What is Mine
~ Eighteen ~


She had begun their silent stare-off by smiling coolly; almost taunting Stefan that he did not possess the cruelty necessary to end her life so. She did not struggle against him. To do so would have signaled a fear that she did not feel.

Implacably Stefan returned his mother's gaze. Gradually, as her body's instinctive cry for breath began to press upon her, so did her cool little smile disappear. Arrogance was replaced with realization. And a grudging, twisted admiration.

It was the supreme irony, Stefan supposed, that the singular moment he observed pride for him in his mother's eyes was the moment Helena realized that her younger son had no intention of releasing the pressure which cut off her breath. Feebly, she deigned to finally struggle against him, but her limbs were weak from the brain's lack of oxygen.


Mechanically, Stefan released his fingers' steely grip about his mother's neck and turned to the door. Adrian Sword and two other burly men stood just inside the room. “We will take care of this.” Adrian made a sweeping gesture. “You should go and take care of The Prince.”

Without a backward glance, Stefan rose and left his mother's body in the care of the young American spy and his crew. As he reached the doorway, Adrian stepped into his path. “You haven't changed your mind about disposing of the body?”

Stefan met the younger man's eyes calmly. “My instructions are the same. Place Helena's body upon her yacht, take it some distance from here and set it aflame.” He glanced back at the bed. “It is a fitting end for my mother, I believe.”