His fingers danced across the surface of my naked body, leaving a trail of goose bumps behind. I closed my eyes, felt his breath on my flushed skin. Tears were streaming down my cheeks; Damian whispered into my ear, asked if anything was wrong. I shook my head. I didn’t want to talk, didn’t want to think. River’s voice was inside of my head; a constant reminder of how little time I had left.
“You fuck him yet?”
“Well, that’s a first. You ain’t telling me you actually like this one? … Katelyn!”
He always called me Katelyn when he wanted me to listen. He knew I hated my real name, in fact, there was little River didn’t know about me. He suspected me of having feelings for Damian, told me it would jeopardise the job if I did. But I’d lied to him, told him I didn’t.
“Good, ‘cause you know falling in love with him don’t do you no good. Always makes the killing part a bit awkward; and much harder than it needs to be.”
Of course, River was right; he always was. I knew that it had to be done, but I didn’t want this night to end, not just yet. I’d fooled myself into believing there was a chance of a normal life with Damian. Maybe in another life there was.
I got out of bed and sat on the window-sill. It was a full moon and I smiled when I thought of how River always said that’s when he had the best sex. After a while of looking down the empty street, I looked back at Damian. The sheets were draped over his body, drops of sweat lingered on his skin, a faint smile still on his lips. Although I didn’t want this, although I started to maybe even love him, there was nothing I could do. I’d already made this harder than it needed to be. After what seemed like hours, I moved towards my clothes and took my Browning in my right hand.
My heart was beating at its normal rate, like always. I took off the safety, took a last look at Damian while I twisted the silencer on the gun. Tears were in my eyes again, but I held them back. There was no room for emotions here and that’s how it would always be. When I fired the gun, the soft pop sounded so very familiar; it made me feel at ease again. I got dressed and left the apartment without looking over my shoulder. I just couldn’t bring myself to look.
When I arrived at River’s hotel room, my tearstained face must have said enough. He just let me in and poured me a drink.
“He’s dead,” I whispered.
River didn’t joke about it this time. He knew I’d been lying last week. He simply repeated his number one rule:
“Do not get personally involved, do not fall in love.”
“I know, River. But he was…”
“Special, darling? They ain’t special. They’re just hits, nothin’ more. No matter how they make you feel. The only thing that’s special is you and me. In a few weeks time, you won’t even remember him.”
I allowed River to undress me and I got into bed with him. It was a full moon and River was always right. He was the only one that ever truly made me feel like this, even though I kept fooling myself that somebody else might be able to make me feel like that too. Truth is, nobody could.