Yay, I’ve managed two days running now! I didn’t use the prompt again today (I’m never good at writing stories out of memories), since I definitely have never seen this happen before in my life. Also, it’s not fantasy, so that’s new! (I am worried it’s more a scene than a story, however. Sigh…)
Shoot the Messenger
Gabriel never thought he’d face death down the barrel of a Glock 19. It was too ordinary – an embarrassment, really, to both his name and his reputation. He shifted his gaze to the girl holding the gun and considered her. She certainly wasn’t a cop, so that was interesting, but judging by the way her eyes kept flicking around the room, she was no professional either.
Gabriel sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. This was mortifying! He really hoped no one would hear about this, especially if she somehow did manage to kill him. He supposed he’d be too dead to care at that point, but still-
A jingle of metal caught his attention and he looked up to see the girl holding out a pair of handcuffs. Police issue, too. Very interesting. “Put ‘em on,” she said.
He tilted his head to the side and studied her. She was eighteen – maybe nineteen – with a slim figure that came from eating little rather than working out. Her nerves were shot, judging by the minute tremor in her limbs. She was pretty, he supposed, but it was more youth than anything else. There was definitely nothing outstanding about her face; her complexion he thought could be described as sallow and the puffiness around her eyes and condition of her lips suggested that she had been scared into this whole thing. He’d seen assassins her age before – a couple of them – and this just reaffirmed his theory. She was no assassin, or bounty hunter, or whatever the hell she was pretending to be.
He smiled his ever effective shark-like grin and found himself satisfied at the panic in her eyes. The gun didn’t waver though, which was fascinating. Something was keeping her steady.
“Who are you?” he asked. Some people might say he wasn’t in the position to ask questions, but those people were idiots.
“It doesn’t matter.” She shook the handcuffs. “Put ‘em on.”
Gabriel smiled again. “You’re no professional,” he said. “A professional would have put a bullet in my head as soon as look at me. So, the question remains as to who you are, who sent you and what they have over you to make you do this.”
Her hand tightened on the gun and her eyes narrowed. “Put the damn cuffs on! I just need to take you somewhere, that’s all!”
That narrowed the field of candidates considerably and Gabriel grimaced. Alive meant interrogation, probable torture. He wasn’t so keen on that idea.
The girl took another step forward, so that the cold muzzle of the gun was pressed against Gabriel’s forehead. “Put the cuffs on. I won’t ask you again.”
“You won’t kill me either,” he said, looking her straight in the eye. “You’re a scared little girl and you don’t have it in you.”
She flinched, almost imperceptibly, but it was the sign Gabriel had been waiting for. He reached up, twisting the gun out of her grip and kicking her to the ground. She stared up at him, her expression terrified.
He flicked the safety off the gun. “You were never going to shoot me. Now, put the handcuffs on, please.”
She reached over and put the handcuffs around her wrists. When Gabriel heard the click of the lock, he dragged her up and onto the chair. He pointed the gun at her and she whimpered.
“Please don’t kill me,” she begged. “Please!”
Gabriel caressed her face, then grabbed a handful of her long hair and pulled her head back. “Sorry,” he said, “But if the people making you do this told you anything about me, you’ll understand – it’s just business.”
The shot rang out and the girl was still. Gabriel let her head go and listened to the drip-drip-drip of blood on the floor.
He glanced around his apartment. Nothing that important was here, though it was troubling that this identity had been discovered. He flicked the safety back on the Glock and stuffed it in his pocket.
He couldn’t bring himself to feel sorry for the girl. She should have known better. He shrugged his jacket on and picked up the car keys. The fire escape would do; he’d have time to fly to Dublin before anyone discovered her body and by then he’d be halfway around the world with a new identity.
He climbed down and landed in the alley, pausing a moment to look around. Once there, he could find the people after him. He’d been considering retirement a few days ago. He’d enough money now; he’d not have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
Gabriel climbed into the car and started the engine. It purred as he pulled away. If they weren’t going to let him out of the game – then, well, he’d just have to teach them how to play, wouldn’t he?