Kristov hated being in Michigan, but times were hard and he needed the work. The ten story slum building was good cover, but he didn’t like it. Just being in there made him feel filthy. Apartment 713 was the furthest apartment from the elevator and on the left.
They’re always the last one on the left.
Walking on the hallway carpet felt like stepping on finely ground garbage sprinkled over wet sponges. Everything about this job aggravated him.
He didn’t bother knocking as the door was ajar and she knew he was coming. He walked in and found her going over some freshly printed paperwork.
There were computers and Hi-Tech gadgets he had never seen before.
“I had heard somewhere that you were smart. That’s why I hired you.” She said. “Everything you’ve done in the last forty eight hours has been the opposite of smart.”
“We let a few weeks go by, they drop their guard, we grab him then. I don’t see the problem.” Kristov said with his usual smug demeanor.
“That’s because you are an imbecile. I don’t give enough information to make decisions like that. You do as you’re told.”
Kristov growled under his breath, but held his tongue. He didn’t like being talked to like an idiot. He once led battalions into battle, now he was working for them. In another time he would have killed her for those words. These were not those days.
He hated what he had become, but he was being paid handsomely. He was never smart with his money and like many others he was forced to work as hired muscle. There wasn’t as much use for this work like there used to be. Weaponry and the fear of getting noticed limited his work options. A few years ago he was even forced to commit petty robberies just to eat. The once a great military Captain, who worked directly under the General himself was now a common thug.
“Grabbing Jack while he was still human should have been the easiest thing in the world. Now…”
“Now nothing.” Kristov said, cutting her off. “So he’s a leech now, so what. I can handle this.” Kristov said.
She let the insult slide.
“You can? We’ve lost the element of surprise and Jacques and Theo now know you’re involved. You think they will just sit around waiting for you to come back? They are taking steps as we speak. Then there’s Jack himself.”
“What about him?” Kristov said.
“You really don’t know anything do you?” She said with the same measure of sympathy and disgust. “You might one day.”
“I would have had Jack, and the information you wanted if that bastard Jacques hadn’t shown up.”
She walked over to one of her computers that appeared to be running some kind of a program. She was no longer looking at Kristov when she spoke.
“He’s going to be a problem. We need to fix that problem. Is this something you can handle? At double your previous fee?” She said as she typed some keys on the keyboard.
This wouldn’t be easy, but with the right help he felt he could do it.
“Done.” He said.
“What about that other matter?” She said
“Franklin is making arrangements right now. I will see it’s finished myself.”
She tossed Kristov an envelope full of cash and he caught it mid-air.
“This is a fraction of what is to come if you are able to finish the job. Fuck it up again and you may realize just how alone you are in this world.”
He knew what she meant and he hated that she was right. He had burned one too many bridges and he knew it. The money from this job could get him back on his feet, and maybe something more.
“I’ll finish it.” He growled.
“Good. Now get the hell outta here.”