Watching Smoke

“Call me?”

“…maybe.”

“I choose to interpret that positively.” Tom Schwartz took another step forward. They had arrived at the apartment building that she claimed was hers. The golden light from the street lamps bathed them, washing away the darkness and illuminating the softly falling snowflakes.

“oh really? Why would you say that, Mr. Schwartz?” she looked up at him lazily through her lashes.

“Because you’re going to let me kiss you…” his hand rose to gently grasp her chin and he titled her face upwards. A red flush spread across her checks as he bent to place the softest kiss on her full lips, lips that had been stained red from the wine they had shared just moments ago at a crystal lit restaurant. His white scarf contrasted boldly against his black three piece suit, and she focused on how the tassels swayed in the wind. She stopped quivering and put a hand on his chest to distance herself. He caught it.

“Please come back with me tonight. I don’t want to leave you here.”

“I’m not that kind of woman Tom… this is the first time we’ve properly spent any time together.” She looked away from him.

“Does that matter? I feel as though I know you so well already. Stay with me.” He was pleading, staring down at her lips, and then her neck, where her coat was partially open to reveal the whiteness of her skin. It was unmarred, and she knew it enticed him. The hand that held hers was twitching, as if wanting to touch her there. She closed her eyes to regain some composure.

“I’m sorry.  But…not yet.” She gave him a small smile and squeezed his hand before pulling it from his. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

“I look forward to it.”

“Goodbye Tom.” Then she spun abruptly and walked up the steps to enter the apartment building. As soon as the glass doors swung shut, she moved to hide around a corner; a place she knew could not be seen by those peering in from outside.  Then she watched as he turned and flagged the black taxi cab conveniently arriving from around the corner. Lindsey wiped her lips clean, and then left the building.

***

 “You’re finally back.”

                “Sorry it took so long. He wanted to walk.”

“On your subtle suggestion, I’m sure.” The suite was dark. Only a few shadowed lamps illuminated the room with a soft yellow light. The curtains that decorated the massive windows were pulled shut, only a sliver allowed for a glimpse of the cityscape below. She watched as he took a long drag on his cigarette, than smirked. He released the smoke in three short breaths, watching as the haze twirled and spun into nothingness.

“Where’d you leave him?”

“Just where we discussed: the corner of Kent and Mackenzie.”

“Good.”

“And? Kevin, what happened next?”

“One moment. It’s almost time to find out.” Kevin lowered his head to glance at the pager, his lips curled up slightly; his dark hair fell over his eyes. The look that she was witnessing, his slightly cocky grin and the lazy eyes, all indicated his confidence. He’d done this so many times before, and she had nothing to worry about. So Lindsey slipped off her dark jacket but kept her stilettos on. The floor was marble, and it was cold.

“Did you have fun?”

She snorted and walked across the room to the couch opposite his chair, dropping her purse on the floor so it fell with a thud.

“He’s quite charming. I can understand how Laura was so taken with him. She was always so trusting… he bought us red wine.”

“I can see it on your lips. I hope you didn’t give anything away.” He tapped his cigarette against the ash tray on the table between them. It had a glass top, and was perfect, no scratch or stain marred its surface. Kevin was like that. He needed things to be smooth, and faultless. This was why she trusted him. He would know the right people, the right place…it was his job after all. He had said it casually, but she could hear the accusation in his tone. Lindsey narrowed her eyes.

“Don’t underestimate me when it comes to my sister.” She leant over and snatched a cigarette from the open pack on the glass table. He smiled and tossed her a silver lighter. She caught it with one hand.

“You always got a little irrational when it came to Laura.”

“Don’t be a hypocrite, Kevin.” She replied through clenched teeth. He was trying to bait her to yell, to cry; to show emotion… but it was impossible. Ever since that horrible call she’d shut down. Her dead heart focussed on one goal.

Lindsey took a long drag, and inhaled the sweet nicotine. Her anger was steadily rising, and it was tightening her muscles, clenching her fists. She stared at nothing; her vision clouded by memories of sadness, pain and fury. Her fingers twitched. They would much rather be wrapped around Tom Schwartz’s bastard throat then the rolled tobacco, but she steadied herself.  Kevin was right. She’d be too rash, too pent up on rage to get the job done properly. She’d be caught, thrown into prison or worse.

It was enough to be the pawn.

In a few minutes Kevin’s temporary pager would alight, and her murdered sister would be avenged. She released her breath, and watched the smoke disappear into oblivion.

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6 thoughts on “Watching Smoke

  1. Great twist at the end. I thought something sinister was going on here, but I had no idea it ran that deeply. Terrific illustration of revenge, and the lengths to which some will go to achieve it. Well done!

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