Arsenic stood in the airport, looking at the line of cars and waiting for his ride. The sleek red Miata convertible pulled up, and Adamantha Snark waved. "Hey, rat poison! Need a lift?"
Arsenic ignored her and got in. She frowned, concerned. "Something wrong?"
Arsenic looked away. "I'm fine." Drop the subject, please. Drop it. She didn't.
"You're fine. I see. So it's Nightshade?"
"She was murdered. I'm worried her killer might be after me, too." Let her think that was all, please?
"Poor you. You know Mev is gonna think you did it?"
He grimaced. "I didn't, Mantha."
"Well, it's not out of character for you to kill her."
"Well, I didn't."
"You really expect me to believe that, rat poison?"
"Could you stop calling me that???"
"Fine." Adamantha went silent, finally getting that Arsenic didn't want to talk. She glued her eyes on the road, not looking at him. Arsenic felt guilty about hurting her feelings, but not enough to apologize. Mantha was on Mevolent's side, even if she was only a chauffeur. Instead, he turned away and looked back as the airport faded from view. He wondered how he'd let Persephone talk him into this.
The rest of the drive, Arsenic worried about how he would betray his master.
Adamantha stopped the car, and Arsenic was gone almost immediately. She scowled. He'd rather go get killed by Mevolent than talk to me any longer. Just because I'll never be his real sister doesn't mean I don't care. I'll never replace...Jenna. She choked back a sob.
"She was dead when I got there, my lord."
Mevolent scowled. "Do you have any idea how lame that sounds? Any lackey of mine should at least be able to tell a half-decent lie!"
Arsenic looked slightly pale, but even then, his eyes were stony, showing no emotion. "Don't call me a lackey. Just because I'm intimidated by you doesn't mean I don't have a free will."
"Ah, but you don't. Mevolent pulled out his sword. Arsenic responded with two knives. It didn't even take thought. He was vaguely surprised he was doing this, he was not usually a brave man. They sparred for a while, Mevolent barely putting in any effort and still keeping Arsenic busy.
Arsenic had the shorter weapons, and he was constantly dodging around, trying to get in close enough to use them, when he made the mistake of looking Mevolent in the eye.
"Persephone Grief, is it? Why are you helping her?"
Arsenic looked away quickly. "That's how it started for me, too. I'm not going to let it happen again."
"The blackmail? Oh, you were evil long before that. It was only a matter of time..."
Arsenic rushed forward, recklessly and struck Mevolent on the arm. "That's for my sister!" he shouted, then screamed in pain as he was hit on the head by the hilt of Mevolent's sword. He crumpled to the ground, limp.