A warm breeze gusted, swirling red and gold leaves in playful patterns on the yard. He watched them float, his thumb absently rubbing the smooth leather case in one hand. Megan was in the kitchen now, sitting at a small table and tilting her head back for a long drink of water. He imagined caressing her long, slender throat, comparing it briefly in his mind to Angel’s. Lovely as it was, it didn’t quite measure up, but it didn’t matter. That wasn’t what he was here for.
She yawned and stretched. He checked his watch – it wouldn’t be long now. She’d been thirsty, which worked in her favor. It was easier when they got a full dose. She rose, one hand to her mouth as she covered another yawn and walked to the living room, stumbling past a chair and finally dropping out of his view. Excellent.
He waited another two minutes, then strode casually across the street and up her front steps. He inserted a key from his pocket into the lock and turned, the door swinging open easily. Closing and locking it behind him, he set his case down on the hall table beside her purse, snapped on a pair of latex gloves and went through the main rooms, closing all of the shades. He took his leather case into the master bathroom and laid out his tools on a clean towel, then carried Megan into the bathroom. He removed her clothes, folding them neatly and placing them on the laundry hamper next to the door before laying her in the bathtub. No reason to leave a mess behind for whoever found her.
She stirred, shivering as her skin puckered against the cool porcelain. Sitting on the edge of the tub, he tied a length of rubber tubing around her arm, and waited for the veins to rise before slipping a needle into the largest. When the syringe was empty, he removed the tubing and placed it with the needle back in his case. He’d have to work fast now.
Quickly he changed his gloves and then opened one eyelid, and inserted a speculum to hold it away from the eyeball. He used a small set of forceps to pull the eye away from the socket, careful not to squeeze hard. Megan shuddered beneath him, and he frowned, hoping he’d given her enough to keep her still. Too late now, in any case. With his favorite scalpel, he quickly severed the optic nerve and placed the eyeball in a small jar of solution, then repeated the procedure on the other eye. He screwed the lid on the jar and wrapped his tools in plastic before returning them to the case. He’d clean them later, when he could do a good job. Megan whimpered, and he wasn’t sure what to do. Normally they were dead by now – why was she still alive? For a moment he considered using the scalpel, but he hated to make more of a mess than necessary. Checking his watch again, he gathered up his things. He had morphine in the car. If he hurried, he could make it back with another dose before she became fully conscious.
He let himself out the back door and walked down the alley to the side street where he’d left his old Buick. Placing his kit in the spare tire compartment of the trunk, he filled the syringe and replaced the cap, then locked the car and jogged back down the alley with a grin. After he took care of Megan, he could spend the rest of the evening with Angel.
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