ten || leslie's challenge

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The five minute walk to Greg's block seemed to go on forever until she was suddenly outside the door of his tenth floor flat and her knees buckled. He was playing the saxophone. He was playing the goddamn saxophone. Leslie leant against the door to compose herself and settle her raging pulse but Greg being Greg had left the door unlocked. Not only that, but it was off the latch so when she leant against it  to calm down, it swung open and she fell into his flat. The music stopped. Greg stared at her, lips still on the mouthpiece. Leslie struggled to her feet, blushing furiously.

"I'm so sorry," she said. "I didn't realise it was open."

Greg slowly took the instrument from his lips, laying it on the table and allowing an eye-creasing smile to take its place.

"It's never locked," he said, though Leslie knew that wasn't strictly true. A number of times she'd had to knock and wait for him to get off his arse and let her in.

"Hi," she said.

"Hey. What brings you here?" He stepped back and picked up his Xbox controller, his finger hovering over the start button to unpause the game he had been playing before a spot of spontaneous saxophone practice. "Wanna death match?"

"What's that?" Leslie allowed herself to breathe, glad for Greg's easy distraction from why exactly she had fallen into his flat.

"Take this." He threw her a second controller and she caught it one-handed. "Nice. Now, choose your character."

Leslie sat beside him on the sofa, scrolling through a range of choices before settling on a butch character for his strength. Greg's choice was slightly more weedy but had high speed stats. Leslie had no idea what was going on but she followed his lead.

"Right, so the first to kill the other five times is the winner," Greg said. "It is on."

"Is there a prize?"

"The satisfaction of knowing you beat a seasoned Xbox-er at his own game?" Greg grinned. "Don't worry, you won't win. I've won this hundreds of times. Have you ever played?"

Leslie shook her head. She'd used Greg's Xbox in the past but never for a death match. "What are the controls?"

Greg showed her, laughing at his inevitable victory. "If you win, I will ... I don't even know, whatever you want."

Leslie's heart raced, determined to beat him. Her competitive streak coursed through her like a drug, filling a veins and coming out through her fingers. After Greg killed her once within twenty seconds of the ten minute time limit, she upped her game, ducking behind a tree and ambushing the second he got close.

"Nice one, Les. Very professional. One all."

It was soon two one to Greg, then three one.

"Prepare to lose."

"What do you get if you win?" Leslie asked, distracting him for a long enough moment that she got her second kill and punched the air with her fist.

"Oh, it'd be cruel to take a prize. I wouldn't want to rub it in any more than your failure will."

A flash of irritation drove Leslie to her next assassination, pouncing on Greg's character the second he respawned.

"Three all," she said with a wicked smirk, hunched over with her elbows on her knees for maximum focus.

"Not too bad, Miss Lowry, not too bad. But do you know what's better?"

"Four three," Leslie said, putting her last bullet through his brain.

"Damn, that was good. But you're out of ammo. Looks like you're going to be answering to me today." He let off a maniacal laugh as Leslie scrolled through her weapons. Each gun had an empty clip but she had a broken bottle in her inventory. Greg pushed the score up to four all with a sneak attack.

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