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I can’t get those three words out of my head, it’s surprising how easily they slipped her mouth. How could she even say something like that, she doesn’t even know me. I mean yeah so we’ve shared a few moments and well we are being hunted together…but fuck, it doesn’t give her a reason to, love me.

A sigh escapes me, it’s fucked up, that I’m even thinking about this. What the hell do I care, whether she loves me, or not, as soon as I’m done with Howie and The Richardson’s I’m out of this joint. No looking back, I don’t exist to the world and that’s how I want to keep it. I don’t need love, or a woman…girl…kid in my life to make me happy. I was just fine before I came to this rundown town. I was just fucking fine.

The sun is barely coming out when we arrive in Greenville and to our luck, there isn’t a soul in sight, it could be that it’s about two in the morning. I keep driving through the main street, and onto the outstretched road leading to the ranch. In no less than fifteen minutes, we are pulling into the driveway.

I bring the bike to a halt and let her get off. She starts for the house and I grab her hand “You can’t just walk in there…we don’t know if one of those bastards are in there…”

“Jack it’s cold and I would like to put some pants on, before anyone else in town sees my ass…is that ok with you?” she sticks out her lip and crosses her arms.

I can’t help, but look her over again. Hell, if it was up to me, she could stay like that all the time. “Fine, just let me check it out first.” I hop off the bike and draw my gun, as I slowly make my way into the house. I keep Crystal safely behind me, I make sure to stay close to the wall and I put out my left arm behind me to block that stubborn woman, from trying to move ahead of me.

I carefully look around the corner, my gun pointing into the living room, no one is there. I proceed further, into the house. Checking room after room, I find nothing…the house is empty. We head up the stairs slowly, my gun is still drawn, I’m not taking chances. Pressing my hand against Crystal’s door, I swing it open, I quickly point my gun from one end of the room to the other. After going around and checking the entire room…another sigh of relief escapes me and I lower my gun. Thank fucking God, I’ve been thanking him a hell of a lot lately. “It’s ok…Crys.” I nod “You can change.“ I plop onto the side of her bed, slumping my shoulders against the headrest, I watch as she digs into her dresser.

She pulls on a pair of cute shorts, that don’t cover much…wait a damn minute…what the fuck? Did I just say the word ‘cute’? Shit, I need to get out of this damn place! My mouth falls open, as I watch her peel off my shirt, exposing her bare back. Quickly she slips on a tank top, then turns around…I look away, as if I haven’t been staring at her the past couple of minutes.

Pulling her hair into a pony tail, she lets out a sigh of exhaustion and relief “Wow…I feel so much warmer now.” she let’s out a yawn and crawls into bed, I reach over and cover her up. “Jack?”

“Mhm…” I sit back against the headrest.

“Are you like a spy or something? It’s just that…you killed that…” another yawn cuts her off “…man, without even thinking twice about it. You have that bag full of stuff, that…” I can see her eyes starting to close. I shouldn’t be surprised or worried that she’s asking me these questions, actually, she had taken her time to come to conclusions. I look back down at the kid and see that she is already snoring.

I can feel my own exhaustion trying to get the best of me, but I have to stay awake…I can’t allow myself to fall asleep. We will both be as good as dead, if I so much as close one eye. I set my gun on my lap, and get comfortable, leaning my head back. I have…to stay…awake.

The next thing I know, I strong smell of burning paper hits my nose. I struggle to open my eyes, and once I do, the only thing I can see is a figure standing at the foot of the bed, something flickering in their hand. After rubbing the grogginess from my eyes, I finally make out, Howie‘s face in the gleaming light of the fire….that son of a bitch is burning something…

I jump off of the bed, looking at what‘s in his hands “God damn it, you stupid mother fucker!” my brows furrow, as I realize what he‘s burning. “That’s mine you…” My voice gives out on me and I can’t finish my sentence. My file…the one that contains the answers to my life…everything that I’ve never known…up in flames, literally! Son of a bitch! While I stand there in shock, he doesn't even budge...watching the paper, flutter into ashes, with a mocking grin plastered on his face. I could kick his ass, no, I should kick my own ass for being such a bitch and never having the balls to just read the damn thing…now I’ll never fucking know.

You better believe he’s going to fucking pay for doing that shit. Just then, Crystal sits up in the bed and all three of us stare at the last traces of the file, float away, still burning slowly. It all seems to be happening in slow motion to me, or maybe it's just the way I'm reacting to everything. I catch Howie, raising his gun directly at the kid, from the corner of my eye and I shout at the her “Get down Crys…”

She looks up at me stunned, “What?” I have no time, just as he cocks his gun, I let my fist connect with his jaw. He stumbles backwards, losing hold of his gun and slamming into the dresser. I kick him in the fucking balls. He should be happy I don’t blow them off.

I hurry over to Crystal and grab her by the arms. “Listen to me…you have to find my bag…“ I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I can’t believe I’m about to say this… “Take this gun…don’t hesitate to use it, if you have to…I need that bag, Crys!” I gently shove her towards the door. I watch as she steps over the limp body “HURRY UP!” I yell.

To tell you the truth, I’m a little worried about sending the kid out there on her own, I don’t know who the fuck else can be down there, waiting for us. Hell, Nick could be part of all this for all I know. Just as I turn my attention back to the asshole, he dives towards me, giving me enough time to dodge him. This bastard thinks he‘s going to win this fight. Boy, is he wrong!

As he stumbles past me, I take the opportunity to jump onto his back and we both fall to the floor. I take a hold of his head and slam his face against the floor, once and then again. “Motherfucker…who the hell sent you? Why the fuck are you trying to kill her?“ I get up, and stand over him. Swiftly I flip his ass over, gripping him tightly by the collar, I pound him into the floor again.

“They told me…you were the best…Jack. They were wrong…” He lets his leg connect with mine, making me lose my balance and crash into the wall. “Oh and Don’s pissed” He snickers, standing back up. He takes a couple of steps towards me, and swings at me, letting me have his fist right in the eye. I lunge at him and we slam against the dresser, almost knocking it over.

Crystal comes into view “Jack…” just as I let him have one right in the throat. I hear him gasp for air as I turn to look over at her, my bag is over her shoulder.

She tosses me the gun, and I catch it, just in time to whack him with it across the jaw. I’m satisfied and my grin shows it, as I hear his jaw crack and he crumbles to the floor. I pin him down, before he can even get back up and I look up at the kid…here’s another thing I can’t believe is about to come from my mouth… “In that side pocket, is another pistol…get it out.”

Without a second thought I let him have a blow to the head, by the sound of it and his stillness, he must have blacked out. I stand up, as she pulls the gun, from my bag. “Crystal…” she doesn’t respond, as she stares at Howie, laying on the floor. I stick my gun, back in its normal spot, then I take her face into both of my hands. “Look at me, Crystal” her eyes slowly, look up to meet with mine and I see so much confusion and fear in them.

“I‘m…scared Jack…” her hand trembles, as she grips the gun.

“Listen to me. I’m not going to let anything happen to you…I want you to go downstairs, into the pantry. Lock the door and stay there…don’t’ even think about opening the door for anyone. You got it?”

I shake her a little, until she nods her head sluggishly “But…what about you?”

I can’t help, but to let out a small chuckle “I’ll be fine, don’t even worry about me. I’ll be down as soon as I can…I’ll knock three times quietly and once loudly…so you know that it’s me. Please Crys…don’t open the door for anyone else or any other reason. You got it?” she nods again, licking her lips, I can tell that the kid is terrified. “Now go on...hurry up!”

I watch her walk towards the door, and she suddenly turns around “Jack…” she runs up to me and wraps her arms around my neck. Right this minute, I don’t have that feeling of pushing her the fuck off of me. I’m not sure why she’s even hugging me, hell, I’m not planning on dying just yet. I didn't even realize my arms were wrapped around her, until she steps away from me, and I see my arms still extended. “Be careful Jack…”

The kid swallows hard and then rushes down stairs, all I can hear is the pitter patter of her feet making way to the kitchen. I let out a deep breath…what the fuck was that…did I seriously just hug her back? I’ve never hugged anyone, from what I remember…I better get the fuck out of this town. The corner of my eye catches movement, as Howie slowly comes back to.

I stand over him, contemplating on what I will beat out of him, before I let him die. Actually, I need to decide on how to kill him, I’m tired of all this physical shit, I’m used to being miles away, when I get rid of my targets.

He let’s out a groan as he tries to get up, but falls back onto the floor. “You can’t…get out of…this one Jack. You’re a dead man…and so is the girl.” he continues to mumble things, but I can only make out certain shit he says. “You broke the rules…”

I point the gun at his forehead “Shut up you bastard…shut the fuck up! You…piece of shit. Don sent you didn’t he…” I let him have my foot right in the ribs. He let’s out a cry as I do it again “Just answer the fucking question! Don sent you to kill the girl. Why?” I can tell he’s not going to say a word, he already knows that he’s going to die, either way, therefore he doesn’t give a shit.

“You went and fell in love with the target…” his laughter is muffled, by the carpet.

I don't understand, why everyone thinks that she is the target. I called Don, explaining the whole situation with the Richardson’s, why are they confusing her with the damn target. “Get up…” I keep my gun pointed, as I watch him get up. “Turn around…” he turns to face me, there is no trace of fear in his eyes, nothing, but satisfaction.

I still can't decide on how to get rid of his ass, there is always the regular, throwing him out the window, choking him, beating him to death or my favorite, shooting him right in the forehead. I would like to do all of them, but I don’t have the time for that shit. My thoughts are interrupted as I fly out of the room, and slam into the hallway wall. I hear the clank of my gun hitting the floor.

“Whose gonna die now bitch?” Howie says, nudging his whole arm into my throat. I look to the sides and realize we are right on the edge of the stares, my adrenaline rush finally kicks in, and I let him have a jab in the ribs, and another in the gut. He folds over and I kick him on the side, sending him tumbling down the stairs, I’m not sure if that will do the trick, so I pick up the gun off the floor and aim.

He lands face down, with a loud thud at the foot of the stairs, his body sprawled out and his head on the first step. I watch him closely. Then suddenly his head lifts up “She is…” he mumbles, but I don’t let him say anything else, since I pull the trigger. I watch as the bullet hit’s him right between the eyes and flies out the back of his head, leaving a disarray of blood all over the place.

"Whose dead now bitch!" I mumble.

With a loud sigh, I take a seat on the top step, the kid can wait for another minute or two. I rest my elbows on my knees and run my free hand over my face, avoiding my swelling eye. How the hell did I get into this? I lick my lips, only to get a coppery taste in my mouth. This was supposed to be just another assignment, and now…

Here I am infatuated with a girl, that‘s brought nothing but danger to me, or maybe I‘ve brought it to her. I found out my real name, which was kept from me, all this time. In the span of twenty four hours, I’ve killed two men, that in the normal world, would have been my coworkers. Then, I can’t forget that WE are being hunted down, cause for whatever reason, the kid is on someone's list. Plus I had all the answers to my life in my fucking hands, and now they are nothing but scattered ashes in that bedroom.

Ain't that a bitch!

Chapter End Notes:
Thank you once again Kristal for getting me on a roll. love ya *hugs*