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Old 03-03-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
SortOfBeautiful
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Lost & Found - (Closed to SortofBeautiful & Fish_Tales)

Richard Wallace was a hard working man. To that man in his late fifties, there was no such thing as a day off. His time, energy, money, and effort was all put in to the hotel he helped build in his mid-twenties, The Casablanca. It was a beautiful, luxurious hotel on the Las Vegas strip. Over the years, the hotel and casino only grew bigger, and taller. The lights and attractions flashier. It attracted all sorts of characters; your typical tourists who wanted to splurge, businessmen and women, and...unknown to many, like his daughter, Katheryn Wallace, it also housed the men that worked under Mr. Wallace from his other occupation as a private weapons dealer.

Business was good. Real good. On both ends. And it had been for years. If ever one wasn't providing a high income to pay the bills and pay off debts, the other would pick up the slack. So, the Wallace family was living very comfortably. But currently, the last of the Wallace family was Richard, and his only daughter, Katheryn, whose mother died during childbirth.

He was a good father, Kate would agree with that. Did he know how to raise child? Definitely not. Her whole life, she spent under the supervision of paid hotel staff and assistants that looked after her. But her dad still spoiled her and protected her, especially in knowing that there was no way he should raise a little girl and continue in the business he did. And yet, here he was, 27 years later, still in business. And that blonde beauty of a daughter had turned out wonderfully, still. No matter how hard-headed and spoiled she really was.



"Mr. Wallace, you have a visitor." Came the voice of a woman on the speakerphone on his desk, alerting Richard Wallace. He slowly shook his head, even if it couldn't be seen.

"Not now." Was all he grumbled back as he signed the documents on his desk. He wasn't expecting anyone, and he had to catch up in his hotel paperwork before he could take the time to have a meeting. There was a long pause on the other end of the phone, and then,

"Says his name is Fletcher." The woman came back on the line, a little bit of irritation in her voice.

The recognition of the name caused Mr. Wallace to stop writing, his pen falling from his fingers and onto the paper. Fletcher. Yes, he knew a Fletcher. It had been years. A damn good employee and asset from years ago, and only 18 at the time. He had a lot of potential. He respected the young man, and expected even more good things to come from him in the future. Only he quit. Or at least, he wanted to. Richard Wallace was desperate not to lose him though, and he knew about Marcus' involvement and relationship with Kate. The two thought that they were so sneaky, so secretive. Perhaps they forgot that he had eyes everywhere. The only reason why their relationship lasted as long as it did, was because he allowed it to.

He used that information against Marcus, and told the young boy that if he wanted to leave, he'd have to agree to never see Kate again. Under any circumstances. He thought that if this young man really cared about his little girl, he wouldn't leave, right? Wrong. Marcus agreed, and left town. Leaving Richard Wallace to pick up the pieces of his broken-hearted daughter.

But it couldn't be the same Fletcher, could it? Richard turned his head, staring at the black phone on his desk as if looking at it would give him all of the answers he needed. Was this just a simple hello? Or was this business.

"He won't leave, sir." The woman spoke again, sounding even more irritated now. Yes, this was definitely Marcus.

"Where's Katheryn?" He asked, first. He didn't want her having any knowledge of Marcus' arrival, and he wanted her no where near his office.

There was a long pause. The receptionist was checking the cameras.

"She's in the poker pit, sir. Handling a hostile guest." The woman finally answered.

"Good, then bring him up."

Last edited by SortOfBeautiful : 03-03-2012 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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6 months ago....


Fletcher watched as Rossi nodded to one of his goons.

The goon, dressed in a two thousand dollar suit, stepped forward and lit his boss' cigarette. Fletcher winced. Cigarettes caused cancer. That’s why he was here.

Cancer.

Her cancer.


Rossi made an elaborate scene of taking a long draw on the cigarette and the end lit up, a burst of red glowed in the dim light and the low sound of the tobacco burning sounded like green sticks on a campfire. He drew the smoke deep into his lungs and nodded again to the goon, who this time stepped back into his place behind his boss.

Fletcher stood there, ten feet from the mobster, his face impassive. Rossi was making him wait. He made everyone wait. It showed his power.

Suck it in. Maybe cancer will get you. I hope so.

But don’t die yet. I need you.

For her.


Rossi blew the smoke out of his nose slowly, the white puff slowly rising and turning into thin blue tendrils that arched towards the roof of the warehouse, dancing with each other in a slow race to oblivion. Everyone was silent.

Then Rossi spoke.

“I didn’t think I’d see you again,” he said. “You have a lot of balls meeting me.”

Fletcher nodded.

“You’re a man of your word. I’ve got no problem meeting you here.” He paused. "And yes, I have a lot of balls. I'm a man of my word too."

Man?” chuckled Rossi. “You’re a kid. A gutsy kid, I’ll give you that. But you’re still a kid.”

Fletcher shook his head.

“I’m not a kid, and you know that,” he said. “Especially after Cancion.”

Rossi’s eyes narrowed.

“You cost me a lot in Cancion,” he growled, “and five good men. Don’t bring it up anymore or maybe you'll lose those balls.”

“I won’t,” said Fletcher, “but now I need you.”

The older man nodded, his grey hair slicked back on his head, not moving at all. He took another puff of the cigarette, this one more casual, the urgency having left him, the effect of the first drag calming him already. A nicotine-induced narcolepsy. Fletcher knew better. The old man never slept, especially when there was money to be made or a favour to be called in.

“And now you want money?”

Fletcher nodded.

“Yes.”

“You want half a million dollars?”

“Yes.”

“Because your niece is still sick?”

“Yes.”

Rossi looked at him, and then looked at his watch and then raised his head back up to to look at Fletcher, letting him know his sick niece was taking up valuable time.

“What happened to the money you had?” he asked. “You must have done well with Wallace.”

“I did,” nodded Fletcher, hating himself for having to divulge personal details to this hyena, but he had no choice.

Not if I want to save her.

“So?” asked Rossi.

“So,” he continued, “most of it was used up when we first treated the cancer. But now it’s back. My sister has no insurance and her husband stole everything from her accounts. The disease is back. My niece will not die….If I can help it.”

Rossi raised an eyebrow.

“You mean if I help you?”

Fletcher nodded.

“Yes.”

“Half a million dollars is a lot to give to someone who nearly ruined me,” said Rossi, “and not to forget, also tried to kill me.”

Fletcher smirked.

“But I didn’t,” he said. “Ruin you or kill you.”

“Only because you left Wallace.”

“Yes.”

Rossi finished the cigarette and dropped it onto the concrete floor of the warehouse. It smouldered and he made no effort to stub it out with his foot.

His fucking shoes could probably pay for her first treatment. I should….

He had to remain calm. There were six of them and only him. It wouldn’t help his niece if he was killed. He had to make sure he remained calm and followed the plan he’d set for himself.

He remembered what his uncle used to say:

Sometimes you have to lie down with the dogs if you wanted to get the bone.

He needed the bone.

She needed it.

Or she’d die.

“So,” said Rossi, “I give you half a million dollars. What do I get?”

“You get it back,” said Fletcher, “with interest.”

“What do I want with interest? I’m already rich. Is that all?”

“Me.”

“What?”

“You get me.”

Rossi took a deep breath.

“As much as I would like that, I would not be maintaining my reputation as a prudent businessman if I didn’t ask for interest. Interest is one hundred thousand in two months, followed by the balance in six months.”

Fletcher listened to the gangster, pretending to weigh up his options. In reality, there was no other option. He would accept anything, take any offer.

For her.

He nodded.

“That’s ok,” he said smiling. “Probably better that I don’t work for you. I have enough enemies as it is.”

The goons all stepped a little closer in behind their boss, their shoes clicking on the concrete floor.

Rossi waved his hand in the air.

“It’s ok,” he said with an apologetic smile, “they’re just doing it for effect.”

“I’m not worried by them.”

“I know that,” sighed Rossi. “But they don’t know that, they think that muscles will buy them success in the scare business.”

Fletcher smiled.

“Not against me it won’t,” he said.

Rossi nodded.

“I know.”

Rossi drew in his breath.

“I’ll give you the money,” he said. “Half a million. But you must agree to the terms. One hundred thousand dollars in two months, then the balance of my total investment in 6 months.”

Fletcher nodded. He looked impassive, but his insides were churning. Not from fear, but from disgust. He'd done some bad things in his time, but he had never dealt with Rossi and his type. Faust had nothing on this, he’d only dealt with the devil.

Fletcher was dealing with the devil’s father.

“Yes, I agree.”

What else could he do?

She was going to die if he couldn’t do something.

Rossi smiled.

“Well,” he said, “you’ll have your money.”

“Thank you.”

“But if you fuck up,” he said, “it won’t be just you I come for. It will be your sister as well.”

Rossi paused.

“Then your niece will not only be sick, she’ll be an orphan as well.”

Fletcher tensed. He didn’t want to deal with Rossi, but he had to.

For her.

For now.


He nodded at the soulless shell of a man in front of him.

If only his soul was as white as his teeth....

“Yes.”

“You’ll pay me back.”

“Yes.”

It was done. He would have the money, but he'd have to find a way to pay it back.

I’ll worry about that later.

First, I have to save her.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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NOW


“Fletcher? That’s all you want me to say?”

“Yes, ma’am. He’ll know me.”

Fletcher was sitting in the reception of Richard Wallace’s offices. It was part of the casino complex, but separate. Wallace had always had a thing about keeping sections of his organisation apart. He leaned back in the leather chair in front of the receptionist’s desk and looked around at the décor. Wallace was doing well, of course. He never did badly, at least not since Fletcher had known him.

Wallace had almost been a father to him once. He’d looked after him, had him trained, trusted him with his business. Like most fathers, Wallace was glad that Fletcher had followed him into the family “business.” Unlike most fathers, Wallace’s business was weapons. Guns, missiles, mines, even tanks. Whatever you wanted, Wallace could get it for you.

For a price.

Fletcher was sure the casino did well, but he was also just as sure that the arms dealing did better.

A lot better.

He’d promised himself he’d never come back here, but now he was sitting in reception, waiting to be called, as if he was one of Wallace’s lackeys. He could never be a lackey, he knew that. Wallace knew that. There was also the problem of Kath….

And Wallace knew that.

But he needed Wallace now. He needed something. Anything.

But he wouldn’t admit it. Not to Wallace. Not to anyone.

He needed to let Wallace know he was back. It was courtesy. He’d given his word.

He was jolted from his introspection.

“He’ll see you, sir.”

He looked up at the receptionist and nodded.

She pointed to an elevator.

“Just take that to the third floor and he’ll be waiting.”

“Thanks,” he said, getting up.

He walked over to the elevator. A big man in a suit was standing next to it and he pressed the button as Fletcher approached. He couldn’t make out the man’s neck, but he could see the familiar bulge of a gun under the suit. He was used to that. He expected nothing less. Wallace was always careful.

The doors opened and Fletcher stepped in. He half expected the man to get in with him, but he just shook his head, turned and once again continued surveying the reception area as the lift doors closed.

Just as well, he thought looking at the specifications plate on the wall of the elevator, this thing can only carry 500kg.

The ride was short and in seconds the door opened again. Another big man in a suit stood there with a bulge under his arm. If Fletcher didn’t know it was impossible, he would have sworn it was the guy from downstairs.

Wallace really needs to get bigger lifts.

“Fletcher?” said the big man.

At least this one spoke.

“Yeah.”

“Follow me.”

“Yeah.”

Short and sweet, the way Fletcher liked it.

He followed the big man to another door across the large foyer. They stopped at the door and the big man knocked. They waited a moment and then the door opened. Another big guy opened the door and nodded to his twin and then nodded at Fletcher.

Fuck me. Wallace must breed them.

Big man the third stepped aside and let him enter the room. Fletcher knew the drill. He stood with his arms outstretched and his legs slightly parted while the guy in the room patted him down. When he was done, he nodded at the other guy who then left.

The guy left in the room with him walked over to another door, knocked twice and then opened it. He was starting to feel like Alice in Wonderland, except he wasn’t getting “curiouser and curiouser”. He knew what curiosity did and he didn’t have nine lives to play with.

“Fletcher, sir,” he said and then backed away from the door.

Fletcher walked into Richard Wallace’s office and the big man closed the door and stayed outside.

Everything about the room said Wallace. There was a large photo of Wallace and his daughter on the wall. Fletcher averted his eyes from it. Katheryn….

There were monitors on the walls of the casino, covering both the gambling and non-gambling areas. There was also a set of screens with various news services – CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera.

At least we can discuss international affairs if the conversation gets stuck.

Wallace was sitting behind a large desk, leaning back slightly. He was still the same man, just older. He looked more worn. He waited for Fletcher to sit down in the leather chair across the desk from him.

“You’re back,” said his former boss.

Fletcher nodded.

“Yes.”

“Been a long time.”

“Yes.”

“I see your time away didn’t increase your loquaciousness any.”

“No.”

Wallace laughed and sat up in his chair, resting his arms on the desk.

“Damn,” he said, “I’ve been itching to use that word for weeks and you were perfect.”

Fletcher nodded.

“Good.”

Wallace stopped laughing and looked across at him.

“Stop it, will you, it was one of the things that always made me nervous about you. No communication.”

“Ok.”

Wallace narrowed his eyes and looked like he was about to say something, but he held it back. Instead, he let out some air.

“So you’re back,” he said. “I thought we had a deal.”

“We did.” Two words.

Fletcher smiled.

See, I’m learning.

“So….why?”

Fletcher took a breath to steady himself.

“My niece is sick.”

Wallace nodded.

“So Jess has a kid?”

“Yes.”

“Never thought she would with the bum she was with. Thought she had more sense than that,” Wallace said. He paused for a moment. “Sorry, him being your brother in law and all, but he is a bum.”

“No, that’s ok. He’s not my brother in law….anymore.”

Wallace laughed.

“Thank Christ for that.”

“That he’s not my brother in law?”

“No, that you said more than one fucking word. It’s always been like pulling teeth with you, kid.”

Fletcher nodded.

“Yes.”

Wallace rolled his eyes.

“There you go again,” he sighed. “So what do you want?”

“I have to be here. For her. My niece. So I was figuring I should clear it with you. You know, so there are no misunderstandings.”

Wallace nodded and breathed in through his nose.

“I appreciate that, kid. I would know there was a reason. I might not know the reason, but I’d know there’d be one,” he said. “For you to go back on your word.”

“Yes.”

“How long?”

“I don’t know. As long as it takes.”

Wallace sat back.

“Work?”

“I’m looking. I won’t do guns though. In case you wanted to know.”

Wallace pursed his lips.

“It’s what you’re best at.”

“I know. Thought I might try and expand my skills though.”

Wallace tilted his head towards the screens showing the various global news services. Wars, conflicts, insurgencies.

“Look at that. A lot of work in guns. Way I see it, why multi-skill when you have more work than you can handle in what you’re good at?”

“I see your point,” he said. “but….I’d rather not.”

“Oh. I don’t see what else I have to give you.”

Fletcher looked at him impassively.

“Well, I’m not asking formally, but if you come across something I might be able to do, then I’d appreciate it if you thought of me. But….no guns.”

Wallace snorted.

“Like book-keeping? Filing? Come on….”

Fletcher interrupted him.

“No guns. I’m serious.”

“Is the kid gonna make it?”

“I don’t know. The kid, her name’s Grace.”

Wallace nodded.

“So you’re here. For as long as it takes.”

“As long as it takes.”

“Ok.”

“Thanks.”

Fletcher got up from the seat and started to turn towards the door of the office.

Wallace whispered softly.

“And kid.”

The younger man turned to look at his old boss.

“Yes?”

“You go near Katheryn and I’ll set every dog I have loose on you. Just saying.”

“I gave my word.”

“You did. But you’re still dead if you go near her.”

Fletcher turned and reached for the door. He turned the handle and pulled the door back.

“You might have to get in a queue.”

If I can’t find one hundred grand and then five hundred grand.

Then he left the room.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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"Sir, I'm going to need you to calm down." How Kate had even gotten involved in this fight was still beyond her. This is what they had security for. Although, lately, security had been amped up a lot lately. Her dad never gave her the reason, but it wasn't like she could complain. The casino surely needed it every now and again, especially when the pot grew bigger.

Tonight, Kate had her own guard that was scheduled on duty, but by now, just after midnight, he was at the bar drinking his third beer. He wasn't slacking off, in fact, Kate was the one who told him to get lost and go have a drink. She hated someone looking over her shoulder at every second, and reporting her every move to her dad. So, she gave the guy the night off. Of course, her guard apparently forgot which Wallace he actually worked for, and he probably wouldn't be working much longer once her father found out he was drinking on the clock, instead of looking after Kate.

Currently, Kate was in the poker pit, a private room sectioned off for the casino's most 'valuable' guests. She was wearing a short black dress that begged for attention to her long legs or just barely-there cleavage, and her blonde hair was in it's usual curls as they bounced over her shoulders while she walked. The man in front of her, ranting on about the money he'd lost, wasn't currently wrapped up in her beauty at the moment. Money was much more important than the beautiful blonde distraction.

"I apologize you've lost a lot of money, but no one's cheating, sir. You lost. Maybe a different game might be better suitable for you?" Kate suggested mockingly, but her bright smile made it seem like she was just trying to be polite. She didn't want to be kind to this stranger that was causing a scene, and she really didn't have the patience to deal with it right now.

Three security guards finally came into the room, and Kate just stood back and watched as the man went berserk at the new arrivals. It got a few of the other guys at the time riled up. Before she knew it, glasses were flying in the air, along with poker chips, and then the fighting started to take place. A punch here, a punch there, then a body was slammed against the wall. Another punch. Then a tackle by security.

"Take them out back, I don't want our other guests seeing these pigs walk out the front." Kate directed the security guards, leading the way out of the room and toward the back of the casino that was usually closed off. They shoved the men out the door, and the man who had started it all fumbled back and fell to the ground.

"I want to speak to the owner! I bet he'd like to know how you're--" He started, but Kate cut him off.

"You're crazy if you think he'll even let you step foot back in this place again, asshole!" There was that fire that the smart-mouthed Katheryn Wallace was known for. "And I'm his daughter, so whatever you've got to say, you can say to me."

The man's eyes lit up at the realization.

"Oh yeah? Then how about you get a message to the old man for me?"

Kate didn't even know what had happened next. All she knew was that the man was reaching into his coat pocket, and then the others reached into their own, and it started raining bullets. She'd managed to duck out of the way in time, falling to the ground and breaking one of her heels. But her broken shoe was the last thing she was concerned about as she hit her head on cement and she could feel the blood on her temple. The sound of the guns firing was just a distant noise as Kate's vision blurred, but she managed to crawl back inside through the open back door and slam it shut behind her with the foot of her broken heel.

The next thing she knew, when she came to, her pretty blue eyes fluttered open to look up at a paramedic dressed in blue, and her father, pacing back and forth on his cell phone. She realized that she was still on the floor, and she slowly turned her head to look over at two of her father's security guards being questioned by the cops about what happened. The third guy must've been dead.

The paramedic checked her eyes with a flashlight, making her squint and groan. Her head was fucking throbbing, and she wished the paramedic would stop asking her questions so she could hear what her father was saying on the phone. She thought she heard,

"You found him at the bar? Fire him. And call Fletcher, tell him I've got a job for him. 7am tomorrow, sharp."
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:49 AM   #5
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Fletcher sat at one end of the hospital room, as far away from the bed as possible.

I don’t want to infect her with my disease.

A criminal.

The darkness inside.


He sat forward, his elbows on his thighs, staring at the bed. His niece, Grace, lay on it, her head shaved and an array of tubes and wires coming from her, back to various drips and machines.

Family.

Grace and his sister were all Fletcher had that hadn’t been won with violence or deceit. The irony of the situation dawned on him. He was fit, in fact fitter than he’d ever been. He’d done nothing to deserve the good fortune of the health that had been bestowed on him. Ying and yang. His body was healthy, but his heart was….

Sick.

He was already in Hell, but he would surely be going there again.

Not unless killing gun runners and drug dealers was now part of the ten commandments. Fletcher wasn’t a God fearing man, but even he knew it was unlikely that there would have been a recent amendment, that God had taken one of them out.

He smiled wryly.

Great. I’ve probably broken eleven of the ten commandments.

The sound of the ECG plugged into his niece drew his eyes to its screen. Gracie’s heart was still beating. If that green line and its incessant beeping continued, then she was alive. As much as he hated that sound, he wished that he would hear it forever.

Fletcher then moved his gaze to the chair by the bed, on the opposite side to all of the equipment that was required just to keep his niece breathing. His sister was in it, curled up and lying sideways. She was asleep. She was the second part of the puzzle of all that meant anything to him.

Jess, his big sister. She’d looked after him even when she’d been suffering herself, brought him from Australia where the law had been only half a step behind him and ready to put him away at sixteen. He owed her. Now it was his turn to step up, to keep the family together. Shit, just keeping the family alive at the moment was a challenge. Between Grace’s illness, his sister’s psychotic husband and the amount of money Fletcher owed to Rossi, there was only a slim chance of any of them making it through to the other side alive, but he was good at that.

Taking a slim chance and making it work.

Cancion.

The memory made him smile. Not the events of the job, but rather when he’d returned. The look of relief on everyone’s faces. Especially Katheryn. Kate. They’d heard the news and quite rightly feared the worst. Marcus Fletcher never feared the worst.

He knew he was the worst.

Except for Jess andGrace, it was the last time anyone was relieved to see him.

He would have given it all up for Katheryn. All of it. For a family. Him. His sister. His niece.

Kate.

He had never told her that. He was too much of a hard man for that. He had thought that actions spoke louder than words, but he had been too young, too full of himself, to know that sometimes a woman needs the words as well. In an emotional relationship, the bricks of action were held between the mortar of thoughts and words.

A family.

With Kate.


It still pricked at his heart. He'd given that up, a chance of a family with her. For what? A problem. His pride.

No.

He’d done what was right, after Cancion.

He just hadn’t done it in the right way.

Cancion……..

Fucking bastards.

If Wallace hadn’t pushed it too far. If only he’d left it at guns. In Fletcher’s skewed moral compass, then it would have been fine. If there’d been no drugs. If the kid hadn’t been involved and crossed his path. If he’d never gone to Cancion, then none of this would be as it was now.

If.

Two letters.

Small word.

Big problems.

He’d been there to do the deal. Rossi was in on it, but he hadn't been there, of course, his goons were. It had been a big deal for Wallace. He was trying to curry favour with the mob. It was a deal that had looked good.

On paper.

Paper folds and bends. Paper burns.

Then whole thing had gone wrong.

Horribly wrong.

What was worse was that Fletcher shouldn’t have even been in on the deal to start with. They’d needed someone who was good with a gun. He was good, the best, especially with handguns. A lot of people watch movies and cop shows and think that shooting a handgun accurately isn’t too difficult. In real life, that isn’t the case.

Shooting a handgun accurately from distance is not easy. This job needed a shooter, just in case, but there was no room for a rifle or shotgun if things got dirty in a crowd. It had to be a handgun.

So that meant it had to be him. Marcus Fletcher. Wallace had offered him as his best man.

Best man.

Best at what? Killing and mayhem….


Fletcher looked up, leaving his reminisces behind for a moment, the green pulse of the ECG rising on each beep.

Fucking beeps.

But they kept her alive.

If he’d stayed, maybe things would have been different. If he hadn’t been so hard headed, so self-righteous. He looked down at the floor again, satisfied that Grace was ok.

For now.

Cancion…..

He remembered walking into Wallace’s office. Rossi had been sitting on the couch. At the time, Fletcher had found it odd that the mobster was there, as the old man liked to keep the casino clean and free from the influence of organised crime.

Unless he was organising it……

“Marcus,” said Wallace as Fletcher had walked into the room. “Sit down.”

“Rather stand.”

Wallace looked over at Rossi.

“What did I tell you? He’s a stand up guy,” he said with a chuckle.

Rossi rolled his eyes.

Fletcher just stood there. He didn’t like the mobster. Hated him in fact. He knew he killed innocent people, all in the name of money. He dealt drugs, he ran prostitutes. If there was money in it, Rossi was in it. He even ran a septic waste disposal, for fuck’s sake. It was kind of appropriate really.

Karmic.

Now Fletcher smiled and Wallace thought it was at his own lame joke.

Wallace was showing off to the mobster. He was dressed in a black suit and smoking a cigar, as was the mobster. His office was bigger than the apartment Fletcher called home.

“Marcus, we have a job for you,” he said. “It won’t be for us, it’s for Mr. Rossi here, but he’ll also be moving some guns for us as a favour. You don’t need to know what the exact job is, it’s not important.”

Fletcher nodded. He’d thought at the time that it was a strange request. An odd assignment. Working with a slime-ball like Rossi. His stomach grumbled. His eyes felt dry. His nostrils flared. It didn’t feel right and it didn’t smell right, and not just because of the thick cigar smoke that was slowly filling the room.

No, it didn’t feel right because it wasn’t right.

But Fletcher wasn’t paid to ask questions. He wasn’t in a position to knock back a job because of a feeling. He was paid to do what he was told and he did it well.

Exceptionally well.

And Richard Wallace was Kate’s father.

“Yes, sir.”

“They need a shooter, Marcus. There shouldn’t be any physical contact for you. We’re not expecting any and we’ve advised Mr. Rossi here that we don’t want any. You’re too valuable to risk going hand to hand in some fucking half-assed Central American business.”

Rossi nodded.

“Sure, Richard.”

He’d been surprised at Wallace’s language, but he’d said nothing. He wasn’t there to talk. He was there to listen. To take orders.

To shoot.

Kill.

Fletcher nodded. “Yes.”

“The shooter they want needs to have a concealed weapon. One that is not identifiable as being concealed, even to a trained operative.”

“Yes,” he nodded.

“What do you think?” asked Wallace.

“Sir, it rules out any sort of rifle or long barrelled firearm. You’ll need some sort of pistol or handgun, sir.”

Wallace nodded.

“Yes, that’s exactly what we need. Good,” said the old man. He raised an eyebrow and placed his steepled fingers under his chin. “I think, Marcus, and it’s not just me being biased, that you’re the best shooter we have.”

Fletcher nodded, and the side of his lip curled in a lopsided wry grin. He spoke quietly. “You’re discerning and a good judge, sir.”

“That’s not just what I think, but the street does as well. It can’t all be just heresay and confabulation, can it?” said the old man raising an eyebrow.

Fletcher shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

“No, it isn’t a fantasy. I’m the best shooter I know. It’s just I’m not as good as they say….I’m better.”

Fletcher resisted the urge to smile.

He wasn’t just good, he was the best.

And what the fuck was up with confabulation? The old man was really trying to impress the mob slime ball.

“I’m going to assign you to Mr. Rossi on this project….”

Fletcher’s eyes narrowed, but he said, “Yes.”

And that’s when it had all turned to shit….

The operation was flawed and Rossi’s men couldn’t handle an international job. Shit, they couldn’t even handle a job out of the state. They were a bunch of clowns and they had no idea what they were doing. Fletcher should have pulled the pin then and begged off the job. Wallace wouldn’t have liked it, but he also respected Fletcher too much to send him into something he wasn’t one hundred percent au fait with. In the back of his mind, Fletcher had thought it would be nice to be away from the street and the city for a while, to just do a job. No reconnaissance, no swearing off the grog and definitely no planning. It would be like a break….There’d be some heat there, but nothing he couldn’t cope with.

He was the best.

The job had been boring. They’d sat around in Cancion for nearly a week and nothing was happening. The local military had been doing one of their routine “crackdowns” where they pretended to restore law and order so that the International Aid agencies would continue pouring money into the tin-pot government and straight into the coffers of the President.

So what’s a guy to do when things get boring?

He started to relax.

Too much.

First it was a beer here and another drink there. Pretty soon, the interminable boredom meant that he was drinking like any normal civilian.

Except, he wasn’t any normal civilian. He was trained. Trained to kill. Alcohol and guns don’t mix, unless you’re using it to clean the guns.

He had not involved himself with the job's planning at all. He was just a hired gun and he let them do it. The only problem was that a group of monkeys could have worked out a better plan and run the operation better. He should have taken more responsibility, if only to protect his own ass.

So on the day of the deal, when they were supposed to trade the guns for whatever money Rossi was getting, he’d been high.

Not good when it’s hot and sticky and you have no respect for the men you’re working with. Oh, and you have a Glock in each pocket loaded with thirty three rounds. Oh….and the other automatic is shoved down the front of your pants….

Of course, it had never been about guns. Drugs, that’s what Rossi was doing. He wasn’t delivering guns, he was picking up drugs. Cocaine to be exact. Lots of it. Of course, there were going to be problems.

But Fletcher hadn’t expected the kid.

The drop-off target had been arranged and a key was to be delivered. The key was for a facility just on the edge of town. In the facility was a truck. You didn’t need to be Einstein, or even his dopey brother to work out what was in the truck.

In hindsight, that is.

Did Einstein even have a dopey brother?

When he’d called Wallace to express his concerns, the old man had replied, “Drugs? Guns? What’s the difference? Come on, Marcus, no need to get a conscience now. They all kill. Slowly or quickly, they all kill….”

Fletcher hadn’t been convinced, but he’d agreed to go through with it. For Wallace. He was Kate’s father after all and she was the only thing besides his family that he loved. He wanted to make her part of his family.

So he went through with it.

He was standing on the roof of a building diagonally across the street from the drop off point. The kid they were watching had been standing on the corner of the street for a while and he looked like he was no older than ten or eleven. Who the fuck would use a kid for a drug drop? Fletcher’s heart had sunk. It was all wrong.

Had been all wrong.

From the start.

Fuck.

To Fletcher it looked like the kid was carrying a bowling bag. He didn’t know why the kid needed such a large bag to deliver a key. It was a bag. A whole fucking bag. For a key.

Fuck.

The goon standing next to Fletcher on the roof of the building was talking into his phone.

“Yeah. It’s the kid. He’s the one….Take him out?….The kid? Sure.”

Fletcher’s heart had sunk further.

Fuck.

The guy next to Fletcher hung up the phone and turned to him.

“We’ve got the street covered. The military are watching the kid.” He jerked his head up the street, pointing with his chin. “We’ve made them and they’re armed. We have to take the kid out and get the bag.”

“Take the kid out? What, to a play group? Isn’t this supposed to be a deal?” asked Fletcher. “You pay, you get the bag, you get the drugs, you go.”

“Yeah, but Rossi was clear. No military. It’s a question of trust. They’re armed.”

“Trust? They’re military, for fuck’s sake. It would be odd if they weren’t fucking armed.”

The goon shrugged his shoulders. “They told me to take out the kid, so the kid dies.”

Fuck.

The man's mobile phone rang again.

“Yep,” said the goon into it and placed the rifle on the railing and aimed it at the kid.

He was actually going to do it.

Shoot the kid.

Fuck.


The goon had his ear to the mobile phone, cradling it between his shoulder and his ear.

“Yep, I can see him. I gotta line on him. Let me know when you want it done.”

Fletcher had sighed and reached into the front of his pants. He was standing just to the side of the man and slightly behind him. He pulled out the automatic because it already had a silencer on it. He pressed it to the man’s skull, just behind his ear.

“Hey,” the man said with his eyes on the kid across the street, “stop buggin’ me….”

He made to swat Fletcher’s arm away, but he didn’t make it. Fletcher pulled the trigger and the front of the white rail was splattered with blood. The man’s body slumped forward and he stayed perched on the rail at an angle, his back bent in an uncomfortable way.

Not that he was concerned about comfort.

Or would be.

Ever again.

Fuck.

Fletcher sighed and shoved the gun back down the front of his pants. He’d have to take care of the others now. He shook his head slightly.

Fuck.

He looked down and across the street. The target, the kid, was looking around, waiting for his supposed contacts to show up. Fletcher wasn’t going to let that happen. He’d have some explaining to do, but shit, it was a kid. He looked around him and figured there was nothing lying around that would be traced back to him. He turned and walked towards the door that lead to the stairs.

He was going to have to kill them all and then get the kid out of there.

He sighed.

Fuck….

He knew now that he’d given it all away too easily, that he’d let her go without a fight. He’d assumed that the daughter of Richard Wallace would stick with Richard Wallace, regardless of her love for the man at the centre of her father’s problems. He sacrificed their love for the sake of expediency, to make things easier. Just because he’d had too much pride to ask her to choose between him or her father, in case she’d chosen her father.

Now things were harder.

Much harder.

Life is so fucking unfair.

He looked at his niece in the bed.

His family.

Fucking unfair.

Even Wallace didn’t want him around….

His phone started ringing.

Shit, not in here.

He pressed the cancel button and kept looking at his niece.

The phone rang again.

Fuck, persistent bastard.

A nurse stuck her head in the door. “Sir….” she said.

He pressed cancel again and looked up her.

“Sorry, ma’am”, he said. “I’m switching it off.”

The phone rang again.

Fuck me.

Fletcher pressed cancel, this time looked down at the number.

Wallace.

He pursed his lips and got up.

What the fuck did he want?
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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"He's late, Mr. Wallace." James Mannister spoke out with impatience. He was Richard's head of security, and a former Secret Service agent.

"You think I don't know that? He'll be here." Sitting back in his penthouse suite, Richard didn't seem so concerned. He was on a black leather couch, sitting in the living room and staring out the floor to ceiling glass window that overlooked the city. He knew Fletcher would show up. Fletcher needed the money. And if he thought he was going to get it without holding a gun, he was out of his fucking mind.

Richard's calls had been ignored last nigh, but an assistant had finally been able to reach him after many attempts. Perhaps he was tired of hearing his phone ringing all the damn time. But that's what happens when you bring yourself back into the world of the Wallace family.

When Fletcher finally arrived, Richard didn't waste any time trying to read his face. It was hard enough getting more than a word out of him, and mind-reading was out of the question. He just watched as the young man was led over to another chair and Richard Wallace offered him a drink.

Fletcher declined both the drink and the chair.

"If someone didn't know you, they'd probably take offense. This is my home, and if anyone is to be uneasy, its me. But very well, then." He set his Bloody Mary down and sat up straighter.

"Let's just get to the point. I have a job for you." Fletcher's face didn't flinch. "You're not going to like it. In fact, you'll probably hate it as much as I do. But you know how I told you that you were not to go near Katheryn?" Well, he said it in more harsher words, but whatever. He waited for Fletcher to nod. "It seems I'm going to have to go back on that. I fired Kate's bodyguard last night, I need a replacement." Richard paused. He wanted it to sink in with Fletcher that he was talking about him now. Before the young man could even speak a word or protest, Richard was talking again.

"Someone opened fire at the casino last night. Kate was there, and she was the target once it came known that she was my daughter. They killed one of her guards, but she's fine. She manged to get inside before she got hurt. My men are still trying to find out who that guy was and who he's connected to. Do you see yet why I need you?" Richard actually paused longer this time, giving Fletcher the chance to reply, if he wanted to.

"I have to leave town for the weekend, set up a few deals. James will be coming with me, and I can't leave Kate unprotected. Fletcher, I can find a hundred men in this city that I can hire. But I think you remember that I like my money, and I like to spend it wisely. If I'm going to pay someone to do something, I want it done right, and I want it down expertly. I'm not going to put my daughter's life in the hand's of some idiot who thinks this is a babysitting job and they won't have to dodge a few bullets."

That's right, who better to look after his little girl, than her ex-lover? Would he rather have some schmuck watching over her for a paycheck, or someone who actually cared about her safety? Someone who cared about whether she lived or died. Of course, Kate still despised Marcus for leaving and he had kept his word about not being in contact with her. But Richard Wallace wasn't a blind man. He knew that no matter how many miles were between those two, love like that just didn't disappear. It could be buried, but not destroyed.

"Because whether you like it or not, Fletcher, I need you with a gun." Wallace was speaking to him as if it was already decided that Marcus was going to do the job. He wasn't asking him if he wanted it. Fletcher could refuse dealing weapons again, but Wallace didn't think the younger man would refuse helping Kate. Even if the reunion wouldn't be the most pleasant.

Richard Wallace went for the trap.

"Would you rather I leave her with someone else? Just say the word. But I think we'd both hate to put her in the wrong hands, am I right? I can offer you a percentage up front. An advance, before I leave. That is, if you need the cash. How is the little one?"
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Fletcher had agreed to meet Wallace the next day. He couldn’t go directly from seeing his niece to meeting his old boss. Now he was sitting in the back of a cab and it was the next day. He didn’t know what Wallace wanted, but he knew it wouldn’t be something simple. The old man didn’t just call people up for a tete a tete.

Fletcher smirked.

Thinking in French now.

He’d needed time to think and to get into the right frame of mind.

The mind of a criminal.

He winced as he thought about it, but that’s what he was. There was no point beating around the bush or laying rose petals on a turd.

I’m a fucking criminal.

The cab pulled up in front of the apartment block. Fletcher was half an hour late, but he knew it wouldn’t matter. Wallace didn’t call people up to where he lived at short notice if it wasn’t important. Not even Fletcher.

He paid the driver and got out of the car, standing on the pavement and waiting until the cab drove off. Fletcher looked around him. He was always careful. He trusted Wallace. If the old man had meant him any harm, he would have known it by now. It was Rossi he was worried about. The gangster would come looking for him soon. Fletcher still had time, but not that much time.

He took a deep breath and started to walk towards the entrance of the apartment block. He needed to get into hard mode and he needed to do it quickly….

At the end of the ride, the elevator doors opened. The whole floor was Wallace’s, so when a security guy with sunglasses and dressed like he was auditioning for Men In Black was standing there, he wasn’t surprised.

“Hi, Will,” he said to the security guy.

The man’s face was blank and then he slowly pursed his lips.

“I’m white,” he said.

Fletcher smiled.

“My eyes see no colour, only beauty, sensitivity and your innate humanity.”

The man shook his head.

“They told me you’d be like this.”

Fletcher smiled.

“Adorable?”

“A smart ass.”

Fletcher sighed.

“I try….I try….”

The man shook his head and frowned.

“Let’s go,” he said and turned.

Fletcher followed him towards a large double door straight across from the elevator. When they got to the door, the man knocked.

“No pat down?” Fletcher asked as they waited.

The man shook his head.

“No. Mr. Wallace said no. He made a point of it.”

Fletcher nodded.

This must be really important.

The door opened and another man in a suit appeared.

Fletcher looked down at his jeans and sneakers with smile.

“I think I’m under dressed.”

The two men exchanged glances and the second man rolled his eyes as he said to the other one, “Did I tell you, or did I tell you?”

The second guy waved him in and then closed the door. They walked down a corridor and then they were in a large living room with one of the walls made totally of glass and looking out over the city. Sitting on a couch, looking through the huge window, was Wallace.

The man in the suit led Fletcher to a chair, but he shook his head. He preferred to stand.

Wallace spoke.

“Would you like a drink?

“No, sir, I’m not thirsty,” said Fletcher.

Wallace nodded and looked at the man in the suit and smiled. The man nodded, not with a smile, but with acknowledgment. Fletcher was a smart ass.

"If someone didn't know you, they'd probably take offense….”

Fletcher nodded.

“But you know me.”

Wallace looked at him, his face showing no emotion as he sat up straighter on the couch.

“Let's just get to the point. I have a job for you."

Fletcher stood looking at the old man, his face impassive. It was a contest. Who could be colder. He nodded.

“I saw you the other day. I said no guns….Is it?”

Wallace didn’t answer his question. He continued.

"You're not going to like it. In fact, you'll probably hate it as much as I do. But you know how I told you that you were not to go near Katheryn?”

Fletcher nodded.

What the fuck is this all about?

"It seems I'm going to have to go back on that. I fired Kate's bodyguard last night, I need a replacement."

The old man stopped talking, looking at Fletcher.

What?

Fletcher said nothing.

"Someone opened fire at the casino last night. Kate was there….My men are still trying to find out who that guy was and who he's connected to. Do you see yet why I need you?"

Fletcher thought for a moment and shrugged his shoulders.

“She hates me,” said Fletcher.

“Suits me fine,” said the old man. “We don’t want past hurts occurring again.”

Fletcher looked at Wallace, his jaw tightening.

I can’t protect her without guns….he knows that.

“No….we don’t.”

Wallace looked over at the other Man In Black.

"I have to leave town for the weekend, set up a few deals. James will be coming with me, and I can't leave Kate unprotected. Fletcher, I can find a hundred men in this city that I can hire. But I think you remember that I like my money, and I like to spend it wisely. If I'm going to pay someone to do something, I want it done right, and I want it down expertly. I'm not going to put my daughter's life in the hands of some idiot who thinks this is a babysitting job and they won't have to dodge a few bullets."

“That’ll be me, I suppose?”

Wallace nodded.

“Yes.”

Fletcher breathed in slowly through his nose, making no sound.

“I said no guns.”

“I doubt that would be possible,” said the old man. “It’s her life, Marcus. You loved her once.”

Once? I still do….

Fletcher shook his head gently, he didn’t need thoughts like that in his head.

“I’m not sure….”

"Because whether you like it or not, Fletcher, I need you with a gun."

He thinks I’m going to do it.

"Would you rather I leave her with someone else? Just say the word. But I think we'd both hate to put her in the wrong hands, am I right? I can offer you a percentage up front. An advance, before I leave. That is, if you need the cash.....How is the little one?"

How is the little one?

Fuck.


This was the Wallace he knew, the one not above using whatever he could to get what he wanted. He had two strings on this violin and both of them played a tune.

Fletcher’s niece and Kath.

Fuck.

Fletcher stood in the middle of the room, watching the old man sip on his drink.

He thinks he’s got me.

Kath. Would you rather leave her with someone else….?


Fletcher kept looking at Wallace without blinking.

He thinks he’s got me.

How is the little one?


Fuck....

He’s got me.


Fletcher nodded at the old man and then turned slowly to look out the window. His face remained impassive. He showed nothing. He prided himself on that.

Fuck.

He’s got me.

Fuck.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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And so it was done.

But that was the way of the Wallace family. Richard Wallace would have never made it this far, financially and successfully, if he didn't know how to get his way. And young Katheryn Wallace? Who could ever refuse or deny her?

Besides Fletcher.

Poor Kate didn't even know about the meetings her father had with her old flame. Hell, she didn't even know Fletcher was in town. The last she heard from one of the guys that used to be close with him, was that he skipped town as soon as he left work with her dad.

Maybe he got his shit together. Or maybe he went back to his old ways and was ten feet in the ground. Kate convinced herself she'd be satisfied if karma found its way to Marcus Fletcher and he'd got what was coming to him. But did breaking her heart deserve death? Maybe that was a bit dramatic. But then again, dramatic defined Katheryn Wallace perfectly.

"Miss Wallace, another cocktail?" Kate was offered, and her blue eyes opened under her dark sunglasses. Her eyes rolled at the figure blocking her sun and she slowly shook her head. It had been a quite comfortable, lazy afternoon at the pool. Very rarely did anyone use the pool on the roof of the executive suites and penthouses. The men who stayed or lived in those rooms were always away on business or doing[ business, although it had always been entertaining for Kate to see the women who occasionally showed up. Wives, mistresses, hookers. Sometimes, she'd place bets with the help staff, guessing which woman was which.

But what did that make her? A young girl, still living off her father? In short, yes. Katheryn Wallace was so much more, and yet, her father's blanket of security in the form of men in suits and more money than anyone needed had kept her in place.

"No, I have some errands to do. Call and get the car ready." Grabbing her silk robe, Kate stood up and pulled it on over her bikini before heading back inside to her suite.

Should she call a friend? No, Kate was short on those. She wasn't dumb; the few friends she had were either using her, or were being paid by her father to look after her. She never had a friend, at least never as close as the friend she'd made in Marcus. He'd been her best friend. He brought out the best in her, and he was the only one she knew besides her father that would stand up to her. Even now, years later, she still thought about him almost every day. Some days she hated him for what he did. And some days, like today, she missed him.

After a fast shower, Kate's golden hair naturally curled into ringlets as she dried it dressed in only her undergarments. But over that, she slipped on a light blue dress that matched her crystal blue in her eyes. The soft fabric clung to her young body, and her fingers smoothed the fabric down over her thighs until she was happy with the length. Not too long, but not too short to where her father would demand she change.

Within minutes, Kate's heels were tapping on the marble floor at her feet as she walked down the grand hallway toward the lobby. Just outside the lobby, she expected her car to be waiting. Instead, she was approached by suits. She hated that they wore sunglasses, and more than once she'd been tempted to rip them off their faces. When two of the suits stopped in front of her, Kate sighed.

"What does he want?" She knew this was her father's doing. She loved him, but he always sent his employees after her when she was either hard to find, or if he had bad news to give her. Like when her mom died.

When Kate was escorted back up the escalator to her father's office, she wasted no time letting him have it.

"I'm not one of your pets that you can just summon, you know. If you want to talk to me, I do have a cell phone." Kate stared across the room back at her dad who was sitting at his desk, and not comfortably. It took her a moment to realize that they weren't alone.

Turning her head, expecting to see another suit, instead, she found a man in jeans. And a leather jacket. And...

Marcus.

Kate inhaled sharply, almost gasping. Or maybe she was just trying to remember how to breathe. He looked good. But..what the fuck!

"What's going on?" She asked, immediately snapping her blonde head back to look at her father.

"Sit down, Kath--" Richard started, but Kate seemed too stunned to move.

"Okay," She tried to nod, and she took a small step forward, but then stopped. "No." She took a breath. "No. What is going on? What is he doing here?" She didn't look back at Marcus. She couldn't. She was speaking about him as if he wasn't standing in the same fucking room. But he was. She could feel him looking at her. Her heart was racing wildly in her chest, and she swore both men in the room could hear it thumping so loudly. Why was he here? Why did he call her up here?

Kate was panicking, mostly because she didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to feel. She hated him. She was angry at him. But she'd missed him. She didn't know how much, until she saw his face, that looked a little sad. But still handsome. Asshole.

"That's what we're here to explain, but I want you to sit. Please." Richard Wallace never said 'please'. Her dad was growing impatient, and Kate knew better than to push him further. She stepped closer to his desk, trying to ignore the big elephant that was Marcus Fletcher in the room, but she couldn't. And she couldn't sit.

"Kate," Marcus started, and the sound and tone of his voice saying her own name broke her heart all over again. It reminded her exactly how she felt when he broke it the first time.

"No," She whipped her head to look back at Marcus, her eyes cold. "Don't you dare talk me. If you're here to finally say your goodbye, you're five years too late." Her voice was stronger than she thought it would be, because her whole insides were trembling. She wanted to cry. And scream. And fucking throw something.

Turning back to her dad, she cleared her throat. "Please tell me what the hell he's doing here."
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:07 AM   #9
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Fletcher looked out the window, pondering how many times he could sell his soul to the devil. There were too many devils and he only had one soul. One day they would come collecting and find a dearth of souls.

Maybe I don’t even have one.

The devil would find a husk of a man, nothing left to give, but his shell. The only solace he could find in his rambling thoughts was the idea of the devils fighting over a soul that wasn’t there.

Fuck you.

Fuck all of you.


The idea of fighting devils gave him the germ of an idea, but before it could grow, his thoughts were broken by the sound of the door opening and heels clicking on the floor. He took a deep breath and turned slowly, his face expressionless.

She whirled in, barking at her father the way she always did. She had the same curly blonde hair and the same gorgeous figure. Her blue dress clung perfectly to her body and matched her eyes. She paused for a moment in the midst of her loud indignation and turned to look in his direction.

Fuck.

Time to pay the piper.


For his sister.

For his niece.

For Kate.

Fuck.

She was almost shouting at her father, demanding answers, demanding to know why he was there, the man who’d left her behind and broken her heart.

“Kate….” was all he could say.

Predictably, she turned to him, malice on her face and started to speak loudly at him, almost shouting again.

Fletcher took it all, letting the words wash over him, letting her blow herself out. He didn’t care, it was the least she deserved and the least he deserved. It stung coming from her, the only girl he’d ever loved, but he was a husk now and it was difficult to sting a husk. She stayed on her feet, ignoring her father’s invitation to sit down and then she slowed, her words ceasing as she regained her composure. She took a deep breath and looked at Wallace, her voice even now and more measured.

"Please tell me what the hell he's doing here."

Her father nodded.

“Someone tried to kill you, Kate,” he said to her, “and it nearly came off in spite of all the security we have in place.”

He paused and turned his head in Marcus’ direction.

“He’s back in town,” Wallace continued, “and I know things didn’t go well between you two.”

Wallace’s eyes met Fletcher’s and warned him to leave the story at that, to keep it as Kate believed it. Fletcher had nothing to gain by making himself look good in her eyes. He had family to protect, and even though she’d nearly been his forever, Kate wasn’t family.

Fletcher nodded at the old man, the signal that the truth would stay between them.

“You’re my only child and I don’t give a fuck what went down between you. I will do anything to protect you and if that means hiring this piece of shit, then it means I’m hiring this piece of shit.”

Fletcher smiled wryly, and pushed his pursed lips out. He nodded and Wallace continued, eager to keep going while Kate was quiet.

“So for now, this piece of shit with the fast gun is going to be with you twenty four seven. Understand?”

Fletcher couldn’t help it.

“My name is Fletcher,” he said slowly. “I’m no one’s piece of shit.”

Wallace’s neck started to bulge a little, the pulse visible in the veins of his neck.

“I own you, you fuck, and if anything happens to my daughter, then you’re fucking dead, as fucking dead as you should be for coming back.”

Fletcher nodded. He knew how Wallace worked. His public display of enmity was calculated to show Kate that he felt just like her, but that he valued her life more than the grudge he bore to his ex-successor. Again, Fletcher just let the words wash over him. Any abuse, any words, were just flowing over him. He had to think of his sister and his niece. That was all that mattered.

And Kate.

He spoke slowly, looking at Wallace and his daughter.

“What’s done is done. I can’t change that, none of us can.”

Fletcher paused, his face impassive. He glanced out the window again for a moment and then returned his gaze to them, his eyes moving from one to the other. Once, they’d been his family. He nodded slowly at Wallace.

“With me here, nothing will happen to her. I know that, you know that and….” he nodded towards Kate, “she knows that.”

Wallace couldn’t help a small grin crossing his face before he resumed his scowl.

“Fucking arrogant bastard.”

“But the best fucking arrogant bastard you know,” Fletcher said, his eyes meeting Wallace’s eyes first and then moving to Kate again. “The fucking best.”

There was nothing left to smile about, not in his life, but it was as close as he had been to his usual swaggering manner. Maybe having devils fighting over his soul was his element.

Maybe I’m a devil?

He’d said enough and the two most important men in the room, the most important men in Kate’s life stood there, looking at her, their eyes questioning.

Well?

Fletcher smiled for the first time in a long while, as he thought of Wallace and himself saying nothing and just standing there looking at Kate.

Man-talk.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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“He’s back in town, and I know things didn't go well between you two.”

Kate snorted.

Yep, no matter how fucking pissed, confused, and overwhelmed she was at the moment, she wanted to laugh.

Of course things didn't end well with her and Marcus. Her father had been her only shoulder to cry on, left to pick up the shattered pieces of her broken heart. Kate had a gentle heart, unlike her dad, but she didn't give it away freely. And the one man she had given it to, who was really a boy at the time, left her. Without a word, or reason, or excuse.

God, did he know how humiliating and terribly hard it was to get over him? To have and be a part of something so good, so honest and real, and then one day it was gone? To not know what she did wrong? That was probably the worst thing. Since Marcus had just left without word, she never had the closure that most people did. She never got to learn what she did wrong. What she could have done differently. Why didn't he love her like she thought he had?

Was she just like her father? Could no one ever love someone like her?

Well, now that heart of hers, whatever was left, was cold as ice. Just like those eyes that stared back and forth, between father and ex-lover.

“With me here, nothing will happen to her. I know that, you know that and she knows that."

'Fucking arrogant bastard' was right.

"But the best fucking arrogant bastard you know,” Fletcher said, his eyes meeting Wallace’s eyes first and then moving to Kate again. “The fucking best.”

Kate shifted. Marcus' voice was like a memory, bringing her back to a different time and place. Where she was a different person. Young, naive, and in love with one of the best hired men her dad had. Just when he looked at her, she felt like that young girl again, and it made her uncomfortable. She shifted again, moving the weight of her body to both feet evenly as she stood up a little straighter, as if that would show she still had some strength left. Even if all she felt right now was defiance and betrayal by the only two men she'd ever loved in her whole life.

Kate knew that things had been hectic in the business lately. Her dad had been called out of town more often than usual, his phone was always ringing, and they had recently upped security in the casino. But her having a bodyguard? It just seemed so...extreme. And Kate was just incredulous. How could her father ever think that bringing Marcus back on would be a good idea?

"Marcus might be good at his job, dad, but how do we know we can even trust him? He's left once before, he'll do it again." Those pierce blue eyes glared accusingly at Marcus, even if the question was directed at her father. She didn't want to look away. She worried if she did, he'd see right through her. He'd see that deep inside, her heart was aching all over again.

"He won't this time. Not until I say it's done." Her father insisted, and Kate finally tore her eyes away from Marcus so she could roll them.

"Is that what this is? You paying Marcus back for taking off years ago? Or is he getting something out of this too?" That pretty blonde hair whipped around her head as she faced Marcus again. "What, you didn't hurt me enough the first time you left, you wanted to come back and make sure the job was done? Well fuck you, Marcus."

"Katheryn Wallace!" Her dad hated when her pretty mouth swore. Even if every other word out of his own mouth was just as vulgar. Where the fuck did he think she got it from? Ignoring her father, she kept that intense glare on Marcus Fletcher. She wanted to threaten him. Hurt him with words as much as painfully as he had hurt her all those years ago. But she couldn't. He was still Marcus, and that weakness in her made her hate him more. Her weakness for him. It was pathetic, and it only made her more angry, mostly at herself.

Spinning on those high heels, Kate left the office, despite her father's protests. That long blonde hair bounced and swayed past her shoulders, those hips in a rhythm and sway of her own, and she locked herself in her suite only one level above her father's office.

After hours of sulking, sleeping, and pacing, Kate passed by one of the monitors in the office room and noticed a figure on one of the security cameras at her front door. Fuck. Marcus.

With the fire refueled in her, she walked through the suite, toward the door, and opened it swiftly. The only way she found that she could speak to him right now, was if her tone was harsh. Cold. Uncaring. Indifferent.

"Already on the clock? I don't need your babysitting, Marcus. You're wasting your time; I'm home now, and there's no one here. You can leave. You still so good at that, aren't you?"

Last edited by SortOfBeautiful : 08-16-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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