It would be thirty minutes until midnight.
A pair of unintentionally conspicuous men sat across from each other in the seedy little bar. Their faces were hidden behind dark shadows, a thick fog of cigarette smoke and popped collars. Both men had a small glass of alcohol sitting in front of them; the man on the left had a shot of git gin and tonic, while the other, who was also noticeably taller, was drinking rum he brought from home. The ice-cubes in the second man's glass clinked together whenever he pour his drink in. For some reason, it made him chuckle. It wasn't even something a toddler would laugh at, yet he seemed to be having the time of his life. The shorter man was beginning to wonder if he had hired the right person for this particular job.
There were few other patrons in the bar, but every now and then their eyes would glance over in the direction of the suspicious duo. Even the bartender was giving them something akin to the death glare. It filled the more-composed man with a strange sense of guilt. However, there was a very good reason for that.
"You know, Mr. Daymond," the shorter man leaned forward slightly, "Most people don't go to bars only to bring drinks of their own with them."
The taller man paused just as his glass was about to touch his lips. "What? Mr. Granter, I don't think that's very open-minded of you. Why can't a man simply be allowed to enjoy the comfortable atmosphere of a bar without having to spend all of his money on tasteless little drinks? I only brought my rum with me so as to lighten my own mood a bit better."
"The purpose of a bar is to buy drinks! And, truthfully, I don't see this," he spread out his arms in reference to the entire room, "As being what you would call a 'comfortable atmosphere'...!"
"You're just not looking at the bigger picture, obviously."
"Oh? What is the 'bigger picture' then?"
"...You're a grown man, Mr. Granter, so it would be wrong of me to hold your hand and explain everything to you."
"You don't know what the bigger picture is either, do you?"
"I would like to think I do."
"Wanting to do something and actually being able to do it are two completely different things!"
Daymond refused to respond any further, so Granter sighed and dropped the subject. They drank in silence for a few passing minutes. Mr. Granter rolled up the sleeve of his coat to read his watch; it would officially be midnight in 23 minutes. It wouldn't be too long now.
"Mr. Granter?" Mr. Daymond's voice popping out of nowhere without warning nearly caused Granter to topple out of his chair.
"You know you don't need to be here. I told you'd I'd be able to take your business rival's life without any outside help."
Even though he had long since passed over the feelings of self-hatred for wanting to have another human being killed, it still made Granter cringe to be reminded of it. "I...I just want to make sure that you actually get the job done properly. I'll admit that I'm acting a bit on the paranoid side, but considering the way you've acted so far, I think I'm allowed to be skeptical in this case!"
"Me? What did I ever do?" Daymond replied in bewilderment, in the middle of polishing his handgun right out in the open.
"P-Put that thing away, you fool!"
"Huh? Oh! Oh, yeah...whoops, silly me..."
Yet again the two men fell back into silence. Letting his mind wander, Granter began to imagine how his life would be once the last of his rival companies tumbled apart, courtesy of their CEO's untimely demise. His family will have finally positioned itself into easy living; all of the consumers would have to depend on his company to meet their particular needs. The money would be pouring in faster than ever. He would be able to send both of his sons to the best colleges in the country, and his wife would finally stop nagging him for money to buy jewelry all the time. It would be perfect.
In reality, though he tried to convince himself all these things, there was still that small doubt in the back of his mind. Granter was a man who had big dreams, but a weak will. It had been through sheer force and alot of luck that got him to his current status as one of the few wealthy and elite. He was a man who needed money and power to keep his own self-confidence from dipping. He was fully aware of how pathetic it was, but he had already sold his soul to the 'devil' to keep himself aloft.
In the midst of all of this exaggerated day-dreaming, Granter suddenly recalled something he had been meaning to ask since the start. "By the way, you're also ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that he'll be showing up in this bar at some point before midnight?" he looked over at Daymond, who was drinking straight from his bottle of rum.
"Don't worry; I made sure to do an extensive background search on my target, as I always do. Once I figured out that he enjoyed by seedy bars and alcohol in the middle of the night, I simply forced his secretary to make up some lie about a meeting in the dead of night at this particular bar, which he gladly agreed to, then I killed her to make sure that he would remain blissfully unaware of the painful death that I have planned for him. I must admit that he is quite a dunce to actually fall for the oldest trick in the book, though."
It took a few seconds for this horrifying new information to sink in. The color in Granter's face steadily drained away - bile rising in his throat at the same time- it was replaced with a sickening pale white. He pictured the face of his adversary's hard-working secretary; he had seen her several times before, and she was always very polite to him. Even though it wasn't intended, he had inadvertently caused the death of a innocent woman. His already-fragile mental state was cracking.
It was almost too much to bare.
"You...you murdered his secretary? That can't be true! Tell me that you're lying! Please tell me that you're lying!" Granter choked.
"If I did, THAT would be a lie. Besides, I'm a killer; it's what I do."
"Ah...ah..." Granter forced himself to keep his voice from rising, "Why in the world...would you...do something like that?" his heart was pounding so hard that he could barely hear what Daymond had said next.
"Let me tell you, Mr. Granter, that she was an acceptable loss that had to be made! That is the way the world works! She stood in the way of my objective, so I removed her."
"There must have been a million different ways you could have gone about tricking him into coming here without having to kill an innocent woman! My God, you're sick in the head!" Granter hissed through clenched teeth.
"That's cruel of you, saying such harmful things!"
"I should never have hired you! I did it in a moment of weakness! Weakness, I tell you!"
"Hey, now, let's not going saying such hasty things, okay?"
"I want to call this whole thing off! I change my mind; I don't want anyone else dead!"
"I'm sorry but it's too late for that. I already spent most of the money you gave me."
"You did? On what?"
Daymond reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his pistol. "I used it to purchase myself this fancy new gun, of course,"
"Fine! Whatever! Forget about the money. Just...let's not do this anymore."
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Mr. Granter."
"I can't give you back the money you paid me, nor do I wish to. To make up for that, I need to complete the job you have to me."
Granter was abruptly cut short by the jingle of the tiny chime hanging over the bar's front door. He didn't even need to glance over his shoulder to tell that it was his business rival. The look in Daymond's eyes said it all. Cold sweat was trickling slowly down the back of Granter's neck. He felt like his heart was lodged in his throat. He could hear the footsteps gradually approaching him from behind. His heart pounded even louder.
"I've never been much for subtlety," Daymond whispered, "So please do not be alarmed if you soon find yourself drenched in his blood."
"W-What are you planning to do?"
"I'm going to shoot him in the head, obviously."
"In case you've forgotten, we're in a bar right now, and there are bystanders all around us! I thought you were going to trick him into going with you somewhere secluded to kill him!"
"Well, excuse me for not being as methodical or patient as you had thought!"
"Please...please...please stop this-"
Mr. Granter shot his hand out to grab Daymond's, the one still holding the pistol. He was already overwhelmed with guilt concerning the secretary's murder; he didn't want to let anyone else be killed on account of his greed and paranoia. He was about ready to scream just to draw everyone's attention to the man holding the gun, but he never got the chance. Instead, he found the cold, metal barrel of the pistol pressed against his forehead. Daymond smiled back at him, revealing his gleaming white molars. It was the face of evil.
'Wait a minute...this isn't how it's supposed to go...'
Daymond pulled the trigger, and for an instant, Granter felt pain, and then nothing more. Tiny shreds of flesh and splotches of blood were blown from his face as the bullet tore into his head. Everything that made him a human being, all of his thoughts, his feelings, his very life, was stripped from him. The mixed expression of confusion and terror was frozen on his face for all to see. The corpse that was his body slumped backwards into his seat as the blood gushed out of the wound, pouring down his face. A woman screamed in the background, promptly followed by dropped glasses and people running for the door.
Granter's business rival, in amidst of all the unruly chaos that surrounded him, stepped up beside Daymond to give him a friendly pat on the shoulder.
"I guess I was wrong to worry that you would betray me, after all," he said in a voice that sounded like he had been licking sand paper for the past two hours. Daymond shrugged.
"You were the one who hired me first, and you paid alot more."
"Ha ha ha, that I did! The poor sap didn't suspect a thing! And I can't believe you even lied to him about killing my secretary! You're pretty hilarious for a killer; you should get a job as a comedian!"
Daymond paused for a brief moment. "...Yes, that's right, I didn't kill her. But you DID fall into my trap."
"Well, you see, my dear man," Granter's rival felt like his blood had run cold when he realized that Daymond was aiming the gun at his chest now, "I have a nasty habit to always fulfill my agreements with people, regardless of how absurd they are. That's one of the reasons I became an assassin of all things. I completed your request to kill Mr. Granter, now I must complete Mr. Granter's request to kill you."
"Y-Y-You can't be serious! B-Be sensible! Mr. Granter is dead! What's the point of...of taking my life now? Stop this nonsense!"
"If you have any complaints about the method of my work, please take it up with the official assassins' bureau."
"Hold on! I can pay you even more if you just let me live!"
Daymond fired one shot into the hysterical man's gut, and then another through his lower jaw. Like any wounded creature, he struggled hopelessly in an attempt to cling onto his life, but the pain and agony soon took over, and he collapsed. A pool of blood soon formed underneath the second corpse.
Daymond sighed, shaking his head. Watching people die was always so messy. He quickly put his gun away and headed for the door. He knew he had to leave before the cops arrived, and he didn't want to have to get into a gunfight. Thanks to the relatively dark atmosphere of the bar, he had been able to hide his face from anyone uninvolved. Any other loose ends would be tied up by his superiors.
Truthfully, there had been no point in lying about killing the secretary, or murdering two men in public like that. Daymond had done it simply for the sake of doing it. He liked the simplest plans best of all.