Hello, readers. Happy Halloween!

I wrote this story in the spirit of Halloween, though I do not allude to it at any moment. This story is the story of Ixtchel, a killer for hire, who falls for her target, Julia. Read this story, and don't hesitate on giving me your thoughts on it. Enjoy...

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Murder For Sale

By Katia N. Ruiz


"I need you to kill someone for me." The words were whispered.

"Who?" Ixtchel sat hunched on her chair, sipping from a hot cup of coffee. Her blonde hair fell in waves over her forehead. She wasn't surprised at the request; she'd received many over the years since she started her career as a professional killer for hire. Her reputation had already gotten started in New York. She'd been at it since she was eighteen, when she was obligated to kill her father, who was working on slowly killing her and her mother through beatings and drugs. She did it so well no one ever found out she was the culprit, not even the police. Her mother never told a soul either.

It was like she lost something of herself when she killed him; like coldness had grown inside her, numbing her. She bumped off abusive boyfriends for women here and there, though she strayed from that and killed anyone for whoever had the right amount of money, mostly mob-killings.

The woman pulled a picture out of her pocket, extending it towards Ixtchel. Ixtchel reached for it, taking it and studying it thoroughly. The woman in the picture was gorgeous, her face sweet and eyes gentle. She was staring at the camera, her full lips curved slightly in a Mona Lisa smile. Her small hand was pushing dark wavy hair back behind her ear. Ixtchel was mesmerized, and was disappointed that she could not tell the eye color. "What is her name?" She asked her prospective employer.

"Julia." The woman said. "Julia Armando." She looked around at their surroundings. People were sitting around them in the small Chelsea coffee shop, reading or chatting with companions. There was no one really paying attention to their conversation.

Ixtchel studied the woman now. Short curly hair framed a decidedly aggressive face; brown eyes were hidden as she stared down at the table. She was wide-shouldered and looked strong. Ixtchel held on to the picture as she sat back in her chair. "Why don't you do it yourself?" She asked.

The woman seemed surprised, and finally met her eyes. "Well, I'm not a killer," she said, looking away from Ixtchel's cat-like green eyes.

"What is your relationship to this woman?"

"She is my lover. Ex-lover, really." The woman said, uncomfortable.

Ixtchel cocked an eyebrow. "Why do you want to kill her?" She asked.

The woman leaned forward. "She is evil," she whispered, looking disgusted and fascinated at the same time. "She beat and tortured me incessantly when we were together. Finally, I left her. I couldn't take it any more. I'm not a violent person; violence frightens me, I couldn't make her pay myself." She looked down at the table, seemingly about to cry.

Ixtchel looked at the photograph in her hand and studied the target once again. The woman in the picture looked too sweet to be the way the stranger described her. Her eyes narrowed. She looked at the woman across from her: no scars on her. "Give me more information on her," she ordered brusquely. "And what is your name?"

"My name is Rhanyel," she answered, her voice afraid. The truth was that Ixtchel intimidated her. She was so feral in her apparent tranquility, her mind so sharp in her quiet demeanor. Her eyes, though, caused the most fear. They looked almost unreal, and were keen and animal-like, watching Rhanyel's every movement even when they were not looking directly at her. The pupils were dilated, as if Ixtchel were high on something, but she was too sharp and aware to be on anything.

"Tell me about her." The killer ordered again.

Rhanyel looked down at her hands, which were clasped together on the table to keep from shaking. "She and I were together for about four years," she whispered. "They were a nightmare. She used to beat me, scratch me up all over the place, and even tried to poison me with arsenic. That was the last straw," she said, tears filling her downcast eyes. "I want to prevent any other woman from suffering what I did."

Ixtchel stared at the picture, cocking an eyebrow. "You're a big woman. You're telling me that you couldn't stop her?" She challenged, her voice even, though the sarcasm dripped.

"I'm not a violent person," Rhanyel said again.

"What places does she frequent?"

Rhanyel reached into her pocket and pulled out a thick wad of hundred dollar bills, throwing it down on the table. "She hangs out at this bar called Henrietta Hudson's. Picks women up and takes them home. She did that even when we were together. You're just her type too."

Ixtchel found Julia, like Rhanyel had said, at Henrietta's. She was sitting at the bar, nursing a drink. It was early, only about 6:30 in the evening. One delicate hand was wrapped around the half-full glass, index and middle fingers holding a burning cigarette, while the other held her head as she rested her chin on it. Grayish blue eyes looked towards the door when Ixtchel walked in, lingering on her with obvious curiosity.

Ixtchel slipped her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket, bringing her head down and meeting Julia's eyes. She curved her lips in a soft smile, and walked away towards the jukebox. She took measure of the place, noting that there weren't a lot of people there. Browsing through the artists, she could see out of the corner of her eye that Julia had spun around in her stool to stare at her back. She smiled, slipping a dollar into the machine and putting on "Help Me," a Joni Mitchell song, along with two others.

She went to the bar and gestured to the bartender, ordering a ginger ale. She sat on an empty stool two seats away from her target. She could feel the woman's eyes on her, and inwardly patted herself on the back. Ixtchel had her where she wanted her. If what Rhanyel said was true, then all she had to do was wait. She sipped from her ginger ale, staring forward. The fragrance of Curve reached her nostrils as Julia moved onto an adjacent stool, placing her glass on the bar top.

She sat facing Ixtchel, one elbow resting on the back of the stool, the other on the bar. "Hi," she said shyly, blushing slightly.

Ixtchel eyed her sideways, her lips pressing together as she smiled slightly. This woman was even more beautiful close and in person. "Hello," she said, fully turning her head to look directly at her target.

"What's your name?" Julia asked.

"Ixtchel." The killer said, flipping her hair from her forehead with a toss of her head. "What is yours?"

Julia seemed mesmerized by Ixtchel's eyes, unable to look away from them, and the truth was that she mesmerized Ixtchel also. Ironically, "Help Me" came on as they looked at each other. "I'm Julia," She finally answered, her voice trembling.

Ixtchel cleared her throat and looked away, composing herself. She could not let this woman's beauty become an obstacle to her objective. "What brings you out here all by yourself?" She asked, looking at her again.

Julia bit her lower lip, which was luscious and shone attractively. "The desire to forget," She replied slowly, bringing the cigarette to her mouth and inhaling.

Ixtchel cocked her head to the side. "Forget?" She asked in a low voice.

Julia nodded, her eyes on Ixtchel's lips. "My ex." She exhaled a cloud of smoke.

"What about your ex?" Ixtchel asked, curious to know and compare stories.

"The abuse," She said, meeting Ixtchel's eyes. She watched them narrow. "I finally got out of that relationship. My father had died a few months before I met her, and she took advantage of my vulnerability. She was nice at first... I'm sorry, I don't want to bore you."

Ixtchel shook her head and waved Julia's apology away. "Tell me," Was all she said, being a woman of few words.

Still meeting her eyes, Julia continued. "Rhanyel used to burn me with cigarettes along my back." She lowered her voice, moving closer to Ixtchel. She held back tears, closing her eyes. "And she used to burn me on my arms too. She used to say it was like a brand, to let anyone know I'm hers." She lifted the sleeves from one of her arms and the burn-scars were visible along her arm.

"How did you get away?" Ixtchel asked, her voice remote. Inside, she was seething. She hated being lied to; Julia's pain was too honest for it to be a lie. A new target had been established. Rhanyel would pay for lying to her.

"I've been in New York for about 2 months, just moved here," Ixtchel said. "I don't know if I'm staying, or just passing through."

"Do you like it?" Julia asked earnestly, a hand on her shoulder. "I wouldn't like it if you and I became friends and then you moved away."

Her eyes were beckoning, trapping Ixtchel like a caged animal. She felt more than just a flicker of desire warm the area between her legs. Julia had moved closer, her knee pressing against Ixtchel's thigh. She smelled good, and Ixtchel spun around to face her. "I have something to tell you," she said softly, her eyes riveted to Julia's lips now. "But not here."

Julia had moved her lips closer to Ixtchel's, her own eyes wandering from the killer's eyes to her lips. "Okay," She whispered, nodding slowly. "Come home with me."

Julia's apartment was not far from Henrietta's, in an apartment building off the West Side Highway. They took the walk at a leisurely pace, Julia's arm wrapped around Ixtchel's. Ixtchel's hands were shoved into her jacket pockets, and from the opposite side of Julia, she could feel the bulge of her gun. She knew she would not use it with Julia tonight. When they'd walked in, Julia offered Ixtchel a drink; Ixtchel refused and asked her to sit down with her. Julia complied, a soft smile on her face.

"I was hired to kill you," Ixtchel said without preamble.

Julia frowned, looking confused. She shook her head. "What are you talking about?"

Ixtchel took Julia's hand in hers. "I'm a professional hit-woman. Rhanyel, your ex-lover hired me to kill you. I'm convinced that she lied to me, that you're the one who's been abused. She made it seem like it was you who hurt her."

"Rhanyel..." Julia whispered, looking upset. Tears filled her eyes and spilled, and she did nothing to wipe them away.

Ixtchel could see that she was in shock, and stroked her face with gentle fingers. "I'm sorry." She whispered, and moved closer. "I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to kill her for lying to me and for hurting you the way she did."

Julia met her eyes, and leaned forward more. Her lips were glistening, her nose red from her tears. It was more endearing than anything Ixtchel had ever seen in her life. The meeting of their lips was slow, and gentle. A rush of adrenaline hit Ixtchel hard, and she stood up, pulling Julia close and kissing her again. Julia wrapped her arms around Ixtchel neck and opened her mouth readily for Ixtchel's tongue.

"Take me to your bed," Ixtchel whispered, her mouth on Julia's neck, nibbling.

Julia didn't hesitate, and they fell into her bed in a flurry of kisses and caresses. Ixtchel settled on top of Julia, taking possession of her mouth once again. She teasingly slipped her tongue inside her mouth, moving her hips against Julia's to match its movements. Julia was moaning, soft little sounds that stirred Ixtchel's loins like no one ever had.

They undressed slowly and Julia ignored the .357 Magnum that Ixtchel carefully removed from her holster and placed below the bed. Fully naked, Ixtchel settled herself once again on top of Julia, groaning as she slipped her thigh against the wetness between Julia's legs. Julia's nails raked softly down Ixtchel's muscled back, her lips meeting Ixtchel's passionately. The touch made Ixtchel shiver and she groaned again, her hand caressing Julia's torso and breasts. Julia arched against her hand, her own hands moving to Ixtchel's head and pulling her mouth closer against hers.

She shuddered and moaned as Ixtchel's fingers slipped between her legs and caressed her. She moved her hips frantically, groaning and throwing her head back. Ixtchel looked at her face; the beautiful face contorted with pleasure, the sweat breaking out on her skin. She moved down Julia's body, her mouth lingering on her partner's breasts, her tongue erecting Julia's nipples to ready peaks. She moved down her firm stomach, her tongue drawing a trail across Julia's skin. Pushing her legs open, she settled there and buried her mouth against Julia's flesh.

Julia cried out as Ixtchel's tongue suddenly entered her, tasting her and moving in and out of her with fervor. Julia's hands in her hair pulled and guided her along as she thoroughly tasted and immersed herself. The heat that engulfed Ixtchel's body was unlike any she had experienced before.

Groaning passionately, Ixtchel entered Julia from behind, leaning forward on her hands as Julia lay moaning on her stomach. Sometime during the night, Julia had produced a strap-on for Ixtchel, expressing her viral desire to be penetrated. This was one of many positions they had already tried, and they were not ready to give up. Ixtchel threw her head back, biting her lip and groaning as she pulled and pushed into Julia. She watched Julia's hands grasp the sheets and pillows, trembling and crying out with every thrust.

Ixtchel sat up on her knees and pulled Julia back up onto her hands and knees, driving into her with more speed. She felt close to orgasm, and she could tell by Julia's more impassioned cries that she was close too. Restraining herself, Ixtchel pulled back and guided Julia onto her back, leaning on her and kissing her passionately as she entered her again. Crying out, Julia grabbed Ixtchel's straining muscled arms, her nails digging into the flesh. Groaning loudly, Ixtchel thrust faster as she felt orgasm storm through her, as Julia cried out and came too, her nails raking down Ixtchel's back mercilessly.

Later, Ixtchel lay holding the sleeping Julia, eyes wide open and staring into the dark. The sight of the burn-scars down Julia's back had brought her anger back ten-fold. She thought of the vengeance she'd apply to Rhanyel, the torturing death she was going to give her. By the end, Rhanyel would be begging Ixtchel to kill her. She carefully extricated herself from Julia, getting up from the bed and going in search of Julia's address book. She found it in the living room, by the telephone. She searched for Rhanyel's name and address, and saw that her apartment wasn't very far from Julia's. "Perfect." She whispered, memorizing the address.

Julia didn't even wake up when Ixtchel went into the bedroom to get her clothes and gun. She left the apartment quietly, leaving the door unlocked for when she returned. It was still dark outside, still almost three hours till dawn. Rhanyel's building was similar to Julia's, though it was a little further downtown than hers. As she approached it, Ixtchel flipped up her jacket's collar and slipped on her gloves. She moved towards the door and had it open in seconds, having kicked it almost out of its socket with strength that few knew she had.

Rhanyel's apartment was on the fifteenth floor, closer to the back of the building. With a deadly look in her eyes, Ixtchel moved towards Rhanyel's door, pulling out a knife from her pocket. Slipping it in towards the lock, she wiggled it and slipped it out of the whole and opened the door. She closed it silently. There was no sound in the dark apartment, and she stood quietly listening, letting her eyes adjust to the dark. Moving with quiet stealth, she moved towards the bedroom. Through the dark she could see the walls, as she walked leaning on the front of her feet to make the least noise possible.

The only bedroom in the apartment was at the end of the hall, and she could make out the shape of Rhanyel on the bed. She could also hear the soft breathing of sleep and the regular rustle of movement from time to time. She waited a couple of seconds before moving towards the bed and standing there, peering through the dark at her target. How this woman could sleep knowing that her lover was going to be killed eluded Ixtchel. The anger consumed her and in one swift motion she flicked the bedside lamp on and grabbed a hold of Rhanyel's throat.

Rhanyel woke up gagging and reaching frantically for her neck, momentarily disoriented. Her eyes moved all over the place before they settled fearfully on Ixtchel. "What..." she groaned, before gagging more forcefully as Ixtchel added more pressure to her throat.

"You lied to me," Ixtchel said in a low menacing voice. She climbed onto the bed and placed a knee on each side of Rhanyel's waist. Rhanyel's hands where clasped around Ixtchel's wrist, unsuccessfully trying to yank her off her throat. "You're going to pay. I hate being lied to." With that, she squeezed harder, and Rhanyel thrashed frantically. "You'll be begging to die when I finish with you."

She watched Rhanyel's reddening and contorting face with such fascinated attention that she didn't notice the moving shadow behind her until it was too late. The force of the blow to the side of her head sent her reeling across the bed onto the floor, unconscious.

She woke up with her arms and legs taped to the arms and legs of a chair and with a mean headache. Her shirt had been removed. She lifted her chin from her chest dizzily, groaning and frowning as she tried to focus her eyes. She heard voices, both of them familiar.

"Well, hello there," One of them said cheerfully, before moving into her line of vision. It was Julia, and she had a knife in her hand. "I've been waiting for you to wake up."

"What's going on?" Ixtchel asked, her voice slurred.

Julia sat in front of her on the coffee table, and shrugged. "Oh, just a little taste of vengeance, is all," she said brightly. "You don't know how good this feels. Almost as good as when we killed my mother."

"Your mother..." Ixtchel whispered, and trailed off when she saw Rhanyel come up behind Julia with a cigarette between her fingers. She placed it on Julia's mouth and let her grab a drag. Then she went and sat behind her on an armchair, one leg crossed over her knee.

Julia narrowed her eyes against the smoke slithering out of her nostrils. "Yep," she said. The hate in her eyes was visible as she studied Ixtchel. It was hard to believe this was the woman with whom Ixtchel had made passionate love only a few minutes before. "You have to remember her. She went to you a year or so ago when you came to New York. I don't know how she knew about you, but she had you kill my father."

"There must have been a good reason," Ixtchel replied.

Julia's eyes narrowed and she reached forward with the knife, slicing Ixtchel's arm very slowly. Ixtchel didn't flinch, but her eyes narrowed; she had stopped showing pain years ago, when her father was alive. "My mother was a whore!" Julia hissed, her face transforming itself into evil incarnate. "She got what she deserved when he beat her. He told me how she used to leave him alone when they went out, going to bed with any dick that came her way."

"Could he have been lying, perhaps?" Ixtchel said, perversely enjoying pissing Julia off. The truth was that Ixtchel was on the verge of exploding, and she would break out of the chair at any moment. They weren't very smart in tying her up. First of all, they only spun the tape twice around her wrists and legs. And the chair they picked was a little weak. She kept wiggling her wrists and ankles, stretching the tapes more and more. Julia didn't notice in her anger, and neither did Rhanyel, too busy enjoying her cigarette. These two were too smug.

Julia leaned forward and stuck about an inch of her knife blade into Ixtchel's side. This time Ixtchel groaned, her head growing hot with more anger. She could feel the blood trickling down her side. "My father never lied to me," Julia said with clenched teeth, bringing the knife up to her mouth and licking the blood off the tip.

"Alright, whatever you say." Ixtchel looked over Julia's shoulder at Rhanyel, who was looking at her bleeding wounds with desire in her eyes. Rhanyel was pressing the lit tip of her cigarette into the inside of her arm, her eyes narrowing with arousal. Sickos, she thought to herself. It was true she enjoyed killing, but the sight of blood never turned her on. She would really enjoy killing both of them.

"Next, I'm going to slit your throat," Julia said, and Ixtchel could hear Rhanyel's breathing quicken.

"You should have done it when you had the chance," Ixtchel said, feeling the tape around her wrists start to give way. "Your father got what he deserved. I made sure of that. I stuck a twelve inch knife up his ass, an eye for an eye." She growled, angry beyond reason now. She really hated being lied to and abused. "I'm sure you used to watch when he stuck that plunger up her ass, probably turned you on."

Julia looked as if her eye was going to bulge out of its socket and she leaned forward with the knife directed at Ixtchel's throat. That was her mistake. Ixtchel's hands came free from their restraints and she flipped the knife out of Julia's inexperienced grasp and into her own, while with the other hand she grabbed Julia's throat. As Rhanyel came up to Julia's aid, the knife was plunged into her throat and she was flipping backwards over the armchair with the force of the blow. Blood had flown everywhere, and the sound of Rhanyel thrashing and choking on her own blood was gratifying to Ixtchel.

Julia's face had transformed itself. Where there had been a psychotic gleam, there was now desperate fear. Ixtchel yanked her ankles free of the tapes and stood up, dragging Julia with her on her knees. "You really thought you could get away with this," She growled, her fingers tight on her throat.

"Please," Julia managed. "Don't."

"You're going to regret not killing me from the beginning," Ixtchel said, punching her across the face with all her strength. Julia's head snapped back and hung weakly. "Now, look at me," She said harshly. When Julia wasn't fast enough, she shook her. "Look at me!" She watched Julia struggle to clear her vision. "This is the last face you'll see before you die."

"No, please-" Julia's words were cut off by the snap of her neck bones as Ixtchel flicked her wrist.

She let her go, and Julia lifelessly flopped to the ground, her head bent at an unnatural angle. Ixtchel watched her for a long moment, and then went down the hall towards the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror. There was swelling and bruising to the side of her face, but there would be no scarring. The wound on her side wasn't too deep, but it would need stitches. She'd have to clean the apartment up of any evidence of her presence, but that would be easy enough. In any case, neither the police nor the federal government had any records on her, so any fingerprints they might find would never be traced.

Julia and Rhanyel had thought that they were smarter than her, and maybe they were. But in the end, the strongest survived.

Copyright October 2001 by Katia N. Ruiz

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