BG bowers and I are writing this story together. For all even numbered chapters please go to her blog: bgbowers thank you.
I sipped my drink and walked next to the stranger I had picked up when I arrived. As we strolled along, I spent my time looking over my surroundings, as well as the people milling around. I couldn’t believe the low level of security they had at this party but I’m sure they weren’t expecting any trouble, it was, after all, just a book signing, what could possibly go wrong? I laughed at their stupidity.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh, nothing really,” I said, smiling. “Just thinking of something someone said earlier today.”
“My name is Brad, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Brad. People call me Blue.”
“As in sad?”
“No, that’s my name.”
“Have you read any of Ruby’s books?”
“A few,” I said.
“I’ve read all of them. They seem so real, so full of detail.”
“A little too real, if you ask me,” I said, at the exact moment the music stopped.
“She’ll be here soon,” said Brad, grinning excitedly.
“You’re a real fan boy aren’t you,” I said, feeling for my blade.
“I am,” he said blushing.
Ruby, wearing a long, matronly, green dress that clashed with her sallow skin, walked in. Her hair was pulled back into a severe bun but she was smiling and waving to her fans. I turned away. I wanted to surprise her.
“She looks great, doesn’t she,” said Brad breathlessly.
“Yeah, great,” I murmured, watching Ruby take her place behind the podium.
“Dearest friends and readers,” she said, holding out her arms, as if to embrace the people standing in front of her. “It’s such an honor to be here with all of you, my beloved readers.”
I tried not to gag, but was only partially successful.
“Are you alright?” asked Brad, a concerned look on his face.
“Fine, thank you.”
“I am going to read portions of my latest mystery, WHY SO BLUE, MR. GRAY, and then I will be delighted to sign each and every book for those of you who would like to purchase one.
Applause and screams tore from the collective throat of the crowd and bounced off the walls. “Enjoy this night Ruby, it’s the last one you’re going to see,” I whispered. And then, just like that, she started to read the details from my last job.
Eventually the crowd began to dwindle. Ruby was getting tired but she continued to smile and sign books. She still hadn’t seen me. I walked around the room until it emptied out enough to suit me. Then I slowly came up behind her and leaned over her shoulder. “This is for my mom and dad,” I whispered, plunging the blade deep between her ribs.
Ruby let out a gurgle, smiled and said, “You’re next on the list, bitch.”
By the time I reached the front door I could hear people screaming. The Gray Man was waiting, his head still bandaged from the accident. “Nice fedora,” I said. He sighed and held out his hand.
“How’d it go?” he asked.
“Listen,” I said, sliding into the car.
He paused a moment, then smiled. “Ah,” he chuckled. “Nothing like a job well done to turn an average evening into a night to remember.”