A short story written for an assignment in a writing class.
I'm not actually sure of its category so maybe someone else can tell me.
It was half past two and there he stood, greying beard withering on a blank face. A shallow breath escaped at the intervals between each screech in his direction from the woman across the table. Dirty blonde hair curling down to her shoulders, frizzy and disheveled, with segments going part way across her face. Her hands quaked in ferocity as did his body to every thump of his heart. Every beat hanging on every word.
It wasn't anything past the usual; these half night, half-morn battles had raged from the time he was in his eighteenth year. Though, back then, it was a different hate. On they would be in their lover's quarrel, with half the world staring at them horrified for their safety. She would wave guns furiously, and there he'd be, knife to her neck, red in his eyes. Oh, it was the glorious times they'd always speak about in today's time right before bed. It was always right when the blade had begun sinking into her; when she'd already left a bloody hole in his leg, that the lust would overcome them.
She was the daughter of the Don, and he couldn't have given less of a crap about the repruccussions. And she loved him for it.
But on this night, he stood silent in the midst of the battle. And she pleaded, battlecries louder than any night before; harrasing yet not fully committing her forces. It was a sight she wasn't familiar with. He was the man who carried with him an ego bigger than all the assholes she hated put together. She'd rejected him so many times that it stopped becoming a spectacle for everyone when she lashed out at him at the lavish gatherings they attended so much in their youth. This of course was past the times when he and the Don were on opposite standing. Past the times when her father would send his goons, and she would bring their reckoning, casted in blood upon whatever weary setting they saw fit to challenge the life she saw fit to claim.
This was in a new time, when the Don saw fit to give the one who sparked the ferocity in his daughter the benefit of the doubt. Or rather, when the possibility of putting him on leash became impossible because of his unwillingness to send a bullet with his daughter's name on it.
And through their years, a shallow mark the size of her hand had left an imprint on his face, and a permanent scar made its home on the side of her neck. She'd grown bashful and crude; he'd grown forgiving and aloof; one not to pursue, but flow. And every nonchalant sigh, every cocky glance, every impudent compliment brought on more their hated love. It was the honest-to-God truth when he looked her in the eye on their wedding day and said that there was no one who could ever make him feel as strongly for something as she made him feel for her. And she looked back in his direction and smiled, for no one could ever piss her off enough to warrant the creative bash of insults she would send his way.
The life he now led was a result of her decisions. He wouldn't see it that way. But within every ounce of anger she slung in his direction was a plea for forgiveness. Filling in the roar of the red river was a waterfall of her tears; her breaking heart. His bloody hands washed within her tides.
It went back to the days of their youth when he was nothing but a free flowing man with a spark for passion. A mere contract killer through her eyes, and a man making a living through his own. And within him, she saw emptiness, and it was then that she involved him in many of her own schemes. Scams, laundering, grifting.
She looked innocent enough at that age. It was the hazy blue eyes that always enriched her admirers. They saw her dazzling outfits, her trendy hairstyles, her perfect set of whites, her curvy thin figure, and most of all, they heard the pleasure in her voice, a trick she'd learned to easily get on a man's good side. They saw a dove in danger. But this dove was a mastermind of her own. And she wasn't afraid to get blood on her hands.
She would involve him in many of her games, edging him along enough to get him in, but far enough into darkness that he would have to make improvisations to keep from prison. And she would watch from a distance how his mind worked in the tightest of situations. And she would watch him put everything together, and she would relish in the anger he brought upon her. And she would look him directly and the eyes, smile fading when his temper set his grip upon her neck, and whisper,
“You loved it, didn't you?”
And all at once, he would shift.
On a usual night, he'd bellow at the top of his lungs while she bawled curses, matching word for word the truths of their undenying reality. It would start from the kitchen, make its way to the dining room, then onto the guest bedroom, then to the courtyard, to the balcony, the bedroom, the upstairs living room, the bar, the pool, the stairway, the bathroom. She would snort when the words started ringing the buzz; he would sip when her voice would rattle the glass.
And now, on this night, she stood yelling at the top of her lungs, with no more surprises coming her way. The anger that revealed his inwards had hidden itself, and the emptiness she couldn't cure presided fully around him.
On this night, he recognized his own mortality.
He walked closer to her slower than he ever had before, and that made her nervous. He put his arms around her more carefully than he ever had before, and it frightened her. He hugged her tighter than he ever had before, and the pain was so much, that she could do nothing but cry on the chokes of her screams. And after several minutes had passed, he whispered to her,
“I loved every minute of it.”
And she knew.
Up he got, still she sat. Away he turned, still she sat. On he walked, still she sat. The door closed behind him and he walked out of the black gate that would no longer secure him. He walked down the road that carved through mountains, across the valley men throw themselves into for fame and riches, and onto a small winding road where a bar sat alone in a small wooden shack. And in behind him walked his fate. Dirty blonde hair curling down to her shoulders, frizzy and disheveled, with segments going part way across her face. Gun in hand, tears in eyes, promise in heart. And as the flash blinded him to life, his final moments passed by him, and he knew who the next victim would be. And in the final moments of his life, he heard a bang.