I met Konstantine Fluff with a knife to her back and a bemused, crooked smile crossing her face. The black hood I had cut eye holes in didn't show my shock to find that not only was this mortician's assistant unafraid, but she also seemed to be erotically excited at the prospect of having her life threatened. Around us, the formaldehyde glistened in the air of the mortuary and the stainless steel cages for the dead made the place fluorescent and hopelessly dull at the same time. Even the newly strung Christmas lights blinking on and off in the background couldn't drive the overbearing presence of death away. She turned to me. "Iterate yourself, if you please." "I need to take a look at one of your bodies," I repeated. "Not just any corpse, but one now referred to as Locker #4". Her smile faded away at his name. Locker #4 was a 40-something bullet-wound-to-the-head victim who had been with Konstantine in June of '98, not just with him but WITH him. Now she had him, cold and stiff (like before, she thought with a snicker) and dead. She jealously protected the corpse, but the knife I held gave me the upper hand in the argument. She stalked over to Locker #4 (which was ironically decorated with a newly placed wreath) and squeezed the handle. Mist flowed from the open door as she pulled out the sheet-covered stiff. She looked almost longingly at the sheet and started to run her hand across it. I nudged her when this began to take too long. She started to take the sheet off when the "dead" man's hand grabbed hers. He sat straight up, his mouth gaping open and missing a few teeth. "You thought you could hide and play gopher after 98' didn't you? Merry fucking Christmas, my dear." He had been alive the whole time, smuggled into the mortuary specifically to kill her. Which is why I was sent there; to plunge the knife deep into his sternum, and twist it 40 degrees for good measure. He gurgled up blood and his last words were, "Fuck me running..." He died in a drying pool of his own blood. Konstantine turned to me, almost hysterical, wondering what had just happened. I explained that I was sent to protect her from him. She suddenly panicked and asked where the head mortician was, and I returned with another question: "Who do you think let in Locker #4?" The head mortician had his own locker now, for letting in an assassin. I turned to leave; it's not good to get too involved with your clients. I was passing the newly sterilized operation table when she grabbed my arm, asking me to take off the mask; she wanted to thank me. That smile had crept back onto her face. I tried twisting loose, but it didn't happen. Soon she was slipping the mask off, and was caressing my face. Then she was kissing me and somehow we wound up on the stainless steel table. It was the best holiday sex I'd ever had.
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