His target sat in the grass about ten paces ahead of him. The city in front was littered with lights, more appearing very gradually as the sky began to slowly lighten to a deep purple. She sat very still, her knees clutched to her chest, staring out over the sprawling concrete maze from the safe serenity of the hillside.

He stood observing her for a few minutes. Every now and then the wind caught her hair, blowing it off her face and out behind her with each icy gust. He folded his arms across his chest to preserve warmth but the woman before him remained unmoving. When the wind receded a little he began to take slow steps down the sloping earth towards her. He removed something from his coat pocket and fiddled with it for a moment. It glinted even in the low light, and was cold against his skin.

Just behind his target, he knelt to the floor on one knee, raising the shining silver object with one hand and lifting her soft, cold hair with his other. She continued to stare straight ahead, shivering slightly and with eyes swelling with tears. He placed the metal against the skin of her neck and she let out a soft squeak at the cold of it. He held it there for just a moment, before releasing her hair and taking the object in both hands.

He fastened it at the back of her neck, allowing the shining gem to fall and rest against the bare skin of her chest.

He planted a whisper of a kiss on her shoulder, then stood. As he turned to walk away, he looked to the sky. The purple was laced with hints of pink on the horizon; the sun was only beginning to leak through and darkness still reigned.


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