Colomba bent over Giltine and determined that she was dead, while Dante furiously wheeled around on Leo. “There was no need for that. There was no fucking need!”
Leo put a new clip in his gun, then went over to Colomba. “Is she dead?”
“Yes.” God, she’s tiny, thought Colomba. She couldn’t weigh a pound over ninety. “What was that explosion, Dante?”
“One of Giltine’s old friends tried to arrange an escape route for her.”
“And he came mighty close to succeeding,” said Leo, grabbing the knife that Giltine had dropped.
“Leo, you know that you’re contaminating a crime scene, don’t you?” asked Colomba.
“How careless of me.”
Something about the way he said it sent a shiver down Dante’s spine. “Don’t touch her!” he shouted. But it was too late, because Leo had plunged the knife into Colomba’s belly and then twisted it, ripping the wound wider.
Colomba felt her stomach turn to ice and she fell to her knees, dropping her pistol, watching as her blood filled her hands. She watched as Leo punched Dante and knocked him to the ground and then bent over Belyy. The old man stared at Leo in horror, incapable of moving because of the terrible pain in his pelvis. “If you spare my life, I’ll make you a rich man,” the old man said.
“Dasvidaniya,” said Leo, and cut the man’s throat with as much indifference as you’d use to cut a slice of cake.
Dante crawled toward Colomba, who was curled up in a fetal position, already in a lake of blood. “CC,” he said, with tears in his eyes. “Don’t move. Now I’m going to compress the wound. I’ll compress your—”
Leo grabbed Dante and yanked him to his feet. “It’s time to go,” he said.
Dante felt his internal thermostat shooting past level ten, level one hundred, level one thousand, and Leo’s face became a dark dot at the edge of a megascreen in Berlin, and then the passerby who, months before that, had triggered the psychotic episode that had sent him to the Swiss clinic. “So it’s you,” he murmured.
“Be good, little brother,” said Leo, then he wrapped his hands around Dante’s throat and squeezed until he lost consciousness. Then he slung Dante’s inert body over his shoulder.
The last thing Colomba saw was Dante’s hand trying to reach out to her over Leo’s shoulder. She wanted to tell him that she’d save him, that she’d win out over everything, that they’d never be apart again, but she uttered the words only in her dream.
When the EMTs showed up to save her from death’s door, Leo and Dante had already disappeared, and no one had seen them go.
It took a week of searching to determine beyond the shadow of a doubt that Leo Bonaccorso had never existed.