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"Robert?"

Just a second longer. Please, he pleaded silently. 

Just let me feel humanity for one more moment. Give me something to hold onto before it happens again. Let me hold your hand until--

"Robert, I'm not going anywhere fast... you can let go."  The woman nervously tittered. 

"Sorry."

Fingers twisted away to trace the space between them, feeling the cool grass they sat on. It was a warm evening and the sun was setting with colours that could not be found elsewhere, dancing with the shadows itself had created between the structures of the town. From where the two sat, the line between the ebbing night and the dying day could be seen, stars already coming to pierce the sky. It was a glorious sight. A rare still of perfection that was like heaven had seeped into his life.

Robert was madly in love with Marie but unbeknownst to him...it wasn't a shared attraction. She needed him. Needed his undying love to mask her own dark activities. 

She had just killed a man and it was clear Robert was far from fine with it. Marie had spun a little lie into his ear on how she'd been tracking her victim for weeks and found him to be a sex offender. 'The world is far better off without him' Robert recalled her saying the moment he spotted her shoving the body into the lake.

He had been taking a walk like he did most evenings when he came across her. With Walter's sudden suicide, it helped clear his mind to just pace about the lake. The place had been closed to the public after fears the water was contaminated with some nasty virus but it wasn't hard to get in and out; Robert knew the short period between shift changes and used this to get his alone time there... it seemed Marie had done so too.

He thought about the moment the security guard spotted them walking up the bank and how Marie was quick to explain how she thought she saw a dog about the area, thought she saw it go into the water for it only to be large rat. Luckily no trespassing charges were made against them and a warning was given before they were escorted off the premises.

Robert had a chance to speak there and then but he didn't out of blind attraction. After a heavy bought of anxiety over it all, he was now sat with her. Watching the sunset as if nothing had happened. They were smiling and laughing, even when they began to walk back down into the heart of the town.

"Let me stay the night..." Mary abruptly broke their talk of the Orphanage they both grew up in. The two were stood outside of Robert's apartment complex now.

Discomfort set in and his body felt like clay setting. Stiff. Solidly upright. The woman looked...disheartened.

She was about to leav--

"Yes. O-Okay..." Robert snatched her hand up before she had the chance to even take the first step away.

By now the sky was dark without a moon and the stars from before weren't so bright. The streets were still. The air was calm.

The two had been close for about two months now since Robert had returned to the town. But he had never pursued her past occasionally attempting to hold her hand and occasionally she would allow it. Marie was the only woman he'd let in, let know him. 

The earlier events of the day had been lost in the back of his mind. Too busy with Marie now. Hands ventured beneath the back of her shirt as she straddled him on the couch of his front room. Her lips were pressed to his but he couldn't kiss back from the grin he wore. It made them laugh and even more so as he struggled to unlatch her bra.

"You've not done this before... have you?" 

The man's face lost it's beaming cheeriness and fell into an ashamed expression. His hands quickly snaked out and he dared not look her in the eye. Marie gently stroked his face and without another word began to undo her shirt and then her bra. They were both flung off into the corner of the room.

Robert didn't look. Not even when she lead his hands her chest with her own, fingers were shaking uncontrollably and his palms were chilled. His eyes tightened shut.

"Don't you want this?" Voice was a concerned whisper.

"I...I love you Marie."

"And you like this?"

Robert simply nodded.

"You can have me. Right now...I just want one thing from you..."

Now he looked. Her flesh was as soft on the eyes as it felt. Such a beautiful women, he thought. He'd do anything.

"Finish the 21 sacraments with me...finish what Walter couldn't do."

 Marie flew into the coffee table in the centre of the room with one hard shove, screaming as wood splintered all over the scene. Robert was breathing fast and had forced himself up to stand. Shaking. Shaking violently with fistfuls of his own hair he paced before her.

"Are you fucking crazy?! Have you lost your goddamn mind?!" He roared.

Then it all pieced together. That body she was dumping... it was apart of the ceremony. Marie was furious now. She lunged up with a large splinter of wood from the broken table in hand. She was a little scratched up and despite previous fixations on the woman's breasts, Robert found himself repulsed by her show of skin now.

"I thought you loved me, Robert...I thought you CARED!" The woman screeched.

Someone began to bang on the door. Robert looked over as Marie took a step closer. There was a voice yelling for them to open up.

"How far are you through it?..." Rage had made way to disbelief and fear. Robert's tone was unsettlingly calm despite the situation.

 

She didn't respond. Tears began to well up in her eyes as the banging grew louder as if feet were beating the door.

"..It doesn't matter, I'm calling the cop--"

There was no warning. Not a thing to be done. It was over so fast. The door smashed the wall as it was forced open and in the frame was a large built man that Robert knew to be his neighbour and a war vet, obviously thinking the he could handle the situation that was going on... no  one could have handled it.

Marie was repeatedly stabbing herself in the neck with the wood, each time the sound of bone shattering and flaking into muscle and flesh could be heard in the silence that racked the room. The war vet raced over and pried the weapon from her hand before pressing on the wound. Her skin was lost beneath the caking of blood just gushing from her wound. Robert scrambled for his phone in his pocket and eventually got through to the emergency services. 

They were over in a matter of minutes in a blaze of sirens and lights that glistened through the apartment's blinds.

Marie had died in the apartment, there was nothing anyone could do.

Robert and his neighbour were questioned and no charges were pressed against either... Marie had a history of mental instability and they came to the conclusion that her suicide was down to such. 

Robert knew that although her mental health would have had a factor... the truth was far more complicated and harder to believe. 

If Walter and Marie had attempted the ceremony to bring paradise to the world... who else would try? 

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