Note: Inspired by a roleplay. Enjoy!
Taming a Killer
by L'rein Vinalo
A graying dark-haired man looked up at the old apartment building, fixing his tan winter coat as he searched for the window of the owner he was to visit within the next few minutes. A little girl had just come out of the building, wrinkling her face as she struggled to keep the heavy door open for him. The man smiled, wrinkles forming at the edge of his eyes as he thanked the little girl before stepping inside.
The woman had just hopped out of the shower when she heard the bell ring. "Damnit... I'll be there in a minute!" she yelled as loud as she could but doubted the person outside would hear her. She grabbed her robe and slipped it on as she told the visitor to wait again, leaving a trail of water as she jogged to the front door. She turned the knob and cracked it open to peek, seeing her new boss waiting patiently. "Oh," she said with a surprised look on her face, "Mr.--"
"Call me Luke," the man interrupted. He looked his new recruit vertically both ways, from her damp and still dripping brunette hair, blue-eyes and then down to her feet that stood in a small puddle of water. "May I come in?"
The woman nodded, "Of course," she said as she stood aside for her boss to step in. She shut the door behind her and motioned Luke to sit on the couch.
Luke shook his head and brought a hand up, "I'm only here to inform you on your apprenticeship with a friend of mine. He's been in the business for a while now and he's very experienced at what he does," he noticed a hint of nervousness coming from the other woman, "Don't worry, Lebourne. Because you're new, he may be a bit tough on you for the first few weeks, but he'll lighten up eventually."
How comforting... she thought sarcastically. "When do I meet him?"
"Soon. I will let you know via phone… I know you're still inexperienced with firing weaponry and self defense, which is also why I paired you up with this man. He'll be able to help you improve," he said as he turned around to reach for the knob of the door, "See you tomorrow," Luke said with a nod as he opened the door.
The woman nodded, "Bye, sir." When her boss left, she sighed and walked back to her bedroom, already imagining a stern, arrogant trainer criticizing her every motion.
A dark blond man was on the rooftop of the apartment building that was located on the opposite side of the street, having been there for over an hour as he waited for the cue. With a hand pressed against the wall to support the weight of his body, he gazed out of the window to look through the other, seeing his boss leave the room. He had his sniper gun ready with a finger covering the laser pointer as he waited for his boss leave the building.
Once he spotted a familiar salt and pepper-haired male, he pulled out his disposable mobile phone and dialed his assignment's number.
The woman looked at herself in the mirror, brushing her damp hair as she fought the jitters of her training. Her blue eyes drifted to the side, lost in her own thoughts. She was clueless as to what Luke had in store for her; he had only mentioned his friend would help her, but he told her nothing else about this man. Oh well, she thought to herself, I'll find out eventually and see what kind of mess I've gotten myself into. She jumped at the break of silence when her phone started to ring and raised a brow. "That was quick..." she mumbled. Wonder where we're going to meet. She stood up from the seat of her vanity and walked to the bedside table to answer the phone. "Hello?"
"Name, age, experience and or training prior to your enrollment with the agency," he listed robotically, waiting to release the finger that covered the laser of his favored sniper rifle. He could see her perfectly through the window, watching the look of surprise appear on her features as she looked out of her own window.
The woman squinted, trying to find a male holding any form of weaponry. She looked down at the street and then back up to the apartment building opposite of her, unable to find him. She moved away from the view of the window to stand beside it.
"Dawn Lebourne; twenty-two; zero; zip, unless you count me shooting a few practice rounds with my father at the age of seventeen." Kneeling to the floor, she crawled over to her bed and rested her back against the side of the frame. "Name and age," she mimicked, "Training and experience optional since I'm assuming you're quite good at what you do."
"James," was all he replied. "Consider the rest of my personal information to be that of a reward. A reward you'll have to earn," he said, releasing his finger from the laser to point at her family picture on the wall. "Now, enlighten me. Who are these people in your photograph?"
Dawn saw the bright red dot point to her brother in the picture while she tried to get a look out of the window from the bed she was hiding behind. "That's my brother," she saw the dot move steadily to another person in the photo, "my mother," then to the last person, "my father…"
"Tsk tsk," the voice on the other end of her phone mouthed, "You just sold your family to the devil," he said with a tiny smirk on his face. "First thing you must learn is to never reveal personal information to strangers. Didn't your mother ever teach you?"
Her eyes shut tight and her jaw had tensed, angry with herself for already messing up within the first couple of minutes. She was going to answer his latest question but kept her mouth clamped, figuring that he would find some type of flaw in her response.
"You catch on quickly," James stated with approval when she didn't answer his question. "I'm a little disturbed by your lack of experience. Care to specify? Have you even fired a gun other than shooting practice with daddy, or even assembled one for that matter?"
Dawn sighed, "No… that's about it." She was beginning to grow annoyed by his arrogance. She heard a click on the phone and after waiting a moment, frowned. "Hello?" She blinked when he did not respond. "Great… great job, Dawn." She hoped desperately that it was a disconnection.
"This is fucking ridiculous…" James said to himself as he disassembled his rifle. He placed the pieces back into their case and exited the roof. "… I wasted one goddamn hour of my life." There was no way James was going to teach this woman. He snapped his temporary phone in half and placed both pieces in his pocket, muttering incoherent words as he pulled out a new phone to dial Luke's number. When Luke answered, James began his rant.
"You failed to tell me that the runt was premature," he snapped through the phone, his voice shaky from jogging down the flight of steps. "What the hell am I going to do with her, Luke? I refuse to go elementary if that's what you had planned for me. That ain't my line of work; you told me she had some experience."
Luke was already in his car when his cell phone rang, "You left without ending the first session?" He swore out loud when James responded with a positive yes. "Get your ass back up there if you still want that paycheck."
"Not until you reveal to me that she's more experienced than she cared to share."
Luke sighed, massaging the bridge of his nose before returning his hand to the wheel. "I may have tweaked the truth a bit, but there's a good reason as to why she's even in the business. Doesn't the family name Lebourne spark a memory?" he paused in case James would remember but then continued when he had not responded. "She's Bryce Lebourne's daughter; the girl of the family who'd been killed by our rivals," he frowned, "Her father was also a friend of mine. She knew his link to our agency and requested to join. It's difficult enough for me to ask you to do this so don't make me beg. Give it some time. From what I've read in her records, she's a fast learner."
"That's beside the point. She has no prior experience, and I did not accept this job to start from the fucking basics. I'm sorry Luke, but you'll have to find someone else to do this."
"I'll pay you. Double of what you earned in a month," Luke blurted out immediately. He shut his eyes and sighed, mustering up the will power to start begging. "Please, James... this would not only mean a lot to me, but also remember that you owe me. Did you forget about a certain runt that came stumbling into my office, begging to join out of revenge because someone dear to him was murdered?" His jaw clenched, hoping James would at least reconsider. "If I let you in, why can't I let her? You may have had more experience prior to joining but she's no different than you are." He waited, ready to triple his offer if his friend decided to back out.
James stopped in his tracks and let out a long sigh, remembering that he was in a similar situation back in the day. "This isn't about the money, Luke. In fact, I could retire this moment with what I've earned over the past nine years. I won't though… you know how much I love my job." He rolled his eyes, tapping the tip of the phone on his forehead before returning the receiver to his ear, "I'll give the woman a chance. She won't be treated like loyalty though; I can assure you of that. Maybe even worse than the treatment I've given my previous trainees."
Luke chuckled, relieved that his friend and employee was willing to reconsider. "Oh, I'm sure that you won't treat her like a princess. I think I should know how you work by now."
James scoffed, pushing past the doors to leave the apartment building. "If you knew, why'd you even ask me in the first place?"
"Because you're the best I've got," Luke answered truthfully. "So go on, get back to training her or you won't hear the end of it." He hung up the phone and continued his drive back home, wondering if he still had to double James' paycheck.
The younger man shook his head and snapped the phone in half, stuffing the two pieces into his pocket with the other broken phone before pulling out a new one. He dialed Dawn's number and waited.
Dawn was pacing around her apartment, biting the nail of her index finger while her eyes were glued to the phone on the table. What the hell just happened? Had James just suddenly given up on her because of her lack of experience? She grew even angrier by the thought of it, believing that hanging up was a slap in the face. When the phone rang, however, she forgot all thought and rushed on over to answer it.
"Get dressed and pack your shit," James ordered rather uncouthly as he stood in front of her apartment building, leaning against the lamp post. "We start training today." He hung up and stopped before he nearly snapped his own personal phone in half. Pulling out his sunglasses, he placed them over his dark brown eyes and waited impatiently for his new pupil.
Dawn was fuming, biting her bottom lip to keep from verbally lashing out at him. "Fine," she said through gritted teeth. "What exactly should I bring—" she paused when she realized James had hung up again. She looked down and glared at her phone. "Asshole…"
A/N: Hated it? Loved it? Suggestion? Let me know!