The world was spinning 360 - I couldn't grasp where I was or what I was doing here, but as my senses came back to me I realised it was more than a fatigue holding me down - many meters of rope to a chair had me bound, too. With a pained groan, I slowly forced myself to open my eyes, blinking rapidly as they adjusted to the sudden lighting.
"Where...?" I tried to remember what had happened that left me in this situation, and then one very familiar name popped into my head. Jessie.
And speak of the devil; there he was, standing right in front of me with a grim expression on his face. With James Phillips standing in the corner of the room, a plain, visible scowl adorning his features.
"What is the meaning of this?!" I demanded, twisting my body around in an attempt to break free from the binds; alas they were tied on too expertly. And to me, it was pretty obvious who the 'expert' was. Or should I say, traitor.
Sighing, he took a step forward and gazed down at me, seeming to be in deep thought as he wondered what to say or do. "You know, Jessica. If you hadn't tried to follow and eavesdrop on us earlier, this wouldn't have happened. But now that you've already done so..."
I tensed up, feeling my heart beat faster than normal. Scared. Was he....going to kill me? Now the fact that he was an enemy was discovered, him killing me didn't seem an impossible thing anymore. Then did that mean all the times we spent together as partners was no more than a simple act for him? Gritting my teeth, I resisted the urge to start crying. They'd think it pathetic to see an assassin like me in such a state.
"What? You're just going to kill me? Is that it?" I asked Jessie. He gave me a strange, but unreadable look and turned away for a moment, seeming to be whispering something to the owner of the mansion. James slowly nodded and shot an unpleasant glare at me before stalking out of the room. Great. Now I was alone together with him.
He pulled a chair from the corner and sat down directly in front of me, a distance that allowed us to talk comfortably, but enough to assure that I wouldn't be able to kick him. "Come on, spit it out. Tell me everything." I growled, still incredibly furious at having been toyed with and deceived all this time. How long had we been together already? 4 years? Almost 5, in fact.
"It's for a cause, one that I hoped would cause you the least harm possible," he replied with a blank face, but it didn't fool me; Jessie had always been like that, hiding his emotions and masking what he could.
I struggled against my restraints. "What might this cause happen to be, Jessie?" I snapped.
He gave me one of those looks that I'd never figured out exactly over the years as I felt my heart being ripped to shreds. "Family."
"What kind of family-," I started, my intense rage taking a toll.
He was having none of it. "Will you shut up, Jessica!"
I recoiled back in fear - he'd never tried to shout at me like that, Jessie had never been the type to react to, well, anything unless it was physically painful.
He looked like it was getting all too much - a volcano finally exploding after centuries of building pressure. He finally spewed the words he hoped to say, and he seemed to spew his guts at once. "I didn't do it to hurt anyone, and most certainly not you - but if it comes to that and I have to shoot you myself, so be it!"
I think saying it hurt more than doing it, because the thought of Jessie - of all people - pulling the trigger on me felt worse in thought than any bullet wound I'd ever aquired over the years. I wouldn't be able to fight back, I could never pull the trigger on him. Or maybe I could.
I was going to die.
Then, at that very thought, after minutes of struggling I felt my ropes suddenly become loose. I tried to remain emotionless and not give anything away, while struggling against my ropes, the least I could do while freeing myself.
Jessie called back up into the room for whatever reason and they began talking quietly between themselves. Then, my hands slipped free and I discreetly let the rope fall to the ground.
It took a few minutes for any of them to take any notice of me again - as if they forgot I was in the room.
"Your father is pleased with your work, Jessie, and now we have another source of information - I'm sure we could extract some over time. That's if we keep her alive."
"I'm sure my doings was enough. You only wanted inside information and details on cases, nothing more. Leave it," Jessie replied, as if he actually cared.
"But why pass up a chance when we could find out more? She's been with them her entire life, I'm sure she knows more than you," the older man mumbled as he took a step closer and eyed me suspiciously.
I glared in response.
"She knows no more than I do," Jessie replied, like he was speaking to a naughty child and sighed.
The man grinned with an evil aura and reached into his back pocket and revealed a shining blade that glinted in the very dim light. "Let's see how much she talks now."
I took the chance and grabbed it by the horns. As the knife came at me, my hands shot out from my back and smacked him as hard as I could, rising suddenly from the seat - still bound to my legs and smashed back against the wall, splintering the chair into a dozen pieces.
Frantic panic enveloped me as gun shots sounded off, but I managed to dodge every one, knowing at any second one might hit me in the chest.
I didn't feel anything though - I felt numb, a cold hearted killer like I was supposed to be because now faced with Jessie - someone I'd thought was dear to me for many years, now turned against me. I was thirsty for revenge.
A bullet scraped my arm, but it didn't stop me. I was running on adrenaline.
My leg shot out at a guard in the room, splaying him back onto the ground and his gun previously in his hand, but now in mine. I raised my own to aim at Jessie, hours passed as he done the same - pointed directly at me.
Gun fire ceased as they took in the stand-off between us, and stopped firing at me.
"You don't want to do this."
"It's my job, and sometimes it requires you do things you don't want to do," I replied, but at this point I was torn in two - let my life be taken by Jessie's bullet or take his in an attempt to live on - live on as an assassin killing others for a living without question, as a career, for a living. Or it could all end now.
Aiming my gun directly at his forehead, I knew I could pull and have him bang on - but I'm sure Jessie would anticipate the shot and shoot before I could pull the trigger. He'd been taught the signs - the responses we humans make unconsciously that even I of people find hard to mask.
It was assassin versus assassin.
"Shoot me," he whispered.
I couldn't shoot him, I would never shoot him. Never. I was fully prepared to die at his hands so long as I didn't harm a single hair on his being. It became just the two of us, both staring down the body of a gun at each other and each of us looking as regretful as the other.
"It's your final chance," he whispered.
I could do this, I could live and move on - one of us was leaving this room and I was making sure it was me. I'd live up to the cold-blooded stereotype I was supposed to be. Send my emotions into a place they wouldn't be recovered.
Then, my finger pulled the trigger.