Sunlight penetrates through the thin sheet metal roof of the warehouse, lighting the area in a yellow glow. The windows along the wall aid the brightness, allowing for the gentle breeze to roll in. The temperature remains a steady, warm level, with no humidity or dampness in the air. It's a beautiful day, with fluffy, cotton-white clouds drifting around in a lazy, blue sky.
Deep on the outskirts of town lays the warehouse, free from any neighboring buildings or traffic flow. Vacant for years, it has grown dusty and inactive. The shelves are now bare from the materials they once held, and the lack of maintenance has proved costly on the infrastructure. The walls are peeling with paint, and the cement floor is cracked and dull. The lights no longer work, and the water no long runs.
In short terms, this warehouse is useless to most, just awaiting its demolition. But, until that time comes, it has one purpose left to serve. It's a meeting place for people dealing in the world of organized crime. Mafia and gang members alike use it constantly as a home to trade contraband and deal with loose ends.
Today, it houses two separate gangs, both bringing about 5 members each. The first gang is unlike your average street thugs, they are business men and women. Or so they pretend to be, because they like to slip extra cash and stolen goods under the table from time to time. This isn't their first rodeo, and they're cocky as ever with a gun in their hands. A recent cache of diamonds has proved to grab them the attention they desired, and they come today ready to strike a bargain.
This brings in the second gang, a group of Russian mobsters with an expensive French woman, known as 'Ms. LeBlanc', leading their expeditions. She adores jewels and pearls, and when she caught news of this stash of precious gems so close to them, she jumped at the offer. She comes today wearing an oversized white summer hat, large pair of sunglasses, polar bear fur coat, expensive slacks, shoes, and blouse, and clutching a Persian coin purse.
The men with her are quite the opposite, wearing grimy clothing and holding automatic rifles at their hips. All of them look rather intimidating, with slicked back hair and unshaven faces. They all stand a bit taller than the average person, dwarfing the woman they follow.
Obviously, the first group also came packing heat, with pistols on their sides and rifles in their hands. They come wearing casual business wear, with suits and ties, all bought locally and inexpensively. Also leading them is a woman, by the name Jenny Foster, wearing a charcoal colored suit and aviators. Her dark-brown hair is pulled back into a ponytail behind her, and she hides the smirk on her face as the other gang approaches.
They meet in the middle of the warehouse floor, away from all the shelves and boxes. It's pretty open, with no obstacles in a 10 yard radius. The gunmen of both gangs post up outside this circle of space, hiding behind whatever cover is at hand.
Little do they know, they were actually followed here, by a detective…Josh Redel. He's a cop working for the city police and trying to capture the gem thief. Even more interesting is his ties with Jenny Foster. They've known each other for years, once working together, before she took the liberty of stabbing him in the back and leaving him to fend for himself.
Hiding in the rafters above their meeting place, he crouches low to the ground and keeps a steady hand by the holstered pistol on his side. He's no ordinary cop, coming back from Iraq as a sergeant, working for some time amongst the Special Forces. He's a trained killer, but now that he's in his middle-ages, he sometimes questions his abilities.
Today is the day he will see if he still has what it takes…
Jenny walks into the middle of the area, accompanied by two of her five gunmen. They stay close behind her as she carries a lone purple bag.
"Ms. LeBlanc, it's a pleasure to finally meet you in person," Jenny greets her with an outstretched hand. The gesture is a ploy, to come off as friendly as possible. Jenny can hardly hide her anticipation to make away with both the diamonds and the money.
Ms. LeBlanc approaches with two gunmen of her own, accepting the handshake, "Bonjour, charmed I'm sure…"
Josh wipes away some of the sweat forming on his forehead, wishing he could get down from his vantage point. The heat passing through the ceiling and windows is trapped inside the building, rising up and pooling around him. He trains his binoculars on Jenny, cursing under his breath.
For a second, Jenny looks around the ceiling, not paying much attention. Josh presses up against the rail, praying she does not see him. His all black attire should do enough to hide him, and it seems to prove enough as the conversation continues below.
"Sorry we couldn't clean the place up before you came, we've been busy lately," Jenny jokes.
Josh realizes she's just buying time, although he can't figure out what for. The way she keeps looking around the room is giving off the impression she's waiting for somebody else, but why would she need another gunman? The only reason could be a sniper…that would give her a jump start on shooting.
Ms. LeBlanc motions for one of her henchmen to hand over a black-leather suitcase, "It's quite alright, this shouldn't take long…"
The henchman pops the locks off the suitcase and opens it up, revealing rows of stacked US bills. Jenny's expression turns hard, and she licks her lips. This is undoubtedly more money than she imagined. She just recently joined into this organized crime, and here she believes the risk has paid off.
"I'm sure this should cover the expenses…may I see them?" Ms. LeBlanc questions. Jenny fumbles with the purple bag, rattling them around. She holds the small sack out towards LeBlanc, waiting for her to take it.
"May I see the money, to prove its authenticity?" Jenny asks. The henchman with the suitcase approaches, handing her a stack of the money and accepting the bag of gems. Another man from the Russian gang joins in, opening the small bag and taking out a small, glinting object.
He removes a monocle from his pocket, holding it up to his eye and peering at the small diamond in his hand. Jenny holds the stack of money to her nose, taking in its scent before holding it up to the light and confirming its real.
"Something wrong?" Ms. LeBlanc grows worried. The man inspecting the diamonds has been taking a longer time than needed, continuously wrinkling his brow and shaking his head. Soon enough, all the gunmen are getting antsy and gripping their guns a bit tighter.
"What do you think my chances are of getting out of here with both the diamonds and the money?" Jenny asks casually.
Ms. LeBlanc's expression turns into confusion, and quickly transforms into terror as a gunshot rings out. It echoes in the warehouse, reverberating off the walls and reaching to the surrounding hills. Josh saw the muzzle flash, coming from across the opposite side of the warehouse up in the rafters.
The shot nails the man with the suitcase of money, hitting him in the shoulder and spinning him to the ground. Paper bills fly into the air, fluttering down to the ground like leaves in the fall.
The gunfire erupts, as the henchmen on both sides begin firing their rifles. LeBlanc attempts bolting, but only makes it so far before Jenny removes a silver pistol from behind her and fires. Immediately after, she scoops up the suitcase and bolts from the gunfight. Sparks fly off the metal racks as bullets bounce off, tearing holes in the walls and shattering against the ground.
Josh jumps to his feet, running across the rafters at full speed. The sniper turns on him, struggling to get a shot. Jumping onto a ladder, Josh flinches away as the sniper fires. The shot hits the railing beside him, sending shrapnel into his neck. It stings, but the adrenaline is too much for him to take notice.
He slides down the ladder with ease, holding the sides and using his feet to steady himself. The cold metal turns hot as he descends, burning his hands as he reaches the ground. The gunshots are still bouncing around, but most of the henchmen are already downed.
A second shot from the sniper zings past Josh, and it's enough to make him draw his side arm and fire a round into the gunner's chest. His head drops, and his body goes limp. The shooting has stopped, and Josh checks around the corner to see all ten henchmen are sprawled out across the floor.
The sound of tires squealing outside grabs Josh's attention, and he gives chase. Exiting through the large, bay doors, he sprints out onto the parking lot. The sunlight is sitting low on the horizon, blinding him and costing him time to adjust.
He shields his eyes with his arm, catching sight of Jenny's silver car as it peels out in front of him. He takes aim, reacting and not thinking, firing off a succession of three rounds before nailing the driver-side window. The car jerks hard to the right, slamming straight into a telephone pole.
Josh slowly lowers his gun, never taking his eyes off the wrecked car.
That was it, Jenny was dead. His old partner, his old best friend…gone with a steady shot from his colt .45. All those years of questioning, all those wasted years…finally over.
"I see your age has not yet caught up to you…" a familiar voice whispers from behind him, accompanied by the distinct click of a gun's hammer. The parking lot is silent, and Josh worries his heart-beat can be heard.
"How lucky am I? Those diamonds were fake, so I get the money and the real diamonds! Isn't that so smart, Josh?" Jenny walks around in front of him, holding her silver PPK pistol to his head. Josh can't believe what he's seeing, the wrong end of a barrel held by Jenny.
How could he not hear her sneaking up behind him? How could he be so foolish as to just 'assume' his target was dead? His military and combat experience should have prepared him better for this, and it's too late to reflect now.
"What good does it do? You'll still live a life on the run," Josh replies. Jenny gently takes his hand, clutching his .45, and removing it. Her beauty is alluring, and he can't take his eyes off her. She tosses his gun away, pushing up her sunglasses and revealing her sea-green eyes.
"Oh Josh, Mexico is just a short stop away," she explains, "All I need to do is cross that border…and I can say 'I told you so'."
Jenny hints to their past…she originally attempted talking Josh into joining her in the life of crime, convincing him they'd be unstoppable together. His morals made him decline, and once he was off to Iraq, she went on without him.
"Mexicans don't scare me…I'll still pursue you," Josh growls.
Jenny just laughs, "Do you really think you'll be leaving this place? No, I gave you a chance and you made the wrong choice-"
"I made the right choice, I'd never go back and change it if I could," Josh interrupts, "You're the one who threw everything away for a bit of extra cash."
Jenny takes a step back, dangling the suitcase in her left hand and pushing her brows together. The gun stays trained on Josh's forehead, and he desperately works quietly to find a solution to the situation. His gun is out of reach, and he has nothing but a concealed knife to defend himself.
"What did I throw away? A life as a cop? Making around $60,000 a year, living in an apartment? You…" she mocks. "No, I made a good decision…I wish you would've come along, but your pride got in the way...again."
Jenny shakes her head, clicking off the safety and growing tears in her eyes. Josh knows it's now or never, if he wants to get out of here alive. Sometimes, when somebody stabs you in the back, you're justified to stab them in the back…
"You know what I really longed for? On those long nights, sleeping alone in a ditch on the side of the road, bullets flying overhead?" Josh asks, grabbing her attention, "The way you would kiss me…your warmth…how much I'd give to be back with you in my arms."
He takes a step forward, but Jenny holds her ground.
"If you're going to shoot me, at least take the liberty of making me whole again…one last kiss?" Josh asks, his heart racing more now than ever. His life hangs in the balance, and he hopes their past love is enough to grant him one final chance.
She puts the gun to his temple, yanking him to her and planting her lips on his. It was faster than he anticipated, but he had enough time to get a hand on her shoulder and unsheathe his knife. She captivates him though, and for a moment he forgets what he's doing. It takes him back to the long nights of living in New York, kissing her under the bridge.
As she tries to pull away, he hugs her tight, "Jenny, let me come to Mexico with you…"
She's quiet for a moment, before he hers her sniffling, "Josh…I knew you'd come back! Of course-"
For a split second, the barrel of the gun drops from his head, and Josh reacts. He slams the knife into her back, shoving her away with his other hand. Jenny stumbles back, crashing to the ground and dropping her gun.
She's in shock, complete disbelief. Never before would she have expected something like this from Josh.
He stares down at her, a horrible sinking feeling in his stomach. How could he do that so easily? How could he lie to her? Even if she was a criminal now, she used to be a person he loved so much. He gained her trust, crushing it like a bug.
"So…that's how it feels, to get stabbed in the back?" Jenny sputters, coughing up some blood. She gingerly moves her hands back to the knife, feeling the handle but refraining from pulling it out. Josh quickly crouches down beside her, staring down at the wound. He fights back tears, cursing at himself for hurting her like this.
The knife was planted above her kidney, missing the vitals. Josh was glad to see that, considering he could still salvage this situation. He took her hands in his, trying to sooth her.
After calling in the paramedics and back-up, he brushed the hair away from her face and stared longingly into her eyes.
"Yeah, but your knife cut a lot deeper…"
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