1.

Jimmy looked over at the man tied up on the floor of Arkansas's bedroom. Blood. So much blood. The bed seemed to have been soaking in the mans' messy insides. His eyes were open too. They were as open as when he had been alive. As if he had been paused in life the very second he was shot. Jim couldn't help but drop tears onto the old and beat up rug that Arkansas's house adorned. He hadn't known the man for more than half an hour. The two had simply met due to odd, or rather terribly rare circumstances. There were no "hello"'s. No introduction of names. No greetings, or unpleasant icebreaker-esque conversations. Just the simple meeting, and then what should have been obvious to Jimmy. This mans' inevitable death. Yet here Jimmy was, crying over a dead man and his disorganized remains, like he had been part of the family.

Then whispers. Obvious ones, though. More like murmurs that lay beneath the face of the words that they would later be uttered disgracefully in apology. The two, Kansas and Arkansas, were hiding something from him, but in an apparent fashion, because it didn't matter. Either way, there was nothing defenseless little ol' Jimmy could do. He couldn't take out a heavy and metallic object and bash their heads in, nor could he go upstairs, and into his closet, grabbing his suitcase, proceeding out the door and towards the airport, as if this hellish "vacation" was simply a nightmare. The two men needn't whisper, but they did for the sake of Jimmy, whom had not the nicest weekend, and this next surprise was not going to help him, emotionally. It was a kind thing, to not tell him what came next, really.

Jim became still, without so much as a blink, yet alone a shiver. Seconds passed, though to him it felt like centuries. Finally, after a long silence and an unbreakable eye to eye contact between Kansas and Arkansas, Jimmy, now trembling in fear of what he had hoped was misunderstood between the whispers and he, uttered the one word his vocal chords had the courage and strength to pronounce. "What?" A couple more seconds of silence. Then a deafening gun shot filled the air, along with smoke, and the drag left behind as Jimmy's body fell onto the bed, next to a man none of the three had ever known.

-

The air twisted and scorched, and the McCarran International Airport was especially filled up on this particular Friday. Bob James sat in a chair outside the gate, waiting for the flight to land while reading a favorite book of his, which he kept on him at all times in the form of a leather bound copy. As Jimmy's flight landed, Bob put away his book, and stood up. Jimmy shuffled through the crowded shuttle as quickly as humanly possible, shaking in disgust and personal turmoil as he had the whole flight. Bob saw him as he entered the terminal, and waved towards Jimmy, who walked up to him in a hurried motion, muttering "Let's go." then scurrying past him, without skipping a beat.

Jimmy was a small man. A very fragile man. He wore average and affordable clothes, which his mother picked out for him. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, seeing as though she was much more tasteful than Jimmy could ever hope to become. His hair was simply tossed, instead of styled, and he kept himself cleanly shaven.

The car ride was a long one, because Bob's house was at the exact opposite side of Vegas from the airport. Jimmy shook in the car just as much as he had walking to the car, and just as much as he had during the plane ride to Vegas. You'd think he wouldn't have a problem with visiting a distant cousin for a free trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, but then again, Bob "Kansas" James was no ordinary man.

Jimmy had heard stories about him. Stories of him escaping from multiple different agencies who were out for his blood. He had heard Kansas was a hitman, but Jimmy didn't know what to believe anymore. He had heard a lot of things, all of which that struck him. When he first met "Kansas" he was just normal seven year old Bob James, and the year was 1976. Bob, even then, had aspiring dreams to become a famous writer.

He would say things like "Everyone in the world will know the books I write!" and "I'll become more famous than Shakespeare!", but those books only became manuscripts, and those manuscripts never got picked up, and even after high school Bob was still broke with three or four brackets of paper stacked in a closet.

Instead Bob disappeared for about when he was nineteen, and then reappeared on the sandy shores of California, in nothing but a life vest half a decade later. He wasn't alone either. Next to him was Edward Rodes, otherwise known as "Arkansas". Another month passed and the two were roommates living in a small, dirty, broken down house in downtown Las Vegas.

Of course, Jimmy was an innocent and fragile individual. This was a big step up from little old Maine, especially when he was living with two supposed killers. Then again, there wasn't one time passed his ninth birthday that Jimmy wasn't scared out of his mind, very well thanks to a nine car pileup on the way to a Chuck E. Cheeses. Worst part was that you could tell he was a coward just by the look on his face. That look, the one where his eyebrows were arched backwards, and his mouth was opened at a twisted obtuse, just by seeing it you could tell he was pissing himself.

Bob saw him looking in the rear view mirror, scared out of his wits. "Whats wrong, Jim?" Bob, being clueless to the fact that Jimmy was such a coward, couldn't help but wonder if someone was after him, or if he was in deep trouble, due to his very own obviously troubled past. Everyone around Bob seemed to be in constant dismay.

"Its just that..." Jimmy hesitated.

"Just what, Jim?" Bob looked over to him.

"Keep your eyes on the road, Bob! You want to kill us?" Jimmy's eyes opened wide as he turned back to the window, simultaneously tightening his seat belt.

"What? Are you afraid we'll crash? That the reason you've been pissin' yourself the whole god damn car ride?" Bob said, as he turned his head to the road, making sure to concentrate.

"Well, I'm a bit afraid of cars, Bob. A lot of people die in car accidents every day, and I can't die, Bob, I've got a life to live, Bob. I want it to be a long one. You understand what I'm saying, Bob?"

"Yeah, yeah, I hear you loud and clear, Jimmy, my boy. Don't you worry. No chance you'll even get a nasty scratch from fallin' on the side walk while you're here. Arkansas and I will have our eyes on you your whole stay, and we won't let a mosquito bite you, got it?"

Jimmy wasn't to sure of Bobs' promise. Jimmy was to busy to try to understand it. Busy trying to figure out why he had agreed to visit Bob and his room mate at all. It seemed mad when his mother got Bob on the phone, talking to him about visiting. Turned out, Jimmy's mother fell ill, and she wanted him to go on the trip by himself, but Jimmy had been uneasy with the idea since the first second that Bob James was mentioned.

The car ride was silent the rest of the way. Bob took a pit stop at a gas station on the way home, got a couple of sodas, filled up his tank, and then the two drove up onto the road again, inching closer to Bob's home. Mind you, not one thing did Bob do, that Jimmy wasn't correcting him while hiding behind his jacket. Things simple, like making sure he paid for the cokes', and telling him to just use the five dollar bill instead of the singles, and to not forget his receipt. By the time they were back on the road, Bob wasn't sure he liked Jimmy visiting anymore, either.

The drive was sure as hell awkward, and the two of them knew it. Bob was first to break the silence. "What've you been doin' these last, what is it now," Bob took a swig of his coke, "Ah, Seventeen years?"

Jimmy sat back in the old sedans passenger seat, and put his foot up against the dashboard. "Well, I finished school, went to college, finished college, got a decent job, moved out of my mom's house-"

"Good for you, Jim. I thought you wouldn't ever get out of there. Auntie Jen controlled your life, and even I know that." Bob interrupted Jimmy, flicking his fist up in the air in congratulatory effort.

"-and moved back in with my mom when she fell ill..." Jim continued without notice to Bob's disruption.

Bob lost his smile, and looked to the road once more, flicking sunglasses over his eyes, and taking another gulp of his coke. "Oh..."

Thirty-Five minutes later, Bob "Kansas" James pulled into the driveway of a two story, one garage house. It was sky blue, all the other houses on the street being styled and colored very dully. The shutters were broken, the door had three deadbolts on it, each belonging to a different key, and the garage wouldn't open. There wasn't a fence anymore, as much as the remains of what used to be one. A Great Dane was tied down to the yard in front of the house, held by an unhealthy tree, which stood beside a small shed that said "Sissy" over the top of it. The grass wasn't green, but it definitely wasn't yellow either. It wasn't a shade, not a color, but something in between.

Bob turned off the car engine, and opened his door. "We're here, grab your bag." He said, as he stepped out, throwing the glass coke bottle on the ground, chuckling as it shattered all over his driveway. This was the abode of Kansas and Arkansas.