The Target Ch. 01byArryl4©
Roman glanced down again at the photo of the man. It felt odd, calling him a man. His face was round, his eyes big and vividly green. A black fedora hat with two white stripes on one side framed his pale blond hair. And his smile! The toothy grin was the picture of boyhood.
Regardless, his bio stated clearly that he was 21 years old, born on July 16th. Roman all of a sudden felt oddly guilty for knowing something like his birthday when they had never met. He pushed the strange feeling from his mind and he focused again on his mission:
Kill Jackie Ellis.
He remembered his client's words clearly as he climbed into his black Audi. "I don't care if you make it look like an accident or what. I just want the fucker dead," the man had said. Requests like this were common in such a big city. A lot of people means that some of them are going to be wanted dead. It was his job, and the job of people like him, to take care of that.
He'd actually never met another hitman before. He doubted he would. He'd been in the business a good few years or so. He knew almost every face in his part of the city. Roman laughed to himself. He'd be surprised if he met another person with the same profession.
He laughed more as he pulled out of the driveway of his apartment complex. His destination was a fast-food joint a few miles away. He'd driven by it on occasion, but never gone inside. He wasn't a fast-food joint person.
In fact, he wouldn't be going inside. He parked in an inconspicuous spot between a pickup and a beat-up Mazda, thankful that this restaurant was one of the few in the urban jungle that actually had a parking lot.
Roman checked his watch. 6: 58. His target would be off his shift in two minutes. He could wait. He leaned back and looked around at the rest of the parking lot. It was pretty crowded, even for a Saturday evening. He craned his neck to get a better view of the door. He didn't want to miss Jackie.
As he watched solitary people, couples, and the occasional family enter or exit the building, Roman began to whistle a tune casually, killing time. He knew he was basically stalking Jackie, and part of him felt guilty. He grew irritated. He'd done this so many times! Why did it feel so... wrong now? He sighed and checked his watch, rather than the five-minutes-fast clock on the dashboard. 7:02.
Roman was about to refocus on the front door when he saw a figure move in the corner of his eye. He swiveled his head, looking at the back of the building. He raised his eyebrows in surprise.
He saw Jackie exit the building from the relatively concealed back door. His odd appearance puzzled Roman. Jackie wore the hat from the picture, along with a... suit. He was wearing a suit. Complete with a red and green striped tie and dress shoes. Roman would've laughed, if not for the crutches Jackie used and the cast that encased his lower right leg. Roman couldn't help but wonder how he'd gotten the injury.
He waited for Jackie to get into a car, but to Roman's surprise, he kept hobbling onto the sidewalk.
"Here we go," he muttered to himself as he pulled out of the parking lot and began to discreetly follow his target.
Roman concluded that Jackie must've lived near the restaurant, but in the next twenty minutes, he passed two apartment buildings, and he began to doubt himself. Then, the strangest idea popped into his head. He tried to push it away, but it persisted. He made the mistake of looking at Jackie's cast, and all bets were off.
"Shit," he muttered, and he pulled up next to where Jackie was walking.
"Hey," he called, blowing his cover, and only half regretting it. Jackie turned and looked at him. God, those eyes! Roman couldn't help but stare.
"Yeah?" he answered. His voice was sort of quiet, and not very deep.
Roman swallowed the knot that had lodged in his throat. "Where ya headed?"
Jackie's head tilted slightly, as if choosing his next words carefully. "It's... it's not too far away. I don't need a ride, thanks." he turned his head away a little too quickly.
Roman eyed him curiously. He had a feeling he was being lied to.
"You know," he began. "You're not a good liar." It was a stretch, but at that point Roman didn't care. He felt strange, like he absolutely needed to have Jackie in his car.
Jackie slowed. Roman slowed the car to match him. Jackie looked at him warily.
Seeing his chance, Roman tried again. "Come on. What's the harm?" He knew he sounded like a total creep, and suddenly felt blood rush to his face.
Jackie smiled. "Okay, if it's no trouble." Roman shook his head and reached over and opened the passenger door for him.
Jackie turned and sat in the seat, then pulled his crutches in, set them next to him, and closed the door.
He gave Roman directions to his apartment building, which wasn't too far from his own, Roman realized. He checked the mirror above the dashboard and noticed Jackie's eyes flitting about the car. Roman tensed.
"Shit!" he thought to himself. He did a mental check. His sniper rifle was stowed under the backseat. His stash of explosives was in an attaché case in the trunk. His case of knives was in a compartment under Jackie's seat. His pistol was in the glove compartment. He mentally sighed in relief.
"The bio!" he almost jumped as the thought rang through his head. Then, he remembered tossing it behind his own seat. If Jackie just so happened to look in the mirror at the right angle... the shit would hit the fan.
He let out an anxious sigh as he drove on. Jackie broke the silence.
"Somehow, I get the feeling you're not just a good Samaritan."
Roman tensed. "You're right. I'm a rapist. You're getting kidnapped."
Jackie laughed. The sound caused a stirring in the pit of Roman's stomach. He wanted to hear that sound again.
"W-why do I find that hard to believe?" Jackie asked between laughs.
Surprising himself, Roman replied, "I'm a smooth criminal." He caught Jackie's eye and winked. He laughed some more. Roman felt happier than he'd been in a while and he felt himself grow hard as Jackie's laughter filled his ears. He admitted it to himself: he was attracted to his target.
Roman frowned. He couldn't kill him if he became too infatuated. He resolved to stop talking to him, drive him into an alley and finish the job. Simple.
Jackie looked at him and smiled. Roman could see him out of the corner of his eye. Blood rushed to his face. He felt himself grow hard once more, and he broke his inner resolve.
"So...um..." he began stupidly. "How'd you..." he trailed off and gestured to Jackie's cast-bound foot.
He turned his head away and answered, "Oh, just... work."
Roman raised an eyebrow. "I'd never have guessed the fast food industry was so dangerous."
Jackie gave a small giggle. "No I... it's nothing."
Roman entered the parking lot of Jackie's apartment building. It looked a little old, but Roman concluded that this was the best a fast-food worker could do.
He pulled up near the door. Roman got out of the car and walked around to help out Jackie. Once he was out of the car and situated on his crutches, Rowan saw him to the door.
"Gonna need anything else?" he asked. Jackie bit his lip and awkwardly opened the door.
Roman eyed the staircase. "I see," he said knowingly. They stepped inside. Roman pondered the situation. "I got it," he said. He took Jackie's crutches and hooked his arm under Jackie's shoulder. Jackie slung his arm across Roman's shoulders. Then, they began awkwardly ascending the staircase.
"Fifth floor," Jackie breathed. Roman nodded. After a few minutes, they reached their destination. They stood outside Jackie's apartment in silence for a few moments. Then, Jackie spoke.
"Want to come inside?" he looked up at Roman imploringly. When he hesitated, Jackie continued. "Please? Just to thank you for everything."
Roman smiled, and Jackie looked down. "Sure," he said, feeling another boner coming on.
Jackie produced a key from his pocket and opened the door. He walked inside, and Roman followed.
"You can have a seat on the couch, I'll get us something to drink. You like scotch?" Roman nodded.
"Scotch is fine, thanks," he said and sat down on a beige sofa. He could see Jackie behind a counter pulling out a bottle and some glasses with only a little difficulty because of the crutches. Even from where he sat, Roman could see he had a fine ass.
He couldn't believe he was having such thoughts about someone he was supposed to kill. He bit his lip. He didn't want to kill him. He wasn't sure what he was going to do.
Just then, Jackie returned, with two glasses of scotch balanced expertly on a small tray he held in one hand. He gave one to Roman, then sat down next to him on the sofa.
Roman took note of how close Jackie was to him and sipped his drink, trying to appear casual. He set the glass down on the coffee table.
"Mind if I ask you a question?"
Jackie looked up at him. Jackie was at least a foot shorter than him, Roman noticed.
Jackie responded, "I don't even know your name yet. Let's start there. There'll be time for questions later." he smiled.
"Roman Sinclaire," he blurted. He mentally berated himself. He'd meant to use a fake name, but he couldn't stop himself. He hated how careless Jackie made him act.
"Well hello there, Roman," the way he said his name made him want to just grab him and kiss him with reckless abandon. "My name is Jackie. Jackie Whitaker Ellis. Pleased to meet you." he laughed, that sweet harmony almost made Roman lose control. He wondered if Jackie knew how he made him feel.
Roman swallowed painfully. "So then. My question."
Jackie gazed at him intently. "Yes?"
"Did you... Walk to work?" Roman couldn't help but grin. Jackie giggled.
"No. My friend picked me up and drove me, but I forgot to bring my cell so I couldn't ask her to pick me up."
Roman started laughing, and Jackie playfully punched his arm. "Oh, shut up! It's my turn to ask a question."
Roman grinned lazily. "Fire away."
Jackie's playful aura vanished. "Why haven't you killed me yet?"
Sorry, no sex this chapter!
If you like, please comment! I'll do another one soon.