Part III: A House of Candi
"Nibble, nibble, gnaw.
Who is nibbling at my little house?"
Hansel and Gretel
-The Brothers Grimm
* * * * * * * *
The man Thaton had described as the Unibomber sat in his new vehicle and fidgeted again. The little black disposable phone was laying on the passenger seat. It remained infuriatingly silent. He had been waiting for the call, for the screaming and the yelling, and had braced himself for it.
He had thought of excuses on why he had done what he had done, why things weren't all blown to Hell, but the call never came.
The first time it chirped he had snatched it up, angry and ready for a fight.
But the man on the other end of the line had been Cero. The only other living person to have the number.
The conversation had been short, and, as with every interaction with the man, more than a little disconcerting.
"Things seem to have gone South." Cero had said calmly.
"You guys fucked it up!" He had shouted.
"Willy should not have come. He acted foolishly and he was going to kill me. I wonder what would put that idea in his head. That he needed to get rid of me, even before the job was finished."
He had chosen not to respond to the accusation. It was true, Willy had been instructed to dispose of Cero after the job was finished, but he wasn't about to admit that.
"The job is finished. We're not going to get rid of the detective anymore." He had replied calmly. "You will receive full payment, wired to your account. Your job here is done."
"Yes, I will collect full payment." Cero had said.
Then the line went dead.
It was a rather abrupt end to the conversation and he was left with the feeling that Cero wasn't about to leave Utah. More importantly, he got the impression that Cero blamed them for all the shit that went down…he shook it off and stared back at the phone again. Waiting.
His nerves were beginning to fray. He had nothing to do but sit and wait. Even though he was the architect of this entire plan. It was as if his accomplice was leaving him out of the loop on purpose. So he wouldn't screw up again.
The phone sprang to life.
"Mmmmhmmm?" He said calmly lifting the phone to his ear.
"Quite the mess we've got here." The voice said in a tone that matched his own.
"I don't remember saying Plan B was necessary."
"I don't remember needing your approval." He said gritting his teeth. "Besides, you were the one saying things were moving too quickly."
"I said things were moving more quickly than anticipated. Not too quickly. Too would imply something beyond my abilities. I just had to move up the timeline. Doubly so, now."
"Meaning that we didn't anticipate that they would get the labs to process the blood so quickly. That they would have other things on their mind then some dying criminals. We underestimated how bored these cops are. They've made connections faster than anticipated and they are making more by the minute."
"You make that sound like it's not a bad thing."
"It's not. We're already covered. Like I said, we just had to move up the timeline. Less bodies. For all intents and purposes, her DNA is on this last guy."
He felt something stir in his belly. Excitement.
"Really? She's next?" He asked.
"That's what I said, didn't i? Yes, things are going to be interesting. I hope you have those reporter credentials we talked about getting. This is already going to be a pretty big local story. It should give you the access you need."
"Of course I do."
"Good. Then be ready. This is almost over. The bitch will pay."
He smiled and nodded as he hung up the phone. After eighteen years, the bitch would pay.
'Blood for blood you stupid whore.' He thought, 'Your debts are not easily forgiven.'