“Did it ever occur to you that I might be gone one day?”
Peter had a slight inclination to examine the man’s face with intrigue. Jones had never been one to blurt out nonsense in the middle of negotiations. Peter let the awkwardness subside before he continued with his shuffling.
“What did he mean by that?” The Korean prefect inquired. “Nothing Mr. Kamadasho. Jones can be unintelligent at times.”
Peter sifted through the photos with the dexterity of a virtuoso dealer. He’d been a “shuffler” for years but had never planned on staying one. Peter never planned anything. Fate was a good enough explanation for uncanny instances of organization.
“I’m helpless without your protection!” Jones spoke louder this time, his bulbous lips hovering centimeters from Peter’s ear. Peter didn’t flinch, save to deliver a severe blow to Jones’s big toe with his squared tipped boot. Even that motion was motionless. The large man let his face go scarlet before yelping in pain.
Mr. Kamadasho blinked solemnly, pouring himself another vodka shot.
“One for me too Mr. K.” came the Scottish inflection of Fuller from the left side of the low table.
Peter tossed a snapshot clear of the neat pile he was drawing from. His hands and eyes moved rapidly now. The usual progress for someone of his skill, he allowed himself to reflect.
His gaze shook for an instant. The form was establishing its borders. He was, for some peculiar reason, retaining images again. The silhouette of the young Japanese girl was distinctively set aside in the depths of his mind. She must be in danger.
‘Control it’ Peter echoed again. The image began to fade slowly. Peter blinked once more and the picture dissipated. He tossed another photo away from the stack and then let his lids slip into their ever languid state. It was not his business to know.
“Finished?” Mr. Kamadasho burped, his corpulence glistening with wet noodle juice. Fuller stood up to his full height and cracked his neck without the usage of his hands.
“Yeah, he’s finished.” was Fuller’s terse vote. His voice slapped Peter in the face with it’s constant, eery, ominous voracity.
‘Odd’ Peter thought. That emotion had long since been retired. He began to recognize the change, yet of what nature it was…. He let this thought trail off. He wasn’t allowed to think.
Peter ritualistically kept his eyelids closed when the over-head lights came on. Mr. Kamadasho cleared the two separated surveillance photos off of the table and swept the remaining ones into the table incinerator.
Two agents habitually clapped as if breaking huddle on the grid iron. Everyone left the bleak room, leaving Peter to his thoughts. Jones sealed the door and the gas started with a slow, cobra hiss. Peter disliked the gas but knew it was necessary. He lay on the slate bed and began to remove any last vestiges of the day’s images from his mind.
It was not his business to know.