“A Night Out”

This is an excerpt from my work in progress novel, Preternatural Assassins’ League. When Sam, an unstable assassin with borderline personality disorder, falls in love with a free-spirited ethics student, she finds the courage to defect from her organization, but quickly learns that her abusive superiors aren’t going to let her go without a fight. For a general overview of BPD, you can check out this website. Enjoy!

I can’t stop smiling at the girl across the bar. Golden hair flowing over her shoulders, silk shirt with a low neck over a pleated black skirt, an expression that’s either naive or nervous—but either way is ridiculously adorable… I can’t be blamed for having a tiny crush.

The girl comes over a few minutes later, sitting down beside me and flashing me a cautious smile.

“Hello,” she says with a lilting British accent that makes me smile wider. “Can I… buy you a drink?”

I chuckle, raising my unfinished whiskey. “Already got one.”

Her face falls. “Oh… I just thought… I’m sorry, I was being presumptuous.” She stands again. “I’m sorry for bothering you.”

“Hey,” I say, motioning to the seat. “I didn’t say leave. You can buy me a second.”

Slowly, her smile returns, and she sits again. “I never do this,” she says quietly. “You know… flirt. With… girls… But I saw you dancing with someone earlier… so I just thought…”

“You’re really bad at this,” I say, draining my glass and waving the bartender over. “Don’t worry. I’m really good at it, so we’ll balance each other out.” I give her a wink, then turn to the bartender. “This beautiful lady is buying me another whiskey, and whatever she might want.”

“Gin and tonic,” she says, laying down a twenty dollar bill on the bar.

“IDs,” the bartender says, taking the money and holding out his hand.

We both pull out our IDs—both are fake, unless this girl is older than I think, but that’s unlikely. He glances at them like he doesn’t really care—it’s a college bar, after all—and hands them back before going to get our drinks. I snatch her ID from her hand before she can put it away, scrutinizing it.

“Mine’s better,” I say after a moment. “This is trash. You should ask for a refund.”

She puts a hand to her chest in mock offense. “I resent that! I am most certainly twenty-one!”

I smirk. “And I’m a fish.” I show her my card. “See? Professional work here.” PAL work, of course. We learn to fake identifications by the time we’re twelve. But she doesn’t need to know that.

She grins. “You may need to put me in touch with your supplier, Danielle Spinetti.”

“And you should tell me who yours is, so I can beat him up, Martha Lucien.” I meet her eyes—ice blue and sparkling. “Really? Martha? That’s what you picked?”

She rolls her eyes and holds out her hand to me. “Cora,” she says softly.

I take her hand, her slender fingers soft against my palm. “Sam,” I reply.

Cora smiles at me. After a moment, I realize our hands are still clasped and quickly drop hers, my stomach fluttering.

Dammit, girl, what are you doing? I chide myself. It’s one thing to dance with a girl or two but… it’s not like that was actual flirting.

I have to remember Abby. I have to remember how I would feel if I found out she’d let someone else buy her a drink, bat their eyes at her.

But like I told Callie, I’m probably going to break up with her anyway…

The bartender returns with our drinks, and I take a sip, avoiding her eyes. Gorgeous eyes, really…

“So,” she says after a moment. “What brings you to a bar alone on a Friday night?”

“What brings anyone to a bar alone on a Friday night?” I say, raising an eyebrow. Then I curse at myself again—and at PAL. Flirting just becomes so easy when it’s drilled into you…

Cora grins and raises her drink to her lips, holding it so daintily, so properly. “Looking for a spot of fun?”

“Something like that,” I say with a shrug. “What about you?”

Cora looks down into her drink, her expression going a little dark. “My boyfriend proposed to me tonight.”

I blink. That was not what I expected. “I… see.”

She chuckles. “No, you don’t.”

“No I don’t. Explain.”

She absently traces her finger along the rim of her glass. “I said I never flirt with girls,” she says quietly. “That… wasn’t an exaggeration. I… You have no idea how hard it was to come over to you…”

I give her a sympathetic look. “Your boyfriend doesn’t know?” I ask.

Cora shakes her head. “No one knows.”

“Then… what did you tell him? When he proposed?”

She takes a drink. “Yes. I— I had to. My parents… they really want us to be together… I’m not even twenty yet…”

I wince. “I’m sorry… What are you going to do, then?”

Cora shrugs. “Marry him. I guess.” She sighs. “I just… wanted to prove to myself that… it’s not just that I don’t like him. Because I do like him… he’s a nice man… but I don’t love him. I wanted to prove that it’s for more than some… shallow reason.”

Being used as a sexually confused girl’s proof. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

But she’s really pretty…

No. No, I have a girlfriend. It’s not worth it.

“Cora… I can’t be your proof,” I say quietly. “I’m sorry.”

She glances up at me. “What?”

“Look, I know I’ve been… leading you on a little… but I have a girlfriend back home. I can’t.”

“I— I wasn’t asking for you to do anything—” She flushes.

“Trust me,” I say, “the only way you’ll be able to find your proof is by getting well and truly kissed. You’ll know then if it feels right. And… I can’t do that for you.”

Cora looks down at her glass again. “Right. Of course. I understand completely.”

I hesitate for a long moment. God, I should not even be considering this…

“I— I’m probably going to break up with her soon…” I say quietly.

She glances at me, raising an eyebrow. “Are you really?” she asks. “Or are you just looking for an excuse to cheat?”

It’s my turn to flush. “You realize I might ask you the same question?”

She flounders with her mouth open like she wants to retort, but doesn’t have the words.

I sigh. “How about this. You finish that drink, I buy you another one, we go and dance for a little bit… and if you’re still feeling confused… I…” I swallow. This feels so much like a job, in some ways… “I’ll take you back to my room and we can talk.”

“Your room?” she asks, raising an eyebrow. She likes doing that, I notice. I mean, if I had perfectly manicured eyebrows like hers, I’d probably show them off, too.

“There’s no way I’m driving all the way home tonight. I’m going to get a motel room. And we won’t do anything indecent,” I promise, my fingers twitching over the fabric of my jeans just below my hip.

Cora hesitates. “I… I really can’t be seen going into a motel, tipsy, with a girl…”

I cock my head. “Seen? By who?”

Another hesitation. “My family… is very… affluent, in certain circles. And people love a scandal. I can’t be the cause of one.”

I smile slightly. “Don’t worry. I excel at not creating scandals. No one would see you.”

“Now see, that just sounds a bit menacing,” Cora says, a hint of a smile returning. “How do I know you aren’t going to do terrible things to me? Kidnap me? Kill me?”

I shrug. “You don’t. For all you know, I’m a dangerous assassin.”

That gives her a moment of pause, then she chuckles. “I like you, Sam… I really do.”

I slide her drink closer to her with one finger. “Drink. Drink again. Dance. And we’ll see.”

Cora picks up the glass and raises it to her lips. “Just… I don’t want to be what gets in the way of your relationship… I don’t want to facilitate you cheating…”

“It would just be a kiss,” I say quietly. “I’ve kissed others…”

She meets my eyes. “You’re that faithless?” she asks quietly.

I shake my head, wincing. “Not… Not like that… I— don’t know how to explain, but… it’s for my… work.” I feel my face heat up. That sounds terrible…

Cora hesitates, not dropping my eyes. “What do you do for work, Sam?” she asks cautiously.

I seduce men and then slit their throats… “It’s… nothing indecent…” I mumble. “And besides—she hates me. She’s always getting on my case about something… I don’t want to be with her.” And you’re gorgeous and witty and I’d very much like to kiss you.

Cora is silent for a long moment. Then she takes a long drink, draining her glass, and waves the bartender over. “Another gin and tonic, please. …actually two.” She glances at me. “I think I need to be a little more drunk than this…”

I nod and pay for her drinks, and after a minute he brings them over. She drinks deeply from one glass like she’s dying from dehydration.

“Careful…” I say—like I can judge.

When she finishes that one, she picks up the other glass, but takes it slower.

“This day is going a lot differently than I thought it would,” she says quietly. “When I woke up… I thought I would just go to my classes, have a nice dinner with Sam—my boyfriend Sam—then finish an essay…”

“And now you’re an engaged woman at a bar with a hot girl.” I smile at her.

She chuckles slightly. “Yes… that I am.” She sighs heavily and takes a sip.

I clear my throat, feeling a little awkward. “So, you’re a student?”

“NYU,” she agrees. “I moved here last year to get away from my family…”

I nod. “What are you studying?”

Cora laughs a little. “Good question. It’s been… a lot of things. But right now, it’s philosophy. Ethics.”

“Oh.” I realize my head is just bobbing with little nods now and stop myself. “That sounds… boring. I’m sorry. It sounds boring.”

She laughs again, a little looser. She has a very nice laugh… “To some people, perhaps. I find it fascinating.”

“What do you even do with a philosophy degree?”

“Teach,” she says simply. “You teach. That’s about it.”

I grimace slightly. “I don’t have a good track record with teachers…”

“Well, considering my track record with majors, that’s not something you’ll have to worry about,” she says, smiling at me.

I chuckle and finish my own drink as she finishes hers, then hold out my hand to lead her out for a dance. I slip my hands around her waist as she drapes her arms around my neck, fingers playing with the ends of my blue hair.

“I hope you appreciate how strange this is for me,” she says softly, swaying in time to the music.

I grin up at her—she’s somehow slightly taller than me, though it might just be the heels she’s wearing.

“Good strange?” I ask.

She smiles tentatively. “A strange… that I think needs to be further explored.”

I feel my heartbeat quicken. “I… I think I can do that.”


We get into a cab together, and I awkwardly fiddle with the hem of my shirt, not really knowing what I’m doing. Can I really kiss her? I mean, she’s gorgeous, and fun, and naive, and… new. My impulsive brain is ready to start making out with her here in the taxi… and usually my impulsive brain wins out. But she’s staring silently out the window, so I don’t.

I know I’m being awful. That I could love her tonight and tomorrow she’d just be gone, and then Abby would be gone, too… and I would have no one and I would deserve that. I deserve that for these thoughts, for what I want to do. Cora should leave now before she realizes just how much of a monster I am.

No. I’m not going to push her away. Not tonight.

The taxi stops outside the cheap motel, and I get us a room, pulling out my phone to quickly text my sister.

SAM: Heading home 2morrow morning. Kinda drunk

There’s a pause as I unlock the room, then her reply comes through.

CAL: Are you ok? Should I send someone to come get you?

I roll my eyes.

SAM: Im FINE. Stop worrying. See u 2morrow

CAL: Alright… see you. Night, Sam

SAM: Night, cal

Cora glances at me questioningly, and I realize I stopped in the doorway of the room to text her. I chuckle nervously.

“Sorry… Just had to tell my sister I’m staying out tonight. She gets paranoid.” I motion inside and we go in.

“You have a sister?” she asks.

I nod. “Callie. Good girl. Good sister. Vastly overprotective.”

Cora smiles. “That’s sweet, though.”

“Yeah, or something… What about you?”

She slips her coat off, tossing it over a chair, and sits on the edge of the bed. “I have a twin brother and a younger stepbrother.”

“A twin, huh? Are you close?” I sit beside her, kicking my heels off and tucking my legs up under me on the bed.

Cora nods. “He’s my best friend.”

I smile at her. “Callie’s mine. We used to do everything together. I took care of her most of our lives…” I glance away. “Which is hard sometimes. Because we’re actually pretty different.”


“She’s the… cautious, introverted, chess-player type. You know, strategic, always thinking ten steps ahead. I mean, I am, too— occasionally…”

“But you’re more the impulsive, pick-up-girls-at-bars type?” she says, raising an eyebrow with a small smirk.

I lightly shove her. “You don’t have to put it like that… I’m helping you out, that’s all.”

She nods. “Of course. And you get absolutely nothing out of it.” She lightly covers my hand with hers, smiling softly at me.

I swallow. “Cora… my brain likes to be really weird sometimes…” I say quietly.

“Doesn’t everyone’s brain?”

“I…” I have no idea how to put this so she can understand how every particle of me wants to jump in, how I’m ready to throw it all on the line for a single night, how much I’m dreading the thought of her leaving tomorrow. How right now, there has never been another person as perfect as she is, but a week from now she could be evil incarnate.

“Sam…” She lightly touches my cheek—I can feel her fingers quivering slightly against my skin. “Stop letting your brain ruin things for you.”

I try to force a smile. “I don’t deserve to be here with you…”

“Shh…” She leans in a little closer.

I close my eyes. “I— I’m going to fail you—”

“Why?” she says softly.

I meet her eyes, my body shaking, tears threatening to come forward. “Because… that’s what I do.”

“Sam…” She runs her fingers through my hair, down to my neck. She’s good at this. Almost PAL good. “I’m failing myself and my entire family right now. Trust me… you won’t fail me.”

I lean forward slightly, the air in the few inches between our faces electric. I feel that strange, hot, twisting feeling in my stomach, like butterflies but more intense. But I make myself wait. This is for her. Not for me. I have to remember that…

“I… I’ve never done this…” Cora whispers.

“Do you want me to lead?” I ask softly.

She hesitates, then nods. I take a shaky breath, then lean in and let our lips meet. She seems frozen for a moment, then slowly starts to kiss me back, going a little deeper with every breath, eventually giving in entirely, wrapping her arms around me and opening her mouth, kissing me passionately.

I feel completely overwhelmed, and I don’t want it to ever end.

Eventually she pulls away, breathing heavily, and falls backward onto the bed with a grin.

“Yeah. I’m gay.”

I laugh a little and lie down beside her. “Satisfied?”

“You are very good at that,” she breathes.

I was trained very well… “You’re not half bad yourself.” I smile at her.

She turns over on her side to face me. “So… what comes now?” she asks quietly.

I hesitate. I’ve already given to her… I’ve broken promises, proven that I was nothing, deserving of whatever she did to me.

That’s what Fortier says, at least.

I’m not with Cora anymore. Not on the bed with that beautiful girl. I’m on a hard floor, lying back, letting myself be prone as I always must.

“Whatever you want,” I whisper.


“I won’t fight,” I murmur, closing my eyes, my body shaking with fear and panic that I force myself to push aside. Comply and it’s quicker. “I won’t resist.”

“Sam, that’s enough.”

I open my eyes and look up. Not at Fortier. At Cora. Beautiful Cora with that… concerned expression. Concerned. And almost afraid.

“I don’t want you,” she says quietly. “If anything… right now I just want to talk to you. And possibly ask if everything’s all right at home…”

I almost laugh. Almost.

I shakily sit up. “I— I’m fine. And I’m sorry…”

“Don’t be sorry,” she says quietly. “You just… weren’t there for a moment.”

“I thought you wanted to…” I say, avoiding her eyes.

“Not if your response is to do… whatever that was…” She gently takes my hand. “Do you want to talk about it?”

I hesitate. Talk about it. I haven’t talked to anyone about it, not even Callie…

I look away from her, slowly drawing my knees to my chest. “You don’t even know me…”

“No,” she says gently. “I don’t. But I want to, I think.”

I shake my head. “I’m a mess. A dangerous, highly skilled mess.”

“And I’m a rebellious, highly financed mess,” she says with a small smile.

“Good for you, princess,” I mutter.

She stiffens just slightly, then scoots back on the bed so she’s leaning against the headboard. “You know I’ll keep your secrets if you keep mine,” she says softly. “Mutually assured destruction. Or trust. Whichever you’re more inclined to.”

“Destruction,” I say, moving back to sit beside her. “But… Not to downplay your identity crisis, but my secrets could get me in a lot more trouble if they came out.”

“I would be disowned,” Cora says quietly. “Literally disowned. Homeless. Not a cent to my name. I would go…” She takes a breath. “I would go from being an actual princess to having nothing in the world.”

“I would die,” I say bluntly. “If the wrong people found out I told, I would be killed on sight.”

Cora hesitates. “That’s—”

“And if other wrong people found out, I would be arrested. So. Stakes are a little higher.”

She shifts, like she’s debating whether to run. Of course she is. It’s only a matter of time, anyway. Might as well send her on her way.

“Are you a… criminal?” she asks quietly.

“I kill people.” I look over at her. “For money. And if you try to turn me in, I’ll have to kill you, too.”

She looks down, fidgeting with one of the rings on my fingers, twining hers between them. “I won’t turn you in,” she says finally. “But… can I ask why?”

“Why I’m an assassin?” I ask. She nods, and I sigh. “It’s the life I was born into. I’m a Legacy in the program—my family’s been in it for generations. It’s all I’ve ever known. I was raised to kill.”

“That’s… so sad,” she whispers.

I look over at her. “Sad?”

“All you’ve ever known is death? That’s tragic, Sam…” She meets my eyes, her own starting to water slightly. “How— How many people have you killed?” she whispers.

I close my eyes. “I don’t keep track. It hurts too much.” That’s a lie. But she doesn’t need to know just how bad I am.

Cora is silent a long moment. “Is it me?”

I look up at her again. “What?”

“Is it me?” she repeats quietly. “Am I your mark?”

I shake my head. “No… No, why would you think that? Did you do something awful?”

She gives me a look. “Did you miss the part where I said I was an actual princess?”

“I thought you were exaggerating…”

Cora shakes her head. “I’m inordinately wealthy, and will have a lot of political power… except that Ben will take the position instead of me, which is honestly fine…”

“Oh,” I say quietly. “Well… no. I’m not here to kill you. I’m here… because I make really bad choices… and you’re really pretty…”

She smiles shakily. “I don’t know if I should take that as a relief or get out of here as fast as I can…”

I look down at my legs. “You should go. It’ll be easier for everyone in the long run.”

Cora shakes her head. “No, Sam. I’ll stay.” She lightly takes my hand. “You clearly need someone to.”

I glance up at her. “You say that now, but you haven’t… you haven’t seen any of me…”

“What do I need to see?” she asks, brushing a lock of hair behind my ear with surprising tenderness for someone who just found out the girl she’s been making out with is a trained killer.

I hesitate a long moment, then slowly undo my jeans and slide one side down to just below my hip, letting her see the scars.

Cora’s breath catches audibly. “Sam…”

“I’m fine,” I say quietly. “But you asked.”

She shakily holds her hand over my leg, meeting my eyes with a silent request for permission. I nod, and she lightly runs her fingers over the scars. I try not to shudder—she’s much gentler than Fortier is when he touches them, but she’s still touching them.

“Why?” she asks quietly after a moment.

“I—” I don’t have a good answer for that. I never have a good answer. So I just whisper, “It’s a release. For… For all the stupid emotions that run around in my head every day.”


I look up at her face, dripping with sympathy. “Don’t look at me like that,” I say, pushing her hand away and pulling my jeans back up. “Please. I’m fine.”

She takes both of my hands in hers. “Who hurt you, Sam?” she asks quietly.

I try to pull away. “No one. Really. I just— freaked out…”

Cora gives me a look. “I was a psychology major for a little while, Sam. I know what PTSD looks like.”

“It’s not PTSD…” I mumble.


I yank my hands away and lie back, staring up at the ceiling. “He’s one of the leaders of my organization,” I whisper. “Okay?”

She lies down beside me. “I’m so sorry… Have you gotten help?”

I scoff. “Help from who? The police would just arrest me. No one— No one in the organization cares—”

There it is. The honest truth. No one cares. This will just keep going on and on forever… or until he gets sick of his perfect prize…

“I care,” Cora says softly.

I look over at her, realizing after a moment how wide my eyes are, how much I must look like a pathetic puppy dog.

I didn’t realize how long I’ve yearned to hear those words, spoken in earnest to me.

“Cora… I…”

She’s in my arms before I fully register what I’m doing, and I kiss her long and deep, wrapping myself around her with complete reckless abandon. Slowly, I slip my fingers beneath the hem of her shirt, and she allows me to draw it off over her head. I let myself look down at her perfect form for a long moment, then close my eyes and kiss her harder, not thinking about anything but this moment—

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe!

Obnoxious music blares from a car outside, echoing through the walls, the bass of the song vibrating in my gut.

We both stop, pulling apart, and just stare at each other as the pitchy voice intrudes on our private moment.

Then we both burst into laughter, falling down on the bed and shaking with laughs until tears come out of our eyes.

I hand Cora her shirt back once we both catch our breath. “Sorry…”

She shakes her head and pulls it on. “It’s fine.”

“I told you my brain is strange…”

Cora smiles at me. “Mine must be, too, then.”

…and this is crazy,” the song continues, unhindered by normal rules of social politeness. “But here’s my number…

“Call me, maybe?” I say softly, meeting her eyes.

Her grin widens and she nods. “Yes. I can do that.”

I smile and lightly kiss her again. “Thank you. For being here tonight.”

“Any time,” she says softly.

From a different room, someone shouts for the person to shut the music off, and after a moment everything goes silent again.

I scoot a little closer to Cora, putting an arm around her and resting my head against her chest, closing my eyes. She gently kisses the top of my head, holding me close.

“Thank you for doing this for me, Sam,” she murmurs. “It means… so much.”

“You care,” I mumble. “You don’t know how much that means.”

She lightly rests her cheek against the top of my head, her warm breath stirring my hair. “Sleep… I think you need it.”

“Mm…” She’s right, of course…

I’m asleep before I can even open my mouth to reply.


When I wake up the next day, Cora is gone.

Panic wells up inside me, followed by rage. She left. Of course she left. I was a damned idiot, who fell asleep on top of her but gave her nothing, who showed her my scars and scared her off.

I pull my knees to my chest and start to sob. This is so typical of me. I fall head first for a pretty girl and just get my heart ripped out of my chest for it…

It’s all my fault. I expected too much of her, I expected her to care. As if she would ever care about me, as if I deserve that from her or anyone…

And Callie. What would Callie say if she found out about this? I might not have slept with her, but we still went far enough to call it cheating… Straight-laced Callie would hate me, and Abby would hate me—not that she shouldn’t already hate me, for all the shit I put her through on a daily basis. She’s going to leave me too, especially now that I’ve done this…

I hate them. All of them. They all just leave, all the time… they all hated me, too… There’s no point in any of this.

I grab a pillow and bury my face in it, screaming into it, holding it to my nose and mouth a little too long. I hate myself… Because it’s my fault they hate me, it’s my fault that I hate them for it…

As spots begin to dance in front of my eyes, I throw the pillow aside, then grab the first thing in reach—the table lamp from the nightstand—and smash it to the ground, trying to get some of this anger out somehow before I decide a knife would be the best way.

That’s when I notice the note.

It had been scrawled onto the provided notepad by the telephone—just a phone number and the initials CS, signed with a lipstick kiss. I dive for it, tumbling off the bed and onto the floor as I do so, landing on a couple of plastic shards from the broken lamp but not caring. I snatch the note off the nightstand and scrutinize it, then immediately pick up the hotel phone and dial the number.

One ring. Two. Three. Four. Five…

“Hello?” a voice answers on the other end. Cora’s voice.

“You left!” I practically shout into the phone. “You left, and you didn’t even say goodbye, and I didn’t know where you went or if you’d ever see me again—”

“Sam,” she cuts me off, a hint of laughter in her voice, the bitch. “I’m sorry. I had to be in the city by nine this morning, and I didn’t want to wake you. I probably couldn’t have woken you, honestly. You were out like a light.”

“That— That’s no excuse!”

“I left you my number, didn’t I?” she says.

I hesitate. “Yes…”

“Well then, I clearly didn’t mean to abandon you. I just had to go. I’m sorry.”

That still doesn’t make things better. That still doesn’t mean she hadn’t left.

So I call her some names into the phone and hang up.

Two seconds later I scramble to punch the numbers in again and frantically press the receiver to my ear, praying she picks up.

She does on the first ring.

“Yes, Sam?”

“I—” I falter, not knowing what to say.

“Yes?” she prods.

“Please don’t leave me.” The words slip out before I can regulate them.

There’s a long silence on the other end. Oh god… what is she thinking? She’s laughing at me, isn’t she. Laughing at the desperate, broken girl…

“I won’t, Sam,” she says softly. “I won’t leave.”

I let out my breath. “You promise?”

“I promise.”

I let myself smile, and relax—slightly. “Thank you.”

There’s a brief pause. “Was there anything else you wanted to talk about? Or were you just calling to shout profanities?”

I flush. “Shout profanities, mostly…”

Cora chuckles. “Okay. I’m going to go, then. I’m in the middle of a meeting.”

“On a Saturday?” I ask suspiciously. Stupid suspiciousness…

She hesitates. “It’s… Well, it’s with a wedding planner, Sam,” she says quietly.

Oh. That’s right. She’s engaged. To a man.

“Have fun,” I say softly.

“I— I’ll tell him eventually—”

“When you’re walking down the aisle?”


“No, it’s fine.” I sigh.

“It’s obviously not.”

“I can’t expect you to keep cheating on him,” I say quietly. “And… And I really… shouldn’t cheat on my girlfriend…”

“Who you said you were going to break up with.” I can almost hear her raise an eyebrow.

“Yeah. Yeah…” I look down at the note in my hands, tracing a light finger over the red impression of her lips. “I—”

“I’ll tell him, Sam,” she cuts me off again. “I promise. Once I work up the courage… I’ll call this whole thing off. You’ll break up with your girlfriend… and I’ll get you away from that organization of yours.”

I hesitate. “You’re misunderstanding one thing,” I say softly.

“What’s that?”

“I don’t want to get away from my organization.”

Cora goes silent. “Then I’ll change your mind about that. Call me again, Sam. Please.”

I nod, then remember she can’t see. “I will.”

“Good. Now I really have to go—they’re glaring at me through the window. But I’ll be back later if you need me. Bye, Sam…”

“Bye, Cora,” I whisper, then hear the quiet click of the line disconnecting.

She cares. What a strange feeling, that…

Leave a Reply