Silver Mask watches me get dressed from the floor where he sits with his spine against the wall. He has one leg flexed and the other extended, and an arm resting over his knee. Though his demeanor is relaxed, there’s some tension lingering in the way his fingers fidget back and forth with the knife.
I’m thankful he didn’t spiral and flee after we finished. Instead, he waits for me patiently. Since he didn’t get naked, it only took him a few seconds to put himself back in his pants and zip them. Meanwhile, I struggle to pull my tight jeans over sweaty legs, which is a hassle because it keeps sticking to my skin rather than sliding smoothly.
Stealing a glance at him, I notice his shoulders bounce with laughter. El idiota finds it funny. I huff and finish setting the fabric over my hips.
“Where did you drop my boot?” I ask, looking around at the light fog covering the floor.
This would be significantly easier if we weren’t inside the attraction. All the effects of haze and dim lighting are annoying now that I’ve come down from cloud nine. It’s a struggle to gather my things under these circumstances.
This is what porn doesn’t show you. The scenarios are hot, but they never include the cleanup and aftermath where you’re awkwardly fumbling around each other as if you weren’t getting your guts rearranged minutes before.
“Allow me,” he says, stretching to reach the boot near him. Then, he shifts to his knees to help me put the shoe on.
The awkwardness in the air disappears the second his hand touches my leg. Pure electricity simmers through the length of it, and I hum in approval. Tipping my chin, I stare at him, mesmerized by the view. The dominating, mysterious man kneeling for me is a sight to behold.
I’d have him in that position every single day if he wanted.
“You look good like that.”
He tilts his head. I can’t see his face, but I imagine he’s smiling.
“It’s an honor to be on my knees for you,” he responds, caressing my leg with his mask as he finishes lacing my boot. “All set.”
He pats my thigh before he stands. I had already forgotten how tall he is. His figure towers over mine, though he’s no longer intimidating. It shouldn’t surprise me how things have changed in less than an hour. After ravishing each other in the way we did, there’s no room for fear, especially with how he worshipped my body.
I’m going to think fondly of him until the day I die.
I tighten my thighs as my brain brings up the images of his face buried between them.
“You might have to wash your mask before your next group,” I mention with a shrug, attempting to sound casual.
Is there such a thing as telling someone they need to wipe off your cunt perfume from their mask?
He must be inhaling the scent every time he breathes. While certain things are cool during sex, I don’t think that’s something he wishes to do as he works. There are limits, right?
“Why?” he asks, confusion present in his approach.
Embarrassment prickles under the skin of my face.
“Uh, because of the smell?” My words come out as a question rather than a statement, but his tone makes me hesitate.
“Of your pussy?” he inquires. I dip my chin in a nod, flushing at his boldness. “I’d wear the scent of your pussy to my deathbed if I could, darling” he says, cradling my cheek in a gesture that seems almost… sweet, and odd contrast after the rough sex we had a few minutes ago.
A laugh breaks free from me.
“Huh, and they say romance is dead.”
To my surprise, he laughs too, but doesn’t touch the topic. Instead, he nudges my elbow and announces, “Come on, I’ll walk you to the exit.”
“How charming,” I muse. “Do you do this to all the girls who bat their eyes at you?” I tease because I don’t really care about other women. If he does this daily, that’s his business. However, I do have a slight concern about us not using a condom. I’m on birth control, but that doesn’t protect me from any diseases or infections.
Silver Mask clicks his tongue and shakes his head. “Only to the ones who kiss me when I corner them.”
I roll my eyes.
“Lead the way.”
He extends one hand toward me. Although estranged by his affection, I grab it without knowing what to expect. His fingers lace together with my own, and I’m taken aback by how warm and comfortable it is.
I’m not sure if I’ve been depraved of normal human proximity with a guy, but the warmth of his hand holding mine is pleasant. Our palms fitting perfectly as if they belong together, which is an insane thing to think about a man I just met. Then again, we jumped many steps along the way, so I could say our bodies were a perfect match for each other. If we got to know one another, I might like him too.
I’m not delusional enough to believe I’m harboring love for him after an hour of adrenaline and raw fucking. But I can’t say there isn’t a connection happening here. You don’t have sex like that with just anyone. There’s a spark between us, one that could ignite and turn into all-consuming flames.
The future is unknown.
Without untangling our hands, we walk to the main floor, and along a tiny hall toward the end. Not paying too much attention to our way out of here because I’m busy wondering if I should ask for his number.
So, when the neon sign becomes visible, I halt my steps and take a deep breath to steady my thumping heart.
Nena, you asked him to come all over you. This is absolutely nothing, my brain reminds me when I grow insecure. Somehow, this feels different. When we were fucking, I was sure of what was happening and didn’t have to consider rejection as a possibility.
I gulp, the anxiety knotting in my throat.
“This might be straightforward, but could I have your number?” I fumble over the words. Silver Mask stays quiet for a few seconds. “We could have a re-do, but you don’t need to feel obligated,” I offer.
He shakes his head.
“I would love nothing more than getting another chance to be inside you,” he assures. “I don’t have my phone here.”
I didn’t think about that option at all.
“But tell me yours. I’ll remember it.”
I raise a brow, surprised.
We don’t live in an era where you memorize numbers. Of course, I know a few digits here and there, like my mom’s and my best friends’ numbers, but nothing out of the ordinary. Typically, we limit ourselves to insert the digits in our contacts, and that’s it. If our phones can store it for us, why bother learning them, right? That’s what most of the world believes.
He nods, and nothing in his body language hints that he’s lying.
“I’ll engrave the numbers in my brain, darling. Tell me,” he insists.
Doubtful, I recite my phone number, and mention, “My name’s Sadie.”
It’s odd that I have his semen smeared all over my abdomen, and we haven’t exchanged names.
Silver Mask bobs his head in approval before parroting back my digits, proving he has remembered at least immediately.
“See? I have an excellent memory,” he mentions, though I notice he hasn’t introduced himself. With a slight tilt of his mask, he points at the exit. “You better get going if you want to be the final girl.”
“You could still eliminate me from the game,” I remind him, tapping the blade of his knife with my index finger.
“I could, but I won’t,” he replies. “I’ll find you later, my darling Sadie.”
With that, he backs away from me, installing a prudent distance between us. He’s letting me have my moment alone. I appreciate him for it. People wouldn’t consider me a final girl if I made it out with the person who was supposed to ‘hunt me’.
I run my fingers through my dark hair, detangling some knots, so I don’t look like I got railed. Filling my lungs with oxygen, I straighten my shoulders and lift my chin high. Everything to make it seem like I was playing the game and not fucking my way to the top.
Here goes nothing.
I twist the door handle and swing it open, bracing myself for the celebration I witnessed when the guy from the last group exited Slashed.
Except no one cheers for me.
Outside, everyone murmurs, exchanging confused glances. Red and blue lights bathe the area, and I take a second to realize they come from police cars and ambulances. They’re sirens. Emergency teams crowd the lot.
“Sadie!” Jen’s alarmed voice cuts through the night as she runs toward me, slamming her torso against mine when she wraps her arms around my body. Her entire frame is shaking as she hugs me. “You’re alive! Oh my God, you’re alive!”
Confusion sprouts in my chest, spreading through my veins, and knitting my forehead into a frown.
“What are you talking about?” I ask, grabbing her shoulders to push her back and look at her face.
Tears spill down her cheeks. Relief present in her features.
“They’re dead,” she tells me. “I found a body after we split up. It was the scare actor.”
My frown deepens.
“What do you mean?” I’m so lost and confused. “He followed me.”
Jen shakes her head.
“No, Sadie, you’re not understanding.” She pauses for a second to exhale a shaky breath. “The guy chasing us wasn’t a scare actor at all; he was a killer. He murdered the actor assigned to our group and the other jocks too. Nancy…”
Where is she? Where’s my best friend?
My stomach drops at the realization. When Nance got locked away, she was shrieking with terror. I thought… This was supposed to be a game. Guilt prickles my body like needles pocking holes in my skin. My knees grow weak, almost making me crumble, but I keep clinging on to Jennifer to keep from falling.
Horror ties a thick rope around my chest, crushing it with its weight as it takes control of my anatomy. Frantically, I look at my surroundings, trying to catch a glimpse of my blonde friend.
I hope she’s okay.
She has to be.
Jennifer wipes the tears from her face with the sleeve of her shirt. Red rims her lashes, showing she’s been crying for a while.
“The ambulance just took her. She had a nasty wound from the stairs, and they think she has a concussion,” Jen explains, skimming over the details. “She was with Ty when he… you know.”
I don’t know what impulse takes over me, but I ask, “Did… Did he hurt her?”
What will knowing accomplish?
The guy that worshipped my body a few minutes ago is a murderer. He killed people in cold blood, and held me at knifepoint. I was too naïve to understand what his threats meant. When he mentioned checking to see if the knife was real, did he mean slicing my chest open with the blade?
I licked the blade.
Nausea rattles my stomach because I licked it. My mouth was in contact with the same knife that took people’s lives. It probably still had blood from his victims, and I put my tongue on it.
I glance down at the front of my attire, noticing the dried blood stains on my shirt for the first time. Real blood from people I met. He must’ve transferred them from his clothes to mine while we kissed. I wipe the blotches, hoping to remove them, but nothing works. I didn’t like the jocks at all, but did they deserve to die in such a horrible way?
“Sadie, are you okay?” Jen’s hands pat my shoulders and then cradle my face to refocus my attention. “How did you escape?”
“Escape?” I echo.
I wasn’t in danger.
My mouth dries, making it difficult for me to swallow as I remember the events.
When I lifted his mask and his blade pressed against my throat, was he planning to kill me there? If I hadn’t hooked up with him, would he have sliced me open or sank his knife into my body until I stopped breathing? My mind runs through the gory scenarios, and my blood freezes in my veins, leaving me frozen solid in front of my friend.
Her lips move, but the words don’t reach my ears. I blink and shake my head, commanding my senses to react. Whatever she’s saying seems important.
“The killer, Sadie. How did you escape him?”
Saliva gets stuck in my throat.
I press a hand on my abdomen, and while the shirt prevents me from touching skin, I think about his semen smeared over it. It’s not an answer I can give her.
“I don’t know,” I respond, keeping the truth inside. “I thought he was a scare actor, so I ran.”
I nod absently.
“I ran. He never caught me,” I lie.
The cops interrogate me three times before taking Jen and me to the hospital, even when we’re both unharmed. Part of the protocol, they say. Something they got to do to make sure I wasn’t harmed.
Though I don’t want it, I endure the lengthy procedure as I reflect on what happened. I went into Slashed and hooked up with a scare actor, except he wasn’t who I thought he was.
He’s a killer.
I was in danger, and my messed-up brain never acknowledged what was going on. I’ve invented a new level of clueless and stupidity. Yet… that somehow saved me? He had a knife against my neck the entire time. He could’ve killed me, but he didn’t. Not even when we were done.
The slasher seems to have spared my life because I fucked him. Is that what happened?
I think that’s what shocks me the most. I don’t believe it to be possible.
He had plenty of opportunities to stab me or slit my throat, but he didn’t. I’m not trying to romanticize that he allowed me to live. I’m not special. I was bold, sure, but was that enough to make it worth his while? I mean, obviously, there’s the part where I let him fuck my brains out, too.
But it makes no sense for him to spare my life, especially when I have sufficient evidence on my body to help identify him. I still have his dried semen on my skin. It’d only take a conversation with a nurse at the hospital and a sample collection for them to gather his DNA. However, to do so, I’d have to blurt out the truth I’ve been denying the entire night.
I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s shame or a messed-up urge to protect him because he let me live, but I don’t tell the cops about our encounter. How would I even come clean about what happened?
Hi, remember when I denied having close contact with the killer? I lied because the reality is I know what he feels like, seeing as I had his cock inside me.
It wouldn’t go well.
I could aid with the investigation if I spoke up. Silver Mask killed four people tonight; I should help to get him behind bars. It’d be the morally correct thing to do. But the words never abandon my lips, not even when the doctors check me and confirm there’s nothing wrong with me. I haven’t been harmed, and my only aches come from when Steve slammed into me and from the rough sex I had.
I never mention the latter.
Especially not when we’re allowed to see Nance for a few minutes, as they’ll be keeping her at the hospital through the night for observation. Two surveillance officers stand at the hall in case Silver Mask plans to come back and finish the job.
My beautiful sunshine friend has a row of stitches along her jaw, crossing her chin where the skin split open. Her eyes blink a few times when she spots us around her bed and a soft smile curves across her lips.
I caress the blood-stained golden curls resting on her shoulders. Jen walks to the other side and gently holds her hand.
“Hey,” I whisper, afraid I’ll start crying if I speak any louder.
“You’re never allowed to make plans, ever,” Nance says in a low rasp, almost too weak to talk.
A watery laugh emerges from the back of my throat, pushing past the lump lodged in there.
“Never again,” I promise. “I’m just glad you’re okay.”
From the corner of my eye, I see Jen smile without showing her teeth. It’s forced, and it doesn’t reach the rest of her troubled expression.
I have to talk to her. She needs to know what happened, even if she never forgives me for withholding the truth from her.
So, I wait until we’ve said our goodbyes to Nancy and are in the empty hospital elevator to break the silence.
“Jen, about tonight…” I drift off, not knowing how to approach the subject, that the killer didn’t hunt me the way everyone thinks.
I didn’t have a traumatic experience, witness a murder, or find any dead bodies. While my best friends were getting tormented by what they encountered, I was too busy fucking the man who committed the crimes.
What kind of person am I? One rotten on the inside.
There’s no logic behind my actions. Perhaps the shock lingering in my system excuses me. It’s a good explanation for the way my throat closes when I attempt to utter the words.
Am I protecting him? It doesn’t feel like I am. Mostly, I fear I’m preserving myself and my dignity. I took pride in being someone who caught on to things that other people didn’t, yet I saw every red flag tonight and decided they weren’t enough. I heard screams, cries for help, blood, and had a knife against my throat, and I shrugged it off as nothing.
Jen holds my hands, squeezing them tight. I want to shake them off mine because I feel so undeserving of the comfort she’s trying to give me. The last thing I want is sympathy for my lies.
“Is it okay if we don’t talk about it?” Her voice wavers and tears well in her eyes. “We went through something incredibly fucked up, and I can’t think about it anymore.”
Slowly, I nod.
“Of course,” I mumble sheepishly.
Because we had different experiences.
She found a corpse left by Silver Mask; I was begging for him to come all over me.
We are not the same.
What is wrong with me?
“I need to go to the bathroom,” I announce once the elevator doors slide open.
Without waiting for her response, I jog toward the nearest restroom, pushing the door and locking myself inside.
Panic rises in me, numbing my senses, and collapsing my lungs. My breathing becomes a hardship, my sight turns blurry, and my ears ring incessantly. I’m lost in the turmoil separating me from my frame until it feels like I’m living in a foreign skin.
Looking for grounding techniques, I stare at my reflection, focusing on what I can see.
Dark, tangled hair. Big and anxious brown eyes. Blood-stained shirt.
Inspecting my body further, I spot some scratches on my jaw where the blade of the knife scraped me. Nothing that would bleed through, but enough to have red marks along the curve. I lower the hem of my jeans, checking the bruises forming on my left hip both from the fall and from his hand grabbing me during sex.
Grazing the abused flesh, a memory slashes its way to the front of my brain.
I’ll find you later, my darling Sadie.
It was a wicked promise, and now I can’t help but wonder… Is he going to kill me once he finds me? I don’t doubt he will.
It’s only a matter of time, and the clock isn’t ticking in my favor.