Shane blinked and wiped rainwater out of his face, his gaze locked on the small white sedan turning around the block. The headlights blazed, temporarily illuminating his dark figure. He watched as the car hit its brakes and turned abruptly onto a side road. Of course, he thought to himself, she's no fool. She knew he was here for her. He clenched and unclenched his fists nervously and cast a glance back to the two pitch black de-emblemed Cadillac Escalades that were waiting patiently in a parking lot across the street.

Shane turned and looked up the side of the building he stood next to. He reached under his black coat and felt the cold metal of his silenced pistol, tucked safely under his arm in his holster. Then, muscles tensing, he leapt up and took hold of the fire escape, pulling himself up and quickly scaling through the metal framing until he was on the roof.

Once on the roof, he took a moment to catch his breath before pulling his pistol out and loading a fresh magazine. He dug his foot into the edge of the building and leaned over.

The white sedan was making its way down a side road. Shane squinted through the rain. He could make out the driver clear enough, but then he saw child sitting in the backseat.

His heart ached, and suddenly his finger grew weak about the trigger.

But this was his job. He was hired to do this. It was all he knew to do.

He cocked his pistol and raised it, his eye unwavering from the back of the drivers head. But he didn't shoot. In a few seconds, the vehicle would be too far for a head shot. But he still didn't shoot.

"Damn it."

He whispered to himself and put his gun down. Then, abruptly, he pulled the gun up again and shot out the front tire. The vehicle skidded out of control and slammed into a nearby dumpster. In a flash the driver was out of her car and yanking her child out of the back seat.

Shane aimed again and shot out the back window, sending shards of glass raising down on the unfortunate pair. He tucked his pistol back into its holster and stepped off the edge of the building, plummeting down into the alley seven stories below.

The woman whipped her head around, clutching her tiny daughter to her stomach. Shane landed in a crouch, his joints trembling at the impact. Any ordinary man would've at the very least broken his legs by the fall. To Shane it was but a momentary jolt of pain, nothing more.

The rain fell hard and fog was beginning to creep in. In the distance Big Ben chimed out the eleventh hour of the night.

Erica clutched her daughter tight to her stomach until the girl coughed and gasped for air.

"Please don't do this..." She pleaded. Shane's sullen expression didn't waver. He was here on business.

There was a cold rumble of an engine, and Erica cast a nervous glance over he shoulder. A big black SUV had pulled up across the street from the alley. She watched two men climb out of the back seat and make their way towards her and her daughter.

The little girl whimpered and looked up at Shane. Their eyes met for a split second before Shane hastily turned away.

A sudden pair of hands grabbed the girl and yanked her away from her mother. The little girl screamed before a rag was suddenly shoved over her mouth. A few short, panicky breaths and the girls eyes rolled back in her head and she was out.

Erica suddenly went mad. She swung around and landed a hard punch into the face of the man holding her. He grimaced and stumbled back, allowing her just enough room to wriggle out of his hold and dash for her child.

Shane was suddenly barking out orders in a language Erica didn't care to distinguish.

Had she not been so panicked for her daughter's life, Erica could have easily grounded the two men who had joined Shane. But her mind was too frantic to allow her body such smooth coordination, so she simply flailed about manically in a desperate attempt to get to her daughter's side.

A sudden force like a punch knocked the wind out of Erica as Shane landed a hard kick into her stomach, sending her crashing to the ground in pain.

"No... No... My little angel..." she cried. She cast a desperate look up at Shane. "Please don't drag her into this."

She reached for the collar of Shane's black jacket, but he slapped her hand away from him and leapt back.

"Ai~ya! Kutabare! Do not touch me!"

Shane glared at her a moment, then mumbled something under his breath and the two men picked up the little girl and carried her away, stuffing her into the backseat of the Cadillac.

Erica scrambled to her feet, half running and half crawling after them. Shane simply grabbed her head, tangling his fist into her hair, and yanked her back.

The engine started and the headlights blazed, and the car disappeared into the rain-washed night.

Erica wailed and clasped her hands over her head in agony. Shane released her and let her crumble to the ground.

Through blurry eyes, Erica looked up at her captor in disbelief as he tapped a receiver hidden in his ear.

The boy was no older than sixteen, maybe seventeen. He had deep olive skin and shimmering green eyes. His lips were fine and beautifully arched, as if they had mastered the art of lying. His browny black hair was rich and deep.

Poor boy, Erica thought to herself, if only he had known what he was getting himself into...

"So, assassin. You've come to kill me at last, yes?"

Shane tapped the receiver on his earpiece again and turned to the woman. She was now kneeling on the ground with her hands folded neatly into her lap; eyes locked intently on him. Her blue eyes were piercing and cold, and though Erica concealed her fear rather well, Shane saw right through her and cracked a tiny and rather amused smile.

"No, il mio piccolo dolce." He crooned "You will not die today."

Erica gazed up at him, confused and humiliated. He was the assassin. She knew that well enough. She had trained him. She had taught him everything he knew.

She knew he only went after people who needed to be killed quickly and quietly.

So why wasn't she dead? Was this some sort of sick mind game? She couldn't be sure.

The one thing she knew for certain is that she had lost her daughter. Her little angel had been taken away. What did she have to live for now?

A sudden discomfort in her lungs alerted her to what was coming. A rag suddenly covered her face and she breathed slowly and deeply, allowing herself to fall into unconsciousness.

Author's Note:

In case you were wondering about the translations there... x3

Kutabare - Many "literal" translations, but is in general a vulgar term (f*** you)

il mio piccolo dolce - my little sweet one

Note - They are not the same language. Shane tends to drop down into Japanese when he curses, the Italian is a more personal thing with Erica (as she would always call him 'my sweet little one' when he was younger (Heh, heh...cruel irony ... you see what I did I did there... x3 yeah, okay moving on.)

This is just a snippet of my own original story. I would really appreciate any and all feedback. I have been working on this story for years now and this is the first I've shared of it. I would be very grateful for all input :3 Thanks for reading!

Shane(c) and Erica(c) are my own original characters, and their behaviors and characteristics belong to me.