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Masked

I never thought that this was how my 18the birthday would be. I pictured friends, cake, balloons, and I suppose I got that, if only it was meant for me. Here I blend in, though my tux is tight, and my bowtie threatens to steal my breathe away. No one suspects that I am more than a member of those that belong here, those who have good intentions, no one but the host that is. He knows why I'm here, knows what will happen. I see this in the way he scans the room looking for something, someone, and the way he mops sweet from his brow with a soaked handkerchief, dabbing it here and there every few moments. He knows I linger somewhere in the crowd, knows not my name, nor my face, just my profession. I keep my distance, noting his cautious steps, the way he moves through the bodies as if any second a gun will rise to his back, as if I would give myself away like that. I watch him mingle with his guest, hardly paying attention to their words, nodding, and murmuring phrases here and there, as he turns the wedding band on his finger. I witness this all until he slips into his office, an invitation for his night to end.

The door shut with a low thud as I entered the space. The lock clinking into place as my steady hand turned the mechanism. Slowly I turned away from the door to him as he stood behind his desk. His back turned to me as he watched the rain outside fall to the earth through a large window. I stared at his salt and pepper hair waiting for him to make the first move. Eyed the velvet curtains that hung on the window, the large cherry desk scattered withe papers from late night hours. A clock on the wall ticked away at the seconds until he finally spoke, hands clasped behind his back.

"You're younger then I would have imagined." He said, sorrow heavy in his voice, whether it was from his loss or his families I'll never know. I kept my distance, watching his white tuxedo form, waiting for him to turn to me. Silently waiting until the right moment to strike. “Nothing more than a boy doing men’s work." he said letting his hands fall to his side.

"I'm 18 today sir." I said stepping closer to the desk that separated us in the unlight room.

"I see. Well for an assassin your..."He trailed off not sure what to say before turning to finally face me. He was clean shaved withe crystal blue eyes and a sad, sad smile.

"I agree, I'm different, in more than one way. I grew tired of the cat and mouse game long ago, I go for a direct approach now sir. I'd like to make this less noticeable, let your family have one more night of good news, and fun before they find you. The gun in your belt you might as well discard that now please." I said as he removed his gun, opened a drawer to the desk and threw it in before closing it again. "Is there anything you'd like me to wright your family, sir? Anything at all?" MY head tilted in question as he looked at me puzzled.

"NO." Came the word through gritted teeth, as his jaw and fist clenched. A threat unheard to my deaf ears.

"Very well. Then my note will be all they receive." A million questions flew through his mind at my words and yet he did not speak, he waited. "It's an apology for your death, and their sorrow. It may be my profession but that does not mean I approve the effect. Now goodbye Mr. Waters." I said letting the knife, that had slid from my sleeve into my hand, fly making its destination in his heart.

I walked around the desk to face the corpse; eyes open in shock, yet a smile upon his face. I removed my knife and wiped the crimson blood from its blade before returning it to its holder. Slowly I moved his cold, stone body from the gray shagged carpet into his chair. Delicately I folded his arms over his chest and closed his eyes. "Goodbye Mr. Waters, see you around." I said turning his chair to face the window, something I imagined him doing a lot. I took a piece of paper from his desk folded it into my tux interior pocket, wrote a small simple note, just as I'd done millions of times before. Gently closing the note in his hand and left the office. Slowly I left the room behind, then the warmth of the party into the rain, and black night. Leaving behind the scene of death, and happiness, for the cold, sinister world I live in.

In his hand lay a note: I'm sorry-Klouse



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