Carlo pulled back on the bolt and heard the bullet click into place. His sniper rifle rested perfectly against his shoulder. A natural extension of his body. Peering through the scope, his target moved right into the crosshairs. It was easy. Well, should have been easy.
Six months ago, Carlo was on a routine assassination. But on the flight home, he was seated next to the most enchanting woman he had ever met. Julia–Jules– as he would soon call her. Despite the little voice in Carlo’s head, telling him his lifestyle was not conducive to romantic relationships, he couldn’t stay away. Jules had a way of bringing out the good in him; good he never knew he was capable of.
After two months he told her what he did for a living. And to his surprise, she did not run away. In the sixth month Carlo was ready to quit and leave with her.
However, even men like him had to answer to someone, and he was not as enthusiastic.
“Is there anything I can do to change your mind?” Carlo asked.
“There is one last target. If you complete this hit, you’re free to go.”
The next day, the all-too-familiar chime on his phone signaled an incoming target. Carlo had been sent the name and picture of the person he was demanded to kill. Carlo’s hands shook for the first time since he took up this occupation. The picture was of his precious Jules. The phone rang shrilly and he answered it with a hoarse voice.
“Hello, Carlo. I trust you received your next target. Don’t get any crazy ideas about running away together. There is nowhere on this earth out of my reach. Her death in that instance would be much more painful than a bullet from your rifle. Am I understood?”
“Yes,” Carlo said.
“You have twenty four hours.”
That brought him here, to this rooftop with his Jules in the crosshairs of his gun.
The bluetooth set in his ear beeped. He pressed the button and the same dreaded voice filled his head.
“Don’t get cold feet, now. I am watching, and if you back out, I’ll finish her… and you.”
Helicopter blades thundered, and a moment later a chopper rose from behind him with a gunman sitting inside the open door.
“You have ten seconds.”
Ten seconds. That was all she had left.
Nine. Could he really kill her?
Eight seconds left. He was in way over his head.
Seven. Maybe he could get to her in time.
There was a storm drain running down the side of the building that he could slide down.
Three. He was on the ground and running to her.
Two. “Jules, run!”
She saw him, but a moment too late.
The shot came from above his head, and she dropped to the ground before his eyes.
He had lost her.
Everyone involved in her death would pay.
Carlo now had a new target.