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Ten.

Dagan.

Dagan blinked; sleep was never easy for him. He had heard something, slight though it was, it was clear in the silence. It had been a click. The noise of the front door clicking open, trailing across the carpet then another click as it shut. He dragged himself out of bed, pulling up his jeans a little ² it was too hot for much else, and it wasn·t like he was going to sleep much anyway ² he never did. He pulled the knife from under his mattress; if Seth was coming for him, he·d be in for a surprise. He crept over to the door, expertly dodging the few loose floorboards ² he knew every noise that the house made. He pressed his ear to the cool wooden door and listened to the soft footstep cross the carpet carefully then starts up the stairs. He waited, then, as if on cue, there was a slight thump. ´Damn.µ Cursed a quiet voice. But that wasn·t Seth« This voice was« Female. It was too quiet for him to be able to distinguish who it was, but he knew he recognized it, but he doubted it was one of Bill·s Girls ² they wouldn·t send a female to get him ² never mind a lone one. So who was she? He heard her set foot on the landing, and realized that he now had two choices; ambush her at the door or take a more subtle route. Choosing the latter, Dagan slowly returned to his bed, and lay on his side with his hand under the pillow to conceal the knife. He didn·t bother messing with the duvet ² at the bottom of the bed, in a crumpled mess; it would just get in his way. A few seconds later, the bedroom door was slowly pushed open. He was tempted to confront her now, but instead, he slowed his breathing and loosened his tense muscles. He opened his right eye slightly, looking at the dark figure before him through his eyelashes. She stopped in front of his chest. Moonlight suddenly shone through the open window, highlighting her form. Her long, dark hair was pulled into a messy pony tail. He couldn·t see the details of her face. She wore a zip-up hooded jumper and a pair of baggy black jeans. He still had no clue as to who she was. A few seconds later, she took a breath, as if she had been holding it in since entering the room. She slowly withdrew a knife from within her top. Dagan momentarily forgot that he was supposed to be pretending to be asleep; his eyes widened as he looked at the blade. It was his. He didn·t know if he expected it or not, but as the dagger came down to his bare chest, he grabbed it, aiming to hold her hand but he cut the inside of his palm in doing so. He winced, throwing it to the floor whilst accidentally knocking her back to the wall. The girl stood helplessly, as if all the courage she had previously possessed had been attached to that knife. He moved towards her and pressed his wooden handled blade against her throat, heard enough to break the skin, but not enough to even get close to breaking the windpipe. A small drop of blood glistened on the silver blade. He was close enough to her that he could feel her breath on his skin; he thought he could even detect the slightest hint of alcohol. She closed her eyes, ´Please, don·t.µ ´Give me one good reason not to.µ She gave no sound or indication that she was going to answer. Dagan grabbed the hood of her jumper, pulled her down the stairs and into the living room before pushing her down, onto a seat. ´Stay there, don·t move.µ He warned, before leaving the room to grab his mobile and lock the front door. She was still there when her returned, only now, she had her head in her hands. She looked up at him as he began to pace the room, his mind racing through the unyielding motorways of thought as he came up with a thousand possible solutions to his problem.

She sounded tired, but not scared when she spoke, and there wasn·t a hint of fear in her eyes, ´What are you going to do with me?µ He ignored her, not even sure what he should be doing. He never expected this to happen« Even though Seth did warn him« Seth« He took the square of black card from on top of the fireplace and tapped the numbers into his phone. ´You·re phoning the police?µ ´Don·t be stupid.µ He impatiently tapped his fingers against his leg whilst waiting for the phone to be answered. ´Who is it?µ Seth asked, sounding groggy as if he·d only just woken up. ´Dagan.µ ´What the hell are you doing, calling me at this time? Just because you don·t sleep, that doesn·t mean the rest of us -µ ´She·s here.µ ´Who?µ ´Wylde·s daughter. She·s here.µ ´And you·re telling me this« Why?µ ´Well, what am I supposed to do?µ ´Did she kill you?µ ´Do I sound dead to you?µ ´Oh,µ he sounded a little disappointed, ´I thought she said that she would« Never mind, you get to kill her then. All is well and ends well, or whatever.µ ´What?µ ´Either you do it, or I will ² I need a new toy to play with.µ The threat was evident in his voice; Seth always liked to ¶taunt· his victims before he got too bored to bother anymore. And then, he either killed them, or passed them on. ´Fine.µ The last thing Dagan truly wanted was more blood on his hands, but if that·s what he had to do« ´And the next time you wake me up in the middle of the night, I·ll cut of your ²µ ´Whatever.µ He hung up, and then sat on the floor. ´I need to think.µ He sat on the floor, crossed his legs, rested his elbows on his knees and began to rub his temples. ´Why did you come here?µ he asked after about five minutes in silence. ´To kill you.µ Dagan couldn·t help but laugh, even thought it was a death threat. ´Just because I·m a girl, doesn·t mean I can·t kill a head case like you.µ She replied defensively. ´Well, judging by how easy it was for me to disarm you, I doubt you could hurt me.µ ´If you hadn·t, then I would have. And we wouldn·t be having this conversation right now.µ He grinned; she·s got to be kidding me. ´Hm, maybe.µ What if« He stood and paced again, before he decided what he was going to do. He took the sword from the wall and weighed it in his right hand; he brought the sharp tip to her throat before she could even blink. She flinched. Then, catching her by surprise, he flicked his wrist so the blade spun through the air before he caught the flat metal edge expertly in his hand. The handle was now in front of her face, millimeters from her nose.