Title: Show Me Love
Author: Xan
Couples: AU, M/L and Allie/Kyle
Summary: Max, his wife, his son, and his brother-in-law move to Roswell after an accident to start over again and end up finding themselves


Prologue

Max POV

“…I think that’s all we need. Am I forgetting anything? Max? Max? Are you listening to me?” my wife, Allie Evans, demanded.

“Um, yeah, of course,” I stammered.

Allie just rolled her eyes. “I’m sure you were. I was asking you if I’d forgotten to pack anything.”

“Oh. I’m pretty sure you didn’t.” My wife is VERY thorough. She spent two days taking inventory of everything in our apartment, and then made a list of the things we needed and things we could sell or leave in storage. I highly doubt she forgot anything.

“Good. Well, let’s get going. Grab Riley’s diaper bag, will ya?” she said and walked out the door with our four month old son.

Not that I don’t love Riley, because I do, but I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if Allie and I had never had him. Allie and I met our sophomore year in high school. She had just moved to San Antonio from Ireland and was very different from any girl I had ever met. She had short red hair, the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen, fair skin, freckles, and an adorable accent. I just loved listening to her talk. Allie became popular almost the second she walked through the door, which was fine with me because I was quite easily the most popular guy in the school.

Allie and I had all of our classes together, with the exception of seventh period because she had cheerleading and I had football. We were an item by September. After a few months, our relationship turned physical. That’s when our problems began. We fought so much that we were broken up every other week. However, we were convinced that we loved each other and the one who started the fight always went crawling back. During the summer, I found out that my family was moving to Roswell, New Mexico. Allie and I weren’t as upset as we had thought we would be. We stayed up all night one evening in late July and decided that we were better off as friends. We discovered that we didn’t really love each other in a romantic way—I think we were both searching for our soul mates. I don't think we even knew what love was.

So, I packed my things and prepared to move, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. Right before we were supposed to leave (the beginning of August), we found out that Allie was about a month pregnant. Needless to say, I was not about to abandon her. We were both seventeen and talked our parents into letting us marry. Why go to such extremes?

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to have child out of wedlock!” Allie shrieked.

Her twin brother, Alex, stared at her incredulously. “Well, you should have thought ‘bout that before you went and slept with Maxwell, Alexandra! For God’s sake girl, use your head.”

Alexandra and Alexander O’Connor were the strangest siblings you could ever meet, but more about that later.

Anyway, for Allie’s sake, we got married and moved into an apartment near her parents while my parents and my twin sister, Isabel, moved to Roswell. We started our junior year and kept up our grades to keep the school authorities off our backs. Allie gave birth to our son, Riley Conner Evans, in April. Even though we didn’t love each other in a romantic way, Allie and I were in heaven with our little family. Then, tragedy struck.

One month ago, Allie and Alex’s parents were killed in a car crash. That’s why we’re moving. The three of us, plus Alex, are moving to Roswell to be near my parents. Hopefully, it will take some of the stress off of Allie and me so that we can have a good senior year.

“Maxwell, are ya coming or not?” Alex asked, peeking his red head through the door.

“Yeah. Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“’Bout…?”

“My life and how different it is than I imagined it would be.”

Alex shot me a look. “Well, that’ll teach ya to go and knock up every girl ya date.”

I just laughed. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“Come on, we better get down stairs before Allie demonstrates the true meaning of the ‘fighting Irish’.”

I nodded and followed Alex, closing the door to a chapter of my life. Roswell, here I come.


Part One

Max POV

“I can’t do this!” Allie moaned, rocking from one foot to the next.

“What? Face your in-laws?” Alex asked with a mischievous grin.

“Yes! I haven’t seen them since Riley was born and I haven’t seen Isabel since they moved here. You know what happened the last time we saw each other. What if she follows through on her threat? What if she really does kill me? What if—“

“Allie! Calm down. She’s not going to kill you,” I said, fighting the urge to laugh.

I couldn’t blame her, though. Isabel and Allie started out as best friends, but Isabel flipped when she found out that Allie was pregnant and said some rather nasty things to her. Considering how much bigger Iz is than her, its no wonder Allie is intimidated by her. Isabel is around 5’9 and big boned; Allie is 5’2 and weighs around 110 pounds. I mean, Iz could crush the poor girl! Then again, if Iz tried anything, she wouldn’t get away with it. Cedric would have her killed in the blink of an eye.

Oh yeah, you guys don’t know who Cedric is, do you? Well, Cedric O’Connor is Allie and Alex’s older brother and head of the Irish mob. Yeah, that Cedric O’Connor—the most notorious boss in history. That’s why their parents were killed. No, I didn’t lie to you—it was a car crash. A car crash that was the result of cut brake lines. Another thing I didn’t tell you is that Allie’s connection to the mob is one of the reasons my family moved.

My relationship with her and Isabel’s relationship with Alex (yes, they were together) got us deeply involved with the O’Connor crime family. Allie and Alex’s father wanted to go legitimate, so he pulled out, leaving Cedric in charge. Unfortunately, Allie wasn’t prepared to leave the family, so she remained a part of the mob. About a year ago, Allie got into a rather nasty fight with Seamus Finnegan, the head of another family, and she won. Naturally, he was pissed and took his revenge by killing her parents. Now Cedric has gone to war against the Finnegan family and has several bodyguards moving to Roswell to keep watch over Allie, Alex, Riley and myself. The fact that a bunch of mobsters could be plotting my death isn’t what scares me—what scares me is that if anything happens to Cedric, its already been decided that Allie will take over as the first female boss. Scary, isn’t it? So basically, I’m married to the mob, not to mention a hit woman.

Yep, you heard me right. My lovely, petite, eighteen-year-old wife used to be a hitter for her brother. She’s killed more people than I’ve met. However, when she became pregnant, Cedric made sure that no more hits were passed her way. Thank God for that. So, what do you think of my life? Crazy, isn’t it? I bet you never saw it coming. Lord knows Isabel didn’t. When she first found out, she flipped and broke up with Alex. After that, she became incredibly hostile toward Allie and Alex, though she never said anything rude or nasty because she was afraid that they’d have someone take her out. A month or two later, she was fine with it, but all hell broke loose when she found out that Allie was pregnant. Okay, I think I’ve rambled on enough…

Taking a deep breath, I rang the doorbell to my parents’ house. A moment later, Iz flung the door open, surprise written all over her face.

“What are you doing here?” she demanded icily.

Allie, Alex, and I each raised an eyebrow. Who is this ice queen and what has she done with my sister?

“Um, didn’t Mom and Dad tell you that we were moving here?”

She blinked. “Yeah, it must have slipped my mind. Come back in an hour.”

The bitch formally known as my sister then slammed the door in our faces.

“Well,” Allie finally murmured, “at least she didn’t kill me.”

Alex and I stared at her for a moment before Alex’s eyes lit up.

“I got an idea.”

“Do tell,” I mumbled dryly.

“Well, this is your family’s house and you are still part of the family, so just walk in.”

“That’s your idea? Just walk in?”

Allie and Alex nodded.

“Yeah, it could—“

“—work. Isabel—“

“—would never see—“

“—it coming. She’d—“

“—freak. God--“

“—I wish I had—“

“—a camera.”

See?! Incredibly strange siblings. I shook my head and turned back to the offending door.

“Here goes nothing,” I muttered and opened it.

The three of us looked at each other and the sleeping Riley, then shrugged and stepped inside. We crept silently down the entryway hall, trying not to alert my sister to our presence. Allie suddenly giggled.

“I feel like we should be humming the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme.”

“You would,” I said, rolling my eyes.

A sudden scream prevented further smart-ass remarks.

“Iz! There’s strangers in your house!” a bubbly blonde with green eyes shrieked.

Isabel, two guys, and the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen came running into the hall.

“Max,” Isabel seethed dangerously.

Allie, Alex, and I gulped in unison. Izzy did not look pleased and that’s a very scary thing.

“Iz,” the three of us said in unison.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Well…our plane just got in and we’re really tired and we didn’t really feel like coming back in an hour—so we just opened the door and came in. Do you have a problem with that?” Allie asked innocently, though there was an undertone of ‘I can do horrible things to you, so you better not mess with me.’

Isabel’s eyes narrowed, but she shook her head. “Of course not. Why don’t you four go into the living room and make yourselves comfortable?”

“Thanks, sis,” I said brightly and the three of us, me carrying Riley, walked casually into the living room. I just love messing with my sister.

****************************************************************************************


Liz POV

Wow, the guy with the kid is incredibly hot! I wonder who he is…

“So, Iz, who exactly are those people?” Michael asked as Isabel, Maria, Kyle, Michael and I walked into the kitchen.

Isabel sighed. “The one who was carrying the baby is my brother Max; the girl is his wife, Allie; the other boy is Allie’s twin brother, Alex; and the baby is Allie and Max’s son, Riley.”

“Whoa, he’s married and has a son?” I asked, sorely disappointed. “And why haven’t you ever told us you have a brother?”

“Yeah, and how old are they?” Maria added, also surprised that Iz had never mentioned it.

“Yes, Max is married and a father. I never told you guys because I prefer not to think about them and all of the trouble they caused. And, the three of them are eighteen—Max is my twin brother.”

This is too much. Max cannot be married. Oh, my life sucks.

“Why don’t you like to think about them?” Kyle questioned.

“Because thinking about them acknowledges their existence and doing that puts my life in danger!” Isabel shrieked.

“Huh?” Michael, Kyle, Maria and I said in unison.

Isabel’s eyes widened. “Nothing, forget I said anything. Come on, let’s go into the living room before they think we’re being rude.”

This should be interesting.

Part Two

Allie POV

Oh. My. God. I thought we’d never get out of there. Max’s parents had us trapped at their house for four hours. I normally wouldn’t have minded, but Iz was shooting me dirty looks the whole time and her friends made me a bit uncomfortable. Well, most of them. I must say that I really liked her friend Kyle Valenti. He’s very handsome and can actually make me laugh. The only thing about him that bothered me was the fact that his father is Roswell’s Sheriff.

I’m sure he’s a nice guy and all, but I don’t like law enforcement of any kind—go figure. I’ve had some nasty meetings with the Feds and some coppers in Ireland. The Feds are the ones that really have it out for my family, though. There’s this one agent, Agent Pierce, who’s been after me personally since I pulled off my first hit three years ago (yeah, I was 15 the first time). We were living in New York at the time and my father was still head of the family. My oldest brother, Riley, was gunned down at our cousin’s wedding and I too was shot. I recovered, but Riley was dead before an ambulance could get there. Everyone in the family was pissed, but none were as pissed as I was. Riley was my best friend, even though he was 24. I made some inquires and found out that his former friend, a guy named Ryan Johnson, was behind the hit and that it had been intended for me. Unfortunately, the FBI was guarding him—he was under witness protection. That meant that I had to go to extreme measures to get my revenge.

After I had fully recovered from my injuries, I set to work. I contacted my father’s informant in the FBI and asked him to tell me where Ryan was. When he said he couldn’t help me, I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Naturally, he told me. Lucky for me, Ryan’s sister, Mary, and I looked a lot alike so I cut my hair, died it a more brownish red, put in brown contacts, put on some baggy clothes (she was a bit bigger than me), and talked my way past the guards. Apparently, Ryan had shown them a picture of Mary and said that it was okay for her to visit—the guy had a real soft spot for his little sister. The guards thought I was a real “cutie” and “could visit any time I wanted”. Losers. Imagine their surprise when they heard Ryan and myself arguing, then gunfire, then me hauling ass out of the building, killing them in the process. There were only two of them that day—Anthony Ramirez and Andrew Pierce. Yeah, Pierce. Agent Daniel Pierce’s little brother. I became a hitter after that and Pierce became a pain in my ass. A month later, Dad moved us back to Ireland for a few months while he arranged to hand everything over to Cedric, who was 23 at the time. Then we moved to San Antonio and Cedric moved back to New York. Unbeknownst to Dad, Cedric constantly assigned me hits, especially the most complicated ones. From Ryan’s murder to my last one before Cedric made me quit, I killed close to 100 people. I can’t say that I regret doing it—I was a good hitter. I actually want to become boss, but I don’t wish any harm to Cedric. If he ever decides to pull out, I will jump at the chance to become the first female boss in history.

“What ‘cha thinking about, Allie Kat?” Max asked me, sitting down on our couch in our new living room.

“My old life.”

“What about it?”

“I miss it.”

My husband cocked an eyebrow. “You miss killing people? That can’t be healthy.”

I rolled my eyes. “I miss being good at something and doing it. I miss the thrill of running from the cops, of plotting, of getting into brawls with men twice my size, of running for my life, of pulling the trigger, of not knowing if I was going to live to see the next day. It was such an adrenaline rush, Max. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Al, you are doing something that you’re good at—you’re a great mother to Riley and an amazing friend to me and a great sister to Alex. When school starts, you’re going to be a great student. What more do you need?”

I sighed. Max really is naïve. “Forget Max, you just don’t understand. So, did you have as much fun at your parents’ as I did?”

*********************************************
MAX POV

I grinned. “Oh yeah, a blast. What did you think of Izzy’s friends?”

I, personally, liked her friend Liz Parker the best. Liz—its like music to my ears. She’s so beautiful, and really kind and smart. Too bad I don’t have a chance. I think she was a little confused as to why I spent so much time talking with her and not my wife. If she only knew…

Allie looked thoughtful for a moment. “Well, you know how I am around strangers—they make me a little uncomfortable. Though, I did like that Kyle guy.”

“Yeah, it looked like you and Buddha boy were really hitting it off,” I said with a knowing smile. It was so obvious that she had the hots for him.

Allie just grinned. “Us? What about you and Miss Parker? You two looked awfully chummy.”

“Well—“

“Oh God, this is so weird,” Alex burst out, joining us.

“What’s weird?” I asked, puzzled.

“You two are married and you’re discussing the people you have the hots for. Its not normal!”

Allie stared at her brother. “Alex, since when has our marriage been normal? We haven’t slept together since July of last year. We didn’t even sleep together on our honeymoon.”

“Way too much information!” Alex cried.

“Alex, you know that my and Allie’s relationship is not a romantic one. The only love between us is that of best friends. We’re allowed to be attracted to other people.”

“So what are you gonna do if you two really fall for Liz and Kyle? Cheat on each other? Get a divorce? You know that Cedric would never allow it.”

“Thanks for reminding us,” Allie snapped and stormed off to feed Riley.

Alex watched his twin run off then turned back to me. “Max, you two have to dismiss any thoughts of other people.”

“What if I talk to Cedric?” I asked, knowing the answer.

“Yeah right, he hates you for getting his little sister pregnant. Face it, you two are stuck with each other.”

Liz’s face popped into my head. “Not if I have anything to say about it,” I murmured.

********************************************
LIZ POV

“How was your day, sweetie?” my mother asked as we sat around the dinner table.

Max’s handsome face popped into my head. “It was really great. I met Isabel’s brother and his family.”

“I didn’t know Iz had a brother. Is he married? How old is he?”

“Yeah, he’s married.” To a wife he doesn’t show any affection to. “He also has a four month old son named Riley. Max and Izzy are twins.”

My dad raised an eyebrow. “So he’s only eighteen?”

I nodded. “Yeah, so is Allie, his wife, and Alex, her twin brother.”

“Where are their parents?”

“They died in car crash last month.”

Something strange flickered in Dad’s eyes. “Really? How sad. So, are their full names Alexander and Alexandra?”

“Yeah.”

“What’s Alex’s last name?”

“O’Connor.”

Mom and Dad both started coughing. Weird. “Alexander and Alexandra O’Connor?” Mom asked.

I smiled. “Cute, isn’t it?”

“How long are they visiting?” Dad questioned.

“They’re not visiting—they’re moving here.”

Mom and Dad exchanged a look.

“I’ll, um, be right back,” Dad stammered. “I have to…er…go to the bathroom.”

Mom and I watched Dad run down the hall. I wonder why he’s acting so strange. Oh well.

“So Mom, how was work?” I ask.

“Fine,” she said vaguely. “Nothing exciting, really.”

“Any new cases?”

Mom and Dad are FBI agents.

“No,” she replied. “But I have a feeling there will be soon,” she mumbled under her breath.

Part Three

Liz POV

What am I doing here? For some strange reason, I find myself standing in front of Max’s new house. Why? I don’t know. Ever since he and his family moved here, I’ve felt this pull toward him. The way he acts you would never know that he was married. Sometimes I even forget. Anyways, I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. Almost immediately, a scary looking guy answered it.

“Can I help you?” he asked in a thick Irish accent.

He made me really nervous. “Um, yeah, is Max here? I mean he does live here, right?”

Mr. Tough Guy studied me for a moment, and then said, “Who are you?”

“I’m Liz Parker, a friend of Max’s sister.”

“Hang on,” he muttered and turned inside. “Allie! There’s a Liz Parker here to see Max!”

I could feel myself turning bright red. He just had to call Max’s wife.

“Hey, Liz,” Allie said cheerily, walking up to the door with Riley on her hip.

I took a moment to study my competition—whoa. Competition? She’s already married to him! Still…damn! I had to admit that she looked good. She had on black soccer pants with white and yellow piping down the sides, a tight black top that said “CONTROL FREAK” in silver glitter letters, and her amazing red hair was done in high pigtails. I was no match for her.

“What ‘cha up to today?” she asked, shaking me from my thoughts.

“Um,” I stuttered, “I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d drop by and maybe give you guys the official tour of Roswell.”

Allie flashed me her dazzling smile. “That’s so sweet. Come on in.”

I walked into the house and was at once hit by how much of a home it was. There were pictures of the four of them plus other people all over the place and it had lots of homey touches. The big Irish thug still hovering around Allie did not look right in—like he didn’t really belong there.

“So…who’s the guy?” I whispered to Allie.

She glanced back at him and waved her hand dismissively. “That’s Todd. He’s a friend of Alex’s and he never seems to leave. Just ignore him.”

Just then, the world seemed to stop. Max stepped into the room wearing nothing but white drawstring pajama pants. He was a sight to behold and I had to pray that I wasn’t drooling. Without warning, his head came up and our eyes locked.

“L-Liz. Hi,” he stammered.

“Hey.”

“So, what brings you to our humble home?”

“Liz has offered to give us a tour of Roswell,” Allie supplied.

Max grinned. Oh my God, he has the sexiest grin.

“Really? That’s really nice of you. Excuse me while I go change.”

I could only nod. Allie and I sat down on the couch and began to make small talk. In the middle of our conversation, the phone rang in the next room.

“Uh, Liz? Do you mind holding Riley while I take that call?” Allie asked, a worried undertone barely detectable in her voice.

I nodded. “Sure.”

“Thanks,” she said and handed Riley to me, then sprinted for what I guess was the study.

“Where’s Allie?” Max asked, stepping back into the room fully dressed in somewhat baggy jeans, a tight black shirt that showed off his well-sculpted chest, and Vans.

“The phone rang.”

Max’s brow furrowed. “Really? I didn’t hear it.”

I shrugged. “It rang in the other room.”

“I’ll, uh, be right back,” he said with wide eyes and ran into the room Allie had disappeared into.

Huh, both of them seemed upset about that particular phone ringing. I wonder what’s going on.

**********************************************


Max POV



Oh my God. When I saw Liz standing in my living room studying me without a shirt on, I just wanted to scoop her into my arms and kiss her senseless. Whoa, where did that come from? Still, she’s just perfect. Allie was watching us the entire time with a knowing grin and a twinkle in her eyes. I really hope she doesn’t try to play matchmaker because that would be so weird. Then I saw her holding Riley and my heart just melted. She was being so gentle with him…

Okay, I really need to stay focused on my current crisis.

When Liz told me that Allie’s office phone had rung, my heart stopped. Only members of the family call on that line. I ran after my wife and found her sitting at her desk with a dazed expression on her face.

“Allie, what’s wrong? What happened?” I asked, gently shaking her shoulders.

She opened and closed her mouth, apparently at a loss for words. Her next action caught me off guard. Allie, who didn’t even cry when she gave birth to Riley or when her parents were killed, threw her arms around my neck and began to sob uncontrollably. To say that I was stunned is an understatement. Completely bewildered, I just rocked her back and worth, stroking her hair. After her sobs had subsided, I pulled away and looked into her red eyes.

“Allie, what happened?”

She stared straight back at me and whispered, “They killed him. Finnegan and his fuckers killed Cedric. I’m the boss now.”

I sat back on my heels and looked at my wife in horror. Sure, I had known that this day would come and so had Allie, but I don’t think either one of us expected it to happen when she was only eighteen.

“What happens now?” I asked.

“I have to go to New York, now,” she said and walked out of the room.

I followed her and said, completely forgetting that Liz was in the room, “You’re going to New York now? Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’ll assign more guys to you, Alex, and Riley while I’m gone.”

I grabbed her arm and turned her to face me. “Wait a minute, you can’t go by yourself. We should go with you.”

Allie shook her head. “No, you guys are gonna stay here where its safe. I’ll call you guys every night to let you know that I’m alright.”

I just stood there, staring at her. I was so torn. Part of me wanted to go with her and protect her, even though she has bodyguards for that. Another part of me wanted to take advantage of the situation and spend time with Liz. Does that make me a bad person?

Allie walked over to where a confused Liz was sitting and kissed Riley’s cheek. “Mommy has to take a little trip, sweetie. You stay here with Daddy, Uncle Alex, and Liz. Be good, okay? Mommy loves you, Riley.”

Liz looked shocked that Allie had included her in her little speech to Riley. I could only shake my head—only Allie would still play subtle matchmaker at a time like this.

“What do you want me to tell Alex?” I asked as Allie grabbed her bag and headed for the door, followed by an upset Todd.

“The truth.”

“He’s not going to be happy about it,” I said gently.

Allie nodded. “I know, but he knew that this day would come. Give him my love. I’ll call you guys tonight. Have fun on your sight seeing tour today,” she said and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Bye Liz!” she called.

“Uh, bye Allie!” Liz replied.

Allie nodded and was gone. I slumped into the closest chair and ran a shaky hand through my hair.

“Max,” Liz’s soft voice asked, “what’s going on?”

Crap, what was I going to tell her? I sure as hell didn’t want to tell her the part about the mob.

“The call was from Allie and Alex’s…cousin—their older brother, Cedric, is dead.”

Liz gasped. “Oh my God. What happened?”

“Random drive-by shooting in front of his apartment in New York.” It wasn’t a total lie; he was shot in front of his place. I only left out the part about it being a hit.

“That’s awful. Poor Allie and Alex, they just lost their parents and now they’ve lost their brother. Do they have any other intermediate family?”

I shook my head. “No, their other brother, Riley, was killed three years ago. Allie and I named our son after him.”

Liz just gave me a sympathetic smile and leaned over to squeeze my hand. When our skin touched I felt something like a jolt of electricity run through my body. Her skin was so warm and smooth. Bad Max! Your wife has just been made the head of the most feared crime family in history because her brother was brutally murdered—you should not be thinking about other women right now. But I wasn’t thinking about other women, just one woman. One who had captured my heart in the short time I’d known her.

“What do you say I go ahead and give you the tour right now? Help you get your mind off of your poor brother-in-law,” Liz offered.

I could only nod. Driving all around town with Liz while my wife was out of town? Oh boy, it was going to be a long day.




Part Four

Kyle POV


Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

“Hello?” I groaned into the phone, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

“Valenti! Finally! Why aren’t you up? Its already eleven am in your time zone.”

“What’s your point? Wait, who is this anyway?” I asked in confusion.

“This is Charlie,” he said simply.

My eyes widened and I cursed under my breath. I just had to be awakened from a great dream about a certain red head to talk to one of my “employers”.

“When and where?” I questioned, praying I didn’t have to go too far.

“New York City. You leave today, but the hit will take place tomorrow.”

“What? Great, just great. Who am I supposed to take out?”

“I’ll discuss that with you tomorrow. Just know that she’s a very dangerous enemy of our boss.”

She? I’ve never killed a woman before. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

“And how much will Mr. Finnegan be paying me?”

“That’ll also be discussed tomorrow. You better get a move on. Your flight leaves from Albuquerque in two hours. The reservation is under a Thomas, Dean. See ya in New York.”

I mumbled my good bye and hung the phone up.

“This is just what I need,” I moaned and rolled out of bed.

While I rushed around packing my things as quickly as possible, my dad came to stand in the doorway.

“Where ya going?” he asked, though I think he already knew my answer.

“Camping.”

Dad nodded. “That’s what I thought. So, where are you going camping?”

I just shrugged.

“When will you be back?”

“Two, three days tops,” I replied, looking anywhere but him.

“Buddha sure takes up a lot of your time.”

My excuse whenever I went “camping” was that I needed to connect with Buddha and clear my head. I glanced back at my father and knew that it was time to play my least favorite card.

“It helps me feel at peace about mother,” I said with tears in my eyes.

Just as I knew he would, Dad immediately softened. You see, Mom died six years ago when some asshole broke into our house. Being the obnoxious twelve-year-old that I was, I pissed the guy off and he shot at me. Only, Mom jumped in front of me and took the bullet. She died almost instantly. Naturally, Dad had no problem letting me go camping if I was upset about her. I kinda feel bad about using that as an excuse, but oh well.

“Well, I hope you find your trip relaxing.”

“Thanks, Dad,” I said and gave him a hug. Then I picked up my things and ran out to the car.

“I’ll call you in a day or so from a gas station or something to let you know I’m okay,” I called and drove off.

I hauled ass to the airport and made it with time to spare. I boarded and took a seat by the window.

“Who the hell do you think you’re talking to? I’m your boss and I will be spoken to with respect!” a woman’s angry voice said from behind me.

I turned around to see a red headed girl my age talking on a cell phone. I couldn’t see her face because her gorgeous hair was down and created a sort of curtain around her face. She didn’t sound too happy, though, and the guy sitting next to her looked pissed. He made me nervous—he was really built, dressed in all black, plus he had black hair and these really creepy green eyes.

“I don’t care!” the woman said in a deadly tone. “Just know this: the next time you conveniently forget to gas up my private plane and I am forced to ride on a commercial flight, there will be hell to pay. Don’t mess with me, Ronald.”

For some reason, I wanted nothing more than to go comfort the angry young woman, but the look the big guy shot me was enough to get me to turn around. Something about her reminded me of Allie. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about Allie—I mean she’s married to someone I can’t compete with and has had a child with him. Still, I really like her. Hopefully I can deal with just being friends…

Anyway, the rest of the flight passed without incident and I got off the plane looking around casually for the red head. Alas, I couldn’t see her anywhere in the crazy NYC airport. I sighed, collected my luggage, and hailed a taxi.

“Where to?” the guy behind the wheel grumbled.

“The Plaza,” I replied with a grin. I always stay at the Plaza when I have a job in NYC.

When I walked into my room on the fourth floor, I nearly had a heart attack. Sitting on my bed smoking a cigarette was none other than Seamus Finnegan, my “boss”.

“M-Mr. F-Finnegan, what are you doing here?” I stammered.

“I’ve come to discuss the details of your job.”

“Oh. I thought Charlie said that we were going to do that tomorrow.”

Seamus waved his hand dismissively. “Charlie’s an idiot. Besides, this is a big hit and I want you to be fully prepared. If you don’t succeed in killing this woman, I’ll kill you with my bare hands. Got it?”

I could only nod.

Seamus began to pace the room. “Do you know who any of the other bosses are, Kyle?”

“N-no. You’re the only one I know of.”

He nodded. “Well, there are five bosses all together and one of them, the one I want you to kill, is THE boss. She rules over all of us. Granted, she only became boss today because I had her brother killed, but she’s been a pain in my arse since she was fifteen. My informant tells me that she will be attending a meeting with Daniel McIver, another boss, tomorrow at a warehouse downtown. That’s when I want you to kill her.”

“How will I know who she is?”

Seamus grinned at me. “Simple, she’ll be the only woman there. Kat is the first woman boss in history. There won’t be any other women there. If, for some odd reason, there is, Kat is short with long, bright red hair, and bright green eyes. You can’t miss her.”

I nodded and he showed me where the warehouse was located and we discussed tactics for an hour, then he left. For some reason I felt really uneasy about this hit. Normally, Finnegan wanted me to kill someone who had killed someone in his family. This is the first time my target hasn’t been a killer—as far as I know, at least.

The next day I grabbed my bag that held my most trusted rifle and caught a cab. I got out three blocks from the warehouse the meeting was to take place and made my way over there casually. Once I was sure that no one was watching me, I jumped on top of a dumpster and then jumped onto the fire escape. When I was inside, I positioned myself so that I had a clear view of the front door and could go back out onto the fire escape easily. After two or three hours, the door opened and McIver and his men came inside. A few minutes later, I heard another car pull up and sure enough, in stepped a beautiful red headed woman. She was wearing black leather pants, a white spaghetti strap shirt, and a black leather trench coat. She was absolutely stunning. I shook my head as the thought passed through it. I wasn’t supposed to be checking her out; I was supposed to be preparing to kill her! I picked up my gun and was about to aim when I heard another gun cock and felt the barrel of a handgun being pressed into my neck.

“Drop it,” a low voice growled.

Normally I would have fought, but for some reason I did as I was told and dropped my weapon.

“Good lad,” the voice growled again and hauled me up, leading me downstairs.

He threw me into a chair and two other men swiftly tied me to it.

“Who was your target?” the voice demanded and I was shocked to realize that it was the same guy I’d seen on the plane with the red head. That’s when I knew that I’d been on the plane with the woman I was supposed to kill. I suddenly had a very bad feeling about all of this.

“I asked you a question!” the guy yelled.

“Th-the w-woman. I was supposed to kill the woman boss,” I stuttered, knowing that I probably sounded like an idiot.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I heard the distinct sound of high heels heading in my direction. I stared at the door as it came flying open. It was the red head. Our eyes meet at the same instant—

“Allie!” “Kyle!” we exclaimed at the same time and then everything went black.

TBC