Authors: T.l Smith
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Suspense, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense
It’s clear she has no idea who I am and in a way it makes me happy. But it also makes me mad, so incredibly angry. She doesn’t speak, but she looks around. Trying to work something out in her mind. I stand and watch her. She still looks sick, she isn’t healthy, her bones I can see sticking through her skin. Her face so tight, sucked in, and swollen.
I wonder what happened to her to get her to this point, to get her to the place she was in now in her life. I shake my head. Fuck this, I wasn’t going back there. I think about saying something, anything. But no words come out. There’s nothing to say.
My phone beeps, pulling me away from her. It’s a job I’ve been working on, and the location just came in for my next hit. I stand, leaving her there, not moving. Walking into my room and shutting the door behind me, I shut out emotions when I shut that door, locking them away like everything else.
I pull my case from under my bed. It’s black, like everything else I own. So it’s not noticeable when you walk into my room. It’s a gun case and carries two guns—a handgun and a sniper rifle. I don’t use any other weapons, one or the other will work for me. It’s never messy what I do. I carry out the hit, get paid, no clean up necessary. I may leave a calling card, but I’m good at it.
I change my boots to freshly cleaned ones. Leaving no trace is imperative. No trace of me whatsoever. I slide on a new jacket, then black gloves, grab my bag and walk out. Rose is now standing. She hears me come out and looks back to me. She’s looking through the window, staring out into the night sky. She looks peaceful for a moment, then it shatters when she sees me. Her face morphs, like I’m the bad guy. I am—I so am. She just doesn’t know to what extent.
“Can I stay?” Her eyes beg me. “Just for the night,” she finishes. I point to the couch. She looks back, nodding her head, understanding my unspoken words.
I take one final look around before I leave. She has gone back to looking out the window. I grab my phone and take off, heading toward my bike and tying down my case to the back. Usually I used my truck, but since Stella stole it and still hasn’t returned it, the bike will have to suffice.
It’s quiet, so quiet when I reach the empty parking lot. The only sounds come from me—my bike as I bring it to a stop, my case as I open it, and my boots as they hit the cement.
Tonight’s job is against someone in the government, someone who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty, but would hire lower level people to do what he couldn’t. Tonight that’s me.
I walk to the edge of the two-story parking lot and look across, my target sitting in his office, leaning over his computer and stuffing his face with a donut. He’s a large, pudgy, and very unattractive. But that doesn’t mean anything. He’s to be taken out as he’d been poking his head in where it doesn’t belong. I don’t usually ask for the reasons, I tend to do it easy, better to not know who your intended target is. This one, though, it was different. It was the government, so I wanted to know, needed to know why I was taking out someone so high up. His simple words were, “
He’s interfering, causing drama. Kill him or I’ll find someone else.
” He wired me half the payment that day to an untraceable account. One that could not be tracked back to either of us.
I’d been waiting on a location since a few weeks ago since I saw Rose.
I pull my gun from its case, lean on the cement wall and watch. I’m a clean shooter, I don’t need an audience. I don’t want an audience. He will be dead, and no one will ever see me. I’ve sat for hours sometimes, waiting for the right opportunity. It’s not a game of shoot and kill in what I do—it’s assess, carry out with no witnesses. It’s all about the right timing. I often wonder why I don’t have feelings for the person I kill. Wonder why I have no remorse, people usually have some sort of remorse. Maybe I am as evil as they say I am.
He picks up the phone and speaks into it. Shaking his head like he’s having an argument, my finger is on the trigger, waiting, wanting to get this done. He seems to sense me, or maybe he even knows that I’m there. He looks up, phone in one hand, donut in the other, and looks straight at me. At first I think he can see me, but there’s no light here, no way he can see me. But his eyes tell me otherwise. I don’t wait for the phone to disconnect, so I take aim and shoot.
Blood oozes from his chest, staining his white shirt crimson red. His head is back, the impact from the bullet slouching him in his chair, his eyes staying open.
The dead all seem to have the same look, like they’re glad—glad for it be over. It’s disturbing, but also comforting.
I pull my card from my pocket, my gloves still covering my hands. I drop it to the floor from where I shot him, watching as the splatter of black blood sticks to the floor. The card is white, covered with a splatter of black.
I don’t stand there any longer than necessary. I disassemble my gun, place it back in the case. Pick up the spent shells, wipe down any areas I touched, slide my gloves back on and walk back to my bike.
I usually dispose of the bodies I kill so nothing can be traced back to my clients or me. Except this client requested I not do so—he wanted this man to be found.
As a warning?
I wasn’t sure.
Stella is standing at my truck when I make it back home. I cut the engine from the bike, stand and remove my case. She eyes it curiously. Then her eyes look back up to me. She doesn’t seem as pissed as she was when she left, her stance now more relaxed. I walk to her slowly, and stand directly in front of her. She drops her smoke to the ground and blows the remainder in my face.
“I brought your car back,” she says, nodding to behind her.
“I see that.”
“I missed you.” Her hand touches my chest. I place mine on top of it, stopping it from moving further.
“You have to leave,” I tell her, my voice not raised. Her face contours like I’ve slapped her.
“Is she in the house now?” she snaps, snatching her hand back. I don’t feel the need to answer or even get into an argument about it. I grab my keys from the truck and walk off. I’m not allowing her to take it again.
“You can’t just leave me here!” she shouts after me.
“Call someone whose bed you frequent!” I yell. She swears at me and I choose to ignore her. Walking back into my house, I shut the door and lock it behind me.
Turning on the kitchen light, it illuminates the living room, where Rose is currently asleep.
She stirs like my presence is noticeable. She rolls into the couch, her face now tucked away. I want to stand there and learn more about her. I want to know why. But instead I walk to my room, shutting the door and lying down. Letting the demons take me away in my sleep.
He’s so familiar, and yet so foreign. I’m not quite sure how to understand him, or even read him. He seems cold, uncaring, and his actions dictate that.
Why did he help me?
Why did he feel the need to help me?
He doesn’t seem like the caring type.
He leans on the bench, dressed in his black suit, sipping his coffee. He doesn’t speak to me when I sit across from him, his beautiful eyes don’t even land on me. I stare at him longer than necessary, taking him in, drinking him in. He’s someone who’d turn heads, but you’d be afraid to walk up to. He looks me up and down, from my feet to my head, stopping there and staring at me. Assessing me maybe? It makes my whole body sing, his eyes on me.
“Do you want to know?” I manage to squeak out, trying to break whatever it is that’s happening here.
Twitching in my chair, I don’t want to tell him. I feel like I owe him an explanation as to why I’m the way I am, and that I’m not usually this way, never have been. Until him, until the man that destroyed me.
He continues to sip his coffee, reading the paper, totally ignoring me.
“I was in love once,” I whisper. At first I think he doesn’t hear me, or perhaps he’s continuing to ignore me, but when I look up his eyes are on me. Tight, zoning in on me. He seems angry, and then replaces it straight away that you would miss it if you weren’t looking closely. His straight demeanor is back.
“I met him when I was eighteen, and he was my world. He promised me things, gave me things. I believed everything he said. He was good…” I let that last word hang on the edge of my tongue. It feels odd to say that about Roger. He’s anything but good now.
“You became a druggie and a prostitute because of a man?” His lip twitches, like he thinks I’m being ridiculous. It makes me angry. How can he assume to have those thoughts of me? He has a right to, though, to say it to me like that. Hurts more than I will admit to.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done, I’m going to leave now.” I stand, placing on the shoes that his brunette left for me and walk to the door. I want to look back, to see those eyes, that beard, that hair, that body one last time. I choose not to and simply walk out.
He doesn’t say anything. I expected something, but got nothing. Not even a goodbye. I feel so angry at him, I just don’t understand why. I don’t know him, shouldn’t expect anything from him. He hasn’t been loving. He’s just cold, with a touch of soft. I walk past the house and start walking down the long driveway. A noise comes from behind me. It gets closer, and when it reaches me I see it’s Black sitting in his truck, looking at me with sunglasses covering his eyes. He nods his head to the passenger side of the car, so I walk around and climb in. I hide the smile, the smile that creeps up onto my face with the thought that maybe he cares more than he shows. His words don’t comfort me at all. They are the truth and they hurt. His actions, though, they are something entirely different.
I ask him where we’re going, but I get no answer. It’s like he chooses silence over company, and I wonder if there’s anyone he openly talks to.
He drives me to a train station and just sits. I look out the window and watch the trains moving, going either way. Some covered in graffiti, some newer. I open the door, turning back to him his hand slides over, dropping money next to me. I pick it up, knowing what I want to do with it, but knowing better. It’s time, it’s time I fight for me, for what’s mine. He helped me get to this point.
I don’t know how he did it, or why he did it. Someone showing the slightest kindness has put power in me. I haven’t been shown kindness in such a long time and it’s taken me by surprise. Even if, at first, it was wrong. It worked, he worked.
His hands go back to the steering wheel and he looks straight ahead, his sunglasses covering his eyes. I grab the money, go to step out, and decide to thank him. I turn and words fall flat on my lips. I don’t know how to, so I lean up, placing my hands on the seat, and kiss his cheek. He flinches, and his head turns to me fast.
I give him a shy smile. My face is still very close, and he smells good, like the ocean, so refreshing. I could smell that scent forever and never get sick of it. I move back, open the door and climb out. I take a few steps to the tracks and turn to see if he’s still in the same position—he is. He hasn’t moved, he’s watching me, eyes still covered with his sunglasses. I lift my hand slightly, giving him a wave and continue walking away, away from a man who’s scary and dark, but so beautiful.
The train ride is long and I sleep for most of it. A man haunts my dreams—Black. It was a pleasant change. Usually my dreams are terribly bad memories. Ones that got me into the position I’m in, in the first place. The train announces my stop, and I stand to stretch my legs, looking down at my hands and cringe. I’m so skinny, everything about me is. I was never like this, always had meat on my body. I had curves and good sized breasts. But it all seems to have gone.