Anika stared at the hiding place the Deringer had been, her fingers absently tracing the indentation in the book where it should be, her mind whirling through the events of last night:
She had been inspired by an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' to take the roast as her favorite weapon, and Harry, wanting to be original, took the heavy porcelain top of the toilet tank. At the party, she had been disappointed to see that two other people had brought some sort of frozen meat as their weapons, but there was also a clever assortment of power tools, office supplies, and kitchen gadgets to be found. Just as the host was about to give an excellent bottle of merlot to the man who brought the most original weapon (which was an accordion), the last guest walked in the door.
The tardy guest had brought a leggy brunette with him as his weapon. The host was delighted at this. "Love as the ultimate weapon!" he cried, and declared him the winner of the night (much to the disappointment of the man with the accordion).
But Anika had recognized the brunette, and as the back of her throat filled with the long-forgotten metallic taste of forced desire and ruin, she knew that it wasn't love that was the ultimate weapon. It was knowledge.
Anika had been tempted to tell Harry the truth about her past the moment she met him at that party so long ago, but as the night had progressed and she saw the bashful flush of his cheeks, she knew that if she wanted to be rescued by his shy man she never could. And she wanted, longed, needed to be saved before she surrendered that last bit of her soul to the men that frequented her bed at night and paid her for the forced smile on her lips, her deft fingertips playing Bach on their skin.
She never could remember how she fell into prostitution, could never remember the name of the man who had violated her smooth, pale flesh the first time. She had lived in exclusive boarding schools for years, but then her parents died and the money was gone and she found herself alone in the city. Eventually her talent at the piano brought her relative safety from the streets and a few rich clients who kept her well and liked to show her off at parties. And then she met Harry.
She sighed and gently closed the fake book and slid it back on the shelf. She had thought that marrying Harry and moving to this small town would help erase her memories of the past, help her move on and forever bury the things she kept from her husband. But when she saw the brunette she realized that she'd been a fool, and that she'd go to any length to keep the truth from Harry. And there had been so many weapons lying around...
Part IV brought to you by Sea Hag
Up Monday: Ajax