by Jewls Winter
all rights reserved
So I knew this guy once.
How many stories start like that?
Too fucking many.
So I knew this guy once.
I didn't promise him anything.
I told him even less, really.
He had dark eyes and behind those eyes there was always the scheme of taking over the world, of doing something great.
It was that shit that got us in trouble.
We were gangsters.
I deserve whatever it is I'm getting.
Did I mention Dark Eyes had some shitty habits? Aside from the stuff that got me shot.
He told me not to die. I always did try to do what he told me.
Back to his crappy habits.
He sold sperm. He had enough of it, I guess.
I miss him.
Did I mention he had dark eyes? His hair was always trimmed so neat, proper. He cleaned up nice in a suit too. Damn fine in a tie.
He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, shoulders hunched even though he wore no coat. It had been a mid-January day, the last time he'd seen Kay. He leaned against a light post, hands in his pocket, fair sand colored hair blowing over his face. He wore jeans, faded with white tufts of unravel over one knee. His tee-shirt, his favorite, so he was glad he'd worn it on that day, was a black cotton thing with a silver demon screen printed on the front. Eyes closed, Sin could just let the world pass him by. People walked back and forth. Fashions changed. Time went on and it was comfortable, more or less, just normal for it to always be January.
Like a spark of static, not exactly cold, but flashing like cracking ice, and his eyes snapped open.
The woman pressing the walk light had long black hair, knotted at the nape of her neck. She wore a dark blue kimono jacket and blue jeans, the kind that were more for dress than work. She bit her lip and looked in his direction without seeing him, just like everyone else.
He pushed off the cold metal pole, crossed his hands under his arms, hiding them from the cold.
When she walked into the street, he followed. His long legs easily let him keep up with her.
She caught a taxi. He caught it with her, chewing on his thumbnail, one bent knee on the seat as he turned to watch her.
I know you... I just don't know how. How do I know you?
She rested her forehead on her palm.
"Where to?" The cab driver asked.
"710 Marshall," she said. She leaned back, running a hand through her hair.
Sin closed his eyes too. The scent in the cab, close to her, from her warmth, life, and he knew.
Kay. You're Kay's little sister.
"Hard day," the cabbie asked.
"It was the fifth anniversary of my brother's death. I can't believe he's dead. They never found his lover's body. They were so stupid." She covered her face. "My brother was so smart. He could have been anything, the jerk. He's never going to see his nephew. I'll never take my baby to see his grave stone. That's what he gets."
"Must be tough," the cabby switching lanes. "How'd he die?"
"Shot through the head. He was in a gang."
Sin inched a little closer, his head reaching towards her belly. She didn't show yet. He hadn't realized she was pregnant. She hadn't been old enough when he'd seen her last, which had been at least a couple of years before... that day.
"Gangs are stupid." The cab glided around the corner, merged with traffic, edged towards the far turning lane.
"Yeah," she said, her own hand going to her belly, passing right through his. Her head snapped in his direction, eyes as dark as Kay's pinning him like he was no more than a fluttering butterfly. "He was gay, my brother. I always promised I'd share my children with him and his lover. I thought it would make them... stop, you know? Does that make any sense? I mean, I guess, I didn't really understand them, but you love someone and it makes you think you know them."
"Oh, yeah," he said. "So they never found his lover?"
"It was on the wharf." She looked away from Sin, down to her bag. Around one of the straps hung a little anime trinket, a funny looking cat that was meant to hang from a cellphone, but Sin remembered giving it to Kay's little sister, promising her he'd be there to protect her. "They think his body washed out to sea. I put a marker for him right next to my brother's. Do you believe in an afterlife?"
"Well, you know, an afterlife can be bad too, depending on what you believe in," he said, eyes on the road.
"Kay and his lover," she said, leaning back a little, smiling, "They were good people. If there is a god and all those fluffy clouds, maybe they're his enforcers. I suppose angels don't get submachine guns."
"Maybe they're doing something more peaceful now."
"I hope they're happy. I'm sure they're together. It's funny how.. how I wish I could have found his body. It's not him. I mean, he's dead, so there's nothing there anymore, but I still want that empty shell to put next to Kay."
"I'm sure that means a lot to him. Where ever he is."
The rest of the cab ride took only minutes.
There's this feeling... when some shit's gonna come down I had it that day. I knew we shoulda done something else, but things just don't really work that way. Shit comes. You kick it as good as you can. Lane, yeah, that was her name. Lane.... if this is where she lives, it's a real nice building. I shoulda visited sooner.
Lane moved her bag up higher on her shoulder, took a deep breath, and moved on towards her building.
The bad feeling in Sin's gut turned out to be an old friend. Older, a pair of gold teeth, and Lane didn't even see him coming. She stiffened as he pressed against her back, pistol at her waist, hidden by his long coat. "Hurry up with the door. Smile or you'll be seeing your brother sooner than next year. Don't yell."
The door gave, opening and letting them both into the narrow, pristine lobby. His hand skimmed up her throat, rough over smooth, pulling her head back as she sucked in breath.
"What do you want?"
"I want the last six years of my life back," he snarled, forcing her into the elevator. "Your faggot of a brother turned federal wise guy, but I bet you didn't know that, did you? It's no wonder someone offed his ass before I got out, but I was waiting. I almost had you last year, but I thought I saw Sin. I'm sure I saw his fudge packing ass, but the bastard got away from me."
"Sin's dead," Lane said, relaxed in her captor's arms. "I'm pregnant. Do you really want to hurt a baby?"
"Yeah, but you ain't pregnant enough that I'm gonna kill you right away," he said, lust thick in his voice.
"There's a video camera in this elevator. You'll get caught."
Sin licked his lip, thoughtful, too focused and cunning to feel any emotion at all. His old friend had grown careless, or maybe he just underestimated his prey. It would be so easy, and Sin did it, stepped into the same space Lane occupied. Her body was smaller, full of strange sensations, but he'd long grown very good at focusing on the task at hand. Shift, grip, pivot, and aiming a gun came very easy, even with the unfamilar muscles. He grinned, and god it felt good to grin.
"Sin?" His old buddy's face went pale as an empty wallet.
"The dying see the dead real good, don't they?" Sin sneered.
The elevator door opened like it was moving in slow time, but there was still blood spray in the air, passing through to land on the nice gray carpet, on the sweet polished shoes of Lane's husband.
He screamed too. I heard his ass. It was all on tape though. It's not like she's gonna get into trouble. It's funny... how light I feel now.
At the end of the all, sunlight, brilliant like July, nothing at all like January, broke through the mundane posh of Lane's building. The sillouette there, short dark hair, crisp button up shirt, creased slacks, that was better than sunlight. With the light so bright behind it, Sin had trouble seeing for sure, but when the figure held out a hand, he took it. Pulled into the light, it was loving dark eyes searching his face.
"You took your time," Kay complained.
"I just had something to do. It was important."
Kay pulled Sin close, holding him tight. Both of them watched down the hall as Lane's husband held her close too. For one tiny second, Sin thought she looked their way, but even if she had there's just a time to move on. Kay's arm around his shoulder, he let his lover walk him into the warmth, the golden light. "You're going to love it here!"
"I get to be with you?"
"I waited for you didn't I?"