The Job – Chapter One

May 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm (The Job)

Parker stared up at the ceiling. Her heartbeat had just about returned to normal. Several hours of vigorous sex had caused her to sweat. The air conditioning unit pumped out a blast of arctic air, cooling her off enough that she’d pulled the sheet up. Her body was tingling nicely, but her brain was cranking over too fast for sleep. Not that she intended to sleep. She had a job to do.

Her job was snoring loud enough to shake the rafters.

She’d told him her name was Desiree. He’d called himself Rob and said he was in town on business. She knew that his real name was Dwight and he was a chronic gambler. Dwight had a wife and three kids, but he wasn’t big on supporting them. The wife, Megan, taught grade ten math at Chaparral high school, about five miles east and north of UNLV. She came home for two hours to feed her kids dinner and then dropped them off with her mother so she could go to her second job. She was a black jack dealer at the Mandalay Bay casino. Megan worked from seven until three in the morning. And she had learned to tuck her tips away where her husband couldn’t find them. The college fund she’d started for their oldest boy was gone. The second one she had started, she’d put into her mother’s name.

During the intake interview, the counselor had asked why she didn’t divorce her husband. Megan had explained that when he wasn’t destroying his career with his gambling habit, her husband was a lawyer. He had his own practice, though he hadn’t had a client in almost eight months. Still, he knew the law and he had enough contacts to royally screw her over in the divorce. It was easier, she’d said, to have him killed so that he ceased to be a drain on her finances.

That’s where Parker came in. She’d spent the past four days watching Dwight as he’d cruised from one casino to another. Sometimes he’d be up and his mood would be high, but mostly his luck, like his money, would be low. High or low, he always ended his night with company he didn’t have to pay for. Parker wondered if his wife was aware of that aspect to his gambling.

It hadn’t taken much effort to attract Dwight’s attention and hold it. He’d played another few rounds of black jack, lost close to five hundred dollars and then he’d wandered over and bought her a drink. A half hour later she’d been pressed up against the back of the hotel room door, the orgasm ripping through her and leaving her breathless.

Now, as Dwight lay beside her, Parker wondered just what the hell she was playing at. She’d slept with a target. Again. She didn’t need to be told that it was a stupid thing to do. She’d been in the business long enough to know what the police were capable of pulling from a scene. Though it was unlikely that they’d get anything they could tie to her, she usually didn’t take any chances. Play it safe; get in, do the job, and get out again. She had five years of this exact job type under her belt and she’d never even had a whisper of trouble from the cops. It was a hell of a way to add a little spice to an otherwise typical job.

Dwight’s snoring was starting to make her batshit.

Rolling to her side, Parker slipped out of bed. Padding naked across the floor, she grabbed her jacket off the coffee table. The careless toss had knocked over the flower arrangement. Her lacy top had hit the sofa. Reaching into an inner pocket of her jacket, she removed the blade. With the cold steel pressed against her thigh, she crossed the room to the far side of the bed. Dwight sprawled on his back. She stared down at him for a brief moment before she put him out of her mind. A short, sharp jab and the knife penetrated the skin above his left nipple. It slid in easily, missing bone, cutting through the muscle of the heart. The brief bite of pain woke Dwight. His eyes barely had enough time to focus before they died.

Wiping the blade on the sheets, she returned it to the inner pocket of her jacket. Back at the bed, she stripped off the linens, rolling the body around as needed. She knew that CSI was just a TV show and actual forensics was a damn sight more difficult, but that didn’t mean she would make it easier on them. She couldn’t be certain that a Cleaner crew would arrive before the body was found. Folding the sheets into a tight ball, she stuffed them into her large shoulder bag. The body would be swabbed and the forensics experts might get some usable DNA evidence, but without a suspect to match it against, it would be useless.

For a lawyer, Dwight wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’d peeled the disguise off her and it hadn’t occurred to him that she might be wearing it for a reason. Part of that was Vegas; costumes were commonplace. No one had seen her come into the room. They saw the disguise, but it looked nothing like Parker. The leather pants had fit like a second skin. The lacy top had barely been there at all. To say that arresting his attention had been a cakewalk was not boastful. Parker was fully aware of her attributes and had no regrets using them as tools in her arsenal.

He’d been a decent screw. She’d had better and she’d had worse; a lot of worse. Men, in her experience, seemed to think that dicks came with autopilot and all they had to do was plug it in, job done. Parker had used vibrators that required more work than that. The odd few men who knew what they were doing held a very special place in her heart.

She’d only had to kill two of them.

Using her iPhone, she snapped a couple shots of poor, dead Dwight. She didn’t pretty it up. Her employers didn’t give a shit about how he looked as long as he was dead. They wouldn’t pass those photos along to the wife. She didn’t need to see confirmation of a job well done. The story would hit the papers eventually. The police would knock on her door. The wife would have to get her story straight. Any attempt to point the finger in Parker’s direction would lead to nothing. She’d never met the woman. The business end of things had been handled through proxies. The money had long since disappeared.

With her disguise back in place, Parker checked the traffic outside the room. The hotel was quiet. It was Vegas and most people were in the casinos. Cameras were everywhere. They’d have a million shots of her and not a single one would do them a damn bit of good. Parker knew where all of the cameras were and how to avoid giving them anything substantial to work with.

One of the tools of the trade.

She strode down the hallway, avoiding the elevators. Her target had taken a deluxe room on the fourteenth floor of the Augustus Tower in Caesar’s Palace. Fourteen flights in an elevator provided ample opportunity for someone to get in close to her and remember her later. The disguise was good, but she wasn’t willing to put it to a test like that. Parker hit the stairwell and jogged down to the main level. Fourteen flights, seven seconds to descend each flight, ten seconds to cross to the exit and she was out the main door of the tower in less than two minutes.

Two in the morning and the streets were hopping. Kids barely old enough to drink staggered down the street, singing at the tops of their lungs. Girls dressed in their skimpiest dresses teetered by on five-inch stilettos. Parker saw several halfway decent Elvis impersonators, most of them wearing white spandex suits encrusted with rhinestones. She mixed in with the crowd as best as she could. Her platinum wig, black leather pants and 6-foot frame were not entirely out of place. Ignoring the foot traffic she pulled out her iPhone and requested her usual leave. It was habit for her to take time off after a job. Not just to leave the vicinity, but because she needed to do something other than work. She sent the request and started to put her phone away when it vibrated in her hand. Checking the screen, she frowned at what she saw.

Lynch, Parker K.

Vacation Request – Denied

Instructions – On standby until further notice

Standby? Why the hell was she on standby? She’d never been put on standby before. She did a job and she went on vacation. Standard operating procedure. The agency recommended it; they didn’t want their operatives getting burned out. Standby meant she had to be available to meet whenever the agency deigned to contact her.

Parker didn’t like the feeling in the pit of her stomach. She knew that her jobs weren’t exactly on the cutting edge. She was good at them, but she wasn’t pushing the envelope either for the agency or for herself. If an assassin could fall into a rut, she knew that’s where the agency felt she was. Her jobs were about as safe as one could get while still killing someone.

But she liked them. It wasn’t about the kill, it was about the hunt. She enjoyed stalking someone, seeing if they could tell they were being watched. Some people could and others were completely oblivious. She didn’t mess with people; torture wasn’t her thing. She liked a clean, quick kill. Like Dwight, a swift stab to the heart; no fuss and little muss. She liked using disguises to throw people off the scent and she got a thrill out of pretending to be someone she wasn’t.

But the agency had asked her to think a little bigger. She’d been able to decline their invitations to move up the food chain, but Parker wondered if they were going to stop asking. Her mentor, Jacob, had told her it would happen. He’d said the day would come when the agency would assign her a job she couldn’t refuse and that job might just be out of her league. He’d told her to accept a small bump, just to keep them off her back. But she hadn’t listened and now she suspected she was about to prove Jacob right.

She assumed that standby required her to remain within the lower forty-eight. Since they didn’t specify where she was to remain, Parker decided to visit the lowest part of the continental United States. Key West wasn’t the French Riviera, but it would be warm and she’d have the chance to work on her tan. She only hoped that the sun and the surf would calm the nerves that had sprung up in the pit of her stomach.


1 Comment

  1. runsfromclowns said,

    holy you’re the bomb! this kicks ass already. can’t wait to read the rest of it. and i think we both posted at exactly the same time, haha. HIGH FIVE.

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