When the final shot was fired, and the smoke cleared, I was the only one not dead or dying. The old man, the thief, the false twin brother and sister, and the real twin brothers were scattered around the room. My employer, the heiress, lay outside the broken window and three stories below. You could call me lucky, surviving a shootout like that but I'm not. I was just the only smart enough to get out of the damned way when the shooting started.
I made my way downstairs to where she lay, broken, with a pool of blood turned her golden hair to fire. She was still alive, barely, her fingers clenched to her chest so tightly her fingers had turned white. She turned at my approach, her eyes trying to focus on me. I wasn't sure she even knew who I was until she spoke
“We did it, didn't we? We won! It's finally all mine.” Her voice was soft, coming out in gasps.
“Yeah, beautiful, we did. We won.”
She gave me a brilliant smile then as the light faded from her eyes. I could have saved her from all of them, from the six corpses upstairs, but I couldn't save her from herself.
I crouched down next to her, careful not to step in her blood, and closed her lovely ocean blue eyes. Death loosened the grip that even a three story fall onto cement couldn't break, and the object of this tragedy slid into my hand.
The Tear of Venus is a diamond the size of a robin's egg, and the desire to possess it has cost countless lives before these seven. I held the Tear up, letting the early morning sunlight play across it's faceted surface. I chuckled. You have to laugh, sometimes, to keep from crying, to keep from swallowing a bullet from your own gun, to keep from wearing a white coat with too long sleeves in an extended stay at hotel Le Crazie. I chuckled and let the Tear slip from my fingertips. I heard the Tear shatter against the cement in that uniquely non-diamond-like way. All that death, all that misery for something that was pretty, but worthless.
I looked down at the body of the beautiful woman who was my employer, my lover, and a sad, lost, girl who couldn't escape her obsession. Perhaps it was a mercy, her dying like this. I'm not sure she'd have survived finding that the subject of her lifelong obsession was a fake. Maybe this brief moment of possession, and the quick death before disappointment, finally gave her some true joy in her sad life. The glorious smile was still on her face, frozen forever by death. I'd never seen her smile like that before, maybe no one had.
Time to get out of here before the attention is drawn. A house like this, the people involved, this won't stay quiet for long. This whole thing ended pretty much how it began. Still heading west, still broke, still leaving a woman behind me. Well maybe not exactly how it began. My employer's keys were still in the ignition, the ignition of a cherry red Auburn 851. Beautiful car, but truthfully I just hoped it had enough gas in the tank to make it to the next town. Things will turn around in the next town, or the town after. They always do, eventually.