Because of this place I’m a murderer,” he said. “Complicity,” he amended after a moment’s consideration. “Soon to be.” The last was a conclusive mutter.
“Get to the funny part,” Libby suggested dryly.
“Well, there’s a stain on me now, isn’t there? A mark. Would kill for…followed by a blank space.” Nico summoned the knife back to his palm, only of course it didn’t register that way. One moment the knife was cast aside, the next it was in his hand. “I wouldn’t have that if I hadn’t come here. And I wouldn’t have come here at all if it weren’t for you.”
She wondered if he blamed her. He didn’t sound accusatory, but it was hard not to assume that he was. “You were going to do it regardless, remember?”
“Yeah but only because they asked you.”
He glanced down at the knife in his hand, turning it over to inspect the blade.
“Inseverable,” he said, neither to himself nor her.
“Inseverable,” he repeated, louder this time. He glanced at her, shrugging. “One of those if-then calculations, right? We met, so now we can’t detach. We’re just going to always play a weird game of…what’s the word? The thing, espejo, the game. The mirror game.”
“Yeah, you do one thing, I do it too. Mirror.”
Libby asked, “But who does it first?”
“Do you resent it?”
He looked down at the knife, and then back up at her.
“Apparently, I’d kill to protect it,” he said, “so yeah.”
“We could stop,” she suggested. “Stop playing the game.”
“Stop where? Stop here? No,” Nico said with a shake of his head, fingers tapping at his side. “This isn’t far enough.”
“But what if it’s too far?”
“It is,” he agreed. “Too far to stop.”
“Paradox,” Libby observed aloud, and Nico’s mouth twisted with wry acknowledgement.
“Isn’t it? The day you are not a fire,” he said, “is the day the earth will fall still for me.