Page 5

     "I like how the breeze feels, can you feel it, baby?" she asked Julian with a gentle voice. "Yes, how it cools your skin," Julian replied. 
   It was the perfect evening after a long day at the beach. He glided his fingers on Elizabeth's' hip and slowly down her leg, feeling every goosebump. Her head rested on his arm as he scavenged her hair for any grains of sand. He placed his hand on her lower back's crevice and slowly slid it down her buttocks and snugged it between her legs. The warmth of her perspiring inner thighs began to cause him to become aroused; she felt it too. He turned her around, Julian's eyes widened in horror as blood was running down her forehead. Julian awoke, frightened, gasping for air. 
   His nightmares are more frequent. A thousand years in a Mexican penitentiary would have been a much more lenient sentence. Every night he goes to bed hoping he can convince her in his dreams to forgive him so that he can rest, even if it's only for a couple hours. A barrel of mezcal couldn't numb his senses. Nothing seems to be working anymore. 
   Julian lying on the bed, his arms crossed behind his head, hypnotized by the slow turning, buzzing ceiling fan. The usual bustling morning sounds of the street outside his apartment window were muted. His thoughts drifted back to Dr. Cortez, and the hopelessness he saw in his eyes as if he too was looking for a way out to be reunited with his long love. Throughout the conversation, he somehow always managed to mention something about his wife. You could tell he was so much in love with her.  
   Although Julian is an assassin, his priority is to kill the right target. Last night's target was a last-minute assignment. Cubículo is always right about the targets assigned to him. Still, even so, he has the final say to ensure an accurate kill. Why did he choose to proceed with the audit even though he knew it was probably the wrong target from the start? Is Julian becoming as callous as those he hunts? Has killing finally desensitized him? 
   A firm knock at the door released him from deep thought. Julian instinctively rolled over and dropped to the floor. He reached for a sawed-off shot-gun he kept inside the wooden bed frame drawer and dragged himself on his stomach slowly towards the door. He could see a shadow moving outside the hallway from underneath the door. The knocking continued now much louder. 
    "Julian! Soy yo; ¡open up!." a loud voice came from outside the door. 
   It was Raul. Julian slowly stood up, took a deep breath, swiftly opened the door and grabbed Raul by the shirt, pulled him in, and slammed him against the wall. 
   "Calma amigo," Raul exclaimed, still pinned to the wall. 
    Julian let go and walked back inside, Raul followed.   
    "What the fuck happened, Raul?" 
    "I am sorry, Julian. I received a tip that El Moreno's brother was wounded in a shoot out trying to rob an armored truck; I was told that they would take him to the doctor that treats his men. That was the last we knew where he patched them up in the past. I decided to send you in quick to settle the account before his men got there." Raul explained. 
   Julian threw the shot-gun on the bed, then walked to the small kitchen and opened the fridge. He pulled out a carton of orange juice, then took a bottle of vodka from a top of the refrigerator, poured some on a glass followed by the orange juice. Julian then leaned next to the window and stared at his neighbor across the patio. An older, curvy woman, not very good looking. The morning sun shining through her dress as she hung the laundry to dry on the clothesline, got a hold of his attention. 
   Julian then replied to Raul. "Yeah, I sort of figured things were not right from the start when I got there. I don't think El Moreno uses a psychologist, and if he does, counseling isn't working. I thought maybe I should make an appointment myself."
    "Look, I know I screwed up, so I thought I'd take you out for some pozole para la cruda, my treat, it's the least I can do," Raul suggested. 
   Julian smacked Raul's arm and smiled, 
   "Vamos pues, this hangover is worse than usual."

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