The doors closed, shutting out the noise from the lobby.
Who the fuck was that woman? Like a Swiss knife – pocket-sized but very versatile and deadly. Some kind of Swiss Ninja?
And how the hell did she know what I was doing here? Was she connected to Lila somehow?
The adrenaline dipped just a fraction – enough to let her in. The love of my fucking life. Hell, I’d even considered asking her to marry me –you know, all traditional, hunkering down on one knee. I’d take her to Tiffany’s on Bahnhofstrasse and we’d pick something together before strolling hand in hand to the lake and stopping for a hot chocolate – the things that lovers do. OK, I’d never have been able to afford Tiffany’s but we could have dreamed. I even knew what she’d have gone for – Lila had a thing for Rubies – blood red rubies; a single ruby surrounded by tiny diamonds. It would have looked perfect on her.
Now the dream no longer existed, replaced by a nightmare.
The elevator was filled with dead bodies. Only Ms. Cold Smile might have been alive but wasn’t sure.
Gritting my teeth to fight the darkness threatening to engulf me I jabbed at the button – Floor 10. It lit up, winking at me and my stomach lurched as the lift jerked into life.
Swallowing bile I wiped my forehead and took a deep breath. My body shuddered and the world tipped sideways. Oh shit, was I going to pass out? I couldn’t! I needed my stuff. What was wrong with me?
It wasn’t me. The lift had stopped but the doors were still closed.
I checked the panel. The number 10 still lit up, the orange circle forming a fiery ring. Looking up at the semi-circular dial above the doors, the hand sat between floors 9 and 10. I jabbed the number 10 again but nothing happened.
A deep rumble reverberated from above and the floor jerked sideways. Losing my balance I fell to the floor. As I struggled to my feet the lift was plunged into darkness save for the orange glow from the 10 button. The sound of metal grating on metal shuddered around me followed by a sharp thud on the roof and the lift plunged downwards before jerking to a halt, throwing me to the floor again. We were now on the 8th floor. The acrid smell of burning grated my senses and a thin stream of smoke crept into the air in the gap between the lift doors. I jumped up to punch open the access above.
Then I saw it.
The elevator cables were melting.
I moved to the edge to assess the damage.
Then I saw a clock. This only meant one thing to me.
And it didn’t take a genius to work out where it had been planted.