Disclaimer: I do not own Human Target and intend no copyright infringement.
A fierce kick to his knee out of nowhere, followed straight by a devastating crowbar blow to his upper arm, sent him tumbling sideways and backwards at the same time. He lost his footing on the debris-cluttered abandoned garage's floor, spun around, got hit directly in the solar plexus – there went his weapon – and crashed face first into a brick-built windowsill. His chin felt like it was split wide open and it started bleeding immediately, but that was the least of his problems.
Junior looked up and sure enough, the bodyguard was pointing his weapon straight at him.
So this was it. He kind of had it coming, hadn't he? Well, at least the guy could aim well and didn't seem to get off on other people's pain. It wouldn't be much of a mess.
"Get up", he barked at Junior.
He was not going to kill him while he was on his knees? Junior would have never thought something like that would matter to him in the end, but it did. He slowly stumbled to his feet, wondering briefly if he should try one last attack but gave up the thought even before it was fully formed. The guy had beaten him flat out. Period.
"Now turn around and run!", he ordered him.
Junior was puzzled. Did he want to shoot him in the back? Some people liked to leave trademark wounds on their victims, was that it? Did this one shoot everyone in the back?
The bodyguard waved his gun impatiently. "Your assignment is over. The police is already knocking on your client's door. Now run!"
Junior's face was still one big question mark.
The older man shook his head. "You don't get it, do you? Nobody deserves to die." He waved the weapon again.
Finally Junior unfroze. He took a tentative step towards the exit, then another and then he was rushing out the door, still not fully able to believe his luck.
"Tell your boss Christopher Chance said hallo!", was the last thing he heard before he dashed out of that place and down the street as if the devil himself was after him.
… … …
It felt a little like cheating on Guerrero. And even more so when Junior came home and unexpectedly found his friend at the kitchen table of his apartment, picking noodles from a Chinese take away box with plastic chopsticks. Of course he sensed immediately that something was off.
"Everything okay, dude?"
"Yeah, everything's fine", Junior replied as casually as possible, quickly hiding the envelope he had received from another tracker in exchange for a ridiculously high amount of cash.
Guerrero rested his steely blue eyes on him for a moment so long, it almost brought Junior on the verge of confessing, but then he shrugged and returned his attention to the food.
If the old man hadn't gone totally ballistic at the mention of the name "Christopher Chance", Junior maybe wouldn't have started digging, but that and that damn sentence that kept reverberating in his mind had kept gnawing at him till he engaged a colleague of Guerrero's. Not quite as brilliant at gathering information as his friend, but he had come up with something. Curious, Junior skipped through the envelope's contents as soon as he was sure Guerrero was sound asleep on the couch in the living-room.
Guerrero, pretending to be sound asleep, heard Junior rustle with paper in the kitchen. He was behaving kind of weird lately. Guerrero wondered if he should be concerned, but decided against. Junior was still a bit rattled from the encounter with that bodyguard in San Francisco, but considering how reckless and easy-going his friend was, that effect would surely wear off soon.
… … …
It was one o'clock in the afternoon and Junior was dressing up in front of a stained mirror in a cheap hotel in the outskirts of San Francisco's Western Addition. As he adjusted his tie, the tiny scar on his chin caught his attention. It had been a part of him for two years now, he hardly noticed it anymore, but today was different. Maybe it was because he was in San Francisco again, maybe because the Tenderloin was only a few blocks away. Christopher Chance holed up there, at least according to the information he had received from that tracker.
For a very brief moment Junior imagined he could just go there, knock on his door and have a few beers with him. He'd like to ask him a question or two. There had been a bodyguard named Christopher Chance in Minneapolis, died 1927, one in Nashville, died 1954 and another one in Brooklyn, died 1975. Who were all these people? He'd also love to know how he had managed to piss the Old Man off so completely that they weren't even allowed to say his name around him.
But most of all: Why hadn't he killed him? "Nobody deserves to die…" Really? Not even he, Junior, who had killed so many and was about to kill another one in a few hours time?
Junior sighed and pushed the questions away. He had a job to focus on.
"Conrad Hall, Assistant US Attorney", he practiced.
AN: Thank you, arriba, for leaving a comment on early morning call! Glad you like it!