Amateur

Author’s Note:

If you haven’t read the other contract killer stories, you may want to read them before you read this one. However, it is not necessary to have read them to enjoy each on its own merit (I hope).

They are, in order as written:

Confession of a Contract Killer

Contract Killer’s Next Hit

Contract Killer Stirs the Pot

Drop me line; let me know what you think!

***

The hit had gone well enough until the man with the bobbing cowlick and Tom Selleck mustache opened his mouth and cried one of the only words capable of chilling my blood.

“Dread!”

But my finger was already pressing the trigger, and the word was punctuated with an echoing blast and the accompaniment of the target’s teeth through the back of his head.

The target’s neck snapped back; his mouth opened in a yawning, toothless ‘O.’ His life fled from the back of his head like a rat off a sinking ship. Somehow the Tom Selleck mustache lent a certain absurdity to the scene. It twitched; a fuzzy caterpillar above his upper lip.

Whatever knowledge the target may have had about Simeon Dread- the closest thing I had to a nemesis- now quivered on the far wall amongst wet spatters of blood and brain.

A flash accentuated the scene. It painted the shadowy darkness of the empty subway platform with starch, blinding white, and my eyes went useless for a heart-stopping moment as I turned towards the light. I could already hear footsteps fleeing down the tunnel away from me and what was left of the target. They thudded and echoed like thunderclaps, and I sprinted at them, not wasting time waiting for my eyes to readjust to the darkness.

My mind raced. My heart kept in time with the steps of my quarry. My eyes were receding curtains of black becoming thinner and thinner as my rods and cones worked their way back to coherence.

Someone had a picture of me. A picture of me killing a man.

I had been set up.

Someone knew that I’d be down there, or else they had been following the target, waiting for me to make my move. If the target did, in fact, have a connection to Simeon Dread that was bad news for me. The last thing I wanted to do was kill one of Dread’s employees and make things between us personal.

I suppose I should explain myself. (Back story Alert!) I am a contract killer, and in the criminal underworld my old man is a powerful figure, a puppeteer working in the shadows. At an early age, he discovered that I had a knack for… well, killing things. Now he gives me most of my contracts. Lately, a big-time player- the aforementioned Simeon Dread- has been making moves on a lot of pop’s business. Naturally, this has made them something of enemies. I’ve found myself caught in the middle more than once.

Recently, we’d formed a kind of temporary truce. But it’s a fragile thing: precious porcelain propped precariously (gotta love alliteration) on high-wire. One wrong move and it’d be shattered. A wrong move like killing anyone connected to Dread.

I was going to have a hell of a bad time telling the old man. Pops would probably shit himself. I don’t think it’d be the first time. He was getting older every day.

Back story Alert ended.

I raced up a flight of stairs, stuffing my piece down the back of my trousers. Faint light glowed from the top. The quarry was leading me back to the surface, back to civilization. I didn’t know what he looked like. Once he got someplace with people, he’d lose me.

I heard a horn, and as I burst from the stairs and into the city night, I saw a black limo pull away with a screech, tires squealing and churning smoke on asphalt. The scent of burnt rubber hung heavy in its wake. I caught the license plate as it sped away: LDY DRD.

Lady Dread? A name split my lips, a hot breath on the cool breeze.

“Veronica.”

***

I walked into the Deep End, the small club I owned, and caught a look from Kross that demanded my attention. Kross… let me tell you, this guy had a forehead like the side of a barn and a jaw so square and broad you could have turned it upside down and used it as an end table. He served as the Deep End’s bartender and unofficial enforcer. He was also a good, loyal man.

“Some redheaded dish is waitin’ for ya in the back,” he barked at me as he filled the glass of the sappy-eyed regular in front of him.

“Cindy?” I said. He nodded without looking at me and continued to pour beer.

I made my way to my office, past the low thrum of music, and paused when my hand touched the cool metal of the doorknob. I gathered myself together, opened the door, and there she was.

Cynthia Skye, another factor in the complication I called a life. I loved Sheila, my live-in girlfriend, but there was something about Cindy. Something irresistible. Beautiful and intelligent, she was an influential reporter at the Times, and the less she knew about me, the better. All the same, it was hard to stay away.

Her green eyes flicked up at me as I entered the room. She sat behind my desk, her legs propped avcılar grup yapan escort up and her bare feet resting on a stack of paperwork, receipts and order forms for the bar. These legs and feet were encased by a pair of dark pantyhose, and above them, Cindy’s face drew up in a bright, familiar smile.

“Well, if it isn’t my favorite son of Satan,” she said.

“I’ll tell him you said hi,” I retorted. I took a seat on the other side of the desk, across from her. I tried not to stare but failed. Cindy was remarkably attractive: pixie face, dark red hair drawn up in a tight bun, a smatter of freckles dotting her nose.

“Kross let you in here?” I asked. Cindy’s smile grew wider.

“I’m a people person,” she said in way of explanation. I felt guilty just looking at her. Despite the fact that we had only slept together once and I had done so only under duress, it didn’t excuse the fact that I wanted to do it again. I loved Sheila, but if Cindy gave me an opportunity, I wasn’t sure I could say no.

Right. I know what you’re thinking: a contract killer in a moral dilemma, how fucking quaint. My response: Fuck off. Just because I kill people for a living doesn’t mean that I haven’t got feelings, too.

“Someone’s out to kill you.”

The words took a moment to register. I came out of my mental haze and looked at Cindy. My heart might have skipped a beat, but if it did, my face betrayed nothing.

“Who?”

“One of Simeon Dread’s bodyguards, the one that survived the shootout at Dread Tower. Johnny Knox,” she said.

She paused, then continued, “Did something happen in Dread Tower that you didn’t tell me about?”

“Well, you know about the shoot-out. You were there. But I don’t know why anyone would blame me for anything unless Knox thinks I’m involved because of my old man. How could I be hiding anything? Again, you were there,” I said.

“Yes, I was there. I followed the story, and it led me straight to you.”

I couldn’t read her expression as she spoke. Cindy would make a hell of a poker player on top of a hell of a reporter. Was she implying that she knew more about me than she had revealed? Or perhaps this was a bluff, an attempt to get me to reveal more of myself to her. Either way, Cindy played her cards close to the chest.

She said she had followed the story- was this all I was to her? A part of her story? If that was the case, Cynthia Skye was as dangerous to me as anyone hoping to gun me down. I decided to test the waters and see what developed.

“I was meeting with Dread when it went down. He tried to hire me,” I said. Cindy’s eyes brightened. I could tell that her reporter sense was tingling. She leaned forward in her chair, slipping her legs off the desk and a sweeping a pen in her hand.

“Hire you?”

“Turn me against my dad. Gather information, give it to Dread, stuff like that. Dread thought that the estranged relationship I had with Pops could be twisted to his advantage.”

A little of what I said rang true. Dread had attempted to hire me but to kill the Black Ghost, a rogue assassin; he didn’t try to turn me. I thought the lie about the reason for Dread’s interest in me was a little more believable and less suspicious than the truth. Cindy seemed to buy it.

“How’d you respond?” she asked.

“Indifferently,” I said and shrugged. “The next thing I know, I hear shots, hit the deck, and the shit hits the fan. I assumed someone was trying to get to Dread, and I got the hell out of there.”

Cindy raised an eyebrow and said, “That doesn’t explain why Dread’s bodyguard was following you in the parking garage and why he still wants you dead.”

“I was in the room with Dread. Maybe he thinks I initiated the shooting, who knows? I’m sure he knows who I was and who my father is. He probably assumes that I was behind any kind of assassination attempt. I didn’t feel like explaining my innocence, and he probably wouldn’t have listened, anyway. So I ran. Wouldn’t you?”

“No. I would have gotten him on the record and had the exclusive interview on the front page the next morning,” Cindy said. “As it happens, my story was front page anyway.”

“You’re quite the talent,” I replied and winked.

“Thank you,” she said, and something in her eyes made my cock twitch. I crossed my legs, a proactive resolution to hiding any potential hard-on.

“I hope you don’t feel like I am giving you the third degree,” Cindy said. She leaned a bit more towards me, and I could the see the soft curves of her breasts swaying within her light blue blouse. I felt my throat tighten.

“I know you’re just doing your job,” I said. I struggled to keep my eyes locked on hers and not sneak down to the opening of her blouse. The potential hard-on was subtly becoming more than just potential.

“Sometimes my job can make me a real bitch. I’d like to make it up to you, that is, if you don’t have any ethical obligations to fucking girls in your office, on your desk,” Cindy said in a low voice. Her eyes twinkled avcılar masöz escort with naughty glee.

This was the moment where I was supposed to say no, but the word just wouldn’t come.

A serendipitous knock on the door solved the problem for me. The sound of Sheila’s voice accompanied the knock.

“Hello?” Sheila called. “You in, babe?”

“Maybe next time,” Cindy said, winked, and stood up from her chair. I took a deep breath and watched her ass work underneath the fabric of her short black skirt as she walked towards the door. I didn’t stand, knowing that if I did, my pants would be inappropriately tented at the crotch.

I called to Sheila, “I’m here. Come on in.” Then to Cindy, “Call me.”

The reporter smirked and said, “You know I will.”

As Cindy left, and the door opened with Sheila behind it, the two women took a moment to appraise each other as they passed. The room was thick with tension, heavy and electric like the air before a severe thunderstorm. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I couldn’t remember the last time that had happened to me, maybe when I was eleven and found a tape of pornography and saw the intimate details of sex for the first time.

The silence fell heavy until Cindy was gone, her curves disappearing down the hallway, and Sheila turned to me. Her eyebrows arched high and questioning. Her light blonde hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. Her pink lips pursed. Her expression said it all. She wanted to know the deal with Cynthia.

“A reporter, hoping to get a scoop on Dad,” I explained.

Sheila frowned, unconvinced. She still looked beautiful. That was one of the amazing things about her. No matter what mood or expression crossed her face, she remained beautiful. She was incapable of being anything but. I ran my eyes over her.

She wore a lime green sundress with designs of various fruits decorating it and matching sandals on her feet. Her oversized sunglasses were propped above her forehead, and she looked tan. As if she had just come from the beach. She had probably been sunning out on the roof of my apartment complex and reading, one of her favorite past times.

“Thought I’d come visit you. Thought you might be missing me,” Sheila said.

“Of course, I miss you,” I replied.

Sheila rubbed her chin. Then she closed the office door behind her and locked it. She turned back to me.

“Prove it,” she said. She slipped the straps down her shoulders, and her dress fell to the floor.

I sat there, looking at Sheila’s gorgeous and naked body, and felt like a complete asshole. I had Sheila, and she was more than any man deserved. She was mine. She should have been enough for an idiot like me.

I forced these negative thoughts down and got my ass out of my chair.

A moment later, I sat her down on my desk and went to my knees. I ran my lips along Sheila’s legs, across her shins, kissing her knees, worked up, caressed her inner thigh with my tongue. Her fingers swept through my hair.

Her breathing grew heavier as I worked my way up her thighs. I lightly treaded my fingers along the underside of her legs. Her skin felt smooth and cool. I heard Sheila moan as I licked the fold where her leg met her pelvis.

My mind flashed, for just an instant, to Cynthia Skye’s sterile-white apartment and to what I had done to her there. Something twisted in my gut, poisoning the pleasant lightheadedness of the moment, but I pushed it out of my thoughts and dedicated myself to Sheila.

“You did miss me,” Sheila purred as I delved my tongue inside of her. She leaned all the way back, and her back arched. She stretched like a content lioness under a hot African sun. She was warm and wet and tasted wonderful, a fine feminine wine on my prodding tongue.

I moved my mouth slightly up and kissed her budding clitoris. My fingers tip-toed around her inner heat; then they found it and burrowed inside of her.

Sheila wrapped her long legs around my head. The smell of fruit-scented suntan lotion drifted into my nostrils. Her knees rested on my shoulders, her calves draped down my back like fleshy scarves. She sighed in pleasure as I tickled her hardened clit with my tongue and worked my left middle and index fingers in and out of her. I took my time, going slow, knowing exactly what she liked and how she liked it and following the appropriate pace and technique.

Take notes, fellas: Once you find what your lady enjoys, give her exactly THAT until she tells you otherwise. If you follow this advice, the only way she’ll leave you is if you’re the biggest asshole on the planet. (Note: you just might be)

After a few minutes of steady, determined oral manipulation, Sheila’s body went tense; her teeth clenched; and she shuddered with a long, quivering sigh as she came on my face.

“God,” Sheila gasped, “So good, so good.”

“Glad you liked it,” I said, wiping my mouth with my wrist. Sheila sat up, and her hands went to my belt buckle. A mischievous twinkle glimmered avcılar otele gelen escort in her green eyes. I felt butterflies flutter in my chest, tickling my ribs. Jesus, she was beautiful.

“You’ll like this,” Sheila promised and winked at me before sliding down, out of sight. A moment later, and she was right. I fisted my hands in her hair, clenched my eyes shut, and let the pleasure sweep me up in an overwhelming, wild wave.

I didn’t wait long. I wanted my lips on her lips and to be inside of her too much to waste time on oral delights. I pulled her up and laid her down and pushed carefully, courteously, and gloriously into her.

“I knew it’d be a good idea to visit you,” Sheila whispered and giggled. I shut her up with a kiss, and her tongue and mine entwined as did our fingers as I held her hands down against the wood of the desk.

Whenever Sheila was under me, she did this thing where she bucked up into me and somehow simultaneously milked my cock with her heartbreakingly tight pussy. Sheila had at some point decided it would be amusing to make me cum as soon as possible and then make fun of me for not being able to last the length of the 100 Years War.

I admit it. I don’t understand women.

She started bucking into me, and I met her with thrusts of my own. I thought if I just concentrated on giving it to her really, really hard, then my mind might overcome the temptation of my body to explode into a million ribbons of sensational pleasure. Our bodies met with short, fleshy claps as if our genitals were applauding our lust. I tried to pry my eyes off her swaying breasts, but I could not.

I groaned, gnashed my teeth, and tensed my body, desperate not to let Sheila win this round. But she was too hot, too sexy, and (deadliest of all) too tight. Her green eyes flared; my resistance weakened. She slammed into me; her body quivered with impact; and I cried out in fluid, liquid orgasm.

When I finished, Sheila laughed, kissed me and leaned up to smack my ass.

“Pussy,” she teased.

***

Most nights, I like to walk home from work. My apartment was a good distance away, but with the lights and traffic, the drive wasn’t worth it. Besides, I enjoyed the fresh air- well, as fresh as air can be in the city. I knew some people would be wary walking alone at night, but I’m the sort of guy who knows how to take care of himself. I don’t worry much about muggers.

However, considering the fact that Johnny Knox, one of the deadliest men in the city, had it out for me, I would have preferred driving a reinforced armored tank home that night. But I hadn’t known of Knox’s desire to kill me before my morning walk to work. Alas, I was forced to take the shoelace express.

I could’ve asked Kross for a ride, but having witnessed my bartender’s questionable driving skills, that option was probably more dangerous than the chance some goon might take some potshots at my head.

As it happened, I heard the guy before I saw him: clumsy, labored steps attempting to mirror my own.

I figured it couldn’t be Knox. Whoever was following me had to be an amateur, probably one of Knox’s underlings. He couldn’t have snuck up on a sleeping water buffalo.

I knew of a cigar store down the block, one I had worked at for a small time between part-time jobs in college. I was still friendly with the owner, and I knew that in the small alleyway past the store, a side door was almost always left unlocked during open hours. The owner, Joe Hawk, had a habit of forgetting his keys when he went out on cigarette breaks; he eventually just kept the door unlocked. I passed an un-PC cigar store Indian (Joe was half-Apache or something and thought the statue was inappropriately hilarious) and slid into the alley.

I quickened my pace to the door and discovered my luck was in; it was unlocked. I knew time was short before my pursuer would make his way into the alley behind me, so I shoved through the door, nodded at a surprised Joe, and cut a quick jog through the store and doubled back outside through the front. I turned into the alley just as Knox’s man started down it.

My gun was out and in my hand and gleamed in the cool-blue moonlight. The next instant, it nudged the spinal column of the thug. Knox’s man froze, realizing his mistake. His ears turned a deep shade of red. I imagined the simmering rage he must have felt at being bested, and I smiled.

“Be cool, and you’ll walk,” I said.

“Yeah, sure,” replied the thug.

“Where’s your piece?”

“My pants.”

“Trying to hit on me?”

“Shoulder holster. Left side.”

“So you WERE hitting on me,” I said in mock surprise. I reached to disarm him, and that’s when I heard the second guy behind me. It was my turn to feel like an idiot. I should have known better than to think Knox would only send one man after me. Thank Christ that the collective speed of the two men was comparable to that of molasses on a cold day.

I twisted around and grabbed the outstretched arm of the second thug as he brought his handgun to bear. He’d tried to get close, so he wouldn’t miss. I made sure he didn’t. As the first thug went for his weapon (left side, shoulder holster), I squeezed the finger of the second. His gun barked, and the Thug Number One cried out as his chest bloomed with lead-induced bleeding. He went down in a pool of flailing arms and crimson-colored failure.

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