City lights were just beginning to come on and the combination of them and the sunset as the last rays glinted against the white blanket of snow was pure magic.
He scoffed at the thought, nothing good came from magic. Only death and despair. He drank down the rest of the whiskey in his glass and grabbed his jacket off the chair. He never smoked in his office, but damn he could use a cigar now.
Since everyone had gone home for the evening except for Ashton who was in his office watching the security feeds, the building would be silent which was something he dreaded each night.
He had spent a lot of years in the silence, and it was deafening.
Timothy stepped out into the alley behind his building and clipped the end of the cigar he had pulled from his office humidor. He held it up to his nose and breathed in the sweet smell before lighting it.
The darkness enveloped him as he leaned against the door and puffed on his cigar. There was nothing in the world like the taste of a fine cigar as the tobacco seeped into your system.
The calming effect it had on him was one he’d failed to find anywhere else. The chill in the air had the puffs coming out even more defined than usual, and Timothy was enthralled by them as they faded from view.
It wasn’t until he was half done with his cigar that he saw the shadow lurking in the corner.
“Can I help you?” he asked easily, and the man stepped from the dark. Timothy straightened when he saw the gun in his hand. “No need for that, tell me what you want, and I’ll be sure you get it.” Timothy wasn’t overly worried; the man couldn’t actually kill him. But damn, gunshots hurt like hell. He should know since he’d been at the receiving end of one too many times.
The man stepped close enough Timothy was able to see the glint of amusement in his eye. Timothy had only ever seen that madness once before, and that man had been responsible for two innocent deaths and the root reason as to why he was trapped.
His back straightened, and he gave the man before him his full attention. “What is it you want?” he asked again.
“I want to see you bleed,” the man said with a smile and pulled the trigger.
It was the pain that hit him first, that sharp tearing of skin and flesh as the bullet forced its way into his body. He fell to the ground, cigar falling next to him, and clutched his abdomen. No matter how many times he’d been shot, stabbed, punched, or even on occasion-burned—over the years, the pain was not something he ever got used to.
The coldness came next and was something Timothy had not been prepared for. His wounds, no matter how severe, had always healed themselves before the numbing fingers of death gripped him as they were now. How was this possible? He thought to himself. What was happening to him? He tried his best to move but found his body had gone completely numb as he lay there in the pool of his own blood.
And as his attacker knelt next to him, he felt for the first time, as if he wouldn’t survive the night.