Blackburn was surprised that it was so easy. He hadn't thought he would be able to shoot another man. But here was Number Two trying to pull on his pants. The man was big, and his footfalls shook the telephone on the nightstand. A hole in his stomach pumped dark blood. The blood glistened on the man's skin, on the bedsheets, on the floor.
The woman on the bed was screaming. She scooted back against the headboard and stuffed part of the top sheet into her mouth. She screamed louder.
"Don't do that," Blackburn said. His ears were buzzing from the gunshot.
Number Two pulled his pants up as far as his knees, then fell. The telephone jumped. The man grunted. He lay on his side, and the blood ran down his belly to the floor. The woman continued to scream. Her screams were why Blackburn had come into the room. But there was no need for them now.
"It's all right," Blackburn said.
The woman screamed and screamed.
"What else could I do?" Blackburn asked.