David lowered the binoculars and turned from the window to meet the grin of the room's other occupant. He was a much younger man, or at least seemed so, and leaned against the wall in the darkest part of the room with his arms folded and one leg bent. He smiled as if he was having the best time of his life.
"Seen enough?" he asked. "So what say David?"
"It'll need thinking about," David said. He ran a hand over his face. He wasn't about to confide. He raised the binoculars again, but the two figures had moved out of sight around the corner of the building. He sighed.
"Tell me," he said.
"Tell you what? I brought you here. What more do you need? You're talking more cash down Davey."
"I don't see why you need the money," David said belligerently. "What do you use it for? Do you eat it? Sleep on it? You understand I have to justify where it's gone."
"Your problem, not mine," the young man said, seemingly incapable of taking offense. "I saw a car I liked the other day. Real nice. Like flies round a honey-pot Davey. I'm the honey."
"I don't want to know. What you do is your business and I'll thank you not to bring it up again. We have a deal, non-interference, but I swear Alex if you rub my nose in it the deal will be off. You'll be back on the list and no one but no one will be there to pick up what's left of you when they're done. Do you understand?"
"I get you," Alex said. "Oh I get you. They'll have to catch me first though." He laughed.
"Five," David said.
"You're bleeding me dry here," David said.
"My speciality. Seven."
"Six and a half," David countered, despairing.
"Okay," Alex said. He pushed himself up away from the wall.
"Where you going?" David demanded.
"You can follow them from here can't you? I have to go get your information, don't I? I know just the girl. Meet you ten tonight."
"Where!" David was about to call after him, but Alex was already gone. Never mind. Alex would find him. He always did; David would turn around and there he'd be, grinning that dumb grin. David turned back to the window, but there was no longer anything to see, only the graying sky and the dark mass of buildings stretching away, looking like mould, fungi sprouting from a rotten core.
David took out a cigarette. He stared at it, said a word, and the end lit all by itself. With a slow smile of satisfaction tugging at the corners of his mouth, he left.