Author’s Notes: Read Chapter 2 before continuing. This story contains drug/alcohol references/use and violent situations. Parental discretion advised.

CHAPTER 3

For the last six months of my training, I was sent back to Apan, my hometown.

I was sent to blend in, create a new identity for myself, and live among all my friends and neighbors as if I were a complete stranger to them. If I could fool the people who would be able to recognize me most easily, then I would be able to fool the average stranger with ease. I pretended to be a tailor from Del Bosque, a tiny fishing village off the coast to the northeast. I was managing fine for the first couple of months until I was recognized.

Reina was not like most girls, even when we were children she was different. When we were at the age when girls were disgusting and appalling, she paid no attention and constantly wanted to be apart of our games, rarely content playing dolls or other domestic chores that the girls entertained themselves with. I’m not proud to say we often refused to let her play, but that never stopped her from coming back and asking us every time. As an adult she had moved to the city to run the store owned by her grandparents. Her mother had died while she was a teenager, and her spineless father refused to house the child under his roof if she couldn’t work the fields.

It was in her tiny trading post that I often had to restock on supplies, and after only a few visits she was starting to grow suspicious of my background. I began to visit less frequently, as soon her questioning concerning my fictional past was becoming too intense for me to handle, and I even feigned hostility on more than one occasion in order to secure my identity. Eventually her curiosity just got the better of her, and she arrived unannounced at the tiny shack I worked out of and lived in. She confronted me. At this point I had two options: confess to all my lies, or kill her.

We lived happily together for the last half of my training, before I was sent back to the city to go to work. I met Mondo, and while neither one of us would ever know what the other had been up to in those last six months of training, we both realized that things had changed. It was subtle at first, but unmistakable. We were still one of the best and most effective duos out there though, and we quickly grew a reputation for being able to get the toughest of jobs done. I was frustrated though because the more difficult assignments always required more time invested, which was all time I could have spent with the woman I loved.

Not only was my heart aching, but my head was working in new ways as well. Maybe it was living without him around for the first time in as long as I could remember, but I began to look at Mondo differently, to see how well he bent people towards his own ends, and how readily he could lie to their faces. I began to wonder if he was even capable of telling the truth anymore. I approached Mr. Morales in private, and told him my concerns. He assured me, “Things will clear up in time, they always do.”

 

Read Chapter 4