The fat man slid a small fold of paper across the desk to me, his fingernails as shiny as the mahogany desktop. I picked up the slip, memorized the address, crumpled it and popped it into my mouth. After a few dramatic chews, I swallowed loudly. The big man smiled. He always loved that part.
“This hit’ll be a snap, Moran,” the fat man said. “It’s just a citizen.”
By citizen, of course, he meant some ordinary Joe not involved in our world of gambling and drugs and love-for-hire. And by hit he meant, well, hit. That’s what I do. I hit people. And when I hit ’em, they never hit back. I’m good, too, and because I am, I get paid pretty decent money for my services. Usually by the fat guy in the overstuffed Naugahyde chair across the desk.
I hadn’t done a hit for the fat man in six months, and I was surprised when he called me. The last one—a small-time hood with big-time aspirations named Toscano—hadn’t gone as smoothly as mine usually do. Toscano had sneezed just as I pulled my trigger. The bullet rode across the top of his brain instead of through it, sending him into a coma. I had to go to the hospital a week later to finish the job. I knew the fat man wasn’t pleased.
“This one’s a favor for a friend,” the fat man said.
I dabbed a speck of drool from the corner of my mouth with my little finger. “Don’t matter to me. Less I know, happier I am.”
“Well, she lives alone, I do know that. Ain’t got no husband or boyfriend or nothin’.”