A/N: By the end of this week, barring any obscenely ridiculous days at work, I should wrap up the end of QoS. That's right my friends, Ace and Malcolm's story is coming to an end. BUT you can get a different glimpse of them if you check out the next House of Cards Romance, King of Hearts. It follows West and his blooming relationship with Maddison Avery, the substitute dance teacher. _____________________________________________________________________________________

The knife slashed down, a burning line of pain that opened the flesh from her ear, down her neck and across her shoulder. But Alice hadn't stood still while she screamed for her fiancee's help. No, she jerked her body away from the knife the moment she started to scream for help. Stuart had expected her to be so frozen with fear that she'd let him use her, hurt her and then kill her. As if he hadn't learned over the years that Alice was incapable of doing that; she always fought back, even knowing she was going to loose.

 Ace ran to the door of the girls bathroom, unlocking it and then dodging to the side as she felt Stuart rushing towards her. She slide into the corner, panting as a wave of pain traveled down her shoulder and into her chest. Faintly a part of her remarked that she was bleeding an awful lot right now, but the rest of her was too focused on avoiding the knife that Stuart had just plunged into the door, approximately where her spine had been located a moment before. Seemed like Stuart was more than willing to use her corpse, so keeping her alive wasn't exactly necessary. He wanted her fear. Stuart turned on her, ripping the knife back out of the door while Alice danced out of reach, knowing that he would chase her down eventually.

"MAL-COLM!" Alice bellowed again, hoping that he was anywhere near by to hear her. God walking away from the crowds had been so stupid! "WEST!" She screeched as well, just incase. She didn't particulariy care who came to rescue her, as long as she got to live, she'd be grateful.

"Just for that, I'm gonna cut my own hole to f***." Stuart growled at her, voice dreadfully happy sounding.

Alice stood carefully still, away from the walls because she didn't want to be pinned. Her breathing was in hard gasps, and the moment she wasn't absolutely overwhelmed with fear, she was heavily nauseated from the pain in her face and shoulder. It scared her that she no longer felt the blood dripping, soaking into her dance uniform, and the prick of tears in her eyes burned, making her blink rapidly. She must have looked pitiful to him, and didn't care one bit.

Stuart stalked towards her and Alice waited until he was close enough, fighting her own fear to be patient. West and the guys she'd been working with for the Gala had been teaching her for the last few months more than just the timing for the fight scene. They had all been gonig out of their way to show her some dirty fighting tricks, and self defence. Her paniced mind wasn't letting her recall most of it right now though, but one thing stayed clearly in her mind. So when Stuart was close enough, Alice kind of jumped towards him and sent both her feet into his stomach, launching him to slam backwards into the hallway. Alice landed hard, pain shooting up her arm and making her cry out. It surprsied her to see the hunting knife stained with her blood skitter across the tiled floor, dropped when Stuart made abrupt contact with the wall behind him.

She didn't reach for the weapon though, instead getting to her feet and making a run for the door. She skidded out into the hall and started to run for the busy performance hall. Behind her, she heard the door tear open and Stuart come galloping after her. Alice put on another burst of speed but Stuart tackled her to the ground, knocking the air out of her chest in a sickening rush. Alice's head snapped forward and her forehead bounced against the floor, sending a buzzing shockwave through her head. It felt for a moment like everything slowed down, she couldn't hear anything but the throb of blood in her veins, a spike of pain driven through her skull from the collision with the floor, the cuts on her fact, neck and shoulder all wet and numb feeling, the pain absorbed while adrenaline flooded her system. Then time snapped back into proper speed and she felt his fingers lock around her neck, a weight on her back as he knelt down, choking her. Her fingers tore at his, trying to break their deadly lock around her windpipe, but he just leaned back, making her arch upwards and depriving her of any hope for air. Black spots started to dance across her vision and her chest screamed, burning with the need for new air. She knew she was graying out and that this was likely the end when the weight was forced off her back and she could suck in a gasp of air.

Queen of Spades (House of Cards Series 1) [Student/Teacher Relationship]Read this story for FREE!