The look of horror in Claudine's mother's eyes didn't seem to daunt her. Everybody in the room seemed frozen, surprised at the girl's boldness. Without flinching, Claudine repeated herself, "I said, do it."
"Y-you're bluffing," Alex laughed. He tightened his grip on Claudine's mother and pressed the blade closer to her throat.
"Have you ever really killed anyone, Alex Eldrian?" Claudine asked him coldly, "Because I have. I lived through wars, seen deaths like you've never seen them...and this? This is something I can live with."
"Fine! I'll show you!" Alex shouted. He readied to slash the blade across Claudine's mother's neck, but before he could even move, something from the ceiling scooped him up and threw him in the air. The same metal claw that had taken Mary hostage earlier in Claudine's room was also in the living room. Alex's scythe clattered to the floor. Claudine ran to her mother and began to weep in her arms.
"I'm so sorry, Mom," Claudine s