Chapter One: Jeopardy
I slump myself against the wall, exhausted, my thoughts racing, heart pounding in my breathless chest. Every instinct is demanding me to run. I attempt to take a single step forward but my legs buckle beneath me and I collapse onto the damp pavement. The sound of rapidly approaching footsteps echoes across the stone walls and adrenaline is quick to engulf me. I lift my head; a smirk paints itself onto my face as I recognise the odd triangular patterns scattered across the floor and ceiling. I raise a trembling arm, fingers clumsily fumbling along the crevices in the stone, seeking desperately. There’s a grinding as a stone brick slips backwards and a mechanical whirring commences. I peer down at my watch. Five…four…three…two…one. I have one last chance to turn my head toward the end of the alley and watch as two men dressed in black run in my direction. In an instant I am swallowed whole.
I lay on my back, gasping for air as I stare up at the shoot I just fell from. A firm fist grasps itself around my shirt collar and effortlessly pulls me to my feet. A frowned, wrinkled face and piercing blue eyes leer at me and I am thrown onto a leather lounge before I can speak. “Fuck Alan!” a raspy voice shoots at me before the sound of a gun cocking registers in my still racing thoughts. I push myself up and stare at the man who has raised a silenced pistol toward me. I raise my hands. “Boss! Come on now! Let’s not do anything we might regret.”
“The only thing I regret is hiring your ass to do this job.” His raged filled eyes stare me down and the sense of this man’s sincerity causes me to stand.
“Look, it won’t happen again Boss – last time,” I step towards him and instantly the man lifts his gun higher, barrel aimed at my head. I wince. “I promise.” The man stares me down further as if searching for a justified reason not to pull the trigger. He lowers the gun and places it on the mahogany desk in front of him, adjusting his silk-lined suit before pulling out the chair and sitting down with a grunt.
“Third time this week Alan. You nearly got caught this time,” he sighs and lifts his eyes to mine and gives me a stern look, “I like you. I really do. Don’t make me change my mind.” I shake my head and give him a reassuring nod as I back towards the door and open it to leave.
“It’s the last time Alan, remember that!” he yells as I begin to close the door, I give him a glad smile before closing it with a click.