Her silhouette was the first thing the boss saw as he approached the cemetery gates. His heart clenched, the chill in the air more evident with every step he took towards her. It was cold, and the hairs on his arm stood on end, even through the thick blazer he wore. As his eyes, a false coloured red, fell upon the woman, his heartbeat sped.
The infamous gangster had not wanted to make this visit at all. In fact, he had talked himself out of it on many occasions, as had his usually supportive comrades.
"Why you gotta mess with her personal shit?" Pierce asked when he'd voiced his plan. Shaundi's reaction was no better.
"She helped kill Johnny," she'd said coldly. "So she lost someone in this war too? That's life."
But somewhere along the way to Friendly Fire this morning, he had persuaded himself to take the detour, and now he stood outside the graveyard on the day Viola DeWynter made her weekly trip. He wasn't too sure why he had even come – it was stupid to think he could be truly sorry for her loss. To him, it had just been another enemy taken care of at someone else's hands – his initial thought had been thanking Killbane for the favour.
But since the beauty had joined his crew, soulful eyes desperate to execute revenge for her sister, he began to re-think his ideas. A loss was a loss, no matter the side. If Viola had been with the Saints at the time of Kiki's passing, her funeral would have meant so much more. The boss was surprised to feel a jolt of something in his chest when he found out that Viola had been the only guest.
It must've been terrible, he thought. If nobody came to my crew's funeral, I'd be fucking pissed.
But the woman had shown no emotion, moving forward with dignity, toughening herself up to the task at hand; her mind was solely focused on vengeance. Whenever she got the manic look in her eyes, the one where her actions would be solely justified by revenge, the boss' heart would race. There's something damn hot about a psychopathic chick, and is she has to lose someone to become like this…well, we've all lost fuckers we know.
Clouds gathered around the city in clumps, filtering splashes of faint light through the fog. The greyness of the buildings mimicked the woman's attitude; her shoulders were low and her head was bowed.
The boss slowly approached her, taking in her tight black sweater and skirt; she looked as appealing as ever, but she held an edge too, as if wronging her now was not the best idea. She sniffed, and he spotted a small pink bouquet in her hands. She placed the flowers on the grave, her hand rubbing the smooth stone like one does the shoulder of a good friend.
"How is it up there, Kiki?" she whispered.
The boss felt he shouldn't be there. This had been a bad idea from the start; he turned to leave, twigs crunching under his feet. Viola darted around, large eyes alert, relaxing only a little when she saw her new leader.
"How long have you been there?" she asked through narrowed eyes.
"Long enough." His large red eyes locked onto the dark grave, the contact lenses irritating him.
Here lies Kiki DeWynter
May light reach your soul in Heaven.
"Did you need something from me? Something urgent? Couldn't you leave me alone for one day?" Tears brimmed in her eyes; she turned her back to him.
"Hell's too good for him," frowned the leader of the Saints. "I'll break the bastard's neck for what he did to Johnny's funeral, to Angel, for what he did to you… that fucker deserves no less."
She glanced up at him through the tears, swallowing the lump in her throat. He looks so determined. "It should've been me," she murmured. "She was so much better. Kiki didn't deserve this."
"How did it happen?" he asked hesitantly.
She smiled, but her eyes remained void of emotion. "She pushed him too far." The bitterness in her voice was sharp. "Called him by his real name once too often, and…" Her gaze drifted back to the cold prison.
"I'm sorry to hear that," he said, and for once, he actually meant it.
"I miss her so much," she whispered. "It's not the same without her."
"No, 'course not." The boss didn't know what else to say as the tears fell from her eyes, dark eye make-up running down her cheeks, controlled breathing vanishing. She wept for everything she had lost in this horrible, horrible game: her loyalties, her education, her dear sister. She would have, and in a sense already had, given it all up for Kiki.
The man hugged her tightly, insides tearing up at the sight of the woman hurting. He pulled her closer still; she buried her head in his neck and stifled the sobs. Why's he doing this? He hated her. He hates me.
She pulled away from him, and seeing the sincerity in his expression made her falter. Holding her at arms length, hands clasped around her shoulders, he wiped the black tears from her flushed cheeks and placed his mouth on her soft lips. Shocked, she pushed him away. He gave her an apologetic look and shrugged, turning to leave.
It was a mistake to come here.
Viola looked at the man, and reeled him back. She kissed him hard, running her fingers through his soft brown hair and down his smooth blue shirt, parting the blazer.
What would Kiki say? She envisioned her sister standing atop the grave, arms folded and foot tapping out a steady beat. Kiki would look at the kissing couple and frown, possible murmur something disapproving. But then she would shrug, and say, "What the hell, you could have done a lot worse."
Viola smiled into the kiss.
"What was that for?" he asked, breaking for air, grinning.
"Being an asshole and a sweetheart," she breathed. "But…" The grave caught her attention once more. What would Kiki say? "Not now. Not beside my sister."
"I'm sorry. I really am."
She looked at him with curiosity. "You've lost someone too, haven't you? Someone before Johnny Gat?" Unable to hold her gaze, he stared at the grass dampened by the morning's dew. The man did not want to admit his past failings as a leader. "Who was it?"
"Not who, but how many."
"More than one?" she gasped.
"First Lin, then Carlos, now Johnny…" Even saying the names brought back the pain. Holding a brave face, he continued. "I could've stopped them all. I got the motherfuckers who killed them, but it didn't feel…"
Viola stood taller, sensing the discomfort in the man's story. "Promise me this," she said, a new urgency in her voice. "If you get the chance to kill that asshole, you'll take it."
The man gave her a look. "You shitting me? 'Course I'll take it. I got my own deal with him."
"I'm serious." She grabbed him by the shoulders; he saw it in her eyes, a flicker of fear. "No matter what, you'll get him."
He didn't see her point, but nodded anyway. In a flash, the clouds parted, a surge of water falling from the sky. Viola sniffed again, realizing she had not brought protection from the torrential downpour. The boss pulled out a black umbrella and held it above their heads before the rain could mess with his companion's hair.
"How manly," she chuckled, half-joking.
"Ain't it just," he said. They both cast a final glance at the gravestone, Viola's eyes filling up again. The boss took her hand and squeezed it.
"I'll get him. We'll get him."
"Thanks," Viola smiled wanly; she kissed him on the cheek, freeing her hand from his grip and folding her arms. The raindrops created quiet thuds as they bounced off the brolly; the two allies walked down the footpath as the sky, too, mourned the death of Kiki DeWynter.