The blood underneath her nails bothered her.
Cheap, stupid, useless gloves, the girl thought in annoyance. She had even worn two layers of them tonight, but a rare errant slash from the knife had sliced through both layers, and now the blood had gotten on her hands. Stupid. On any other night, she would have stopped and— carefully, methodically— scraped the scarlet flakes out from under her nails, one line after another. But she had no time right now.
No time, no time.
Moonlight cut across the floor of the mansion, illuminating part of the man’s naked body. He bled strangely, the girl thought,compared with the others. The blood just pooled beneath him in a perfect circle, like a disk of smooth frosting on a cake.
She sighed again and stuffed her canister of red spray paint into her backpack, then grabbed a few of the rags strewn on the floor. On the wall beside her was the symbol she had just hurriedly finished drawing.
They had mistimed everything tonight, from the unexpected complications of Sir Grant’s security system at the entrance of the mansion to the surprise of him seeing them first instead of being sound asleep. They were running late. She hated running late.
She hurried around the bedroom chamber, gathering their tools and stuffing them all into her backpack. The moonlight illuminated her features in regular intervals as she moved past the row of windows. Her mother used to tell her that she had doll- like features,had been doll- like since birth— large, liquid- dark eyes; long, long lashes; a slender nose and a rosebud of a mouth; porcelain skin. Her eyebrows cut straight and soft across her brow, giving her an expression that looked permanently vulnerable.
That was the thing about her. No one ever saw what mattered until it was too late. Until their blood stained her fingernails.
Her hair had come undone in all the rush, tumbling in a river of black over her shoulders, and she paused to whip it back up into a knot. No doubt a strand or two had come loose and were now lying somewhere on the floor, leaving a clue for the police to follow. But no matter— if she could just escape from here in time. What a messy getaway, so uncharacteristic of her.