I didn’t slow down as I emerged from the labyrinth of alleys. Instead, I kept running down the sidewalk until the ghetto was well behind me. Only when it was and I knew I’d lost everyone did I finally let myself walk.
I couldn’t keep from smiling as my heart continued to race. That had been exactly what I needed. Styx had pissed me off at first, but it was worth it.
My stomach growled as I worked to blend in with everyone else walking down the sidewalk. The adrenaline rush I got from killing always made me hungry.
I glanced around, looking for a restaurant, but didn’t see anything that looked edible. A hippy place that advertised vegan food in big, bold letters across its window almost ruined my appetite. I wanted a nice, bloody steak, or maybe a burger. None of that hippy shit was going to work for me.
My hotel was close, so I decided to go back and order room service, instead. I figured it would give me a chance to shower before eating, anyway, which sounded good.
It only took me about three minutes to make it back to the hotel. As I approached the entrance, I noticed that everything seemed a little brighter. The sun had finally managed to break out from the clouds. The city was still a hellhole, but things weren’t quite as bad as I had thought. Once we finished with our main job, I’d be off to better and brighter places. All I had to do was be patient.
I took the elevator back up to my floor and quickly walked down the hall. My shirt clung to me thanks to the sweat I’d worked up while running. Before I called for food or did anything else, the first thing I planned to do was strip.
I opened my door and stepped inside. As I flipped the light on and closed the door behind me, a sharp pain bit into my side. Then, without giving me a chance to move, something kicked me behind the knee and I dropped to the ground “Shit.”
I reached for my gun and tried to stand back up, but whoever had knocked me down pistol whipped me. “Don’t,” a woman’s voice said. “Reach for it and you’re dead.”
My face went red and I grit my teeth. The bitch thought she was going to jump me? As my blood pressure spiked, I felt warm liquid begin to spread at my side. I glanced down at it and realized I was bleeding. She’d stabbed me.
I looked back up and stared at the woman. She was a short Asian girl that couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen years old.
“Don’t move, Asshole,” she said.
“You really shouldn’t talk like that,” a man’s voice said from within my room.
I turned back around and looked at him. He was just some punk kid, too. Between his messy, black hair and his pale, stubble-less face, I didn’t think he was any older than seventeen at most.
“Shut up,” the girl said as she hit me with her gun again.
She was dead. As soon as I figured out how to get my gun, I was going to kill her friend. Then, I’d take my time with her.
“Do me a favor and don’t haunt me,” the boy in front of me said as he lifted a gun and pointed it at my face. “We let you do something good with your life at the end. That gang leader was a menace.”
If the piece of shit really thought he was going to kill me, he had another thing coming. There was no way in Hell he was going to—what did he mean they let me do something good?
A sudden realization hit me as my stomach dropped. The stupid clues. The random job. It hadn’t been Styx. The kids had me on my knees. They both had guns to my head. If they shot me, it would look like an execution. No. That couldn’t be right.
I reached for my gun and prepared to launch myself at the boy. I couldn’t let two kids kill me. There was no way the little shit had the stones to do it.
“Requiescat in pace,” he said as his finger tightened around the trigger. My eyes widened in surprise as I tried to move toward him, but his finger, and the bullet, were faster.