*Continued from Killing Softly, Part II
Sliding glass door shatters and a puff of down and cotton springs from a puncture through the bottom corner of the mattress. The lovers react instinctively without breaking their intercourse, though labia stretch uncomfortably for an instant. His right hand reaches for his pistol on the left night stand. She reaches for her pistol on the right.
They've been partners for three years now and have even spoken of marriage. Such a thing is unlikely, however, since their line of work would make the arrangement more dangerous for the both of them. But Jonathan Ferrari and Gemma Bianci are very much in love. As much now as they were three years ago.
Donnie had been right. The cliché fit. Violently lonely souls found peace in the violent hearts of each other. As she sleeps, silhouette reflecting blue-white glow from a filtered moon, he traces a finger from her nude thigh to her neck. She moans softly, dreamlike, and turns over onto her stomach. He gently kisses her between shoulder blades, then shifts her hair to the side and kisses again on the back of her neck.
He can't sleep and very much wants to make love, but she is exhausted from a harder-than-expected assignment and he takes care not to wake her. Instead, he places his head just below his pillow - his nose mere millimeters from her left shoulder - and inhales the scent of fading perfume interrupted by a hint of sweat.
There was a time in life in which he would not even allow himself to imagine such moments. He still doesn't really believe he's living this one.
Shards of glass begin their musical percussion on hardwood floor as ballistic zips permeate the room from two sides. Wet tongues maintain their taste of each other as silenced flashes from the ends of pistols return fire. With simultaneous quiver there is an acknowledgment - cognitive and carnal - that they are already dead.
Work had been difficult lately. A young enforcer began a power-play for Donnie's position and the body count kept getting larger. So tight was security that Donnie felt the need to bring in his assassins as body guards. He held off calling in Jonathan and Gemma - they were his best, after all - until he decided he had no other option. Their reputations, internationally renown among organized crime and law enforcement circles, helped to stem some of the attempts on Donnie's life, but not all of them.
Reactive defense quickly became aggressive offense and, though their protests remained silent, Jonathan and Gemma soon found themselves soldiers in a war happening in the shadows of New York and New Jersey. For a time, Jonathan and Gemma would continue to operate together - often accompanied by several others - but constant betrayals and shifting of loyalties forced Donnie to send them on different assignments at the same time. Neither minded to the point of refusal, having been solo operators before, but circumstance led to a drastic drop in the amount of time Jonathan and Gemma could spend in each other's company.
Donnie was aware of this, for it eventually reflected quite evidently in the moods of each, but there was nothing he could yet do about it, save cut them loose from their responsibilities. He wasn't willing to take that chance.
A 5.56 mm round tears through the flesh of breast and passes near the heart of the other. Crimson from exit wound sprays lover. The assailants move loudly and .45 caliber bullets blaze atmospheric paths towards any sound created by boot and foot. The legs of man and woman straddle each other, continuing to foster oscillating motions as adrenaline adds to lust and regret of dying reminds of love.
She massages his shoulders, careful to avoid the black and purple of the fist-sized bruise near the top-right of his ribcage. He loves her hands and their professional technique. And, in his case, their loving technique. The movements of her fingers and thumbs threatens both to induce sleep and elevate libido. As he adjusts his hips to make room for the encroaching discomfort, she gently rolls him over. His eyes are closed but he's smiling. Fingertips glide from chest to stomach; from stomach to inner thighs, then slightly higher. She removes her shirt in a smooth, almost choreographed transition, and she grabs him, drawing him into her in a seamless glide.
His eyes open and palms extend, just barely allowing erect nipples to brush them while her body begins its slow bounce. Watching her for a few moments - this, one of his favorite views - he slides his hands to her hips, palpating her buttocks and finding her ticklish spot on the rear-right of her pelvis. She squeezes him in playful response and he lets go, finding the urge to gasp overpowering.
Another bullet cracks scapula, pushing bodies downward for an instant, posture righting itself with an orgasm of life that will end in seconds. The kiss fades, replaced by embrace, neck to neck. Blood rushes from eyes in an attempt to keep bodies and lust alive. With their fading sight, attacking silhouettes are effectively engaged, ensuring that Orpheus and Eurydice will have plenty of fresh company in Hell.
Donnie enters the bedroom, unsure of how he'll react. The Handler was right. A massacre was expected and a massacre is what was delivered. Outside of the room are four dead. Inside are six more. Four enemy. Jonathan. Gemma. Were this anyone else, Donnie would take heart in the 8-2 score, but here the thought doesn't dare cross his mind. Even he's failed to realize how much he loved Jonathan and Gemma. They had saved him as much as he'd saved them.
Donnie runs out into the hallway, trying to catch his breath and fight back tears he didn't think existed. He slumps into a chair and pulls out a cigar and his cellphone. His fingers fumble the lighter and it falls to the floor. He's shaking too badly and knows he won't be able to retrieve it.
The cigar thrown across the room, Donnie finds that neither can he dial the number. Holding down voice-dial, he commands, "Call Handler."
A few rings.
"Send in the boys. I can't do it." Donnie hangs up.
He closes his eyes, a numbing sadness forcing a sense of sleep he's not had since he was too young to remember. In his mind, he snaps a photograph of Jonathan and Gemma posed in their final moment of life.
Lovers until the end. Covered in blood. Eyes open, pistols in hand, bodies locked in coital embrace.