Ariadne looked at Patrick’s house, she was moving out, this time she was sure of it. She had a job now and everything. Of course her parents needed to help her a little, she had started to pay rent to Patrick as soon as she got a job, he didn’t want it, but he eventually conceded simply so she’d stop hiding money in his jean pockets. It was the only thing Ariadne could think to do so that he’d take it and eventually she was right. After another moment, she started to walk, wondering if this was the right thing to do. Maybe she should have taken Patrick’s offer, after all it would work out cheaper for her in the long run, she’d have more space too. She just couldn’t bring herself to accept it though, it seemed wrong. He had proposed that she rent the spare room from him. She had been the one that insisted on payment if she had taken the deal. It would be cheaper than getting her own place, but she needed the freedom, needed to prove to herself that she could do it, now more than ever. She might reconsider it in a few months, but she was afraid that if she didn’t, she would become dependent. The therapist she was seeing thought that it would be a good idea if she lived alone for a while. Ariadne had already calculated how much money she owed her parents and Patrick, both assured her it was fine, but she felt obligated to pay them back. She’d have a long way to go, but she’d get there. She was even considering looking into going to college, she had dropped out before, a degree would help her land a better job. She had left before Patrick returned home, she had said goodbye to him that morning, but he probably expected her to have dinner too, he wanted to bring her out to celebrate, but she had flat out refused. She had left a note apologising that she would be unable to attend dinner. She would have called him, but he would have convinced her to stay. She wanted to have a new start in her new place, she wanted to cook dinner and spend the night there, get settled in properly. Technically the place had been hers for two days now, though she hadn’t spent longer than an hour in it alone, let alone spent the night.
The apartment itself was in an okay area, but it was quite small. That was reassuring to her, there were fewer places someone could hide. It was close to her new job too, which made things easier. She let herself in and checked through the rooms, all three of them. The kitchen-cum-dining room when she entered also doubled as the sitting room, with one door leading off to the bedroom and the other leading to a small bathroom which had just enough room for a shower, toilet and sink. She put her bag on the small couch. She walked around the apartment slowly, letting it sink in, this was hers, all hers. She didn’t even mind that people were living either side of her. If anything she felt safer here than she had in even Patricks house. She was feeling good, better than she had in a long time. She went into the small kitchen and looked through what was there. Her phone beeped twice, only three people had the number so far, she picked it up and looked at the message, it was from Patrick, “Want me to pick up anything on the way back?” a stab of guilt twisted in her stomach. They hadn’t really made specific plans, not really, it was more a suggestion she stay for dinner. She sighed and looked at the phone, wondering what she should do, she couldn’t just ignore him, that would be cruel, especially after all he had done for her. She started typing out a reply. It wouldn’t be that bad, not really.
Patrick cleared the papers off his desk, he had a productive day, there was a gentle knock on his door, “Yeah?” The door opened, Carol popped her head inside the door, “Is it alright if I head off?” “Yeah sure, just lock the door behind you. I’m pretty much done here.” She smiled, “Thanks, see ya tomorrow.” Patrick nodded and went back to work. Carol was pretty good at her job, not as good as Gloria, but better than Ariadne. Ariadne did a good job, but she was too easily distracted. She didn’t like working here and he didn’t blame her all that much, it would be too easy for her to be found if someone came looking for her, after all they’d probably start with him. Carol was medium height, with long black hair. Her face was plain and her breasts were small, but she had a way about her that elevated her from plain to pretty. If she was feeling up to it, or if they had an important client coming in, she could add make up to the mix which would elevate her further into beauty. She was able to work magic with makeup. She usually wore a small amount, but it was impressive when she went all out. The door slammed shut as she left, he couldn’t hear the click of the lock but he knew Carol had locked it. It was rule number one. He picked up the envelopes and double checked the names before sealing them. He was running a little low on his savings, he didn’t like them dipping below a certain amount and it was getting there slowly. He’d sent out a few letters, get a few payments and his account would be back to where it should be.
Patrick stood from his desk and gathered the envelopes, it didn’t take him long to move through the office, turning off the lights and finally activating the security system. The walk to his car was short, he drove out to his usual drop spot and slid the envelopes into the post box. Normally he would put them in separate boxes, but he was in a rush, he wanted to get home early. He took out his phone and sent a quick text to Ariadne, he was almost home anyway, but if she wanted anything he could just turn around and get it.
He pulled into the driveway and got out of his car, he hadn’t gotten a reply from Ariadne yet, oh well, if she really wanted something she’d just have to make do without it. He opened the front door and stopped. All along the hall were candles, their scent filling the air. “Ariadne?” There was no response. There was a few rose petals scattered about the base of the stairs and one on each step. “Ariadne? Are you up there?” He felt nervous, this was not what he wanted at all, he thought they had been on the same page. He’d have to let her down gently. He called out as he went up the stairs, but the house remained silent. The trail of petals lead him towards the bedroom, the hall was filled with candles, their scent overpowering here, he opened the door, expecting to see Ariadne on the bed, but it wasn’t her. He froze. There, on the petal covered bed, was Diane. The smell was unmistakable, the candles couldn’t overpower the smell here, he turned and threw up, unable to stop himself. Oh god. Who would do that? Who could? He took a step towards the bed, then recoiled, he couldn’t even touch her. He couldn’t move the body, he’d need to call the police. Something sharp stuck into his arm, he started to turn but before he could he collapsed. His vision was blurry, his head felt stuffed he couldn’t think he. Darkness.
He looked at the body of Patrick lying on the floor and smiling, he began to drag it towards the chair he had waiting, it sat directly across from the bed. The reunited lovers wouldn’t want to be separated for too long. He chuckled to himself as he worked.