Sometimes, I see my neighbors in town. The drunk speaks to me. People see him stumbling out of the local watering hole all the time. He wobbles down the road to the police station and tells them to stop shooting the minorities.
“You shouldn’t be doin’ that,” he yells before falling into drunken slumber on their doorsteps.
My other neighbor is a young woman, she lives across the road from me, and she rarely steps outside. This sends off the warning lights and alarm bells in my mind. “Why doesn’t she ever leave? Is she spying on me?”
I met her once, she came out to her mailbox the same time I did, and she was pleasant. As I shuffled through the bills and junk mail, she stopped short of the box.
“Hey,” I muttered to her. “Your bills love you, even if no one else does.”
It was awkward, and I watched her for a second. She didn’t shrink away like some intimidated shrew, and I found myself impressed with her strength. Her dark eyes met my gaze with the same intensity.
“I like her,” my internal voice said.
“I’m Freeman, your neighbor down the hill.”
“Nice to meet you, Freeman. I’m Jade.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” said I, as I extended my hand toward her.
She looked at my pro-offered hand, and finally shook it. That was the first and last time I saw her. Well, I’ve seen her from my porch. She waits until I check my mail and I return home before she checks her mail.
There’s something strange about it, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is. We’re two peas in the same pod, I reckon. She could be with them. They are everywhere.
Or she could think the same thing about me.
When I was an assassin, there was no ‘partner.’ They gave you an assignment, and you completed the contract. There’s no middle man, no junior partner to get in the way.
I received my assignments via encrypted email, and when I completed the job, they sent my pay to a private account.
Who did I work for? No one knows who’s at the top of the pyramid. When diplomacy failed and war wasn’t an option, they sent me to deal with the problem.
I peeked out my window from one of my guest windows to see if Jade was out in her yard. She wasn’t. A dark charger sat at the end of my driveway with the windows blacked out and a push bar attached to the front of it.
Here they come.