Damian couldn=t decide which was more annoying: the strobe lights flashing off of the chrome, or the bass rattling his teeth. As he watched the dancers moving and grinding to the rhythmic beat of Nine Inch Nails, Reznor loudly screaming exactly how they would be fucked, he settled on the strobes. It was the way that they revealed the truth of the situation more than any other factor. The dancers, when seen in constant light, were probably enjoying themselves, dancing, laughing and smiling - but when viewed in intermittent flashes, most seemed caught somewhere between ecstasy and agony, angels dancing with the damned. And that hit just a little too close to home for comfort.
Across the room a thin young man, dressed in the latest in urban chic, caught his eye and nodded towards the door against the far wall, unobtrusively painted to blend in with the walls and the other decor, but conspicuous due to its guardian, a six and a half foot blonde mass of muscle that hadn=t moved from the spot in two hours. Damian nodded twice, once to the trendily dressed man and once to the guard at the door. The guard only gave the young man a cursory glance as he passed through the door, his long coat flapping in his wake.
Damian settled in a bit, giving him a chance to get comfortable and watching the bar=s patrons with a practiced eye. They=d make the rent tonight, the line still ran down the block and it was already three in the morning. He=d watched his managers (heavily followed by security) take five cash drops already tonight, and his rule was not to take anything less than ten thousand.
Looking out over the dance floor and onto the stage, his blue eyes settled on a petite brunette, dancing with wild abandon, wearing as little as club rules allowed. She felt his gaze on her and looked up, trying to feel where the weight of it was coming from. Finally seeing him, her eyes lit up and she ran her hands down over her body, cupping and stroking suggestively, grinding against her dance partner, never taking her eyes off him. She must have liked what she saw – many women did. He nodded and sent a waitress her way with a note and a drink. When she pulled the folded card off the tray and smiled back at him he nodded curtly and pulled himself out of the heavy chair he sat in, heading for the office door.
As he closed the heavy door behind him, the sounds of the club were instantly silenced. Three inches thick, the door was solid tungsten steel, paneled in walnut and layered with cork for sound proofing. His gaze traveled around the room, taking in the Monet on the wall, the small bar - stocked only with his favorite scotches and wines, the elaborate and expensive media centre behind the desk and the young man, quickly rising from his seat behind the desk, looking faintly guilty.
AColby, that=s fine, you can sit back down. That is the most comfortable chair in the place. Why should you not take it from me? After all, you are taking my money.@ As he spoke, his precise London accent all the more pronounced in his irritation, the young man=s expression changed from worry to relief to confusion. Damian had to give him points for that, no fear showed on the boy=s face, even though his mind must be racing at light speed.
AI don=t know what you’re talking about Damian. Your money is right here,@ he said carefully, pointing to stacks of bills neatly laid out on the desk in front of him, Atwenty bags, a hundred bucks a pop, that=s two grand. You can count it if you want.@ His grin was back, and he started to lean back in the chair a little.
AYou are partly correct Colby. I did provide you with twenty bags, and that would be two thousand dollars. What you left out is that you took those twenty bags, and cut them with something, turning them into thirty bags and pocketing one thousand dollars for yourself.@
Colby stood back up and started to shake his head but Damian continued, not giving him a chance to speak AIt is not so much that you are cheating your customers, who are really my customers and as such have grown to expect a certain quality from my products, but you are also stealing from me. And that, I simply will not tolerate.@
As he spoke, he felt Colby grow more and more nervous and could almost see the thoughts running through his mind, one image in particular came to the fore and Damian spoke even as Colby=s mind formed it. "I would not go for the gun if I were you Colby. Though you did a good job getting it past the girls at the front, all that it will really do-" Colby started to reach into his pocket, but quick as he was, Damian moved much, much faster. Even as Colby=s hand closed around the gun, Damian blurred across the ten feet between them, and with a casual seeming shove, sent the desk sliding out of his way. His backhand slap smashed into Colby as the drug dealer=s eyes widened in fear. Fear that quickly turned to pain and bewilderment as he flew against the far wall, crashing to the floor in a heap. While he started to roll off of his stomach and once again his hand flashed for his coat pocket, Damian stepped over to him and slammed his foot down on his hand, bones snapping and pinning it to the floor with his weight.
AAs I was saying, before you forced me to such rude action, all that drawing the gun is going to do is make me very, very upset. And, if I might steal a phrase, I don=t think that you would like me when I=m upset. So let us just remove your little toy so that you are no longer tempted to use it.@ He reached down into the pocket that Colby had been scrabbling for and pulled out a sleek looking pistol. AHmmm, a very nice gun. And that is a very nice coat. I would seem that you are spending my money well.@
Between sobs of pain and trying to catch his breath, Colby was trying to stammer out a question AWha... wha... how... you...@ His eyes danced between Damian and the desk where it sat, against the far wall. Carved of a solid piece of redwood and beautifully tooled, the desk had required six men to bring it into the room and then the inner wall could be built - a conservative estimate of its weight still put it in the neighborhood of 600 pounds.
AHow did I do that? Is that what your feeble mind is trying to comprehend Colby? Why not ask how I knew about the gun, or where I learned about your dealings on the side? They seem like equally valid questions, do they not?@
As Colby stammered out an affirmative, Damian realized that the dealer had seen too much and, as much as it was going to inconvenience him, Damian wasn=t going to be able to let the punk leave. As he raised the gun Colby=s eyes widened and his mouth began to open in a scream. The shot that exploded through the room drowned out any other sound.
Damian reached for the phone, the smell of cordite thick in his nostrils, as he watched the life fade from the young man=s eyes. His finger pressed a single number on the speed dial pad as Colby died. Damian watched with something akin to fascination as the spark of life faded from the young man at his feet. Once again a human being was reduced to so much cold meat.
AWhat?@ the voice on the other end spat out the word. He must have been occupied Damian mused, the thought bringing a smile to his face. AWhat do you want?@
AI am afraid I must call upon your services Greagor, I have a bit of a mess in my office and would like you to send an experienced janitor to clean it up. Someone skilled with stains and small holes in plaster if you have one.@ Damian knew that Greagor was fuming on the other end of the line, but then again, he always enjoyed making the other man angry. It had become something of a game between them - Damian would taunt Greagor nightly, trying to goad him into doing something rash. So far he had not risen to the bait - not completely.
AFine. He=s on his way. And Christ, you limey bastard, why can’t you speak like a normal person?@ A sudden click cut off any reply that Damian would have made. He smiled. Greagor=s getting more and more terse. That=s a good sign he thought to himself with a sardonic smile upon his lips. He must be just about ready to boil over. Maybe I can finally be rid if that incompetent fool.