Kissing the Killer(7)

By: B. B. Hamel

And I was sure they had raped and killed those poor fucking girls once they were through with them.

“Well, you don’t hurt girls,” Dante said. “Lots of guys have talked about it. You refuse to kill wives and daughters. Pisses people off, you know.”

I shrugged. “So killing women leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

“Seems odd. You go from protecting them to stealing one for fun.”

I narrowed my eyes. “I don’t protect them,” I said. “I do my fucking job.”

He held up his hands. “No arguments from me, kid. You’ve been one of the best guys we got.”

“So what are you saying here, exactly?”

“He just thinks it’s odd, is all,” Abram said.

I glared at Abram. “You talk for him now?”

“Boys,” Dante said. “Look, Brooks, you want this broad? Have her. You know it’s a perk of the job. Just take care of it when you’re finished.”

“I will,” I said, looking back at Dante.

“Okay then. How’d the hit go otherwise?”

“Guy’s dead,” Abram said. “Nobody saw us come in or out.”

Dante looked at me. “Brooks?”

“What he said. Went clean.”

He nodded. “Good shit, boys. Another job well done.” He reached into his jacket and pulled out two envelopes. He tossed them onto the table in front of us. I grabbed mine and glanced inside: fresh, crisp hundred dollar bills.

“A little extra this time,” he said. “Because of the war, the big bosses want to keep us grunts happy. They’re spreading it around a bit more than usual.”

“Can’t complain,” Abram said.

“Thank Gian for me,” I said.

Dante stood up and we followed. He nodded at the two of us. “Well, it’s fucking late and I’m not as young as I used to be, so get the fuck out.”

Abram laughed. “Don’t gotta tell me twice. Brooks, enjoy the girl,” he said. “Give it to her good for me, will you?”

I tried not to fucking punch the sick fuck in the nose. Instead, I just grunted something and turned away, heading out.

“Brooks, hang back. Good night, Abram.”

Abram nodded and then disappeared through the door. I crossed my arms, money in my hand, and faced Dante. I wondered briefly if I could outdraw him. Probably could, though I bet it wouldn’t come to that. I could kill him easily enough with my bare hands if I had to.

“I need something from you,” Dante said.

“What’s that?”

“Got a security job. Gian requested you specifically. Pays double than normal.”

“Okay. Can’t exactly turn that down.”

Dante frowned. “One thing, though maybe it’s not a big deal now that you’ve taken yourself a girl. You’ll be protecting a shipment of whores, girls from back home who need a job here.”

I clenched my jaw. “Selling girls?”

“You know we are. Have been for a long time. But lately we’ve been having issues. You’ve heard of the new gang in town?”

I nodded. Everyone had heard of new mysterious group that had seemed to show up overnight a year or two back. They only ever attacked the mobs. Italian or Latino or Russian, it didn’t matter. They wore all black, black masks, and they all had spiders tattooed on their hands.

Nobody knew much about them. We’d never caught any alive. But they seemed to love killing and stealing from the mobs, and they seemed to do that exclusively.

“Sure,” I said. “The Spiders.”

“Yeah, well, they’ve been targeting our girls. We need some extra muscle. Normally I know you don’t got the stomach for this sort of shit, but maybe I was wrong about that.”

Fucking shit, he was right. Normally I would have turned this job down, said no outright. I never worked on the girl jobs, never wanted to get involved in fucking human trafficking. Even if Gian asked for me specifically, I just didn’t work those fucking jobs. And because I was so good at what I did, I got away with it.

But now I couldn’t exactly turn away from it. I couldn’t afford to look suspicious now that I’d taken a girl.

“Yeah. Okay, boss,” I said. “I’ll do it.”

He stepped closer to me, a dark look crossing his face. “You have to kill that girl, Brooks,” he said. “You know what happens if you don’t?”

“You don’t have to explain it to me.”

“Say it.”

“If I don’t kill the girl, you’ll send two guys just like me to kill us both.”

“Exactly. You’re a damn good soldier, and you’ve gotten a lot of leeway because of that. Don’t fuck up now.”

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