Seen Too Much in Too Few Years
Seen Too Much in Too Few Years
"Living high, sitting in the sun:
Sit on your ass 'till your work is done.
You lazy mother, your hands are clean:
You pull the strings and you got the clout.
There's something filthy living in your mouth,
Pushing your buttons. You get away free..."
-The Rolling Stones, Dirty Workpart four: spike
"Right," the assassin says, breathing hard through his nose just like Angelus used to do when he got annoyed. "The first thing we have to do is get out of this neighborhood. I'd say we could disguise ourselves with the clothes of our dead opponents -- except that they turned to dust
when our enemies did."
"Guess that means we'll have to fight it out," I tell him. He blinks twice at that, all of the stress and emotion draining from his face like water out of a sieve. He looks almost serene, and I can't help smiling in approval. It's a rare human who takes to killing as gladly and easily as I do.
"We might have to, at that," he says, then frowns at me. "You don't need to look so happy about it."
"Like you're not," I scoff. "Vampire, here. I can hear your pulse picking up, an' smell your anticipation."
"That's really creepy," he says deadpan. "And I am not happy about it. If we make too much noise, my contact might refuse to deal with us."
"I already told you, mate, I can handle that."
"And I already told you no." He crosses to the window and looks out at the empty street, keeping me in his peripheral vision the entire time. "It's pretty quiet out there. We should find somewhere to stay for the night."
"You mean the day," I correct. "Bursting into flames is not a part of my plan."
"Look, Beirut is bad enough during the day. At night, it's hell on earth."
"It's not so bad," I tell him. "You should have seen Paris in 1943. Or Verdun in 1917."
"Right," he says again. "Because you're a vampire. You've been around since the Victorian era."
"Is mild hysteria a normal characteristic of professional assassins?"
He gives me a dark look. "You have no idea. We keep the pharmaceutical companies solvent. Of course, we also keep them in business, though we do that by doing our jobs, rather than by medicating our various neuroses."
"You'd be some shrink's worst nightmare," I say admiringly.
this one. He'd make one hell of a vampire, and I'd turn him if I didn't think that Dru would like him a little too much. His face is too innocent, his eyes are too hard, and the killer's twist of thats pretty mouth would put her into incoherent ecstasies for days. Maybe I can introduce him to Darla.
"Thanks," he says. "My original point, though, is that the street is clear. Would you like to get moving, or shall we stand here fencing all night?"
"Let's get moving," I tell him. "Where's this contact of yours?"
"Halfway across town. I'm counting on you to eat anyone that comes after us, by the way. Gunshots will bring half the city down on our heads."
"We wouldn't want that," I say sarcastically.
"Probably not. They'd rip us to small, quivering pieces."
"You do have a way with words, don't you?"
"It's a gift." He opens the door and gestures me to go ahead of him.
"Look, I'm not going to eat you," I tell him impatiently. "I need you to get out of Lebanon, don't I?"
"That's good to know," he says. "You still get to go first."
***Author's Notes: Short update this time, but chapter 5 is already in progress. This is unbeta'd; all mistakes are my own.
The first person to tell me which Rolling Stones songs all of the chapter titles come from will get a 500-word story of their choice.
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