I can’t believe that this happened. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have missed that? I stared down at my feet, trying to think fast. There had to be a way to fix this.
I sighed and looked back up. He was staring at me. I couldn’t read his expression.
“What are you going to do now?” he said.
“What’s it to you?” I said.
“Maybe I can help you.”
“Oh yeah? You put a dent into things now.”
Anger flashed through his eyes.
“That wasn’t my fault. He had to go or else our cover would have been blown.”
“He was going to tell the police about what we’re doing.”
“What did you do to him?”
“It doesn’t matter now.”
“You didn’t kill him, did you?”
“You don’t need to know.”
“Where is he?”
“What’s with all the questions? He’s out of the picture so there’s no need for concern.”
My heart sank. He had killed my friend. The one that I planned this heist with. The one that knew as much as I did about the who, the what, the how, the why and the when. This guy before me didn’t have all that information and yet he got rid of someone because he thought he was going to betray us. He wouldn’t have done that, especially not to me. There was more to it than that – a different reason why he would have killed him. I had to be careful of him now. He wasn’t trustworthy, not anymore.
“Why did you do it?” I said.
“Do what?” he said.
“Don’t pretend to be innocent. You know what I’m talking about.”
“He was in the way. He was going to betray us.”
“No, he wasn’t.”
“He was keeping secrets from you.”
“He wouldn’t do that.”
He stared at me for a moment. There was something in his eyes. His lips pursed together and he frowned.
“Why don’t you believe me?” he said.
“Why won’t you tell me?” I countered back.
“There’s nothing more to tell.”
He turned and started walking to the exit. I pulled out my gun and pointed it at him. The gun was unsteady. I was shaking too much to keep still. I took a deep breath. I could taste the dust in the stale air. There was the smell of oil and grease in the air.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said.
I looked back at him. He had stopped walking and was facing me again. He was holding a rifle.
“I could say the same to you,” I said.
I couldn’t say who fired first. The noised ricocheted off all the walls. I didn’t remember falling. I remembered the coldness and hardness of the floor beneath my back. The front of my shirt was feeling damp. There was a copper scent in the air.
His face appeared over me.
“I told you it wasn’t a good idea,” he said.
“Why?” I said. It came out as a gurgle.
“So I could keep it all to myself. Why else would someone so that?”
He grinned at me, a charming narcissistic smile he usually used when trying to persuade someone. His face disappeared and I felt his footsteps vibrating through the floor towards the door.