Becky Wilbourne’s phone buzzed twice, the sign that Morris Michaels was on his way upstairs to murder her husband.
She pushed the bedsheets off, stared at the bathroom door Paul had just shut behind him. Her body ached from what he’d done to her the night before, the shove, the kicks. The shout that she made him crazy.
Movement was pain.
Sex with Morris this afternoon hadn’t helped.
“Just give me the word,” Morris had told her. “I’ll make it look like a break-in.”
“Are you sure?”
He’d adjusted his glasses which, along with his socks, he’d kept on the entire time. “You know who I work for, right?”
Becky had heard the rumors. They were the only reason she’d let Morris clumsily fumble around inside her once a day for the past week.
Now she chewed the skin next to her thumb and watched Morris creep back into her bedroom. He wore a dark sweat suit with a black baseball cap pulled low, his stupid glasses, and held a small gun.
Becky pointed to the bathroom.
Morris took a long breath, walked to the bathroom door. Rested a hand on the knob. Wiped away forehead sweat with the back of the gun-holding hand, and looked back at Becky.
He pulled the door open.
She heard Paul shout.
“Becky says bye!” Morris yelled.
She winced, waiting for the gun shot.
Morris was standing in the doorway, the gun shaking in his hand.
“Morris?” Paul cried out. “What the fuck?”
“Becky says, um, bye?”
She heard Paul move. Morris yelped and fired.
Morris hurried back into the bedroom.
Blood streamed between Paul’s fingers when he staggered out of the bathroom, clutching his shoulder.
Paul looked over at Becky, saw in her face that she didn’t care. His pained expression turned hateful. “You dumb bitch, what…”
Morris fired again. The bullet caught Paul in his other shoulder. He fell against the wall, tried to stand.
Morris looked at Becky, panicked. “He’s not dying!”
“Shoot him again!”
Morris tried. The gun was silent. “Shit no bullets!”
Morris reached into his pocket, pulled out a folding knife. He opened it, ran toward Paul. Paul lifted his foot and kicked Morris in the gut. Morris bent over, wheezing. Then he stabbed Paul in the foot. Paul cried out, but Morris kept stabbing him in the foot and calf.
“Do it in his throat or heart!” Becky yelled. “You’re just irritating him!”
But Morris wasn’t listening. His eyes were panicked and he was breathing spit and stabbing Paul’s leg. Paul cried out every time the knife came down, until he lashed out with his other foot, kicked Morris in the face.
Morris fell back. His glasses flew off. “I can’t see!”
Paul threw himself forward, landed on Morris, slowly collapsed. Stopped moving altogether. Morris couldn’t lift the other man off, so Becky helped. They flipped Paul’s body to the floor.
The knife was buried under his ribs.
Morris scrambled away, stood against the wall, hands on his knees.
He threw up.
“I thought you worked with the mob.”
“The mob?” Morris ran a weak hand over his mouth. “No! I’m Canadian.”
“Then who do you work for?”
“But you made it sound like your employers were criminals.”
Morris nodded, head still down. “The banking industry.”
Becky wrapped her arms tight around her waist.
“I don’t feel good about this.” Morris wiped a bloody hand across his forehead. “I just love you so much. Felt like I had to.”
“I’m shaking.” Morris’s voice was light, about to float away.
Becky wasn’t bothered. She wondered why, wondered if Paul had beaten all the compassion out of her over the past few years.
“This was supposed to look like a break-in,” Becky said. She opened the nightstand drawer, took out her husband’s gun. She’d never dared hold it before.
Morris looked up.
“What’s that for?”
She shot him right between his grief-filled eyes.
Becky wiped the gun clean, put it in Paul’s hand. Blood from both bodies crept toward her as she thought about what to do next.
She called the cops, waited for another man to show up.
And tell her he’d save her.