt borrowed from Mrs. Wallace. It feels good to be clean and fed.
“So, Pilot, tell us how you escaped,” my dad says. Pilot glances up from talking to Ginger. I notice that they’re holding hands, and it makes me smiles.
“Well you see,” Pilot begins. He tells us, with help from James and Ginger, as we sit around the living room on the edges of our seats.
I listen for the most part, but after a while I zone out and begin to fall asleep, my head on Seth’s lap and his hand in my hair. In the minutes before I fall asleep, I flash back to everything that’s happened in the past several months.
The day I joined Ronald’s facility seems like an eternity ago. Arriving in England a few weeks ago feels like decades. Even playing Thomas’ first game several hours ago seems like it’s years past.
But now, everything has calmed down. Thomas is dead, I’ve found my parents, and Pilot survived the explosion, along with James and Ginger. Razor is gone, as is Sweetie, and I can’t help that, so I’ll just move on. And then there’s Seth…
I open my eyes tiredly and stare up at him. He notices and kisses me lightly on the forehead. I smile as I let my eyelids droop again.
At least for now, it’s all over. Maybe there will be more assassins to fight tomorrow, or another psychopath to kill, but at this point in time it’s all over. We’re safe. Well, maybe not safe, but almost.
Because really, in this game, is there such a thing as ‘safe’?
(Well, except for the epilogue)