All I have
The square was packed with people crossing the enormous streets. I tried not to let my head whip around the place to look for someone who might be looking for me. But it was hard.
We arrived ten minutes ahead of schedule. It took two threats to get Jane to stay in the car parked up a smaller street. Still within full view of the square but too far away to be spotted and think she could help.
I wore the same clothes as I did yesterday sans boots in favor for the brown gladiator sandals. I thought the look reeked of relaxation and definitely not a threat. Though my Glock was still pressing into my back, but it was a welcoming discomfort.
I uncrossed and crossed my legs for the sixth time in the last ten minutes. I was getting impatient and did not like being stringed along. Maybe Raul was counting down the seconds. OCD anyone?
Or maybe not. A presence sat down next to me. I looked over, finding a man watching the surroundings while unbuttoning a navy blue suit jacket before turning his attention to me. He smiled in the dark but very attractive way. His hair is slightly longer than what I observe guys normally have; curling at the ends. Despite being someone I'm paid to kill he was very attractive. I won't lie.
"Nice to meet you Raul," I said. His lips remained in a pleasurable smile.
"You are much lovelier than I pictured Miss…?"
"Bella. No Miss. And thanks." His accent was heavy but in a very attractive way.
"Right then. Whatever is it you wanted to ask me?" His English was surprisingly good. He must be a native but maybe college in the states?
Shaking it off I reach into my back pocket and retrieve the photograph of Mr. Jacobs, handing it over. Raul takes the picture and looks down.
"Have you seen this man?" Raul looks it over with quick but narrowing eyes.
"Yes." Cut surgical answer. One might think they ended on bad terms.
"Papers?" He smirked and chuckled dryly.
"Yes… papers." He looked at me expectantly.
"Where is his?" His head cocks and he leaned back against the bench, arm stretching far along the back, almost touching my shoulder.
"I don't know."
"He never got his papers." My interest is piqued. "He was supposed to get them over one week ago but he never showed. Didn't even pay. It was quite insulting. I take the time to make flawless papers for this man and he doesn't even do me the courtesy of showing up?"
"It's very rude," I agreed.
"But then he calls me right before we are scheduled to meet. He says he needs new papers. He wants to be a local. Stay here permanently." I leaned back, feeling his hand touch my hair, vowing his fingers through the strands.
"He wants to stay?" A nod. "Why?" Now laughter.
"I don't make it my business to know my clients personal history."
"So you could do it?"
"Of course. He would have to pay double, of course."
"When are they done?" Raul got a glint in his eyes and shakes his head.
"Now if I tell you that, I won't see my money." I feel a frown turn my lips down.
"I need him." My voice is low, gruff and very threatening. But Raul only laughs.
"You would not dare try anything here in such a public place," he said, assured. "But I would." He showed a silver gun hanging in a holder under his arms. I smiled sweetly and leaned in close to him, taking out my gun from the small of my back and pointed it at his ribs.
"You don't know anything," I giggled, kissing his cheek and pulled the gun back along with myself. He finally looked like he could take me seriously.
"Who are you?" I smiled smugly. "CIA?" Now I snorted. "FBI?" A shake of my head. "Immigrations?"
"I'm pissed off. You see. I get a call about a mission which normally isn't that bad, but I had to fly seventeen hours with a pesky little bitch that for some reason won't stop asking the most ridiculously basic questions. And then I find out I have to train her. If it had been any other, I would have gladly offered my help but it's like she's trying to tick me off. And that, I can assure you, no one wants." I lick my lips, feeling I have his full attention.
"And it's not enough I get to this fucking country where there is no temperature below thirty. It just doesn't seem to exist. So it's hot as hell and you know how heat makes people crazy. And now I have to find this asshole who butchered both his wife and a prostitute who was going to turn him in for taking charity money and turning it into a profitable brothel of some kind. Do you see my dilemma?"
He looked at a loss for words.
"Oh and to top it off like a nice little cherry the pesky bitch doesn't have any fighting skills in her. At all. It's ridiculous. How fucking hard is it to shoot at a frozen target?" I breathe, feeling relieved.
"That's… that's harsh," he says. I nod.
"It sure is. So why don't you say to a little cooperation here?"
"I want my money," he demanded. I pursed my lips.
"How about you set up your drop. He gets his papers, you get your money. All you have to do is tell me when and where."
"And then we're five minutes before this conversation. Strangers." He looked at me long and hard, taking a deep pensive breath.
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"How do I know I can trust you?"
"Touché." He gave me a last look. "This is the last we speak?"
"Of course." I smirked.
"You will leave then?"
"On the next fly out." He nodded slowly.
"You have a deal."
We kissed both each other's cheeks, he mumbling a name and time. Tonight.
Walking back to the car where Jane was slowly suffocating – one could only hope – I felt exhilarated. The heat didn't bother me anymore. I had one goal and that was to finish this mission, get home and sleep for twelve hours straight without Jane snoring into my ear.
"Do we have him?" I looked at her while starting the car.
"Does it look like I fucking have him?" I snapped. "We get him tonight."
"When and where?" She was eager but it wouldn't help her. She was the lookout.
"None of your concerns. I will get him. You will stay by the car."
"That's bull!" I turned to her, stopping the car abruptly by a red light.
"No, watching you throw knives at a tree for two hours without ever making it stick is bull. And it's bullshit. Learn to curse for fucks sake," I mumbled the last, already forming multiple plans in my head.
As soon as we reached the house I snatched the cell phone towards me and made the call.
"We will get him tonight."
"Good Isabella. I knew you wouldn't disappoint me."
"What's our move?"
"Alive would be ideal."
"And if not?"
There was a dial tone and I flipped it close, thinking about Aro's words carefully. Finally I snapped out of it, taking a breath and say; "Pack you stuff." I turned to Jane. "We're leaving in twenty minutes."
I changed pants to black cargo and the boots. I stock up nice, almost overdoing it. Hunting knife – that I didn't think I would need – into its holster in the right boot, pressing against my inner calf. Small 9mm into my left boot, inner ankle.
The circular explosive blades went into the pocket in the middle of my left thigh. The small thin knife that had been left just for me went into the thick black bracelet I use to hide my tattoo. It pointed out but that wouldn't be an issue. The Glock, of course, was still at my lower back.
I pulled my hair back in a pony tail. A few strands dangle into wavy curly, framing my face. Then I filled up a syringe with a substance that would keep Mr. Jacobs knocked out for hours. I put a plastic tip along the needle before letting it slide down my right outer calf pocket. I zipped up my pockets, the pants almost uncomfortably tight.
It's just the heat I tell myself.
I see myself in the mirror and decide I look much too pure for tonight's ventures. I brush on a healthy layer of mascara and eyeliner, drawing my finger underneath so it doesn't smudge. Jane is idling by the computer. Without saying a word I go over there, take the laptop, flip it close and smash it into the desk.
I hear Jane squeal and see her jump back. The destroyed heap falls to the floor. I grab my bag and walk outside, ready for a fight.
I take one dropping step at a time. The alley descends quicker than desired but tonight I don't care for those details. I stop at the bottom, leaning against the wall and pull up the binoculars. The adrenaline surged. My body tensed. I needed this. I only wished he could fight back.
With every passing human I had to lower the binoculars to my thigh, obscuring them from view. But people didn't notice me. Not even those walking down the same steps and passing me. I was invisible. The feeling had never been more wanted.
Just then… a man walking out. I grip the visuals tighter, zooming in. He looks around himself. Not necessarily in a paranoid way but it was a good act. I couldn't help the smirk that set on my face. I watched the man walk across the street. He walked past several cars, indicating he hadn't driven to the meeting that would officially make him a Brazilian native.
I dropped the binoculars and surfaced from my position. My steps were calm but determined. The man turned slowly. I pushed myself in between two houses, waiting ten second and then started up again. He wasn't close enough to hear my advances but if he saw me now and somehow spotted me later he would run. I wasn't up for chasing one man through all of Rio.
I wasn't taking any chances. It was more than likely he had "friends". And I needed to get to him before that. As if he heard my thoughts, the man abruptly turned up an alley. I halted and rushed up to my left, mirroring his movements only an alley apart. I sprinted, needing to get to the crossing before he did.
I peeked around the corner. Nothing. The adrenaline was leaving me and replacing it was fear that I might have lost him. But to my delight the man came up, panting heavily. He leaned over slightly, gripping his thighs. I watched the manila envelope in his hand. He started walking again and I got ready.
Never breaking contact from the target, my right hand slipped down to grab the syringe. The plastic protector quickly felt to the ground. I pushed out a little liquid, making sure no air bubbles would fuck this up.
Ten meters away.
I thrust myself forward, taking him by surprise. The man gasped, automatically backing up. I took two steps and was just about to plunge the needle in when his hand grabbed mine, squeezing until the syringe dropped. It fell and cracked against the stony ground. The man grunted and moved his whole body to push me into the house behind us. The breath was knocked out of me.
I had underestimated him.
So maybe I have more than one mistake but get down to it and I'm the best. Simple as that. I should learn to say that without sounding smug.
The man tried to outrun me. Stupid boy. He charged up a different alley but his diet and obvious lack of workout had failed him in the end. We got to a second landing, the rooftops' laying at our feet. I grabbed hold of his arm, twisted it and kicked him hard behind his knee.
The man shouted in pain, doubling over. I breathed harder, taking out my Glock and put it at the back of his head.
"You'll come along willingly." It wasn't a request. And I knew he heard that. But even so he played the stupid card. Why can't criminals be cleverer?
"Why are you doing this to me?" Is he crying? That would be a new touch.
"It's not nice to murder your wife," I said, dropping back to let him get up on his knees.
"I don't have a wife," he sobbed. I rolled my eyes.
"I'm emotionally damaged. Do you really think tears will help your case?" He sniffed.
"I don't know what you are talking about!" I smirked and picked up the envelope. He tried to clutch it back but I held it out of reach.
"Let's see what we have here." His mouth set in a grim line, all pretenses gone.
"Mario Laguerta. Seriously? You're whiter than me for fucks sake."
"Who are you? FBI? CIA?"
"What's with people and thinking I'm CIA?" I sighed. "But since you broke my needle you'll have to go along willingly." He laughed.
"I won't ever go with you."
"Will it help if I threaten your kids and grandchildren?" His face froze before laughing again.
"I don't care," he whispered menacingly.
Looks like we'll be crossing that bridge.
But it wouldn't be by me.
One second the man known as Porter Jacobs sat on his knees smirking and laughing at me and then the left side of his face was blow off. I felt blood platter on my skin. I drew back automatically, watching the tiny specks of red on my arms before looking up at the perpetrator.
My breath was caught.
Edward appeared out of the shadows of a nearby alley. You probably think my first thought would have been to run to him, ask him… anything. Any menial questions they ask in the movies during times like these. But that's not what had my stomach churning.
Jane was watching. She saw the shot. She sees him.
As if on cue, not five seconds after the man on the floor had been shot to pieces a piercing explosion echoed in the air. For another second neither of us spoke. Then Edward looked down slowly, watching a trail of blood pool along his dark blue shirt. And then he fell.
I must have been in shock. It's the only reason I remained still until I could hear Jane in the background.
"Did you see that?" she yelled triumphantly. I turned my head slowly, feeling my skin boil. "I actually hit! I should have taken-" the heel of my palm connected with her nose, pushing the bone until a crack.
Her eyes clenched shut, tearing up. I grabbed a handful of hair and shoved the side of her face into a cement wall. Jane fell to the ground, unmoving. But I doubted she was dead. Pity.
Next I rushed over, falling to my knees, opening his shirt to see the severity. I reach behind me and tear off Mario Laguerta's shirt, keeping it steady to stop the flow.
"Edward?" I whispered. He didn't answer. My heart beat faster. Putting a shaking hand to his neck I felt a pulse. Thinking I would faint just by feeling that weak but definitely there pulse, I try to regulate my breathing.
My hands are shaking badly as I reach to take out the cell phone, but my hand stop immediately. They would screen the call. I can't let them know.
Keeping the shirt pressed to his ribs, hoping to fuck he doesn't have a punctured lung, I frantically turn my head around, feeling more and more panicked. I swallow, knowing I have to move or he'll die and I can't let him die.
I put a rock over the shirt before rushing down the street, trying to find anyone who doesn't look like they would shoot me. An older man walking towards his car would be ideal. I was sorry for having to do this but there was no other choice. I unhook my gun.
"Meu amigo. Ele levou um tiro. Você precisa levá-lo ao hospital." (My friend. He's been shot. You need to take him to the hospital) The man kept looking at the gun I was pointing at him. My bottom lip was trembling. I didn't have time for hesitation. "Por favor," (Please) I plead.
"Eu posso chamar você de uma ambulância." (I can call you an ambulance) I shook my head.
"Sem ambulância." (No ambulance) The man looked at me and somehow must have seen my desperation. He nodded and followed me up the alley I had come from.
He halts when he sees the dead man and Jane lying on the ground, unconscious.
"Bom Deus!" (Good God) he exclaims in a whisper. I throw off the rock and keep pressure on Edward's wound. He still has a pulse. There wasn't not enough blood to suggest a major artery was nicked.
"Que não é de seu interesse," (That is not of your concern) I threw back at the man. He helped me down and we gently lay Edward in the back of his car. I close the door and wait by the curve where the man moves around.
"Qual é o hospital mais próximo?" (What's the nearest hospital?) The man looks up and ramble out a name. I repeat it about ten times before nodding.
"Obrigado." (Thank you) The man only nods and speeds off.
I run back up to find both bodies pulling down my metaphorical shoulders. I take Jane and the envelope with Mr. Jacob's new identity and start for the car. Jane may look small but she feels heavier than me. Even so I get her up the last hill easier than I would have thought. There must be a lot of adrenaline in my system right now.
I drop her in the back and speed towards the safe house. Jane never wavers as I carry her inside, dropping her on the couch while rushing inside the bathroom to find an anesthetic. She was stirring and I couldn't have her waking up now.
I gave her the maximal limit of hallucinogenic serum before rushing back outside and drive back to the body. I park as closely as I can and heave until Mr. Jacob's is in the back as well. I drive much faster than appropriate when you have a dead man in the back.
Everything is happening so fast. Before I had been reeling for the possibility of a fight and now I'm driving for the docks where Mario wouldn't be found for at least a few weeks. Forensics are shit down here and even if they had it anything indicating me or Edward, it would be gone.
The harbor is dark, the water sloshing soundly. I abruptly stop the car, keeping it idling as I run back and flip down the trunk. I roll his body down until I hear a splash.
I breathe out, taking ten seconds just to breathe. The salty water clearing my head. My buzz was gone. The night had turned into something I didn't even know was a possibility. I don't know how I feel. I know we were supposed to leave with Porter Jacobs tonight. When we don't show up they'll know something went wrong.
In the way back I try to come up with a lie.
Obviously I can't tell them about Edward. I shot Jacobs. It's my responsibility. Jane was… collateral. She was right beside me. She was scared. She panicked. Jacobs threw her into the wall. I took my shot.
Yes. That could work. But she needs to believe it as well. And I need to convince her. That would be challenging. She already suspects me of something. All she needs is ammo to give straight to Aro and I'll be executed.
I've heard of people not following the orders. Some just disappear. We all know what happens but no one dares to speak of it. The thought that I could become one of them- I thought of Emmett. Would he care? Correction; Would he care enough to do something?
And what about Jasper, Charlie or Renée? And Edward? It was easier not to think about it but I couldn't play the ignorant card forever.
Sanity was coming back to me. I could feel my limbs again. And I needed to move.
The car slurred from its position; rushing me to the nearest hospital.
I peeled away the layers of dirt beneath my fingernails. I couldn't stand the sight. I barely had any nails to begin with and I was still bothered with dirt underneath them.
My eyes snapped up and I stood. Edward's eyes widened at my face. He tried to sit but I gently pushed him down. He was weak so it wasn't exactly a challenge. I sat down at the side of the bed, knowing I couldn't stay long.
"Hi," I start. Seems simple enough.
"How did I get here?" I licked my bottom lip.
"What do you remember?" He furiously rubbed his eyelids as if it would make him remember clearer.
"I don't know. I was getting-" I tilted my head. "Is he dead?" I nodded.
"Half his face was shot off. Yes, he is dead." He sighed.
"Shit." My brows scrunch. Edward gulps. "I wasn't sent to kill him. I was just collecting and then… he had a gun. In his shoe. He would have shot you. I- I didn't even think about it." I nodded, licking my lips again. "You shouldn't be here."
"I know. And you didn't shoot him. I did. In fact, you were never there. You had some bad paella and were sick all night long." He stared at me. "That's the official story and it needs to stay that way. Understood?" He nodded. I sighed in relief. "Good."
Pulling away fast – like ripping off a Band-Aid – I walked out of the room, turning at the door and never looked back as I walked down the hallway, trying my best to seem as genuine as when I would tell Jane the lie of what happened tonight.
AN: Sorry for being gone for-fucking-ever. And did you really think I would kill off Edward? Come on. If anyone's going to die it's… probably shouldn't continue that train of thought. I've had some wine. I also wrote this authors note a few days ago. I don't usually drink on Mondays.