At the end of the day, I suppose I got exactly what I wanted.
Alessandra’s body was found only a few days later, and her story became the stuff of urban legends – particularly as her killer was never found. Annalise, for all intents and purposes, never existed – no DNA, no fingerprints, nothing. As for me? Well, there was nothing connecting me to Alessandra in the first place.
Not only was she dead, but I had also succeeded in sending a strong message to future competition – this is my territory, this is my home. Those who intrude upon it shall suffer.
My teahouse is doing better than ever, particularly as I’ve started serving some sweets and delicacies from other cultures that are traditionally eaten with tea. People seem all-too-happy to continue their patronage of my little shop. Business is blossoming, and I know I should be pleased. Sometimes, I am.
But there are some nights when I’m alone in my quiet little townhouse that memories of Annalise flash before my eyes like snapshots of perfection, calling out to me, beckoning me. If ever I have come close to understanding love, surely it was then, looking at her halo of gore, worshipping the savage light in her eyes. There are some nights I wonder if it was really worth it, sending her to the enemy and depriving myself of the only love that would ever matter, even knowing that it would end in wretched death.
Some nights, I even think of conjuring her again, and giving myself over to that suicidal temptation.
Dangerous tea, indeed.