Chapter Two: Edited
Anya, age 22:
It seemed that luck was on my side for once, however, as both windows were opened and gave me direct access to the office building behind it, where my target was having a scotch. He was pacing back and forth and speaking into a phone. He stopped for a moment and I leaned down, my finger pressing lightly against the trigger.
It wasn't my favorite way to kill someone. I preferred up close, my knife to their neck or a nice clean execution-style shot to the head. But this time, this kill was to send a message. I was finding the traitors. Killing the bastards that killed me.
Shaking my head to stop my thoughts, I looked through my scope again, sighted my shot, and was about to press down on the trigger when the office door opened and two men walked in. My target froze and stared at the doorway, making my curiosity spike.
I paused, watching through my scope as the man who shot me walked straight into the room as if he owned the place. My whole body stiffened, remembering the feel of the cool metal against my skin and the feeling of my heart breaking into nothingness as the man I trusted and loved pulled the trigger.
My target backed up against the wall, his face pale as the scotch glass fell to the floor. I watched as the other man pulled out a gun, holding it to my target's head. A surge of fury ran through me at the thought of this bastard stealing my kill.
Leaning down and adjusting my sights, I let out a breath and aimed the shot. Before either man realized it, I fired.
I watched and followed the bullet with my scope, a smirk on my lips as it sped through the apartment complex's open windows, and shattered the office window. My target's blood splattered against the opposite wall, some of it landing on the man of my nightmares.
He sagged to the ground, a hole visible in his temple that hadn't been there a moment ago. I watched the other two guards grave their guns and aim in the direction I fired from, but their bullets would never hit me.
Ignoring them, I focused my scope on him. Watching as he ignored the blood coating his face and suit he turned in the direction I had shot from. My heart stopped as soon as I saw his eyes, feeling their probing gaze from here. I knew he couldn't see me. I had trained the shadows to protect me, to become my advantage.
But that didn't stop the piercing gaze from feeling like it landed on me. Like he was standing right in front of me, instead of 10 thousand feet away. I watched as if he was breathing down my neck, pinning my body to the roof of the building and holding me prisoner.
He turned away to speak with his guards, and by the time he looked back, I was gone.
I sighed as soon as I walked through the doors of the abandoned mansion, hiding my rifle in the gun safe. A knife came flying towards me, and my head jerked back on reflex, grabbing it by the handle as it slammed into the wall. Turning and testing the balance, I held it between my fingers, aiming from the direction it came, and threw it back.
It made a solid thud as it hit the wooden target handheld target that my teacher always carried with him. "You've been practicing, little death dealer." A soft but deep chuckle filled the silent air and I couldn't stop the bashful smile that crossed my lips.
"Thank you, Teacher. I learned from the best." The man stepped out of the shadows, his salt, and pepper grey hair and beard shining in the moonlight. His t-shirt and sweats fit his body like a glove, and if he was thirty years younger I would have gladly been interested in him. But luckily, he was more father figure than a lover.
I smiled back as I walked forward into his open arms, relaxing against him. "I saw him tonight Pooka. He was there, in Benjamin's office."
Pooka froze, pulling back and making me look him in the eyes. His slate-gray eyes held concern, compassion, and worry as he stared into my blue ones. I knew the question he was going to ask before it even left his lips.
"I didn't freeze. And he didn't see me. He almost stole my kill. But I finished it first. Just like you taught me."
His eyes shone with pride, patting my head and stroking the black locks sadly. He knew why I had to dye them, why I needed them to be something other than the color he had admired.
"Come my girl. Let's go and spar. You've had a long night and you will need the practice." I smiled up at him, hating and loving how he knew exactly what I needed, even when there was no possible way he could know.
Nodding my head, I smiled and went to elbow him in the side, chuckling as he blocked it and smacked the back of my head lightly.
There wasn't much I looked forward to now in life, but this was one of those few things. As long as I had Pooka, I had something to hang onto. Something to keep me from slipping completely into the darkness.
Ras, age 26:
"Dom, how the fuck did this happen! Who the hell killed Benjamin!?" I roared into the phone as I slid into the black SUV waiting in front of the office building.
The drying blood on my face itched, but I didn't wipe it away. I used it to keep fueling my rage. This wasn't the first murder I've been dealing with. A few of my men have been found, throats slashed or bullets in their head.
I wanted this bastard dead. He was like a shadow. Untraceable, there and gone, coming in the middle of the night and fading back into it once the target was dead.
At first, it was just annoyances, not worth my time. Then a month ago, I was informed one of my major dealers had been found with his throat slit and the supply gone.
That had been what tipped me off. That, someone, was targeting my men. Someone was targeting me. And I refused to be a target again. Not after what happened.
"Find this motherfucker and bring him to me. TONIGHT!" I hung up the phone, loosening my tie as Gregor pulled the car out of the underground parking lot and onto the street.
"The Grand Duchess, Sir?" He looked at me in the rearview mirror and nodded. I needed someone to get my mind off these murders, and right now a pair of ruby red lips and flaming red hair would be the only thing to do that for me.
You mean the blue eyes and blonde hair that haunt you in your dreams, the dark, sick voice in my head taunted me, sending flashes of memories into my mind.
Shaking my head to clear it, I looked out upon the city of Moscow, Russia. My city. I owned most of the legal (and illegal) businesses in the city, after having expanded the Gregori Mafia into Romanov territory. It helped to be the Pakhan of the Bratva and granted my business access to other organizations, worldwide. The smaller territories in the rest of Russia didn't try and cross me, and even though they all thought I was too young to be the Pakhan, no one challenged me.
As I reached into my suit for a handkerchief, my fingers found the picture of the girl who haunted my dreams. Pulling it out, I stared for a moment, at her laughing face, bright smile, and trusting eyes. On her hand was a delicate white gold ring, set with a blood ruby in the center and surrounded by blood diamonds. Tugging on the chain around my neck, I pulled the very ring out, holding it in the light by the chain. With the ring dangling on the chain around my neck between my fingers, I looked out at the street, remembering just how corrupt the world was.
I watched as the prostitutes started filling the streets, their skimpy clothes designed to show off their curves and looks and entice customers. The drug dealers and pimps on the streets lurked on corner streets and in alleyways, doing business. I saw cops and mafia members sitting together having a drink, and playing cards through the windows of bars.
I had the whole capital of Russia in my pocket, yet I had never felt like I had nothing at all as much as I did now. Dropping the ring back under my shirt, I cleaned my face with some water and the handkerchief, until I looked presentable.
By the time all the (noticeable) blood was gone, we had pulled up outside of one of my more lucrative businesses, The Grand Duchess. It was an escort/strip club to those who could afford to enter, but for the elite, it served twofold as an exclusive sex club to cater to every individual's desires, within reason. There were rules in place for those who liked to think they were better than me, and those who valued staying in my good graces obeyed those rules.
Gregor pulled around to my private entrance, and one of the guards stationed at the entrance immediately came forward and opened the door.
"Evening Sir. Would you like for me to request Katya to wait in the private room?" I shook my head, walking past them without answering. They didn't follow me, and they didn't comment on my silence. They were used to it, and everyone one of my men knew better than question me.
Walking through the private entrance, I watched from the hidden doorway as rich old men flirted and cheated on their trophy wives who stayed at home taking care of their kids. I saw young men born with silver spoons in their mouths from their fathers' business feel up the escort girls they paid for as they sat on their laps. I smelled the scent of lust, greed, desire, and money in the air.
I watched the waitresses as they passed around drinks, and the dancers as they ground their bodies against the poles and each other in the most provocative way possible. As I watched, I noticed a woman with black hair wearing a black corset and blacked ripped jean shorts move behind the bar and grab a few more drinks to place on a tray.
Her lips were crimson red as if they had been coated in a layer of blood, but her eyes were a green color that seemed out of place on her. There was a sense of familiarity about her, yet I knew I had never seen this woman before. Her skin was white, contrasting with her black hair to make her look like an Angel of death with her crimson lips. Her green eyes held a hint of darkness, even as she smiled and laughed with another waitress.
A well-manicured hand landed on my chest, pulling my gaze away from the waitress and to the woman standing in front of me. Her lips held a smile as she looked up at me, her red hair framing her pale face.
"Razzy, darling, you came back to me. I've missed you." Her sultry smile and soft voice had me smirking and pulling her waist close, my free hand tangling in artificial red hair.
Tugging her head back, I kissed the pulse pint on her neck, just below her jaw, feeling her heartbeat against my lips. "Katya, you know I could never stay away. Who else would protect a sweet, little fox like you from all these wolves."
Katya laughed, and I smirked, knowing full well these men were hardly wolves. I had found Katya wandering the streets a year ago, a prostitute whose pimp had thrown her out after he was done with her. I offered her a job here and protection, and one year later here we were, with her as one of my top earners.
I tugged her waist closer, pulling her with me through the hidden door and into my private room in the club, that had been built to my own separate needs.
Opening the door, I gestured for her to enter, stepping in behind her as the door closed. The room was pitch black, but she already knew what to expect, immediately moving to the side and kneeling. I took a moment, my eyes adjusting to the lack of light, and stared at her form. She was a very dominant woman, at least sexually, yet every time without fail, she submitted to me.
On a typical night, I would already be hard and ready to go. But tonight, I couldn't help but think about those defiant blue eyes that had stared up at me, the betrayal and heartbreak written in them as plain as day. Couldn't help but think about the way she refused to give in. Refused to submit and be spared by bowing down to me.
I remembered the way the blood pooled around her body, the way the carpet was soaked with her blood. All it had taken was a small piece of metal, and it had created a halo of crimson to surround her.
Clenching my fists tight, I turned, walking back out the door of the room. I couldn't touch Katya. Not tonight. If I did, history was sure to repeat itself.
I already had one death tonight. I didn't need another.