Unable to erase the image of the headless man, Steve cringes. “That was messy.”
“Sometimes I lose the element of surprise.” Kandy flashes a wicked grin. A passing streetlamp reveals blood spatter on her face and leather coat. “Sometimes it’s more fun.”
Without headlights, only the pools beneath streetlamps offer a glimpse of the roadway. An oncoming car illuminates the road, flashes lights as it passes, and the night returns. Kandy’s eyes glow red within the darkness.
“You kill people.”
Kandy scowls. “No humans. Not even young Itoril.”
Itoril are the descendants of Ithuriel. He knows about Itoril and their strange eyes, their fangs, their long life. All Itoril are related by blood, a family. If only the memory of his own family would surface.
“Rules come with the job,” says Kandy. Smashing the brake and turning the steering wheel, she pitches the car, back end sliding, around a corner. The car growls and straightens out on a four-lane boulevard. Smashing on the pedal and cranking the wheel, she drives around an orange hatchback.
“A hired killer.” Without prisons, Itoril depend on executions as a deterrent to crime.
Kandy squints at the oncoming headlights. “Everyone behaves reasonably well, so I don’t work much.”
“I saw you at Necropolis.”
Glancing over, she frowns. “You look awful. Where are your clothes?”
Looking down, he sees the same shirt and slacks. Unlike the pressed appearance at Torx’s place, wrinkles show. Realizing he clenches the seat, he puts his hands in his lap. Maybe these are not his regular clothes. A jacket makes more sense for the cool weather.
Recalling the gun pointed at him, the predator eyes, he considers his first memory. Looking at her now, he sees there is no mistake. Kandy is a killer. Whatever the issue, it is part of his past. “Why did you threaten me?”
Kandy scowls. “What are you talking about?”
“At Necropolis. In the room overlooking the dance floor.”
“I never threatened you. Why would I?”
“I don’t know.” He rubs his face. Maybe there is a mistake. “I don’t remember much. I can’t really say.”
The car swerves between lanes passing two more cars. Kandy presses the accelerator, and the engine roars with delight.
“I don’t recall my childhood, or where I live.” Hanging his head, he gazes out the passenger window watching trees and buildings racing past. “Nothing before yesterday.”
Tires howl, the nose of the car dives, and the seatbelt digs into his shoulder. Screeching to a stop, the car growls and falls into a purring idle. Lights flood the car, and horns blare. Gazing around, he realizes they rest in the middle of an intersection. Headlights fill the passenger and rear windows. Hands gripping the steering wheel, Kandy glares back at him. Unlike the cool, stern expression behind the gun, this face rages with anger. Unable to hold the gaze, he looks down at his hands resting on his thighs.
Three sharp honks cry out from behind. Another horn blares seeming to go on forever. Puttering around the side, a car passes, its driver shouting curses out the window.
Steve glances about and waves his hand at the window. “Traffic seems to be growing impatient.”
“You don’t remember us?”
Pulling his gaze back, he takes in the hot face. In the glare of the headlights, her face is white speckled by blood droplets. White powder, sheetrock from the blast, clings like snow on fringes of her dark hair curled over her shoulder. Her lips, bright red like sticky, sweet candy glisten in the light. Even angry, her brown eyes are beautiful. Her face is unforgettable, and no wonder the only one he remembers. Their past, however, is blank.
Anger giving way to concern, Kandy shakes her head. She looks at the road ahead ignoring another driver yelling obscenities as the car passes around. “I thought you died. What happened?”
“I don’t recall.”
Kandy stomps on the accelerator, and the car roars, tires screaming. She pitches the car down a side street. Steve watches the passing lamplights splash over Kandy, her eyes flashing between brown in the light and red in darkness. All Itoril, even the young ones, have the iridescent eyes. They perceive ultraviolet light, heat, allowing them to see in darkness. City lights must be a pain, both the brightness and the heat forming clouds over the skyline.
Pulling into a dark parking lot, Kandy cuts the engine. The building is an old movie theater with a single box office out front. Except for the handful of cars in the parking lot, the place appears abandoned. Painted in black like graphite is the name of the establishment, Midnight Dream.
Kandy removes a handkerchief from her pocket. Leaning over, she gazes into the review mirror and wipes the blood droplets from her face. Her hair smells like cinnamon. Opening the glove box, she pushes a pistol aside and removes a small canister. She paints her lips red even though they already appear luscious.
At the entrance, an imposing man in a leather jacket opens the door for them. Warm air wraps around, and Kandy removes her long coat, handing it to a lady wearing an elegant black dress. The short hall opens into a chamber with archways leading to rooms in three directions.
In the corners of the square room, tall stone statues stand on black marble bases. Each one nude, two females stand in opposing corners and two males in the other two. One male and female have large wings, angels grasping swords, tips touching the ground between feet. The other female has large pointed breasts and long fangs protruding from an open grin. The remaining statue is a hulking figure with large muscles standing on hooves. Above its tall pointed ears, two massive horns extend up curling out front like a bull. The near human face scowls exposing sharp teeth above a pointed chin. The engorged penis curls out like a weapon.
Steve gazes up at the female with the fangs. “One of your ancestors, I presume.” Turning, he faces the other female. The wings are symbolic. “And an Alnir, the people from the sky.”
Kandy scowls. “You remember your ancient history.” Spinning around, she struts through an archway.
Following, Steve watches her hips rock in the snug pants. He nearly stumbles down the stairs, shoe slipping over an edge clomping onto the next step. Spotting Kandy gazing over her shoulder, he returns the smile.