TITLE: Steam Palace
Viola has come to kill Sophia, her twin, in her hotel room, for stealing Viola's man.
Viola shivered. Sophia's lips lay just parted, her white upper teeth visible. Viola pressed her lips to her sister's, a loose lock of her blackened hair brushing Sophia's face. Viola held the knife close to the slender throat. "Sophia," she said in a whisper.
Sophia stirred. Small sounds escaped her throat, and her tongue licked her lips. Her eyes fluttered open, unfocused. Her gaze stopped on Viola's face.
"Viola." A breathless whisper.
Wide eyes with green irises and sloping brows contorted into grief, blinking. Her lungs gasped. "Viola!" Her arms reached up but stopped when Viola pushed sharp metal against her throat. She glanced down at the knife, then back up to Viola, her eyes quizzing, questioning.
Viola gazed at her victim, waiting for the perfect moment to spill Sophia's life blood. Sophia glanced at the knife again, then met Viola's gaze.
Viola wanted Sophia to beg for forgiveness, to plead for her miserable life. Perhaps a quick slice of the throat was not sufficient for such a crime. Sophia should suffer, beg for Viola to end her life.
Sophia tilted her head upwards, exposing her throat. "Please," she breathed. "If you are here, with a knife, you must have learned everything. My life is yours. Take it. You shall have your place at Dunstan's side. He has fixed all untoward appearances, he had papers, everything. You may have the life you have always desired with him, as his legal wife. Quickly!" Sophia closed her eyes, denying Viola the window into Sophia's soul.
Viola's knife hand trembled.
That bitch. How dare she deny Viola her moment!
Sophia knew exactly why Viola was here and what she intended to do, yet offered no resistance. A tear streamed down Viola's face. Her throat clenched. Why did Sophia not resist, not beg for her life?