This is a short chapter from the novel I’m currently proof reading and editing. It’s originally in Swedish, but I translated this part. I know it won’t make much sense without a context, but I couldn’t help myself. Enjoy! 😉
The same kind of darkness, the same night. An entirely different room. The walls of the office: stained wooden paneling. The desk: dark oak, probably antique. The style otherwise: so super modern that the wooden details felt like stylish design decisions. Getting inside had not been difficult; the man who owned the office had paid well for his murderer’s education. Soon he, too, would be dead.
Malcolm hadn’t even bothered to hide. This time he had removed the light bulb from the lamp in the ceiling, and the shadows along the walls did the rest of the job. When the sounds of traffic from outside were joined by those of footsteps on the stairs and the rustling of keys, he didn’t even feel nervous. If any feeling at all pierced through his concentration, it was excitement.
The man who opened the door didn’t even look around. With hurried, purposeful steps he moved over to the desk and started unlocking one of the drawers. His movements were stiff, irritated. He had received a call about an hour ago, the higher ups wanted a report. Tonight. He didn’t like being ordered around like this – if they only knew who they were dealing with. He would have liked the situation even less had he known who was really behind that call – and who was now slowly shutting the door behind him.
A click. The man turned around.
“Who the fuck are you?”
Malcolm smirked at him from the shadows. “I’m here to report. Samuel Edmunds is dead, just as you ordered. In his hotel room after the conference. No surviving witnesses.”
The man just stared at him for several seconds. Then he took a step forward. “Are you out of your fucking mind? You cannot come here. You’re not supposed to come here. You know perfectly well how our communication is supposed to work. Are you aware of the risk you have put me in by –”
Malcolm calmly cocked the gun he was holding at his side. The man stopped dead. Something in his eyes changed.
“Take it easy”, Malcolm said. “I’m perfectly aware of the risk I’m putting you in by coming here tonight. The question is, are you?”
The man cleared his throat. Struggled hard to retain his authority. Failed fatally. “And what the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you threatening me? Do you have any idea what I could do to you? You are nobody, and I know everything about you. Everything. If you try to pressure me in any way, I will –”
“I’m not here to pressure you for money”, Malcolm replied. “But you do have a point. You know way too much about me, and that is why we are standing here.”
“Does Nicholas know that you are here?” Fear now, in his eyes and in his voice.
Now Malcolm laughed, he could not help himself. “I strongly doubt that.”
One second of silence. Hesitation, insecurity. He cannot read me. Has no idea what I am planning.
”Listen”, the man said finally. The voice was mimicking that of a confident man, but not very convincingly so. “Nicholas doesn’t need to know about this. In fact, nobody needs to know. If you want to talk retainer, then let’s do that. A phone call or a middle man would of course have been better, but now that we are–”
Malcolm slowly shook his head and the man’s voice trailed off. “We are not going to talk retainer. Actually, we are not going to do anything together at all. I am going to shoot you in the head, and you are going to drop dead on top of that overvalued carpet. Then I am going to take that sheet with account information that you are holding in your hand and walk away.”
The man swallowed hard. His eyes darted nervously. ”This is insane, and you know it. My colleagues will send people after you. You’ll not stand a chance if you do this.”
“Well, yes I will”, Malcolm said. “But only if I pay them a visit as well.” Then he raised his gun and did exactly as he had promised.
With the bloodstained and unbelievably valuable sheet of paper tightly clutched in his hand he then hurriedly left the office. He had two more men to visit before sunrise, and several bank accounts to empty. He still wasn’t entirely sure that he knew what he was doing, but it was too late to back out now. Come morning he would be free, but before that he would have to file a letter of resignation signed in blood. There was no time for hesitation – Nicholas had taught him that.