Johnny turned on his heels at the familiar rumble of the elevator, his hand holding steady on the cold metal that rested against his hip. As the door opened, he waited...
Clasping his fingers around the smooth handle, Johnny carefully drew his weapon and stepped softly toward the open door. What met his eyes drained the color from his face. Slipping the revolver back in its place, Johnny hit the "stop" button with his fist and burst through Sonny's door without warning.
Sonny jerked the phone from his ear with a start. The look on Johnny's face made his skin crawl.
Sonny quickly covered the receiver with his hand. "Zander?"
Johnny shook his head. "No, not Zander. But you'd better come. Now!"
Sonny brought the phone back to his ear. "I'll get back to you." Dropping the phone on the desk, he followed Johnny out to the hall. Johnny stopped abruptly in front of the open elevator and looked pointedly at something inside.
"It's hers," Johnny said, as Sonny moved in the direction of his gaze. "I saw her leave this morning. She was wearing it...I know it's hers."
Sonny knelt down and lifted the neatly folded, pale blue square up to his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled the soft fragrance he knew only as hers. It swirled in his head, making him dizzy. Sonny forced his eyes wide open to steady himself. As he rose, the folds of the scarf slipped away, undone...and then he saw it.
A bold and deliberate patch of red. A bloody message screaming at him against the gentle, sky-colored softness that rested in his hand. As he stared, unmoving, Johnny took a tentative step toward him. "Boss?" Sonny didn't answer.
Sonny hadn't noticed the small piece of paper that floated toward the ground, hidden in the layers of cashmere. Johnny caught it as it fell, and now, unhesitant, silently read.
"Sonny!" Johnny's voice finally registered, and he looked up to see the note held out to him in Johnny's trembling hand. As Sonny read, a white-hot rage overtook his being.
Johnny knew. He could sense it. His adrenaline rushed as he watched Sonny wind Alexis' scarf tighter and tighter around his fist, his jaw stiffening. Finally, Sonny uttered the words that Johnny was waiting to hear.
"He's crossed the line." Sonny's steely eyes bored into Johnny, who nodded in full, quiet understanding.
"And this," Sonny promised, "is the END of his."