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Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023
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Assassin - Chapter 5

Rain turned off the buzzer on her alarm and sat up. Her long black hair was a complete mess and her bright blue eyes were heavy-lidded from sleep. She stood and stretched and headed for the shower. Normally, she wouldn't have gotten up until noon, giving herself three hours to prepare for work, but she'd decided to call the phone number first thing in the morning to give a good impression.

So, she was up at 6am even though she hadn't fallen asleep until after midnight. The hot shower woke her up and breakfast gave her enough energy to do a quick workout to get her blood pumping. By 7:30am, she was ready to make the call. She dialed the number using the new silver-colored cell phone that had come with everything else.


"Hi. I got a message telling me to call this number. I'm Rain," she introduced herself.

"Rain. You're late. You should have called me last night. All right, you got a pen and paper ready?"

"Yeah. Go ahead."

Rain didn't bother to explain that anything she heard, she remembered. She didn't think he needed to know that.

"You need to get out to California. Once you're there, call this number." He rattled off the digits and then continued. "You don't need to bring anything, just the stuff that came in the envelope. Your credit cards will cover all of your expenses until I set up your bank account. If she tells you to fuck off, just tell her the boss sent you and if she has a problem, she can call me. She's going to train you to be the best because she is the best. Listen to her."

The line clicked and Rain listened to the dial tone for a few moments before closing the phone. She went back over the conversation, if it could be called that, and realized she'd never gotten a name for 'she.'

Rain gathered up everything that had come in the envelope and then had a short crisis about her guns. She'd never get through the checkpoints if she wore them in their usual holsters and having them in a carryon wouldn't be much better. She could flash her badge, but there was too great a chance that someone would spot her and report back to one of Carlotti's people.

She decided to go as a civilian. It would feel strange to be without her usual armament, but she could pick up replacements when she landed. With that settled, she called for a cab to take her to the airport, so that she wouldn't have to worry about leaving her car in a parking garage for an unknown length of time. She had no idea how long her 'training' would take or even whether her mentor would have them stay in one place during that time.

The cab arrived and she took one last look at her apartment before locking it up tight, knowing somehow that her life was about to change irrevocably.

* * *

Case sat up. Her eyes were wide. Where the fuck..., her mind trailed off. Then she looked across the room and saw the alarm clock in several pieces on the floor.


She fumbled for her watch and checked the time. It was 8:00am on the dot.

"I gotta stop trashing alarm clocks. Whatever happened to not killing the messenger?"

She swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up. She did a couple jumping jacks and then some toe touches before heading to the bathroom for a shower. She was done in only five minutes and opened her duffel to pull out a gray hooded sweatshirt and an old faded pair of blue jeans. She grabbed a bra and a black T-shirt and started getting dressed.

As soon as she was done, she pulled on her socks and tennis shoes. Then she brushed out her short hair. She grabbed her bag and the room key and headed for the front office to return the key.

She was walking down Hollywood Blvd. by 8:30am. She caught the bus and rode it all the way to Highland Ave., so she could get breakfast at McDonald's. By the time she was finished, it was close to 9am. She debated walking to get to the store, but the bus pulled up at the stop, so she got on. Backtracking the way she'd come, she got off on the block right before the knife store. It was only a matter of minutes, and she had the knife she needed. Ten minutes later and she was headed toward the Ryan's.

She got off the bus and caught a connecting line using the transfer she'd bought. By 10:10, she was on the 400 block of Elmwood Drive. It was very quiet, most people having headed off to work several hours earlier. She strolled down the street and kept walking passed the house. There were no cars at any of the houses near the Ryan's, though she knew that didn't really mean anything. The cars could be parked in the garages. She walked up to the house numbered 438 and went around the side. She ran behind the house to get to the backyard of number 436.

Case sidled up to the backdoor and listened. She could hear someone humming in the kitchen, then they moved away. A few moments later, she heard a vacuum turn on. She pulled a new pair of white surgical gloves from the box in the side pocket of her bag and put them on. Then she pulled out the knife, still sheathed, and stuffed it into the back of her jeans. She tried the doorknob and it turned. She opened the backdoor and quietly closed it behind her. Then she set her bag down next to it and moved towards the sound of the vacuum, drawing the knife from its sheath at her back.

She peeked her head around and saw a woman pushing a vacuum around a low coffee table. She looked around briefly to make sure there was no one else in the immediate vicinity and then ran forward. She used the hilt of the knife on the woman's left temple and the woman dropped to the floor. Case resheathed the knife at her back and then bent down to turn off the vacuum. She dragged the woman to a more comfortable position on the couch.

She looked down at the unconscious woman. She was quite pretty. Long, slightly curled, blond hair, rosy cheeks, a fine complexion, slim body, though not athletic. She matched her picture perfectly.

Case went back into the kitchen and grabbed her bag. Then she ran up the stairs and found the master bedroom. She started going through the drawers of the first dresser she came to, purposely making a mess, so that it would be clear to the police that the burglar had been in a hurry. She found only a few pieces of jewelry worth anything. She placed those into a clean surgical glove.

She moved to the second dresser on the other side of the room, and found much better pickings. There were at least half a dozen pairs of jeweled cuff links and over a dozen jeweled tie tacks.

She dropped the pieces into the glove and then tied off the open end and shoved it into her bag. Then she left the room and ran back down the carpeted stairs. She set her bag down in the doorway to the kitchen and walked over to Mrs. Ryan's unconscious form on the couch. Case leaned over and shook her shoulder.

Mrs. Ryan's eyes fluttered. She groaned a little and tried to sit up. Her head really hurt and she felt a little nauseous.

Case pulled her to a sitting position and then stood back a pace, grasping the hilt of the knife at her back. Mrs. Ryan shook her head and then put her hand to her left temple, gingerly pressing on the bruised area, and groaned a little at the tenderness she found.

"Mrs. Ryan?"

Mrs. Ryan looked up. Case stood before her with her hands behind her back.

"Who are you?" Mrs. Ryan asked.

"Mrs. Ryan?"

Case's voice was gentle and low.

"Yes. Who are you? What are you doing here? What happened?"

Mrs. Ryan tried to figure out why a young blonde woman was standing in the middle of her living room.

"Please stand up."

Case reached out her left hand and gently pulled the woman to her feet. She pulled out the knife. In a quick thrust, she shoved the knife into Mrs. Ryan's stomach and dragged it to the side. Mrs. Ryan's eyes widened in shock and she tried to inhale to scream, but Case withdrew the knife just as suddenly and used her left fist to backhand her across the left temple again. As she slumped to the floor in unconsciousness, Mrs. Ryan realized she wouldn't be waking up again and terror flooded through her last moment of awareness.

The stomach wound pumped out thick blood onto the recently vacuumed peach-colored carpet. Case stepped out of the way of the pooling blood and kneeled down. She watched as the pulse at Mrs. Ryan's neck slowed and then finally stopped.

She looked at her watch. 10:42am. She went to the kitchen and washed the knife and her still-gloved hands in the sink. She looked down to check her clothing, but there were no conspicuous bloodstains. She grabbed up her bag and went out the back door. She didn't remove the gloves until she was outside again, stuffing them into the side pocket of her bag. She transferred the knife to the bag, too. Then she traveled through the backyards of several houses, before heading towards the street again. She walked around the block, away from the house, and stopped at another bus stop.

It picked her up at eleven sharp. She settled into her seat at the rear of the bus and watched the streets go by. She arrived at the beach in a little over an hour and got lunch on the Promenade. Then she called to check in with Doc.


"Case. It's done. The package was delivered. I kept the receipt."

"That's fine. You keeping the payment, too?" Doc asked as he entered the update into his computer.


"Good." Case heard the familiar typing sounds. "Payment for delivery has been rendered." There was a pause. "You got a new assignment."

Case raised her eyebrows.

"So soon? That'll be three in a single week. That's a new record."

"No, not that kind of assignment. You have an apprentice. She was chosen by the boss himself. He wants you to teach her everything you know."

Doc waited for the explosion. He wasn't disappointed.

"What?! Are you insane? I'm not teaching some little bitch of his how to..."

"She's not his, at least not like that," Doc amended. As far as Antonio was concerned, he owned all of them. "And she's not little either according to her profile. She's five-eleven and built like a Mack truck. Her pic shows her with long black hair and blue eyes."

Case sighed in resignation. She'd had her little temper tantrum and now it was time to get back to business.

"How did she get his attention?"

"She saved his life while she was working as a go-between for Franco. Took care of three of Spinella's guys before they even had a chance to do anything."

"Well, at least she's really done it before, so that won't be an issue."

"Yeah, she didn't offer any objections."

Case knew what he was referring to. She'd basically refused when Antonio had first told her he wanted her to become one of his assassins. He hadn't said anything at the time, but she'd gone home to find her cat dead and a note telling her that her own death would be a lot more painful, if she didn't learn her place in the organization. Then Doc had called and introduced himself. She'd tried to protest, but then he'd reminded her that she'd killed before and the jobs he would be sending her on would be a lot less personal than that had been. The image of blood covering her hands, the knife falling away to clatter on the tiles of the kitchen floor, had gone through her mind, and she'd thought, I'm already a killer. Why am I fighting this? So, she hadn't.

"So, does she have any special skills?"

"I think I'll let her tell you about herself. It'll be a bonding experience," Doc laughed. He had a feeling the two women would either get along great or kill each other. "You can call me to verify what she tells you."

"Fine. When do I meet her?"

"According to Northwest's computer, her plane should be arriving at LAX in half an hour. She has instructions to call you as soon as she lands."

"Fuck. You could have given me more warning."

"I just got the heads up last night and didn't talk to her until this morning," he defended himself.

"Excuses, excuses."

Case clicked off the phone so she wouldn't have to listen to his annoying laugh. She decided to stay at the beach to wait for the phone call. It was pleasant with the sound of crashing waves and a cool breeze and maybe if she were in a relaxed setting she wouldn't kill the woman when she met her.

Forty-five minutes later, her phone buzzed.


"Hi. Doc told me to call you. I'm Rain."

"Yeah, he told me you were coming. You rented a car yet?"

"Uh, no, not yet."

"Well, get a car and then meet me at the Santa Monica Pier. You know how to get there?"

"Yeah, no problem."

"Fine. See ya in a coupla hours."

Case clicked off her phone once more and looked out over the ocean.

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