Mind Games
while I’m dancing. James can’t use me. I can’t hear my own thoughts. I haven’t been dancing in four months, not since we left Greece, and I ache for it.
    I run a few blocks south, then cut in to the city. Not surewhere I’m going. I never plan ahead. Learned my lesson about that a long time ago. Thank you, beautiful James.
    There, ahead of me, a line snaking around a sidewalk. The unmistakable thumping hum of bass that will push right through me. Perfect. I look up and choke on a laugh. The place is called Vision.
    Of course it is.
    It’s too early for such a long line. Must be a celebrity DJ or something. I slip into my stilettos and walk straight up to the front. There, third person. A guy with carefully sculpted hair, even more carefully sculpted arms and pecs, a shirt picked especially to showcase them. Here with two friends, no girls.
    “Hi,” I say, reaching over the velvet rope to trace my hand along the edge of his shoulder. Oh, my hands, my hands make me shudder, but he doesn’t shudder. “I hate lines.” I smile at him, and I know that I am beautiful and beauty is a tool. It will get me what I want, and what I want is the front of this line.
    “Hey.” His eyes travel the length of my legs.
    “Good thing I’m meeting you guys here so I don’t have to wait in line, right?”
    He smiles. His teeth are so white they would glow under a black light. “Good thing.”
    I duck under the rope and he puts his arm around my shoulder (don’t touch my shoulder, it hurts), and I could break his arm, I know how to twist it just so to pop-pop-pop it right outof the socket, but he seems nice enough and that would get in the way of dancing.
    He even pays my cover charge, the darling boy. Good thing, because I don’t have cash after I gave it all to Adam and I don’t want a card pinging my location. We walk in and I can’t hear his voice, which is another good thing. He shouldn’t have a voice. A body is fine, he is allowed to have a body. I need other bodies to dance around me so I can get lost.
    This club is like any other club anywhere in the world. There’s a waterfall and fire pit and several floors, but none of that matters as long as there is a dance floor and music. I push through to where it is the thickest, where it is the loudest, where you can feel the music in your teeth, where it overpowers your heartbeat, where it takes over. I don’t want my own heartbeat tonight. I want it to pulse and pump outside of me.
    Everything is spinning out of control. First Adam (I wonder where he is—no, I don’t, don’t think about Adam, it’s not safe to think about him). Then Annie. I can’t keep the threads I’m supposed to follow together, I can’t pull them and yank them to what I want them to be, I can’t follow what I’m supposed to do.
    I have no idea.
    I used to be so good at knowing exactly how to do what was best for Annie and me, but I have no idea who me is anymore, and Annie, why would she want me to kill him? If I don’t know who we are, how can I know our track?
    I start moving. Swaying. Finding the music, losing myself.
    I turn, surprised to see my line boy still behind me. He stopped existing for me as soon as I got what I wanted. “I don’t—” I don’t drink. Annie made me promise not to, and I haven’t, not a drop, not a single drop since that first time. Not even the year we were apart. Annie also promised to take care of me. Then she sent me out to kill someone.
    “ABSOLUTELY!” I shout. He smiles and he thinks it’s predatory, and if I were another girl, I would-should-could be worried. I am the predator in any situation. I am not worried.
    I close my eyes and sway, let the music wash out everything else, let it give me the dull I look for everywhere, let it pound the very thoughts from my brain. My only job right now, the only thing I have to do, is move.
    So I move.
    I move slow. I move fast. I move faster. My shoulder burns and I can’t raise that arm

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