Posted in aiden cobb, chas andrews, crime fiction, hardboiled, mystery, noir, suspense, the big adios, thriller 1 comments
His eyes adjust to the dim room. She's not in bed with him. No sweat, he thinks, could be in the bathroom. Speaking of which he needs to go.
Pulling the covers to the side he rolls off the bed and lumbers to the bathroom. He flips the switch.
“Dammit,” he murmurs. It doesn't matter how toned-down the walls are to white light, it still fuckin' kills your eyes.
He catches the quick whiff of something. Mary Jane. Glancing down the sink has black ashes surrounding a small part of the rim. This really pisses him off; not that she did it, but left ashes behind. He could almost kill her for doing it.
Not that it matters; it's almost over anyway. Aiden knew the signs: kisses taste different. Her body reacts as if he's a stranger. Sex becomes a chore. The sheen there in the beginning is now gone. Body chemistry is a good indication of how someone really feels and he has been around enough times to know.
Where is she? Piss first, answer questions later. Aiming for the center he's certain that any moment she will roam by and disappear into the bedroom. The last drop hits the inner bowl. Not happening.
Reach under the sink. Pull out the gun with the silencer. Either he's going to scare the shit outta her or kill someone. Or both.
Flicking the switch off he walks into the bedroom. No one there. He turns right and heads into the living room.
Masking his steps he treads lightly across the carpet. It seems almost funny to him, like a scene in a movie where you're watching the guys doing a heist who don't notice the police are watching them do it. It's a lot like that if you subbed in a blond for the bumblers and a half-wake hitman for the cops.
There in her panties and his white shirt she crouches against the safe, bent down trying to crack it holding a mini-flashlight with her teeth and pacing a stethoscope next to the combination lock. The whole thing is damn hilarious.
He cocks the hammer behind her head and she nearly jumps. Actually the mini-flashlight drops out of her mouth and she turns as she stands up and seriously looks like she's about to shit a brick.
“Oh my God! It's you!” She puts her hand over her heart to either fake a heart attack or calm her heart down. “What the fuck are you doing sneakin' up on me like that?”
“I don't know, babe. What the fuck are you doing trying to crack a safe in the middle of the night?”
The words are unimportant because every sentence has that backpedaling sound to it. Every truth nestles itself between two lies and becomes exponential to the point of migraine. An acceptable answer would've been “Re-enacting a scene from 'Starsky and Hutch.'”
He keeps the gun pointed and stays a few steps away until she finishes explaining whatever she's saying. Again, more gibberish and not even an acceptable answer. He knows the answer; sometimes, it's just wanting to hear someone say it.
“How bad, babe?” He has that serious look.
“I dunno. I mean... I don't know...” She runs her fingers through her hair.
“Did you think the lucky lotto number was in there?”
“Is it? Because that would be...”
He raises the gun a little. “Let's talk about Thad.”
“I only met the guy once...”
“Enough to get you all stopped-up?”
She bites her lip and fakes thought. “Well, if Steven had delivered on what he promised, I wouldn't be in this mess! He promised me he had one of the most priceless things ever, and it's...”
Aiden shakes his head back and forth. “Not in there, baby.”
A moment of silence.
“Take my shirt off.”
She reaches for his arms. He presses the silencer into her chest.
“No. My shirt. The one you're wearing. Take it off.”
She slowly takes off the shirt, letting it drop to the floor. Quickly she grabs her upper arms and holds tight.
“Walk to the door.”
Her eyes grow big. She doesn't want to believe what he's suggesting.
“Now!” he snaps in clipped speech.
Tears stream down her eyes; he doesn't care if she cries all night. She walks to the front door and stops.
“Open the door and go outside.”
Her hand shaking she turns the knob and opens the door. A snap of air hits and a shiver runs through her body. The silencer nudges her lower back.
“Go down the staircase and across the the parking lot.”
“What?!?” She faces him. “I'm fucking freezing!”
“I'll give you one second before you imagine the words 'bullet' and 'brain.'”
Shivering and pissed, she turns and walks down the staircase to the parking lot. The steps are cold and aren't getting any warmer. Her left foot touching pavement is enough incentive to run across the lot.
It's a sight for anyone watching from the windows: a guy in boxer shorts with a silencer gun targeting a naked woman in her panties. Aiden gets some amusement out of it.