In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Choose Your Adventure.”
He was like nothing she had ever dared to go near before. A large male, standing approximately 6 feet tall, thick muscles beneath bronze skin like that of someone who had spent many hours in the sun working, rich brown hair that looked like he had just woken up, though he worked it well, and eyes that were an unnatural shade of blue, so piercing they felt as if they could see into ones soul. He was the talk of the area down in a sleepy town in Florida.
His personality had all the ladies wrapped around his finger: charming, funny, protective, and a great smile.
Damen Johnson was what ever young girl wanted: absolutely perfect personality and flawless to look at.
Then there was Lauren Bones, 5 foot 4 inches tall, dirty blonde, near brown hair, eyes that were a mixture of sky blue and forest green which seemed to swirl, or so her mother had once whispered to her as she lay in the hospital, the cancer eating away at her system. Lauren was quiet and shy and didn’t like to have people closer to her. Hence the reason why the 23 year old female, fresh out of college with a chiropractic degree, decided to settle in close to a retirees community.
All had been quiet until Damen moved in next door to her in the small bungalow half a year ago. No one his age, approximately 30 years old, had moved in. Everyone was well about 70.
While all the girls went after him, no one really knew anything about him. No one knew his occupation, no one knew where he went during the day, no one knew what happened behind the closed doors of his house. He was extremely secretive but no one questioned it, besides Lauren. She had spent countless hours looking out her window and watching his house, seeing the flicker of light from a computer. It was almost always there during the evening but when she had been outside gardening late one night a few months back, there had been no sounds from the house, so she ruled out video games.
Questions piled up. Questions she wanted answers to. Who the hell was this man who lived next door to her? Why the hell when she was out, even though she never spoke to him, he would always watch her with cold and calculating eyes? She wasn’t used to delayed gratification and 6 months was certainly enough time. It was now time for answers.
Damen was, in crude terms, a contract killer. His target.
Quietly sitting in his living room with the file on her in his lap, he let his eyes roamed over the paperwork.
Name: Lauren Bones
Age: 23 years
Height: 5 foot 4 inches
His eyes locked in on that word: missing. Missing my ass he thought to himself. Her father wasn’t missing. He was Ex-FBI and had left his job with some secrets which the government didn’t want him to have. The moment Damen had been called in to eliminate the target, he dropped off radar. Lauren believed him dead in a car crash, or so the FBI had lead her to believe. It was easier that way, because even if he was found, he’d be killed on the spot.
There were no leads to his location and no one knew where he had gone. He was a ghost and disappeared without a trace. The next best thing for Damen was to follow his daughter, see if she knew anything and if the father would someday show up to visit his daughter.
So far, no luck.
There was no indication that Lauren was a threat, but his orders had been strict. Kill her father once he showed his face and if she seemed to know anything, get the info and kill her if necessary.
The fat check he received each month was ridiculous, but he couldn’t complain. His life was getting boring to say the least. Each evening he spent on the computer, searching the Dark Web for any whispers of the father and the secrets that he possessed and may sell for a nice price.
It was monotonous work, but he knew that he didn’t have a choice and did it anyway.
He couldn’t screw up or step out of line. They watched. He knew that They always watched and knew everything. He screwed up, it would be him with a bullet between the eyes. Never get involved with a target or potential target. First rule of his job. The consequences were always deadly.
The next day, Lauren was quietly working in the garden wearing nothing other than some jean shorts and a white shirt, a few specs of mud marring her face. Humming to herself, she was oblivious of the world around her. So it was only fitting that she jumped like 3 feet in the air when she felt a hand tap her shoulder. Her body whipped around and faced whoever was behind her, and she had to crane her head upwards to see her neighbor.
“Hello.” Lauren managed to get out past her thundering heart beats.
“Hey. I just wanted to let you know that you left the hose on.” Damen said, his voice as rich and silky as many of the towns girls gossiped about, their high pitches carrying across the diner when Lauren would stop by to eat in public.
“O-Oh. Thank you.” She managed to stumble out, pushing herself up into standing position and angling herself towards the hose, returning a brief moment later. Damen was still there, just regarding her silently.
“Was there anything else?” She asked him and he just held his position, holding eye contact which almost hurt her due to the piercing blue nature of his eyes.
“That was all.” He responded, putting his hand out to hers, to shake it. She complied, letting her smaller hand be engulfed by his but instead of a shake, he guided her hand towards his face, pressing her knuckles against his lips. A light color brushed against her cheeks, but he turned and walked off without making a comment.
With her heart still thudding, she shakily got back to work and tried to not think of what transpired in less than 5 minutes.
Arriving back at his house, he locked the front door and mentally smacked himself. How stupid could he have been! Sure, he was intrigued by her, but such a bold statement. A low growl passed through his lips as he kicked his shoes off and padded further into the apartment, only to see a flashing box on his computer screen.
Dread filled his stomach as he crossed towards it. Moving the mouse over the ‘open’ button, he clicked and his eyes locked on the sentence before him, his heart freezing in place.