My steps echoed off the platform, heels clacking against the cold concrete. The yellowish neon lights reflected off the pillars with an almost eerie glare. There was a vibration humming through the walls. The tracks in front of me were bare, but the train would be here soon. A relaxed hand on my leather briefcase, I waited patiently. Hopefully the train would be on time.
I was several minutes early, but it was better to be early than to be late. Something the subway conductors often had a hard time understanding. As many times as I’ve taken the train, they’ve often been late, but I can’t recall a time when they were early. I wondered what caused them to not adhere to the set schedule so often, and I couldn’t think of any good excuses.
At this late hour the subway station was mostly deserted. There were a few stragglers, though it seemed no one else was waiting for the train. Bums were slumped against the wall, probably just seeking a warm place to sleep so they wouldn’t freeze in the bitter cold outside. During the day it was probably a good place to ask for ums for the poor, but right now they were off, most of them dozing against the wall.
There were junkies as well, huddled together in the far corner. There wide dilated eyes watched the station nervously. I wrinkled my nose as the stink of heroin and crack wafted my way. Their blood was full of the poison. Like the bums they were probably trying to avoid the harsh weather conditions. Either that or they were meeting a dealer.
Whatever they business it was none of mine. They glanced at me every so often. As the only one waiting for the train I looked out of sorts compared to the others. My black pant suit was meticulous, not a wrinkle to be found. I wore a purple shirt beneath the jacket, and simple, but comfortable black heels. In my line of work sensible worked better than stilettos. My blonde hair was in a neat bun at the nape of my neck and my glasses were sleek but professional. My business often took place at night.
I was attempting to ignore the stench of old, and quite possibly not so old urine, body odor, and the occasional whiff of long dried blood when I felt the distinct feeling of a blade being pressed into my back. The point bit through the fabric of my jacket and shirt and I could feel the cold press of steel against my skin.
A soft sigh of frustration escaped my lips. This was one of my favorite suits. Luckily my hair was up. Had he cut through it, I would have been extremely sore. I take pride in my looks, especially when going to meet with a client. I had very high professional standards. Showing up in a ripped suit with an uneven haircut was not to my liking.
“Give me your money!” His voice was strained, deeper than it should have been in an attempt to sound more menacing than he really was.
“I have none,” I replied in a dry tone. It was the truth. Honestly not many people carried actually hard cash around anymore. Everything had transformed into electronic funding. Plastic was carried more often than not now. He would have been better off asking me for my wallet, but I didn’t let him in on that tidbit. I wasn’t going to help him rob me.
He pressed the knife deeper into my skin. He hadn’t pierced the flesh yet, but he was attempting to intimidate me with fear. “Your briefcase, jewelry, all of it now.”
Well someone had a brain after all. The vibrations were getting stronger, signaling the train drawing closer. My jewelry was trivial and easy to part with. The briefcase on the other hand was much to important. It had nothing the thief could use. Oh perhaps he could sell the thing itself and make a few pennies for its fine Italian leather, but what was inside was worthless to him and priceless to me.
Not wanting to be late for my appointment I removed the necklace, bracelet, and earrings holding them over my shoulder. He snatched them greedily and shoved them into his pocket. “Now the briefcase.”
He dug the knife deeper into my skin. Warm blood oozed down my skin. “I’m not playing around lady!”
The first slight flicker of irritation eased its way into my chest. Removing blood stains completely from clothing was no easy feat. Especially not out of silk. Still I wasn’t cruel. “There’s nothing in it that will profit you. Take the jewelry and leave.”
Grabbing me by the shoulder he jerked me around placing the cold steel against my cheek. My deep green eyes bore into his brown ones. The man looked and smelled like he hadn’t bathed in days. Layers of dirt covered his skin in a thick film. His shaggy hair literally had chunks of…things in it. The smell itself was offensive.
“Give me the damn briefcase!” His eyes were wide and wild. He was in desperate need of money it seemed.
The train was almost here. So it would be on time. Of course it would. I let out another sigh. I simply couldn’t part with the briefcase. Besides he’d gotten blood on my shirt and there was a knife pressed to my face. Being a reasonable person I decided to give him one more chance.
“You’ve gotten my valuables. There’s nothing in the briefcase of worth to you. Leave now and we’ll be done with it.”
His face tightened with anger. He wanted me to slovenly follow his orders out of his fear. That was why he hadn’t just tried to rip the suitcase from my fingers. He wanted me to do as he said. He wanted to be in control. The wild look in his eyes, menacing tone, and small blade in his hand were meant to be the catalysts to make me do as he said. I imagine he felt quite impotent that it wasn’t working. Men were always trying to compensate for something.
I suppose there were plenty of people who would be quite frightened in this moment. For me though it was an annoyance. A mosquito bite that just wouldn’t stop itching. Irritating, but not frightening.
Pulling the knife back he balled his other fist. He went to strike me and I stepped in, kissing him instead. It was a light brushing of lips. Nothing crude or unsavory. It seemed to shock him. It had been rather unexpected. At least for him. For me it was simply the opening I needed. A stream of silver slipped from my lips and into his. It was cool, almost minty as it moved between us. A bit of relief from the horrid taste of him. Blowing a light breath into him, I began to search his soul.
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