Prompt: Tainted Love

[Prompt: Tainted Love]

My breathing was hard as I stared at the man in front of me, his eyes calm even as blood stained his pale lips a vivid shade of crimson. I knew I was shaking, even as I lowered my arms and clutched myself, cold metal touching one of my arms as I looked at the floor. “It’s okay,” he whispered softly, his voice calm even as it cracked mid-word. His red-stained lips widened into a gentle smile as he lifted my wrist gently, my limb completely unresponsive in his grasp.

Carefully, he wound his fingers along mine, putting his index finger over min as he cocked the gun. The cold metal slid along the ashen skin of his throat as he swallowed shakily, his breathing shallow but calm and through his nose before he turned slightly to look at me again.

“It’s going to be okay,” he repeated hoarsely as he shifted slowly, the barest hint of tears in his cerulean eyes as his gaze met mine for a brief moment. ‘How!?’ I tried to ask as I looked up at him, tears glistening in my eyes as I forced myself not to burst into tears at the sight of his bruised, battered figure, damaged, but still standing weakly in front of me. ‘Damaged … by me …’ I realised as I looked him over, subconsciously memorising the image of his wide, battered frame marred with countless bruises, some yellow, some still black-and-blue and cuts that made his skin look like a crumpled sheet of paper.

Tears rolled down my cheeks, the same tears that had filled my eyes as I watched the man I’d grown to love put a gun to his own head. I peered up at him before shakily lifting the hand that had fallen from his throat to brush his short, dark locks away from his eyes. “I’m sorry,” I managed to choke out as he leaned onto my palm, the warmth from his cheek transferring quickly to the cold limb I’d held to his skin.

“It’ll be okay,” he breathed as he removed the safety from the gun he’d slipped into his belt. Moving very deliberately, he took my hand and hooked my finger onto the trigger. I wanted to scream, to shout and cry in protest, to tell him that we could hide, that they would never find us if we were careful enough. Even as the thoughts flitted through my head, I knew that they were dreams. They were the stars that I could never reach, even if I’d somehow made it to the top of the mountain and reached out as far as I could. There wasn’t much that a person like me could do in a situation like this.

Shoot me first; I wanted to tell him, so that I wouldn’t have to live with the memory of his cold, lifeless body. I opened my mouth, but the only thing that left it was a gasp that almost sounded like a whine. It was a selfish thought, but I’d figured that I deserved to be selfish at some point in my life. Meeting his teal eyes again, I tried not to make a sound as the tears that rolled down my cheeks slowed to a halt, and as I brushed my trembling hands over my face in a hurry to wipe the liquid before they stained my cheeks.

Giving me one last smile, he cocked the gun against his chin and mouthed three words to me as he pulled the trigger.

Bang!

There was a dead body on the floor.

Splat!

Red liquid splashed everywhere; on the walls, the bed, my arms, my clothes.

Thud.

The gun fell from his fingers and skidded under the cupboard as he dropped to the ground, blood matting his dark hair, colouring the mahogany strands an almost black colour. I felt myself move, robotically crouching beside the lifeless figure and pressing two fingers to his blood-soaked neck in search of a pulse.

When my fingers were met with nothing more than blood-smeared skin and flesh, I rose and pulled out my phone, hitting a button and waiting as a deeper-voiced male answered. “The target has been handled,” I said, my voice blank and cold as the man’s voice filled with unreserved glee at the five words I’d said.

“Excellent, my dear,” he chuckled, and for a moment, I felt a smirk grow on my lips before a well-suppressed shiver crawled up my spine. “Simply excellent,” I ended the call quickly, and looked up to see the body being lifted into a black bag. The man’s identity was checked and re-checked before the bag was zipped shut and I was handed a thin folder.

As I watched the pale, bloodless face being pushed into the bag, I couldn’t even bring myself to feel guilty … to feel disgusted that I’d betrayed the only man who’d ever looked me in the eye without any emotion other than understanding. It’d been like a breath of fresh air to me … the person who’d single-handedly murdered almost two hundred people in the last year alone.

He’d called me broken, but the vivid memories of his words only made me snort. Who was still alive? I wanted to scream at him, who was still breathing as they watched the other getting hauled into a truck for an autopsy? Who was the one who had to live with the memory of him pulling the trigger on himself?

It took all my self-control not to curb to the tears that had built behind my eye-lids, and to force the smirk back onto my face before I flipped the folder in my hands open. One glance down forced me to stop my hands from trembling; I couldn’t afford to show these people any weakness … only God knew what they’d have in store for me if they found out that all those years of torturing me to destroy my emotions had ultimately failed when it mattered most.

“Fools,” I muttered to myself as I skimmed over the list. The sheer amount of red ink that had been used to cross out names overwhelmed me for a moment, before I shook myself mentally and crossed out yet another name with the still-wet blood on my fingers.

I chuckled to myself as I was handed a towel from a trembling man, before he all but shoved a bottle of amber liquid into my arms. Snickering softly at him, I cleaned the sticky crimson liquid from my face and arms before snapping the cap from the bottle and taking a swig.

“Complete fools,” I muttered to myself as I let the alcohol burn down my throat, the bitter taste almost welcome as I began drowning out the memories that made my head spin and my vision go blur.

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