The final rays of the afternoon sun spilled through a massive arched window onto the dark oak floor, An old man with gray hair and wrinkles on his face looked out at the green scenery. His mind was preoccupied, engrossed with a mission that few knew about. An antique phone on a massive oak desk rang in the manner of phones decades ago. The old person sitting in the darkness of his study reached over to answer, awoken from his musings.
“Have you started yet? Boy?” His tone was forceful and forthright.
“Yes, sir, everything is as you requested, sir.” The person on the other end of the call spoke in thick English.
“And you are certain that the butler will lead you to him without any problem?”
“One hundred percent sure.”
“And the wife?”
“She will not be a problem.”
“Is she dead?”
“No. Not yet, sir. But she does not have access to the wealth nor the hidden information about Richmond’s gold bars and Diamonds.”
“Why is she still alive? We can’t risk an heir and the old man, Anthony, must be eliminated soon. Then next Shawn, after he’ll sign everything, is that understood?” Irritation laced the old man’s words.
“Do not worry, sir. The homing device is working on all Richmond vehicles. I will know every move he makes. He is predictable, if nothing else. But he has better security now so we are careful not to attract attention.”
“Javier, I am not concerned. I barely know exactly what this Shawn Richmond is capable of. You are the professional in these matters, so I expect you to know exactly what I am talking about. We are moving forward with the plan that you proposed, but if at any moment I feel like things are getting out of control, I will not hesitate to pull you out.” The warning created silence on the other end for a moment before the shadowed figure proceeded. “Keep me informed of any further advancements. And boy?”
“Dispose of the wife soon. She can serve no purpose for us but a hindrance.”
“Of course, sir.”
The dark figure in the high leather-backed chair gently repositioned the receiver on the phone base and returned to staring out the huge study window.
Soon, he’d be the wealthiest man in London. The old man sat comfortably in the courtyard of his opulent mansion. He would have everything that his ancestors lost. He would take back what’s rightfully his. And Anthony, his brother, would be dead soon..
A while later, a pot of fresh tea and a slice of vanilla were given to him by an attendant. He thanked the young woman as she exited through the massive oak double doors through which he had entered. The old man leaned back and inhaled the aroma after pouring the dark liquid into a gray teacup and adding a dash of sugar.
At midnight, it had been several hours since he had heard from Javier, and that was unsettling. Since the advent of this undertaking, his men had been in communication with him every day to provide progress updates. Possibly, he had chosen the wrong man for the job.
A light breeze moved across the mansion gardens. Dozens of colorful butterflies fluttered from one small bush to another, enjoying the little moon, settling down on another. The sound of a cricket whizzing around a blossom nearby signaled the full onset of spring.
Setting the small cup down on the wooden table, the old man took a look at his expensive watch, infuriated. He wondered what was taking Javier so long?
Right on cue, the mobile phone in his suit cavity rang to life. Sitting up a little straighter, though no one was looking at him, he answered the phone. “What the hell took you so long, Javier? I do not like being kept waiting, boy.”
“Sorry for the inconvenience, sir. I have been…” he hesitated, “busy.”
“It’s quite alright, my boy but it’s just that,” the old man wasn’t sure if Javier on the other end of the telephone could tell his boss wasn’t as collected as previous employers. “It’s just that we need this done swiftly and quietly, and it makes me a little anxious when you don’t check-in.”
“With all due respect, sir, I am quite well compensated for what I do. There are many individuals all over the world who would gladly pay for my services, and they would have the respect to expect that task to be completed without my having to check in every day.” His tone had gotten a little angry. “You hired me to handle this, and I will. Am I making myself clear?”
The younger man’s bluntness struck him as both raw and rather intimidating. Indeed, he had a reputation for not being easily disturbed. Still, due respect must be shown. “How come the wife is still alive?”
On the other end of the line, there was a brief pause. “How do you know this?”
“Because, Javier, I haven’t heard anything else. I have not heard otherwise from the news.”
Perhaps this old man wasn’t that stupid after all. “I’ve changed my plan, sir. After all, the wife might be beneficial to us in the meantime… we need her, Shawn cares about her, and
so I have changed my plan… We need a p**n to lure him.”
“I’m glad you discussed this with me,” the old man fought his hostility, then mumbled,” but f**k it, Javier, I want it done as soon as possible! Is that understood?” after a brief moment of thought. The old man added. “Hell… No way! This is why I hired you, Javier. You think on your feet because of your reputation, I know you are the perfect man for the job but f**k sake make it quick.”
“Good, but better that I do not know what you are going to do with Shawn. But b****y hell, just let me know when you have the information I need and the keys to the wealth of Richmond.”
“Yes sir… Thank you, sir. That is all I ask. The gold and the diamonds will be in your custody soon, I assure you.” Javier sneered.
The line went dead and the old man glid the phone back into his pocket. He hesitated briefly, looking up at the distant peak that shadowed the mansion, deep in thought. “It better be,” he muttered finally and took a bite of his dessert.
Back in London, Javier Longbottom set his phone down in the center console of the black SUV. Its engine whirred quietly as its driver maneuvered through the back freeways to his pub.
He turned to the three men that had tried to ambush Shawn at his car earlier while going to the usual grocery with his butler. As per Elizabeth, Shawn’s wife had been craving weird food and told Shawn to buy it himself. However, the hired gun had been unsuccessful, and now Javier clenched his jaw from the stupidity of his men. They didn’t even anticipate that Shawn’s SUV was bulletproof.
“It wasn’t my fault, Javier. I had no idea his car was bulletproof and his driver would react so fast,” John could feel his boss’s eyes glaring at him, and his reply to the stare sounded like an elementary school child after being caught throwing food in the diner.
“I f*****g warned you to be careful, but you didn’t listen. How stupid can you get? Of course, he had a bulletproof car. D**n it!”
“Boss, I said I was sorry. It won’t happen again, boss!” John grumbled, glancing over, at the driver as his two comrades on his left side bowed their heads, afraid to look at their boss.
Javier yelled, “Fool! Now that he knows that someone is after him after the pathetic ambush, Shawn must have thought to add more security.”
“Well, that’s true, boss, but we will have him next time… For now, it was a good thing, right? Maybe he is afraid now... Will he consider it a warning?”
“Stupid!” Javier screamed again. “He will be cautious now.”
Before Javier’s men even realized what was happening, there was a puff of smoke accompanied by the cough of a silencer. At first, the hole in the two men’s heads just looked like a black dot. Seconds later, dark red fluid began seeping from the wound as the head toppled over against the window, lifeless. Empty eyes stared at the ceiling. Javier’s driver pulled the car over next to a massive building on Oxford Street. “F**k! Who the hell… move the body, John! Now!”
John hurried quickly to slip the body out of the car and onto the pavement. Only a second passed before they were drifting down the freeway again. Glancing over at a small splotch of blood on the back passenger seat, John only thought that he was pleased he’d gotten the leather package. It would be easier to clean than fabric.
Javier wiped off the stain with a handkerchief; “B****y hell! Who the hell was after us, now?” He screamed, satisfied that it was gone, he completely threw the fabric out the window and told the driver to drive quickly, as the latter proceeded down the street headed to their underground shelter. “Move fast!”