The pub door slammed open. A tall, formidable man approached one of the booths and sat down next to Jack. He slid him a large yellow envelope while Jack chugged another shot of whiskey. The man said, in a seemingly calm voice, “things don’t always turn out as planned, but you got it done nonetheless. I’m sorry for your loss.” Jack stood up and planted a ten inch piece of steel in the man’s hand. Jack whispered back at him as his hand was nailed to the table, “I think you may be right.” With many anxious faces honing in on him, Jack pulled the knife out of the man’s hand and walked out of the pub.

            With a very particular skill set, the people who knew Jack knew that he was not the type of person to be played with. Jack pulled up his car to a dark alley and took a moment to get out. At the time of night no one was out and about, but Mr. Emery was smart enough to scout the area anyway. He walked along the street with a hood over his head and his hands in pockets as he neared the back of the estate. In half a second, Jack was over the gate and approaching the back door. He pulled out a lock pick, and spent a moment analyzing the yard as he jimmied open the door.

            As he expected, no one was home. For an instant he wondered what kind of obnoxious asshole needs a house that large all to herself, but was interrupted in thought by a glance at the refrigerator. He hadn’t eaten in days; but for his lifestyle, it was a common occurrence. Jack calmly fixed himself a sandwich and found his way to sleep, on the couch of course, beds in his mind were over rated.

            Jack woke up just a few hours later to the sound of the garage door opening. He scurried off the couch and took hold of his knife as he hid behind the garage door. Maggie opened the door and Jack seamlessly slid a knife up to her neck. She took a deep breath in panic. “Take anything,” she said. Jack had no response. “You son of a bitch!” she cried, “why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

             Jack took the pressure off the knife and turned her around. Maggie kissed him and stared him in the eye. “Long night, as usual,” said Jack, “I didn’t even know until I got the message.” Jack pulled the envelope out of his pocket and handed it to Maggie. She peeked inside and slid it into her pocket. “Thank you,” she said, “I know this isn’t easy for you.” Jack nodded his head and turned away. “If there is anything else you need, let me know, and you know I will do it.” He slowly let go of her and walked out the back door, grabbing the remains of his sandwich on the way.

At 4 in the morning, Jack made his trip back to the run down hotel, where he had been setting up the past few days. He was finally catching back up with him. Jack knew for months what he had to do, but wasn’t sure how he can manage it. Mr. Emery sat in the dark corner of his room and watched him through the window. If there is one thing Jack Emery knows well, it is stealth and patience, but even the best of rogues can’t stay in the shadows forever.

 

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