When I first arrived at the organization, not many liked me. Like I’d grown up, many murmured and whispered behind my back; however, I didn’t let it bother me this time. I listened to Sebastian’s advice, squared my shoulder, and held my head high; I stood my ground and quickly pulled out my dagger to anyone who dared look at me the wrong way. I built a wall around my heart, never letting anyone make a fool of me again.
I was no longer alone; besides having my Mamá Ivy and Papá Aaron, I had friends, Mikayla, Letty, and Blade, who loved me for who I became. Even Gorilla, who disliked me, was considered a friend, yet Blade always tried to mold me into someone else.
“Eve? Can you help me decipher this code? I have been trying to break into the Sanchez security to get a clear picture of the easiest access point for your entry tomorrow night, but I’m having trouble” I looked at her, giving her a slight smile. “Maybe if you focus more on your task and stop making googly eyes at your husband, you can figure this out” Upon hearing what I said, Gorilla turned his head, looking over his shoulders and blowing a kiss at Mikayla. ‘God, their love is so annoying’ to think they finally got together because of me. His smile widened at his wife’s cute response when she bit down on her lips. Blade smacked Gorilla’s shoulder, making me snort. “Can you pay attention?” upon hearing his deep voice, I glanced over at Blade, remembering how distant we’ve gotten recently. “I can’t help that I find my husband the most attractive man,” I snicker while listening to her, she and Gorilla seemed more like the odd couple, but somehow they worked.
Looking over to her husband reminded me how Gorilla and I couldn’t stand each other; we could never see eye to eye, but for Mikayla’s sake, we learned to accept the other’s presence. We were known to pull prank wars on each other to tick the other off but never to the extent of hurting one another. The last prank I pulled on him, I had changed his shampoo into blue hair dye, making him look like a smurf. It was inoffensive compared to what he did to me when he placed laxatives into my chocolate cupcake.
I looked back at Mikayla with a small smile against my lips. Call me a vulnerable bitch to say I became her friend because she reminded me of Cleopatra D’Angelo, my best friend who forgot all about me. The resemblance between the two was peculiar, but they were utterly different personality-wise. I saw Mikayla just as I saw Cleo; she was like the sister I wished I had. “Hey Eve, can you take Tarzan out for the evening? Gorilla and I want some alone time, and well, you know how Tarzan can get” I nodded while clicking in some final codes. “I’m in” Her eyes widened, looking at the screen with her mouth parted. “I have been working with you for the last five years and still can’t seem to comprehend how you’re so good at this” I shrugged and continued analyzing the layout. “I had no friends, had too much time in my hands, and found myself entertained with coding...the fact that the Nightingale thief had me break into systems just as this one had its perks,” she sighs, listening to me “when are you going to tell me the story of the one who broke your heart? You’ve been with Blade and Letty for three years, and I still can’t understand why you can’t allow someone to love you”.
I turned my head towards him. The hurt still ached in my heart. “I’m not allowing anyone to tear me apart again. I trusted and gave myself fully; I will not be made a fool again” She slumped in her chair. “So you’re telling me you do not see a future with anyone? Not even Blade?” my eyes widened,’ is she pushing me to have a relationship with Blade?’ “Blade? Are you kidding me? What I have with him is only sexual. I don’t feel any spark for him or anyone.”
She gave me a sad smile, and I could tell she was thinking about someone, “but you forgive everything he does” I shook my head, wanting this conversation to be over with” It doesn’t mean I love him. We have fun together, he knows there will be nothing more because we aren’t compatible. I don’t believe in love. He doesn’t know how to love.” she shakes her head still being reluctant to let things go “You can teach him how to love if you open yourself up. I mean, look who he grew up with. Dr. Jackson is a great doctor, but he never has time for Blade to show him love, and his mother abandoned; it’s not easy for someone like him.”
I couldn’t help smiling at her innocence; it reminded me of the girl I used to be. “You’re the only person I know that sees the good in everyone. I was just like you until I learned the world is not as people make it to be” she looked back at me, arching an eyebrow “you should let more people in. You build up a wall to protect yourself, and someday someone will come along like a wrecking ball and wreck you,” I laughed, listening to her words. “You’re seriously quoting Miley Cyrus?” she rapidly nodded, head tugging her lips upward. “You will one day meet that guy who will weaken your knees. If you let me, I can introduce you to my cousin Mae Mae. I think you both would hit it off” instantly, a frown appeared on my face remembering Mason; he was the only one that pulled the strings to my heart. My first and only love, which I began to hate over the years. “I met the one who wrecked me long ago. I will not allow myself to be weakened by anyone again.”
I sighed, shaking my head, thinking back to how naive I was to believe someone like Mason could fall for a freak. “I don’t mean to be rude, but please stop trying to fix me. Love is an illusion, a fairytale that was not written for me. I’m glad you found your prince charming in the Giant ogre, but for me, there isn’t love” She looked back at me with saddened eyes. Turning her head back to the screen, she quickly changed the subject of our discussion. “Here is the target’s room. We will have the camera down for an hour. You must go in, execute the target, and out before anyone sees you.”
I nodded, studying the layout on the screen. “Got it. You go get ready for date night with your husband, and tomorrow we focus on this job,” her beautiful eyes lit up. “I love you, Eve” I turned my head to her and smiled wide. “Don’t get soft on me, Chica,” I replied before walking out of the room.
It was easy to have a soft spot for Mikayla; she was one of the few who treated me kindly when I arrived.
Once I was out of the door, I leaned my head against the wall drifting off in my thoughts.
“Please, Delilah, Pretty Please” Scrunching my nose up, I look at the lock before releasing a sigh “Cleo? Why do you want to learn how to pick a lock?” shrugging her shoulders, she places her hands together in a look of prayer “I don’t know, but it will be cool to be able to use it if ever needed, and you can teach me. Bestie, you know what our family deals with. What if I get kidnapped or something? Wouldn’t you like me to know how to escape a situation safely?” I look at her in dismay allowing her to convince me, “Fine. Come here”.
Cleo jumped excitingly as she stood next to me. I explained how to pick the lock and what to listen to and showed the different maneuvers she could use. After a few tries, she finally said, “I did it. Fuck... I did it!” I giggled at her excitement while she jumped up and down like a child. “I’m such a badass… OMG, Bestie, you are the fucking best. I love you” I smiled back at her wrapping my arms around her. “I love you too.”
“Vixen? Are you alright?” Gorilla asked while looking at me with concern as I released a deep breath “Peachy. Why do you ask?” I wondered harshly, making him straighten his back. “You seemed lost and distant. I thought something was wrong. I didn’t mean to start anything” I nodded, knowing I never gave him a chance. “Thanks for your concern, but there’s no need to worry about little me.” I looked to Mikayla, quickly changing the subject to “Your wife is working on the details for tomorrow’s mission. I will be taking Tarzan out tonight so you and Mikayla can take advantage of the night”. Gorilla nodded, pressing his lips together, scheming his eyes on my face. “Thanks. I know you and I are not close, but I appreciate you looking out for her”.
I genuinely loved her, which is why I cared so much; I nodded my head before glancing at his hair, tugging my lips into a smirk. “I see you managed to get the blue dye out of your hair.” Gorilla ran his hands through it while glaring at me. “It took a lot of googling, but finally, it looks normal; no thanks to you,” he responded through gritted teeth.
I shrug my shoulders upwards, not caring how his eyes flamed with anger. That’s what had become of us; Gorilla disliked me so much that he picked on me; however, he could. I didn’t hate him, he just annoyed me, but I was thankful to have him around. During the years, he had saved my life on multiple occasions and even helped me sober up from the drug usage that Blade introduced me to. I had become dependent on ecstasy to forget, but I could leave the drugs behind with the Big Ape’s help.
I noticed his glare soften as he glanced down to the waist. “When are you coming in for the finishing touches on the tattoo?” he asked while rubbing his neck. I tilted my head towards him, arching an eyebrow,’ Bipolar much?’.
After my confession, he’s been acting weird “Why? Can’t you get enough of me, Big Ape?” he pinched his nose, murmuring incoherently. “I just wanted to be friendly. You know I only stand you for Mikayla’s sake” I nodded at him again, looking over his shoulder and seeing Mikayla watching us with hopeful eyes. “Your girl is looking at us; let’s not give her any ideas of us getting along.” I shoved his shoulder while pulling myself away from the wall. “Let’s finish the job tomorrow, and then we’ll schedule a time. Is that good?” he nodded before turning and entering the room, leaving me alone in the hall. I stood there witnessing their loving kiss, remembering when I believed in love. Pulling myself out of my head, I broke eye contact with their loving scene as I headed towards my room.
The tattoo he drew on my back to cover my scars was so impressive that it didn’t take me long to convince him to make another one to cover the scar of James’s knife wound.
We had thoroughly studied and researched the property and the pattern of guards’ shifts so that I could quickly enter Sanchez’s residence without being seen. The thunder was the only sound to be heard; everyone in the household seemed asleep, which was ideal for me, with only a few guards patrolling outside the house.
I crept up the stairs toward my target’s room, thinking of how this would be the easiest kill I’d done. Quickly picking up the lock, I entered the bedroom of ‘Mr. Alejandro Sanchez’. I didn’t know who this man was or what he’d done. All I knew was I was paid a large sum to kill this man and promised the Romeros he would die tonight.
His sleeping body lay peacefully covered head to toe by a white blanket, making it impossible to see his face as my body hovered above him. I brought up my Katana, ready to decapitate his head, when he suddenly shifted his body, moving entirely. I should’ve acted as usual; however, I was so startled by the thunder and his sudden movement that I hid behind the curtain, avoiding any chance of being seen.
Other than the thunder outside, the eerily silence was heard throughout the room before his snores engulfed the room once more. I smiled, convinced he continued to sleep peacefully and that I would successfully proceed with my task.
Slowly and cautiously, I stepped towards Alejandro while gripping my Katana tighter. I lifted my hand to strike his body swiftly as soon as I was close enough. I was ready until I came face to face with the unexpected.
As I raised my hand, I stood frozen with my arm in the air. A soft gasp escaped my lips as my eyes met his angelic sleeping face. I felt my knees about to give in as I stared at him with wide-open eyes. Swallowing hard, I shook my head, stunned at what I saw. I killed many without a second thought and remorse but never have I faced someone so young “fuck” I whispered yell, lowering my Katana. “Fuck” I muttered once more, swallowing the lump quickly building in my throat. I did not expect to see a young boy looking around 10 or 11, ‘he’s just a child,’ I ran my shaken hand through my hair.
Since I began working as an assassin, I would only be contacted by a name. No other information was needed, but I never imagined being hired to eliminate a child, ‘what monster would do such a thing as hiring a professional hitman to murder a child?’. I glanced up, trying to find anything that indicated I had the wrong room. Yet, the pictures and the name tag on the wall stated he was my target “shit, shit, shit... I almost killed a kid. I can’t kill off a child” A tear ran down my face thinking of how I was seconds away from slaying him. Looking back at him reminded me of myself. I was, too, just a kid that would be tortured daily. I didn’t know whether or not he had been tortured like me, but I couldn’t let someone kill him.
Yes, I had become an assassin, a monster, but I still had a heart; I was above this. “I will protect you, Alejandro.” Then, wiping my face from the tears running down, I looked around for something useful. Noticing a notepad and pen on the nightstand, I quickly broke my rule and changed myself.
I decided to leave a warning to the Sanchez family, even if it caused me trouble; I needed to save this child.
“Your son is in danger; take this warning as an opportunity to find him somewhere safe. Trust no one; I was hired to kill him, unknowing he was just a child; another assassin will not have compassion in their heart as I did. For now, know your enemy is the Romero family. Keep him safe from them and any others who come after him. Your new friend, Kali.”
I took out one of my tiny daggers and plunged the knife into the headboard, leaving behind a piece of evidence linked to me. Still asleep, I smiled at the young boy before running towards the door. Exiting the room quickly while leaping down the hallway, “What’s that?” I heard someone shout behind me as I continued to run. “Over there. There’s an intruder in the house,” someone else yelled out.
Turning the corner, I came face to face with a guard pointing his gun at me. Quickly I lifted my arm, disarming him before twisting his arm back while wrapping my arm around his neck in a choke hold until he lost consciousness. The sound of others running in the hall coming towards me alerted me that I should run. I dragged the guard’s body into a nearby room before swiftly closing the door. Laying his body on the ground, I stepped over him, heading towards the window.
I opened the window, searching for an escape route, before noticing a pipe. I pulled my body out the window swinging my body to the pipe on the side of the house, and sliding down until my feet hit the ground. I needed to get away fast, so I ran towards the gate.
As I ran, I could hear the shooting behind me, making me smile like a lunatic at their bad aiming as none of the bullets struck me. Without looking back, I quickly jumped on my motorcycle, “Cease fire.” I heard someone call out as I turned my bike on and rode out the path at full speed toward my home. As the speedometer accelerated, so did my heart, still feeling the adrenaline. His young angelic face is still imprinted in my head. ‘He is just a child.’
One hour later
Arriving at the house, I scanned my hand to open the gate as I rode in. I quickly parked my bike and headed inside, swinging the door open. The slamming of the door against the wall caught everyone’s attention as their head turned toward me. “Back so soon, Eve? That’s an entirely new record,” Blade says as he smiles wide, he hadn’t seen my wild eyes.
Sebastian looked at me carefully, examining me, quickly noticing something off about me. “Baby girl?” my body began to tremble, thinking back at how I was so close to ending a kid’s life. “Baby?” he said, cautiously walking towards me as I let my body drop. My knees hit the floor while shaking my head vigorously, finding it hard to breathe, ‘if he hadn’t shifted his body for me to see his face, I would’ve killed an innocent kid’ “IVY!” Blade shouted while Sebastian wrapped his arms around me, but my mind was distant. My mind drifted somewhere else. “Eve, Breath. You need to breathe. Tell me what happened?” Sebastian kept asking, but I still couldn’t focus; I was too busy thinking of the what-ifs.
Sharon ran in after hearing Blade call out to her once more, “What’s going on?” her eyes met mine, and it was as though she knew. “Fuck” she leaped forward. “Eve? Eve? Look at me, look at me. I’m right here, Baby. James can’t hurt you. Please come back to me. You need to breathe, baby” I stared into her eyes, holding back the tears threatening to spill as I finally realized where I was, yet the guilt consumed me.
“EVERYONE GET OUT NOW” she yelled, knowing I wouldn’t want them to see me this way. I didn’t want anyone to see me weak or vulnerable “GET OUT.”
Mikayla grabbed Blade by the arm, forcefully pulling him away; however, Gorilla ignored Sharon as he stomped toward me, picking me off the ground. “I said, Get out,” Sharon said through gritted teeth while grabbing his arm. Gorilla turned his head towards her shaking his head. “She’s in shock Ivy. You need me here. Let me help you.” Pulling me towards the sofa, he laid me down and crouched beside me. “Vixen? Listen to me. You’re okay; you’re safe. Listen to my voice... You’re with family; everything is okay” I turned my head and stared into his brown eyes that penetrated straight into mine. His soothing voice slowly relaxed me. “Vixen!” I swallowed hard, settling my breathing. “He’s just a child,” I said in almost a whisper. I watched him scrunch his eyebrows together, confused at what I had just said, “what?” It was then the realization of what I’d done that widened my eyes.
“I didn’t complete the job... I ran” Sebastian and Sharon looked at one another. “What do you mean you ran?” I couldn’t take my eyes off Gorilla even though Sharon asked me to explain. I watched as he nodded his head and assured me I was safe. I continued explaining why I hadn’t completed my mission. “My target was just a child. I couldn’t kill him; he couldn’t be any more than 10 or 11. He was... he’s just a child”.
Gorilla’s reaction assured me I had made the correct decision as he helped me sit up. “Aaron, take Vixen to her room and lay her down. We will return the money and inform them that Kali and this organization do not harm children. What the fuck were they thinking?” he growled before he looked back at me. “Don’t worry, Vixen; I got your back. We got your back” I wrapped my arm around his neck, pulling him into a hug and taking him by surprise. “I’m not heartless as everyone portrays me to be. I’m not a monster...I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t kill a kid” He awkwardly wrapped his massive arms around my back. “I understand... It’s quite a relief to know you aren’t a rock,” he mumbles, making me smile against his shoulder. He pulled back, a little surprised I was letting him close, making him clear his throat from the awkward silence between us. “Go lay down for a bit. Once Romero receives a notice about this; they might want to reciprocate... They will come for you”.
Sebastian helped me up from the sofa, assisting me towards the stairs. I turned my head towards Gorilla, slightly nodding his head. “Thank you, for” I paused, searching for the words; however, he seemed to understand what I wanted to say as he shook his head, smiling at me. ‘Guess the Big Ape is not all that bad.’