The light streamed into his room as if to announce it was time to go. The weather was going to be perfect for him to finish up and exit the country with minimal exposure. Grabbing his black duffle bag, he checked the time.

6:30 a.m. Local.

The room was wiped down after he had gotten ready. He was a compulsive neat freak and it served his purposes, probably saved his life once or twice. His eyes scanned the room twice over. This went back to basic training, the mind never picked up everything the first go-through, always check twice and the second time do it backwards.

All clear.

He grabbed his handkerchief, obtained from a previous run in with someone who a lot of people didn’t want left alive. He had used the handkerchief as a gag. After all, shooting someone in the leg really hurts. After they get past the burning sensation of the wound, the pain courses throughout the leg and into the abdomen.

With the handkerchief covering his hand, he reached for the doorknob, ever so slightly turning the knob and opened the door. He counted to 5. Five seconds is what it takes to determine events in an area you haven’t observed. Your ears can process faster then your eyes. You know the saying; your eyes can deceive you. It was assassins who came up with that.

His mind would wander to training and how he was recruited. That was 5 years and 250 “marks” ago. You forget the faces of the first ones. When you get out of training, you do things on “auto” and don’t take in the details of a face. You only see a target. The Leg guy, that was special one though. He had him square in his scope and one second before pulling the trigger he witnessed his Mark slapping a woman. He couldn’t let that go unpunished. He aborted the mission, temporarily. The mission became a kidnap and interrogate scenario. It took him a week to get a basement, have it prepped and then get his Mark. After some face-to-fist negotiation and several teeth lost and strewn on the bloody floor. Some were actually pulled out, his knuckles needed the break. It’s amazing how useful needle-nose pliers are. The Mark actually begged for forgiveness and swore on his unborn children that he would never strike another woman again. His reply was to smash every bone in his right hand so that his fingers would need extensive plastic surgery to get straightened, and to be honest even after that they wouldn’t be right again. After the screeching and screaming, he brought out the handkerchief and jammed it into the partially toothless mouth. He waited 10 minutes until the muffled screaming became just an agonizing moan. He sat down on the plastic crate and smoked a cigarette. Blood dried on his hands and his knuckles soar from negotiating. He enjoyed the break and realized he had to start working out again. Sweat streamed down his face from over exerting himself. He finished his cigarette, stomped it out on the cold cement basement floor and pulled out his gun. He stepped up to the Mark,

 

“Look at me.” he commanded, pulling the handkerchief out of the bloody mouth.  The Mark moaned. Lack of teeth and mouth full of blood made it difficult to speak. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the silencer, screwed it on to the weapon.

 

“I said, look…at…me.” He said it through his teeth. The Mark looked up slowly and his face was swollen and his lips puffy. A bloody bubbled cough came out of his mouth. He could see that he had broken the Mark’s eye socket. A large bruise had formed and swelled the eye shut.

 

“You’ll want to put ice on that.” He said sarcastically, pointing the gun at the calf area and pulled the trigger. Moaning and screaming went on for several minutes. During that time, he cleaned up, wiped down the area. After the noise went down he stood behind his Mark.

 

“I despise men who beat on women. That’s why I punished you. The Supervisor will no longer need your services.” Cold and calculating intent seeped from his lips. The Mark moaned with desperation, knowing his life was going to end. He pulled the trigger and a hole poured out blood from the back of his head.

 

Job done. Not clean but then again, nothing is ever perfect.

 

He stood in the hall of the hotel and looked at himself in the mirror by the elevator. A smirk on his mouth from the memory of the Leg job. He had a name for every mission. There was the, hair job, knee job, back job, and the finger job. He initially called it the hand job and realized it was unprofessional. He examined his haircut that he got the day before. Part of the job was to get familiar with the geography and what better way then to look as if you are part of the scenery. The elevator chimed its arrival. The doors opened and a woman stood by the console. He stood over to the other side, waited for the doors to close,

 

“You shouldn’t go to bed so late.” he said with a concerned tone.

 

“Yes sir, I will keep an “eye” on that.” she replied mocking.

 

“Give me a Sit-Rep.” he ordered, they were working after all.

 

“Target was seen entering the premises at 22:24 yesterday, no activity since then and satellite thermo-imaging shows 2 occupants in the upstairs main bedroom.” She said it with authority and handed him a flash drive. He palmed it and placed it in his right inside coat pocket. The elevator stopped at the 3rd floor. The doors opened, a young man was going to enter.

 

“Take the next one.” He said sternly with a hard gaze. The man backed up and she smirked. She has great respect for his focus and it made her feel secure. This was definitely an upgrade from where she started. The streets of Calcutta were her home, playground and school. They also became her hell. Sold by her father into slavery, which became her reality for 2 years. He showed up one day just walking down the street, looking out of place with his clean clothes and groomed hair. Her services were being discussed, when this man approached. He looked strong and intimidating, she stared at him. She remembered how the man confronted her pimp. Still to this day, she doesn’t know why he helped her. All that is left of that memory is the 2 men left on the curb with blood streaming out their noses and the man holding her hand and telling her,

 

“That life is over. You are going to be ok now.” he said with softness.

 

She blinked several times and focused on the work. The elevator was descending again. They both walked out of the elevator and across the concierge area and to the revolving doors of the main entrance.

 

” The black one.” She said pointing at the black 2-door sedan. He looked at her with disapproval. “Don’t give me that look,” she interjected, “take it up with the boss. It’s not like you’re James Bond or anything.” she jabbed him with that last comment. She knew he loved those movies. They got into the car and sat there. They didn’t say a word, they were doing reconnaissance. Once they leave their nest, everyone is a hostile. Trust no one, it keeps you alive. That was his first lesson he taught her, coming from the streets, an easy one to learn.

 

“Clear.”

 

“Clear.” she confirmed.

 

Their drive was 5 hours to the Mark. The town was Valencia, in Spain. The Mark had rented a house outside of Valencia. In a rural valley outside the city, anyone can hide. With mountains surrounding the house, unexpected visitors would be easy to see and hear from miles away. The drive was uneventful, conversation went back to her lack of sleep.

 

“Are you doing the exercises I taught you?” he asked concerned.

 

“Yes, they are not helping. It’s the damn nightmares again. I am on that street and 2 faceless men are after me and I scream your name but you never show up.” she explains with embarrassment. She knows he would fight for her, he’s done it so many times. Since she was 16, she would purposely get into trouble to watch him save her. She found it thrilling.

 

“I think it’s time I trained you in self defence.” he said calmly and with purpose. She looked over at him in surprise but also relieved, she had asked him so many times before and he would only say, “Soon”.

 

They parked the car and camouflaged it with the trees and bushes, a car driving by the road would never see it. There was no more talking from that point. They called it, Marking the Territory. Several days ago, they hiked the area and found their perch. carrying the duffle bag and leading the way he started with a steady powerful walk.

 

The sun was almost above them. They were lying down on the edge of the cliff with brush over them and a clear view of the Mark’s position. They had received updates via cell phones of any activity. None, except for movement inside the house. She was using high spectrum binoculars that could zoom in by five thousand meters.

 

“Update.” he whispered.

 

“The Mark is talking about food.” she reported. One skill he had found useful was that she was an excellent lip reader. She continued,

 

“He doesn’t like eggs, poached to be exact.” She said it as if making an order from a menu. “He’s yelling now.” she said with disdain.

 

He had assembled his rifle and was sliding the scope when they could hear the rumble of the car.

 

“Secondary arriving.” He stated. She panned the binoculars to the road.

 

“Affirmative. Secondary appears to be alone.” she reported. On occasion, they were asked to eliminate 2 for the price of one. She switched from her binoculars to her mobile scope to assist with the strikes.

 

“Range 3980 meters, wind is at 6 kms. Direction SSE. Primary is at the front door, with guest.” She was on automatic now, this was business, not personal. The Primary Mark had this meeting set up weeks ago. Intercept of a communication between Primary and Secondary confirmed today’s meeting and since they had been trying to “remove” both, it seemed to good to pass up. The driver door opened, Secondary stepped out.

 

“Shit.” She said with disapproval. She looked at him with worry. He placed his eye on his scope and traced his gun to the Secondary. Walking to the main door with Primary and guest was Secondary and the pet. A dog had come out of the car and excitedly run up to the Primary and then back to Secondary.

 

“It’ll be ok.” He looked over to reassure her. She went back to her mobile scope and him to the rifle scope. They set up the shots. Now they had to breathe. Primary and Secondary were standing together. It’s now or never. His finger caressed the side of the rifle.

 

“One.” she called.

Forefinger caressed and stroked the trigger now.

 

“Two.” she counted.

Forefinger lightly gripped the trigger.

 

“Three.”

Squeeze.

 

The Dog Job was done.

 

The End