The small flawless sanguine orb shone as bright as the sunset it was mirroring and continued to release its subtle scarlet light as night arrived. Its heat radiated through my gloves, down my fingertips and rose through my arm, rapidly circulating through my body. An invigorating feeling, releasing stress and tension I didn’t even realize I had, I felt wide awake, by body ready to run a marathon. Part of me said keep the little ball and forget the deal. Hesitantly I dropped the sphere into the recess of its spell etched Ivory container and as it did every time, the little white box shut itself, the two halves melding together to become a seamless cube, not to open until twilight came once more. It was an exhausting pain in the ass task acquiring the little gem.
“Damn hell hounds” I muttered still remember the pain of a set of teeth grazing my thigh, as I moved from the balcony back into the posh hotel room
The payday was more than worth it though, way too tempting to pass up. I shoved the small box back in the coat pocket of my uncomfortable black suit, tugging as the collar of my shirt as I waited impatiently for my eyes and ears to return, it was almost time for the meeting and he didn’t want to go in blind. A strong wind blowing in through the elegant French doors announce the return of one and a few moments later a floating pale blue flame marked the other.
“You two took longer than usual.” I told them stretching out my arm. The wind spirit swirled around be once more until it came to rest on my forearm in the form of an almost transparent blue jay, displaying its wings and long tail feathers and releasing little chirp from its ghostly little black beak. Its eyes, almost showing a gleam of pride under the blue crest. The willow wisp floated to my hand next, settling into the form of a cardinal with equal transparency puffing out its little chest, his orange colored beak, wider than the blue jay’s, pecked at my wrist eager to report.
“I guess you guys found something good then.” I observed, holding back a grin at the little display. “Show me.” I beckoned.
Their little heads gave a subtle nod, their eyes locking with mine sending series of images into my brain all at once. The streets around the hotel hundreds of people and car, rushing around and finally the restaurant he was supposed to meet the buyer filled with people, patrons and waiters and the buyer already their waiting in the far corner. All the sights came from multiple angles. Then began the trip back.
“Alright, stop. Stop.” I called, shake the dizzying mash up of thoughts clear. “How, many time do I have to tell you guys? One at a time.” I explained for the hundredth time. Their little egos were instantly deflated by the comment. I just rolled my eyes, removing one of the small medallions from the chain around my neck and placing it to the Sylph’s chest gently. It was never good to leaving creatures feeling unfulfilled. With a slow breath I transferred a portion of the stored mana to the air spirit. “Don’t worry you did good Seth, and you too Iggy.” He added moving on to the willow wisp before it could feel left out. The two quickly regained their bluster flying in small circles above my head. After a few turns I waved my hand dismissing they back to their homes. I shook my head at their antics while I began fixing up my shirt and walked out the door to go meet the man holding my cash.
The little bird brains, really did to a good job, since I already knew where they were the dressed up goons were easy to spot, two along the front entrance, two at the back, and few sitting inside. That was the problem working with a low reputation, every greedy collector thinks they can take the goods and stiff you. I took around about walk to the restaurant coming alongside a wall and with a few words, softening the concrete enough to shove in a few gold nails. With that I yawned walking to the entrance right past the first pair and giving the hostess a warm smile that always seem to work for me. “Good evening. I here to meet Mr. Saultier” she returned the smile with a small blush leading me to my table happily. I kept the smiling façade as I went, politely nodding as she explained the specials, and luxuries the Le Palais offered, but I was already looking around overlapping the images from earlier with where I was standing to find were Saultier’s people were. I picked two out of the crowd, but there were probably more.
“Your guest has arrived, Dr. Saultier.” The hostess’s voice announced as they reached an exclusive Booth table along the back wall separated from the rest of the floor by a velvet rope and elevated on to a 3 foot tall platform to allow its occupant to look down at the rest of the guest. Taking a large bite of what looked like duck meat, Saultier gave a nod of his skull like head. I was impress the girl could keep her smile as she watched, but she reached her threshold quickly, hurrying off as soon as I climbed the 4 small steps and took my seat. The Old man looked like the crypt keeper, his hair white and thin, he skin seemed tightly stretched over the bones splotched with liver spots and spider veins, hidden behind a small suit that still fit him too loose. If what Gulliver said was true, Saultier was well past his time, nearing 200 years old; He truly looked every bit his age and it was obvious why he wanted the stone.
“Nice too meet you again Mr. Saultier, How-“he lifted his hand to silence me, finishing another bite.
“Dr. Saultier.” He corrected, with a tone that made him sound like a snobby asshole.
“Dr. Saultier.” I repeated. “How have you been Sir? You look in better health then I last saw you.” My sarcasm was lost on the man. “Yes, my spirits brightened when I heard you had return with my prize.” He explained.
Then with a bitter bite to his words. He add, “If only you had arrived on as scheduled.”
I suppressed a grin. “My, apologies, I ran into some unexpected delays.”
With a long sip of whine that finished off half the glass he waved off my excuses. “Just show me the Item.” He said curtly, deciding that was enough small talk. His eyes stared at me with an almost disturbing greed his tongue licking his lips anxiously waiting. The man was truly desperate for anyway to prolong his life.
I pulled the small parcel from my coat pocket, seeing a man in the table just below tense and reach into his own before seeing what I had in my hand. That was number three. The ancient man let out an almost childlike gasp as he saw the box reaching out for it desperately. I placed it on the table and pushed it toward him to examine. It was a sad sight watch him feeble try to open the sealed case with a body that held almost no muscle, his arms trembled with the effort. With and almost defeated look he stared at the relic while I sat across from him forgotten.
“Saultier?” I called his mind back. The Doctor, didn’t bother correcting me. He just seemed startled that I was still there. He lifted the cube right away, studying the item to hide his embarrassment.
I gave his the courtesy of pretending I didn’t see anything.
“You have your, Sun gem, now I need my fee.” He gave the container a last look before slide out a case from under the table and handing it over. Unlocking the clasp, I had to whistle, it was the biggest single bundle of cash I'd every seen in my life .
“Two million” he confirmed.
I quickly wipe the drool from my mouth before closing the case before and bringing to my side.
“If you ever need anything else sto- found. I’ll be glad to help.” I offered but he was already getting up and moving off.
He gave a subtle nod to the man closest to the table before answering.
“I don’t believe that will be necessary”
I gave him a small shrug following him out of the VIP section, and with a quick arm caught the elderly man as he slipped on the steps.
“Careful” I told him helping him to his feet. But he brushed me off quickly with an annoyed dismissal as he left. I moved in the other direction toward the back and glancing over my shoulder unsurprised to see Saultier’s man following me.
“Seth, Iggy, I owe you guys.” I muttered turning into the restroom.
I spun the lock and rushed to the back poking the expensive looking bronze marble wall until my hand slipped past the surface. I hated this part, unfortunately a loud slam against the door said I need to hurry up. With a deep breath I pushed through the wall, feeling my body distort losing almost all sensation and finding it again all at once, my senses distorting until I finally came out of the outside. I gave myself a few seconds to keep my lunch down and remember which was up before touching the wall and ending the spell.
The four nails slipped out of the concrete and into my hand. My head was still buzzing, Walking through solid object is never fun for me. When I looked up several people stood staring at me with their jaws dropped. A small child was kicking the wall trying to figure out how the trick worked.
“Criss Angel has nothing on me.” I told them running down the street as quickly as possible.
I was impressed that managed to keep a straight line. A few blocks and a couple random turns later I felt safe enough to take a break, pulling out my phone to make a call. Gulliver Picked up on the fifth ring, like always.
“That Damn Corpse tried to double cross me.” I told him before he let out a word.
The mediator that brokered the deal didn’t say a word of regret. Instead with a small grin I could hear across the line he asked. “And did you make him pay double?” I slipped the small box out of my pocket and letting bounce in my hand. “Hell yeah, it a matter of principle. But shit, Gull one out every seven client you get me tries the same thing.”
The old man just laughed. “That just part of the business, some’ll try the same np matter how good you get.” Then in a gentle voice he add. “I’m glad you safe Carson, you Dad and Gramps would have haunted me to no end.”
“ Yeah Yeah, I know Gull. Don’t worry you taught me good enough.” I assured my mentor.
“But after this, I’m taking a long vacation.” I told him patting the heavy briefcase.
“You Keeping the gem or want me to set up a buy?” He asked.
I thought about it for a moment. It could easily double by cash flow but I was pretty much set for now and it was a better storage relic then my medallions.
I’ll hold onto it for now.”
“Your call. I’ll be in touch in a month or so for the next one.” He agreed.
“Make it six” I retorted, hanging up before he tried to change my mind. He had a way of talking me into things I was initially smart enough to avoid.
Now I just need to see which Caribbean Island looked like the most relaxing.