dealings in death
And so, barely eighteen, unable to find a job in the madhouse that was their world in this time of war, they’d done the remarkable; gotten married and then immediately jumped into a trade far more lucrative than any Ministry job would have been – assassins for hire.
“I can’t get the damn blood off of my hands.”
James fretted over the basin of a sink, using a sponge to scrub the back of his knuckles and copious amounts of hand soap and bubbles to try and clean off the scarlet stain on his skin. Despite his constant yet erratic scrubbing, the dark hue remained on his hands. At long last, he tossed down the sponge and turned on the tap, muttering mutinously under his breath.
Freya was seated nearby on a couch, idly going through photos of their past murder victims. “I told you that we should use poison this time,” she sighed, rolling her pale eyes at her husband.
His hands now dry but still stained, the man dropped himself onto the couch beside the woman, rolling his eyes in return at her. “I could have, but we’ve been using poison a lot lately. I didn’t want that to become our trademark. Like, you know, those robbers they call the Sticky Bandits. I didn’t want us to be known as the Cyanide Murderers.”
“Sounds better than the Bloody Murderers,” Freya mused aloud, earning herself another eye roll from her husband.
In the last year, since their graduation from Hogwarts, Freya and James had led quite the life. Formerly, the nineteen year old would have never pegged himself as the kind of guy who would get married young, but after both his and Freya’s lovers had been murdered at a brutally young age, he’d found that he’d changed as well. And so, barely eighteen, unable to find a job in the madhouse that was their world in this time of war, they’d done the remarkable; gotten married and then immediately jumped into a trade far more lucrative than any Ministry job would have been – assassins for hire.
“What’s the count now, Goldfish?” James inquired, sprawling back on the couch and lacing his fingers under the back of his head, just above his neck.
Freya flipped through the photos a bit faster; the swish of the passing pictures a familiar monotone as she counted. “We’re at thirty-seven, counting the one we finished off today. How’d the picture turn out?”
James rearranged himself on the couch so that he was in a position to pull out the picture from his pocket. “A little high on exposure, but there was a lot of blood to take in,” he replied, studying the picture in his hands.
The woman snatched it away from him. “Did you get blood on the camera again?”
The man only shrugged guiltily and she sighed irritably and rose from the couch to the counter where he’d left the camera, still stained slightly with blood. “Why did I marry you?” she hissed in question under her breath.
The fair-haired man considered this, leaning back on the sofa again. “Actually, I believe it was your idea. I just did the proposing part.”
“You didn’t even buy me a ring.”
“I killed a man for you!”
“Yes, but is that something that I can wear around my finger? I think not.”
James was saved from answering when there was a ring at their door and then a letter slid through the flap. Their apartment was a secret known only to a few; and among those few were the people who contracted them to do their bloody business, their dealings in death. He rose and retrieved the letter, quickly breaking the seal and sliding out the single sheet of creamy paper. “It’s our next objective,” he called to his wife, who only nodded in return, still occupied with cleaning the blood off of the camera.
Blue eyes roved farther down the page, and then his throat was dry. “Freya,” he spoke softly, his voice eerily calm. She froze in response – he rarely called her by her given name, and when he did, it didn’t bode well for them.
Clearing his throat, James continued. “Our next target lives in Brooklyn; she’s the one responsible for the deaths of Sunshine Solomon and Cecily Blackwell.”
Freya bristled. “Who is it?”
The blonde woman paused suddenly, blinking rapidly at the name. “As in –“
“Yes,” James sounded defeated, “The one who went to school with us.”
But the man had stopped listening. He was already headed to the bedroom, the objective letter tucked under his arm decisively as he swooped in and retrieved the bags that they always kept packed for when their missions required them to leave home immediately. “Are you coming?” he asked her, an edge to his tone not usually present.
Freya blinked once more and then nodded coolly at him. “I’m coming.” Her fingers didn’t shake as she took her bag that James handed to her, and nor did they when she opened the door and stepped boldly out into the hall.
“This is going to be a fun one to explain at the airport,” James sighed under his breath as he studied his blood-stained fingers one last time as he locked the apartment behind them.