The flame of the matchstick suspended a hair’s breadth away from the end of the cigarette in his mouth as she pointed the revolver at him next. He cocked an eyebrow up at her; not in question, but in the faintest of surprise. One might even think that he was daring her to pull the trigger.

“Y-y-you’re definitely lying. There’s no way you’d shoot him out of all of us here,” the crime boss in the far corner of the room called out. The corner of her mouth twitched to one side in thought. She lowered the nozzle of the gun, but her finger was still on the trigger.

Drawing the flame to the end of the cigarette, he drew in a breath and shook the match out; nudging the gun a little closer to his knee and away from his crotch. They smiled at each other, too lovingly for the scenario in the room. The click of the gun’s hammer into an empty chamber resounded, making all the other men jump like before. A sigh of relief escaped, but not from him or her.

“Hmm,” she grinned at him. Slowly the gun moved, and came to rest under her chin. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” her late uncle’s confidant screamed. “Getting in on the game. I thought we made this clear already,” she shrugged, batting her lashes mockingly.

“Love?” Sugar spoke up. She turned her full attention to him, but the gun remained pointed straight up at her brain. He gazed down at her free arm, then back up at her. Understanding him, but still feigning childish imbecility, she pressed the gun to the inner of her elbow instead, and gave him a maniacal grin. Puffing out a jet of smoke, he reached over and angled the gun higher away from her arm and placed his free hand on the area the bullet would penetrate. She squeezed.

Again, the hollow click rang out.

After the men in the room managed to recollect themselves silently, one of them started screaming again. “You are lying! The gun’s empty! No way you’d pull something like that with all the risk!” the businessman pointed a shaking finger at her. She frowned and aimed the gun at the next in line; her late uncle’s confidant.

“Wh-whoa whoa whoa! I’M ON YOUR SIDE!” he backed up. To his credit though, he didn’t cower away. “Part of the game. Pardon me,” she shook her head and squeezed the trigger again. The man gritted his teeth and flinched at the hollow crack.

She brought the gun back and tuned it over confusedly. “One more,” Sugar pointed out casually, watching the smoke from his cigarette curl around his fingers.

“Mr. Hearino!” she exclaimed at the businessman, who was next on the plate. The crime boss and his goon to his right blanched away, having already passed the test prior to Sugar. The only one left was Mr. Hearino.

“Your turn,” she winked, raising the revolver. The man sweated in his custom-tailored suit. “Now, l-listen here, Jaxon. Me and your uncle, we was good together, y’know! No reason not to keep that going! I’ll even give you 70% cut! C-c’mon!” he cowered to the wall behind him, trying to put distance between him and her unwavering aim.

“70?” she drew back. “That’s good, innit?” she turned to Sugar. “Mmm yes. I think the average partnership’s a 40-60 split?” he looked to the confidant. The man nodded back. “Wolfrik got 40 from the deal with this one,” the confidant leaned back against the wall.

The businessman could not tear his eyes away from the muzzle which was still pointed, albeit haphazardly at him.

“I’m gonna need that in writing,” she grinned widely. “O-of course. Of course!” he stammered. “Now?” she got off the desk and waved her gun at it. Mr. Hearino shuffled forward. “You know how to handle this, right?” she leaned towards the confidant.

“What? Oh, yes! Yes,” he darted towards the desk, opening the right drawers and pulling out documentation papers. As Mr. Hearino and the confidant worked out the new terms of business at the desk, Sugar made himself comfortable in the armchair next to it.

Love propped herself down in his lap and slyly nicked his cigarette. “You look nervous, Don. Care for a joint?” she offered. The crime boss gulped and held his hands up. “I’m good, jefé,” he smiled. She turned her attention to the young man standing next to him, but he refused her similarly.

“That was a little rash, darling,” Sugar stuck the cigarette back in his mouth. “Scare you much?” she leaned into him. “No, but it’s bad for business,” he nodded at the businessman bent over the desk, whose fat ankles were visibly still shaking in their shoes. Love turned back to Sugar with a ‘hmmm’ in her throat.

“It is done,” the confidant stepped back. “I trust you will accept the new terms, updated in lieu of your uncle’s death and as promised, 70% benefit cut,” Mr Hearino straightened and mopped his brow with a hanky. “Did you add a death clause?” Sugar asked.

Mr Hearino paled. “This is a risky business, as I’m sure the Don can explain. I’m just making sure we’re insured,” Love smiled, making the businessman shudder.

“Of course, cutie. In the event of either your or m-mine, all the assets will be default  transferable to the living side,” he explained carefully under the watching eye of the confidant. Clearly there was some ‘understandings’ made during their fine print discussion.

“S-s-so, if you don’t mind, I have a dinner I have to attend to, so I’ll see you in the morning?” Mr Hearino quickly opened the door and backed out of the room.

“Uh uh uh!” Love called out. The businessman stopped in his tracks. “Game’s not over yet, Mr Hearino,” she purred, waving the revolver again. A sultry, insane smile brightened her face and the glint in her purple eyes.

“Listen, you bitch! I am done playing your psycho game. What I agreed on was a loss for me and I am not taking any more chances!” he blew up in a moment of reckless abandon.

“Ok. Game over,” she suddenly declared and put the gun down. The businessman froze.

“Really?” the confidant dared himself to exhale. Love nodded.

“Thank you,” Mr. Hearino cleared his throat and adjusted his coat. “Miss Jaxon, boys,” he greeted with a tip of his hat and made to leave.

“Oh, just one more thing, Mr. Hearino,” Love called out as he walked away.

“Yes, cutie?”

Love got to her feet and stared at the gun in her hands. “Don’t ever call me cute.”

The businessman’s brains followed the bullet that exited the back of his head and splattered down the hallway of the Jaxon manor.

Love, Anya Jaxon, let out a long exhale. “You guys got that?” she asked the room. A click from Sugar prompted the Don to answer.

“Loud and clear, jefá,” he and his goon answered carefully. “Good! Thank you for playing! You can go now,” she perked up cheerfully.

The Don and his right hand man bowed and left the room wordlessly.

“Oh! And uh, would you mind? Taking care of that?” she gestured to the dead body in the hall.

“Our pleasure,” the Don smiled. “Perra loca,” he whispered under his breath once he was out of earshot, with the remains of Mr Hearino in his trunk.

“You know, your uncle just made us snitch on our old gangs for a trust exercise,” the confidant lit his own cigarette.

“The empire’s already been built. I’m just doing a cabinet reshuffle,” Love shrugged, plopping herself back happily into Sugar’s lap.