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That fucker was taking too long. Lovino casually looked around the corner of the alley way, running a hand over his face. The guy was screaming—someone was bound to hear. Someone had probably already heard.

“Could I bother you to hurry the fuck up?” Lovino called over his shoulder, stress making his voice harsher than he had intended. He turned away, tapping his gun.

“You could help, if you want to be gone quicker, Lovino,” Antonio replied, smile making his words light.

“Look, I know this is how you get your power trip, but I would like to get back in time for Feliciano’s—that thing. You know, you replied to the invitation.” God, his voice echoed off the brick—it sounded too high.

They were always sent to the worst parts of town for these sorts of things. A body could lay hidden for a couple of days without anyone thinking to give it a poke. This had been Antonio’s playground when he was younger.

Lovino still remembered when he had met the other man. He had been handed a gun and he was terrified out of his wits. He nearly pissed himself when he had caught sight of Antonio for the first time: grin a little too wide, too eager, all explanations and busting kneecaps.

Really, Antonio wasn’t so bad.

The scream shut off, and suddenly the street seemed quiet. Lovino could hear the crickets hidden in the crabgrass by the road. It was almost peaceful, the streetlamps casting a comforting orange glow on the asphalt.

Lovino looked over his shoulder again, but looked away when he saw Antonio’s movements; he had never been one for gore. That was something he and his brother had in common. While Lovino usually grinned and bore it, Feliciano was much more vocal—

Antonio swore.

Lovino’s head turned sharply. “What? I swear to God, if someone’s looking from those fucking windows, I’m going to kill you. I’ve been telling you we should dump in the—“

Antonio neared, laughing. “No, calm down, Lovino!” He hadn’t gotten any blood on him. That was something Antonio was careful about. “I think we’re late for your brother’s thing. I… What time is it?”

Lovino glanced down at his watch. He didn’t wear the Rolex when they went out working, even though he could count the number of times he had gotten his hands dirty on a few fingers. It took him a second in the dark.

“Eight-thirty, or close enough. Why, what time does this stupid thing start?” There was a faint moan, and Lovino leaned back on his heels to try and catch sight of the man further back in the alley. “Is he going to be okay? He better fucking not be.”

Antonio laughed, and for whatever annoying reason, it sounded good as it echoed off of the bricks. “I think the thing starts at six. Or five.” His smile dimmed slightly. “I don’t really remember. I thought I did. It’s gone.”

Lovino felt his heart do a funny flip. “Oh, fuck!” he exclaimed, stumbling back onto the sidewalk. “Fuck. Feliciano’s going to be flipping shit. Argh,” Lovino searched his pockets for his phone, scowling when Antonio handed it to him. “This is your fault.”

They walked down the street, and anyone who was coming their way quickly stepped out of their way. Lovino had almost forgotten what it was like being out in the town. That’s why his grandfather had sent him out, presumably. To remind Lovino.

Lovino looked at Antonio. “What?”

Antonio smiled. “I said: don’t be grumpy. You used to have fun when we hung out together! We should play a game.” He looked around. “I spy something red.”

“’Hung out?’” Lovino laughed, shaking his head. “Okay. Sure, that’s what we’re doing. Fuck, where did I park?”

A woman screamed, something high and real and panicked. Lovino turned to look, expecting a mugger, but instead seeing something—someone shiny and red, leaning against a lamppost. A jogger had stopped and was attempting to dial her phone.

Lovino could hear the man’s gasps for air from here.


Antonio started back, stride long and purposeful, but Lovino grabbed his arm. “Antonio—Antonio, we have to leave. He can identify you, and I don’t feel up for having to run down after that woman. Antonio, fuck, come on!” Lovino tugged on Antonio’s arm, just wanting to go to Feliciano’s warm, happy house and forget about the night.

Antonio looked at him, and for a moment, Lovino was scared. There was something in the other man, something that he tried to hide sometimes, but it was looking Lovino in the face. It was something that wanted to make sure that whoever he killed stayed dead.

But then he smiled, and whatever grasp on Antonio’s emotions Lovino had slipped away from him.