Another day, another body—the family business wasn’t pleasant, but it was all he had left. Weston would never get used to it, even if he was numb to it. He wasn’t sure living was worth it when he was barely surviving. He wasn’t sure any of it was worth it anymore. Weston’s pocket vibrated. He ignored it. His hands weren’t exactly free. Why couldn’t he ever get the short people? Probably because he was nearly a giant himself.
There wasn’t a sound except the gravel crunching under his boots. New Orleans was an eerie place, even in the Garden District which was one of the nicest suburban neighborhoods. The moon had set, casting the alley in darkness allowing him to move around without notice, but it didn’t help his nerves. He would have felt less like he was in a Stephen King Novel if there had been some kind of noise, but the city’s rich nightlife didn’t extend this far.
He grunted and threw the body from over his shoulder into the trunk. His back was already feeling the strain from the short jaunt. He slumped against the bumper of the rental car as he snapped off one flesh-toned latex glove and tossed it into the trunk.
He answered without checking the caller ID. “Hello?”
“Weston, it’s Smith,” his handler’s rough voice came over the line.
“I’m kinda in the middle of something, as you know. Can I call you back?” Weston adjusted the duct tape over the judge’s mouth as he started to come to, wouldn’t want him to scream. Weston turned slightly and leaned over to pin him with a stare. “This is what happens to judges who take payoffs to swing verdicts.”
Smith laughed at the comment, but then his voice flipped and lowered. “I need you on something else now,” his handler’s tone was gruff, he was the no nonsense sort, but Weston didn’t take him seriously. He would always be Uncle Smith.
“I don’t get paid if I don’t finish,” Weston said, letting his annoyance show.
“The judge dead?” Smith asked.
“I’m not talking to a dead guy…I’m not that crazy, yet.” Weston tugged off his other glove and added it to a paper bag next to the guy’s head. He would burn the contents later.
“This job takes priority. I’ll send my clean up team.” It wasn’t a request.
His spirits lifted for the first time in weeks. “Can I leave him in the trunk? I really hate torture killings.” He removed the evidence bag and slammed shut the back end of the car before Smith agreed. The guy deserved what was coming to him, but Weston liked things quiet, without the cleanup. “And take it out of your cut,” he added as an afterthought.
“I’ll add it to the ‘back end’ as a cost,” Smith said, and Weston envisioned him making air quotes as he spoke. “Anyways, the big boss needs to know if this kid is talking about an incident that happened a couple days ago. He wants full surveillance, top priority ’round the clock. Might end in a hit.”
“What’d the kid do?” Weston clicked the lock on the key fob, glancing around to make sure he hadn’t drawn any attention. Being on the phone at two in the morning was unusual for this part of town.
“I’ve not been informed.” Smith’s tone was curt.
“It makes my job easier when I have all the details,” Weston growled.
“Listen, I know you don’t kill the innocent ones, but this is surveillance. You need the money, and I want the best on it. Take the bone you’re being thrown so you don’t have to do any more torture.”
This was his cue to shut the fuck up, so he let Smith say what he wanted. He was, after all, the only person still talking to Weston after the divorce, and Smith was right; he needed the money.
“West?” Smith sounded hesitant.
“What?” Weston didn’t like the tone.
“Are the rumors true?”
He cursed under his breath, switching hands with the phone. “Yes,” Weston mumbled. It was impossible to lie.
“She cursed you?” Leave it to Smith to test the limits of the curse.
“Correct.” The word came out involuntarily though he fought it hard. He had to end this call before he did more damage, and the job was a perfect excuse. “I need to get out of here and get on your boy.”
“You can’t lie?” Smith pressed.
Weston exhaled gruffly into the receiver, static reverberating back into his ear. “Not that I’ve found.” He squeezed the phone harder than was probably good for it.
“Tell me about it.” He didn’t try and mask his emotions. “I hope this won’t affect our business relationship.”
“‘Least it means we can trust you, right?” Smith laughed.
“Too soon.” Weston winced. It wasn’t easy to find trustworthy people in this line of work anymore, but Weston had always been one of them, even before the curse.
“You’re still the best in the business, and that’s including the rest of the Ames, Weston. If the big boss gets wind, I’m going to play it like that. Should get you a few points,” Smith said. It was more than anyone else was doing for him.
“Thank you, sir.” He was lucky Smith still had his back when everyone else had turned theirs.
“I’ll have the case left at the drop.” Smith hung up before Weston could.
Coming March 28th 2019
Weston doesn’t believe in voodoo but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t believe in him. His life and family were steeped in the stuff and it was fine, until voodoo took everything from him, ripped his life from his grasp. And when it swallowed whole the person he loved most he had to escape.
But there were consequences. His voodoo goddess wasn’t going to let go of him so easily, and her revenge was the pinnacle of evil. He could have dealt with something like impotence or boils, but this was purely depraved. She came for him and hit him where it hurts. She might as well have taken his guns.
Weston found himself unable to lie. A hitman who can’t lie. What a joke.
When his handler throws him a bone, a job that requires no interaction only observation, Weston takes it. He should be able to do this in his sleep, but he’s off his game. He gets way too close. Nothing is as it seems, and someone else, maybe someone worse than him, is stalking his mark. But he can’t leave the kid high and dry. Not when Eli is all he can think about.