A security dickhead approaches and takes my pistol from me before carrying it over and handing it to the woman. She looks at it for several minutes; all the while the sweat starts to bead up on my forehead. How fucking stupid could one human being and stay alive? First I let Lacey get over on me and now I still walked in a trap. For God’s sake if I don’t get my head out of my ass I’ll never make it home.
“Interesting weapon,” she said finally. “I’ve never seen one like this before. Is this the one your uncle made?”
I just shrugged.
“No need to stay silent, Mareth, because what you do in the next couple minutes will determine whether you and your friends live.”
“What the fuck ever.”
The woman pushed a button on her wrist computer and a holographic image of Janice appeared. A pair of security dickheads had a weapon to her head and she’d turned as white as a sheet. Goddamn it, what was this woman up to?
“Now,” the woman said, “you can see that I have your friend in a precarious position. As I do your other friend.” An image of Alex in the same position appeared next to Janice’s.
Great, just fucking great. Christ on a fucking stick, how did they manage to get the drop on those two and what the hell am I supposed to do about it? There’s no way in the goddamn world I’m letting them kill my friends, so I guess I need to stall until I can think of something.
“Ok,” I said. “What are you after?”
“Well, let me tell you up front: you hold the future of you and your friend’s lives.”
“I figured that shit out on my own. So, get to the fucking point.”
“You get one big mouth of you, young lady.”
“So sue me. Now, you’re killing me. Just tell me what you want.”
“You’re not dead yet,” she murmured. “Fine, I’ll tell you. I want you to work for me.”
“Pfft, why the fuck would I do that?”
“Because if you don’t, then your friends will die. And before you shoot your mouth off, you alone are wanted for almost fifty kills. That gives me the right to execute you right here.”
“Great. What the fuck do you want from me?”
“Well, it’s not what I want. I think you’re going to have to discuss that with my boss.”
“And who would that be?”
“Now it’s getting deep in here. Care to bullshit me some more?”
“She’s not bullshitting you.”
I turn to face the person who spoke and my jaw drops as I recognize the President.
“As you can see,” the woman said, “there’s more to this then you know.”
“No shit asshole.”
The President raised a hand. “No need to get nasty, Mareth.”
“How do you expect me to act, fuck face, when you’ve got my friends at gun point and are threatening me?”
“So, what do you want from me?”
“I want you to get that bomb back before Lacey Marano can cause a major problem.”
“What do you think I’m trying to do?”
“Well, I want to motivate you.”
“And this is supposed to help?”
The President sat down and then crossed his arms. “Given that you’re the one who killed the man elected to be Speaker of the House, it’d behoove you to help.”
“You do know that I’m an assassin, not a fucking spy.”
“You know how to track this girl down. Our people can’t move about in the underworld. You can do that freely.”
“News flash, buddy, but if I had so many friends, would we be having this discussion?”
“Because Mister Banderas owes me.”
“Let me guess, he has to work for you or go to prison too?”
“How astute of you.”
“Don’t try to be smooth to me, asshole. It doesn’t work.”
“Working for me can be very lucrative.”
“So’s being a hooker, doesn’t mean I want to be on your payroll.”
“You’ve already taken money from me-you just don’t know it.”
“What do you mean?”
“The little political assassination? That was paid for by my administration.”
“Yeah, he was a little pain in the ass from my own party. Who had ideas of trying to become President.”
“You guys fucking amuse me. You kill each other to keep a damn job. That makes your little morality speeches fucking hilarious.”
“How colorful. You certainly have a nasty mouth of you, young lady.”
“Sue me then.”
“Well, since we’re going to have this little discussion, let me explain something to you. The Doctor you went after? We paid for that. There are six more people you’ve killed that have been paid for by the government. So, you see if anything happens to me, you go down too.”
You know, there’s times in life when you just wish you could strangle someone, but can’t. That’s how I felt at that moment after hearing the bullshit from the President. So, he’d commissioned me on hits and no one told me! I wonder if Janice and Alex knew this little tidbit and kept it from me.
“I can see the wheels in your mind work,” the President said. “You’re associates didn’t know it was us.”
In a way that was a relief but it still didn’t take edge off my bad mood. If there was one thing I didn’t want to do, it was work for the politicians. The fuckers liked to send people out on jobs and then turn on you like a snake. No, it was much better just staying away from them; it would be better for my long-term health.
Still, despite the fact walking away helped me the best, there was Alex and Janice to worry about. Something happened to them and my supply of clients dried up and what’s the point of being an assassin if there’s no one to kill? No, I’d have to work with the prick to keep them alive at least.
Christ I hated being put into situations like this because no matter what I do, I end up losing in some way. No doubt there’s another shoe about to drop and it would be something that would lead to me being in a position that allows the asshole sitting in front of me to win-that’s how politicos worked.
“So, here’s how it’s going to be,” he said. “You will find Marano, get the bomb back and then do whatever jobs we send your way.”
“I don’t need you to send me after that bitch. She’s tried to kill me, so it’s personal.”
“That doesn’t concern me. Making sure she doesn’t destroy a city or sell the device to someone who will does.”
“And I don’t give a fuck about your problem, so, there, we’re even.”
“I highly suggest you rethink that, Mareth. These men are prepared to take you into custody and drop you in some prison until you die of old age.”
“Thought you were going to execute me.”
“I changed my mind.”
“See, this is why I hate you fuckers; you can’t make up your goddamn minds.”
“You will do this.”
“No shit, Sherlock. Of course I’m going to have to do it. You got my friends with guns to their head. What the do you expect me to do, dickhead?”
“Good, I’m glad we’ve come to an agreement.”
An agreement my ass. It’s more like blackmail but I’m not saying that openly. I mean, what can you call it when someone is threatening your friends and colleagues with death if you don’t help? It’s certainly not a negotiation…that’s for damn sure.