Sam Green stood behind the windows of his corner office of his law firm and looked over the magnificent view, nighttime lower Manhattan presented.
He held a glass of his Vodka Martini made with Stolichnaya Elit. The bottle was a gift of a thankful client. Of course the expensive Vodka was only the tip of the iceberg of his compensations.
He checked his reflection with a pleased smile around his lips. His thousand dollar suit and tailor made shirts; silk tie fit him like he was born in it. Tall and handsome, the stuff future senators were made off. It was a great life, being a star lawyer in this magnificent city.
True to his craft no ethical or emotional shackles clouded his judgment. Of course he knew Dave Phillips was as guilty as sin and a murdering sadistic son of a bitch, but he was influential and had loads of money.
Dave was his client and today, the rape and murder charges were dropped and his client walked a free man. There would be a party later tonight, and Sam would of course attend. He was the star. The Phillips family was very old money and had contacts all the way to the top.
His star was already burning bright and it would burn even brighter. He took a sip of his drink. Actually it had little to do with real legal finesse. He had contacts and it was easy to find out where the cops were hiding the main witness. Her unfortunate suicide before she could testify had nothing to do with luck.
The expert witness of the prosecution was easy to blackmail due to his gambling debts, the rest was child play. Without their main witness and with the DNA evidence thrown out, the Judge essentially had no other choice but to dismiss the case. That Dave had killed the hooker and had killed women before, that was as certain as the sun came up every day, but who really cared? They were hookers, who would miss them anyway?
That it was him who gave the order to get the main witness out of the way was just part of his job. He had done it before and would most certainly do it again. He had great plans for his future. The sudden ring of his desk phone pulled him out of his self reflecting thoughts.
He turned annoyed; no one ever called him on his desk phone. He got his personal calls on his I-Phone and the rest was filtered by his staff. Claudia Saunders, his executive assistant was already gone so it could not have been her, transferring the call.
He took the receiver and barked.” Hello?”
There was static and then a whispering voice said.”You will sit down and use the camcorder you find in your desk to record all your sins, ordered murders and shady deals. Do that and your death will be quick and painless. Do it not and the opposite will happen!”
Sam dropped his glass and he said.” Who is this?”
“I am Cherubim!”
The line went dead and a heartbeat later he heard the monotone hum of the dial tone. He sat down behind his desk. It wasn’t the first time he got threat calls, hate e-mails or letters. That came with the territory, but this one was different. It was an ultimatum and the voice ordered him to admit to his crimes and the ultimatum would end by Sunrise. He was well protected of course, but he opened the drawer of his desk anyway to get his 38 special. A cold shiver ran through his body. The gun was gone; in its place were a black rose and a business card, next to a small camcorder. Only one word was printed on that card in an elegant font.”Cherubim”
His hand trembled as he pulled his I-phone and speed dialed for his driver and bodyguard.
Burt was an Ex marine and as tough as they came. Burt didn’t answer his phone , even though he let it ring several went to the door. He knew Robert had to be in the office, he would chew him out for turning his phone off and falling asleep on the job. With an angry move he pulled open his office door to yell after his driver, but no words passed his lips instead the sudden shock of pure fright clutched his heart.
His bodyguard stood right there before him. A thin trickle of blood coming out of his nose and his eyes turned upward. His athletic body stiff as a board fell forward and against Sam who shrieked and jumped back. Robert thumped into the soft carpet like a toppled tree.
There was not a second of doubt in Sam’s mind. He instantly knew his bodyguard was dead! Someone was right here in his office, someone who replaced his gun with a rose and killed Burt. No wonder his desk phone rang, the call came from within the law firm’s rooms and not from somewhere else.
He jelled: ”Whoever you are, you’re messing with the wrong person!”
He dialed another number on his cell, this time he got connected.”Robert you need to come over here to the office right now and bring two or three guys with guns! Someone is trying to kill me! Someone already killed Burt!”
Robert was his contact, a man who could get anything done when the money was right. The person he always called when he needed something special taken care off.
“Who is trying to kill you?” asked the voice at the other end.
“I don’t know. Someone called me and threatened to kill me. That someone is somewhere here in the office; you need to come right now! Even my gun is gone; all I found was a black rose and a card with the name Cherubim on it.”
“Did you say you found a black rose?”
“Yes, a goddamn black rose. Now quit talking and come! Burt is dead. I locked my door. I can’t hear a thing! Now quit wasting time and come!”
Robert always calm and steady voice changed and Sam could hear fear in it.
”You’re screwed Sam. You’re as good as dead already. There is nothing I can do. Don’t call me again. Rest assured I will send a very nice flower arrangement to your funeral.”
Robert disconnected. Sam stared at the phone in disbelief and anger, and then he dialed 911.
Robert had many names. Among his closest friends he was Rob, his enemies rarely used his name and if so only whispered. His business partners and associates called him Mr. R. He was a section chief of the local outfit and it controlled quite a bit of turf. Some said the family business was dying and that Asians, Mexican and most of all Armenian gangs took over. It held true for much of the country, yes. But here in New York, the family was still in charge.
It was an old dog yes, but this old dog had teeth and lots of connections pampered over many decades of business.
Sam Green often called him Rob and thought Robert was his friend. Robert leaned back and stared at the phone, took a deep drag on his cigar and blew the thick smoke over his desk and it wafted as thick as Hudson November fog through the air. Yes Rob did have friends and he held that to a certain standard. Sam Green was good and he did a lot for the family and so the family returned the favor.
Getting that murdering scum Phillips of the hook was a great idea. The Phillips family was very old and very rich, they would be very grateful. Private Investment banks made them influential and perfect for large scale money laundering. Something Robert wanted to suggest the next time he met Sandra Phillips, the undisputed family head who would do anything to keep her son, that sick bastard out of any sort of trouble for the good of the family name.
Dennis, sat across the desk, his legs crossed wearing an expensive suit that fitted his slender frame like a glove. Almost everyone underestimated this baby faced man and quite a few went to their graves making that mistake. He was a ruthless killer who worked himself up to be the right hand man of Robert.
“You look all shaken up! What was this all about, black roses and all?”
He retrieved a cigarette from a silver cigarette case. With Dennis everything had to be expensive and stylish.” Why aren’t we going to see what Sam needs?”
Robert put the cigar down and noticed his own hand tremble. ”You call yourself a killer and man of the world and yet you know nothing of the most lethal assassin ever?”
The golden DuPont lighter clicked with a heavy metal sound, as Dennis lit his Dunhill cigarette. ”What is so special about this Cherub?” “
Everything is special and different about Cherubim and you better pray that we are not on the list.”
“Oh come on. This is a fortress; no one can get in here. Not even the Feds. Besides I am here. I am not a dishonorably discharged Army Ranger who lies about his service record like Burt, claiming to be a Marine.”
With these words he pulled his silenced .22 Ruger and looked at the gun with unbridled love.”
Tell me more about that Cherubim, Boss!”
Robert barked. “I am not in the mood to educate you tonight. I want you to find out who had that kind of money and connections to hire Cherubim!”
“How much money do we talk about?”
“1000 Krugerrand Coins, all up front.” “Mother of God, I’d be richer than you if you’d pay me that for every hit I done for you!”
“Would you kill the President of the United States for a Million?”
“I’d kill anyone for a million, but it is impossible. I never get near enough to kill that sucker.”
“If Cherubim takes a contract, it does not matter who it is or where that someone is and it is always guaranteed. Now get to work! I want to know who paid all that to kill Sam Green.”
He was still angry at his boss as he left Robert’s office, but he was neither a fool nor did he earn his notoriety being a top killer for not doing his homework and he had contacts. One of his contacts worked for the FBI and had access to all those marvelous data banks and this was where he started.
He opened a secure messenger service and found his special friend available.
He typed.” What do you know about an assassin or killer named Cherubim?”
The answer came back. ”Cherubim is the angel the Lord had put before the Garden of Eden. Cherubim is the Angel that carries God’s mighty sword with whom the world can be split. Cherubim is the the Angel of death!”
His fingers flew over the keyboard. ”Don’t give me that mystical Wikipedia crap. I am talking about a real killer.”
“So am I. No one knows the true identity, but Cherubim is the number one wanted person by Mossad, CIA, FBI, KGB and pretty much every other secret organization on this planet. At the same time every one of them used Cherubim one time or the other. All you have to do is send a handwritten letter to an address in Morocco and if Cherubim is interested you will be contacted to pay 1000 Krugerrand gold coins per hit. After this is done you wait 72 hrs and whomever you wanted to be dead is dead, always!”
“I need to know more! Sam Green found a black rose.”
“Sam Green was found dead in his office an hour ago, along with his body guard and if you want to know Dave Phillips and his mother have been shot as well. The coroner said the man suffered a great deal of torture before he died. A black rose has been found with all four victims, the calling card of Cherubim.”
Dennis wanted to type something but the Chat was interrupted by a pop up, that blocked all other windows he had up. The window showed the picture of a black rose.