Jessica watched Chad over her paint smudged canvas as he hiked up the trail to Goat Rock. His muscular thighs pumped up and down with the rhythm of the crashing waves below. Same time, same trail, again. Repetitious behavior was sloppy for someone in their line of work.

Hidden below the half squished tubes of cadmium red and viridian paint, lay her weapon. There was a clean shot, but something held her back. Chad looked more familiar than her month long surveillance allowed. His piercing blue eyes held her gaze. Tightness spread across her gut. Instead she picked up a paintbrush and splattered cobalt blue across the canvas. As fine art it sucked, but she wasn’t that kind of artist.

“Hi, Jessica.”

The tightness grew. Never let a hit get close, ever. It was drilled into her, yet she allowed him to walk up and look at the canvas. Her fingers ached to grab her weapon.

“I thought assassins were supposed to kill people, not art.”

Her mouth felt dry. “What do you want?”

“You always were direct. Do you know why they’re after me?”

“You reneged on a contract, and we’ve never met.”

Chad sighed. “Actually we have. They didn’t name the hit until after I agreed.”

“Not my concern.”

“It should be, little sister.” His hand brushed across her face. The familiar gesture caused images to flash through her mind. “They’ve messed with our memories enough. It’s time to stop playing their games and take back our lives.”

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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