Nimbly his fingers flipped open the golden pocket watch and his azure gaze fell upon the clock hands in repetition once more. Casually, the man slipped the trinket back into his pocket. Letting calmness overtake his limbs, his arm quietly slid through the empty air and knocked up against the doorframe to completely ignore the buzzer inches away. Patience setting in, the man tapped his foot to the seconds passing.
Doorway cracking open, his azure gaze fell upon the amethyst gems laden on the woman’s face, doe-eyed and insanely ugly against her reddened skin. Cecily was known for her horrible fashion choices, her impromptu sense of timing, and more than anything else; her wealth. Cyrus hadn’t quite figured out how she became so wealthy other than his assumption of inheritance, but none of that mattered. The Capitol woman was nothing more than a well-used tool for him and it was time to make sure her part was played once again.
“Cecily!” He immediately remarked with an exaggerated smile, his whole body moving with ersatz excitement. “It’s been too long my friend! How in the world are you?!”
Hesitantly, the woman allowed a nervous smile upon her features. “I’m alright, Cyrus. Missed you, though. Where have you been? I tried calling you at least one thousand times and didn’t get an answer until this morning.” She cut straight to the chase, opening the door wider to allow his entrance.
Taking the cue, the man stepped in with a mere shrugged. “Out and about, the usual business. I’m a busy man, you know.” The victor snickered as he stood by her kitchen table. “Never busy enough to miss out on a visit with such a dear friend of mine, however.” Cyrus signaled, tilting his head at the slight changes in perception.
Cecily had definitely lost a few pounds since their last chat face-to-face and her reddened skin had turned from a dark crimson into a pale pink. Why hadn’t he noticed it earlier? Now this would make for an interesting conversation. Let the game begin.
“You’d like me to think that, wouldn’t you?” She hissed, pulling out a chair for her guest, then another for herself. “Sit down. We need to talk and I won’t have you running off this time without you hearing me out.” The woman commanded, keeping her firm stance until she saw that Cyrus took his seat. Afterwards, she kept on with her nag. “And yes, this involves me leaving your side as a loyal sponsor. Not unless you can provide me with the answers I need.”
Narrowing his eyes with a grin still plastered onto his expression, the man only began to chuckle. “I do love it when you try your hand in serious business. So tell me, what are your terms? I’m curious.”
Wasting no time, the words fell flatly from her thin lips. “I have no terms. I only need to tell you that I had an abortion, you moron. I had to have one. It was the only way I’d –”
“Smart girl,” he interjected, playfulness leaving his abilities for the moment and placing his temperament into a foul disposition. “You did the right thing, if you’re trying to tell me that it was my child.”
“Who else would it belong to?! You’re the only man that I’ve ever –”
“Are you sure you’re alright?” The man intermitted once more, leaving Cecily with a face so swelled with anger that she would soon attempt violence. “You’re awfully violent and if I’m not mistaken you’ve lost a great deal of time to being devoted in self-deprivation. Were you ashamed, Cecily, to face the facts? Or was it because you couldn’t keep your other secrets under control?”
Taking the upper hand, his fingers pulled back the sleeves on her arm to reveal a long succession of cuts. Some were scars, some were still in the process of healing, and some were still wrapped in bandages dampened with blood. Taking his eyes upward to catch a look at her expression, he narrowly avoided the incoming fist being thrown his way from across the table.
A bold second was then thrown, followed by a few angry slaps. Already away from the table now, Cyrus easily avoided her slow movements while pulling on a pair of fine Capitol gloves. As time allowed and the opportune moment was created, her fist collided with his shoulder just as he pulled a syringe from his pocket and unhinged it into her arm. With the clear fluid creeping into her veins as he held her arm into midair, the sheer surprise kept the woman frozen.
By the time he looked back at her flushed face there were tears in her eyes, her lower lip quivering in terror. “No, no, no! Cyrus please, no! I did everything I was supposed to I didn’t mean it! Please stop! Please!!” Cecily begged while Cyrus only dropped her arm, a loose bandage falling off as she sunk to the ground in deep sobs.
Lowering himself down to her level, the victor kept a cheerful smile on his face as he stared into her pathetic expression. “It’s too late, dear girl. There’s no stopping the poisons in your system now. No denying that you finally gave up on yourself and committed suicide, is there?”
Whimpering. She was still whimpering.
“How did you know? How did you know that I –”
“That you harmed yourself? I didn’t,” Cyrus cut again, “But it never hurts to come in with several back-up plans just in case things don’t go according to your desires. I swear I’ve told you this what, ‘at least one thousand times,’ and it has yet to sink in.” The man laughed with sarcasm in his tone. This game was ending faster than he liked, but boy was it fun.
As the moments passed, her shaking body heaved harder with every breath she took. Yet she never broke her hard eyes off of his face, resolute to look death in the face. Smart girl indeed. “You’re a monster, Cyrus Alderate. You’re going to pay for this, you’re going to pay a price for hurting me for doing nothing wrong.” Cecily whined, her voice hardly a whisper.
“Please, tell me how. Because one, my tributes don’t need your help. I could care less for them. Reason two, you must die to protect the secret of our short little affair. I have someone infinitely more important than you in my life now. And lastly, number three is an astounding collection of uncaring souls that won’t miss you once you’re gone. No one is going to come looking for you, I’ll make sure of that. I am not going to ‘pay’ for anything when I’ll be long gone and well protected by my own careful actions. They won’t find a trace of me here, dear.”
Cyrus explained, his tone sharp and patronizing. Though it was true. Cecily would soon be dead and no one would know that her aborted child belonged to a current victor. That was blasphemy; an event that never would have occurred. Plus, he never left a finger print. Keeping his hands off of the door, chair, and now the syringe, this all looked like suicide.
“And please, try harder with your insults. I’ve heard I’m a monster on many different accounts now, your own testimony making it no more true.” Cyrus jested, admiring his work as her lids fluttered shut and her body stopped moving. Checking for a pulse, the girl was gone.
With a small sigh of regret that this particular game didn’t last long, he pulled himself up and began to exit, locking the door behind him. Taking his gloves off once outside he took another glance at his pocket watch to see that his encounter took exactly fifteen minutes. Completely unplanned, Cyrus never figured that Cecily would have to die this early on. She could have been useful, certainly, but when his private life was at stake the tool had to be disposed. He couldn’t have Keegan learning about such imprudence.
Perfect. Just perfect.
Another job well done, he would soon return to his apartment and carry on as if nothing ever happened. He’d return back to the District One victor as if nothing ever changed, lustful passion ignited further. He’d show her the truth behind every action, every heartbeat, and every breath.
Because who would deny a king of his domain?