Definitely in shape, but she had always taken care of herself, not allowing an extra morsel of food to cross her lips and sticking to a daily exercise regimen. Her face…well, her face showed the passages of time. And tonight, without a stitch of makeup, she appeared older than her years. Forty-five. No, fifty. More than fifty. He struggled with the math and gave up.
Head-to-toe black did nothing for her. Once upon a time he would have volunteered that information, but tonight he hesitated. He couldn’t be sure how she would react, especially after the debacle at dinner. He tried to recall what she had said, but nothing came to mind. Perhaps she had said nothing at all. It would be like her to hide behind her passive-aggressiveness.
He forced a smile. “I didn’t expect to see you.”
No response, just a constant gaze and an expressionless face that was starting to worry him. He tried to look away but couldn’t escape those odd-colored eyes. A muddy green with hints of amber. Had she worn contacts in her younger days?
He cleared his throat. “That was some dinner conversation.” In the end, he hadn’t even sat at the table. The collective venom had driven him away.
They continued running, saying nothing. His heart beat faster and his mouth went dry. His senses were on full alert. There was danger here. And he needed to get away. He could turn around and race toward his car. But what if she followed? This was ridiculous. He was allowing himself to be rattled by a middle-aged woman who meant absolutely nothing to him. A woman he would steer clear of in the future.
He slowed his pace and watched as she did the same. He circled and turned around. She followed. Anger rose in his throat. “What the hell do you want?”
No words. Only a fixed gaze and a flash of silver at her side. The faint smell of onions and garlic assaulted his senses. He wrinkled his nose in disgust, all the while watching her carefully. His eyes traveled around the deserted field. Not a soul. And that was the appeal of running close to the midnight hour.
This is not how he had planned his demise, not by a long shot. Despite the age gap between them, he had hoped to survive his wife and take on a full-time paramour, maybe even two. If only he had known, he would have done things so differently. If only he could go back six hours.
Fascinated, he stood still, unable to move as she approached and raised the knife.