Why is it Always Lobster?

It’s my birthday! Nothing like a story about an assassin.

Nick had considered himself a lucky guy, until now. There was no ignoring the radiographs or the pain anymore.

“I’m going to be honest, Nick, this cancer is aggressive.”

He ignored the pity on the doctor’s face. He wasn’t interested in pity.

“How long?” The flat tone made the other man grimace.

“Weeks? Months? A year if you’re lucky. Less if you do nothing.”

The twinge of discomfort in his side made him shift in the plastic seat. A year, if he was lucky. He thought he was lucky, but now he wasn’t so sure.

He almost wished he’d ignored the pain. Attributed it to an injury from work. He smirked to himself. His work definitely made him prone to injury.

“Am I healthy otherwise?”

The sigh the doctor gave spoke volumes. “Healthy, yes. But I don’t know how long that’ll last. You should speak to an oncologist about treatment, Nick.”

“So I can do my job.” He rose from the chair and offered the doctor his hand. “I’ll see you again in six months.”

“Nick, I’ve known you a long time, and I say this a more as a friend then your doctor, don’t be stupid.”

“Not stupid. Just aware of how uncertain life is and that I don’t want to spend it hooked to fucking tubes when I can still do what I love.”

They shook hands for a brief moment before Nick disengaged. “If I’m still alive in six months, I’ll let you schedule that visit with the oncologist.”

“It could be too late by then.”

“You know me. I always arrive just when I’m supposed to arrive.”

His side gave a sharp stab that nearly stole his breath, but he didn’t miss his step as he left the exam room and exited through the back of the clinic.

The idling car barely dipped as he slipped into the driver’s seat. He revved the engine once and then peeled out of the lot.

He debated returning to the house for some medication before going to his scheduled destination, but took the right at Brooks and Gates instead of the left. This meeting wouldn’t take long and he could have a drink after to dull the ache.

Traffic was light, putting him at the office three minutes early. He used the overflow lot to park before grabbing his case out of the back. Stabbing pain hit his side, stopping him for a moment. Maybe he should’ve gone home first. He leaned against the car until the pain died down to its usual twinge. Straightening up, he crossed into the primary lot, nodding at the attendant as he entered the building.

“Conference room upstairs free?”

“For another forty-five minutes.” The guard handed him the key ring from the desk.

“It’ll be a quick meeting.”

He took the elevator to the third floor, turned left down the hallway, and opened the last room on left. The empty conference room greeted him. Sitting his case on the table, he moved around to the window. Sliding the panel, allowing cool air into the stuffy room.

“I hope they didn’t cancel. I’d hate to miss a meeting.”

Returning to the table, he opened the case. He removed the silencer and sight, assembling both before attaching it to the short rifle. One bullet in the chamber and one in his pocket. Not that he’d need the second one.

He looked down the sight for a moment and tested his steadiness. That’s why he didn’t take the meds, they always fucked with his aim.

Leaning into the glass pane, he lined his sight up with the target. Staring through the cross hairs, he found two men chatting animatedly over lobster and wine. He watched one take a drink, his comb-over sliding along his shiny scalp.

“Why can’t these men ever have a fucking burger? Why is it always lobster.”

He drew in a deep breath, took aim, and took the shot. The man’s comb-over slid off his head completely as his face met his lobster.

Stepping away from the window, he pulled his phone out of his back pocket. Speed dial brought a woman’s voice through on the other end.

“I made the meeting. I was able to get the proposal through.”

“Very good. We’ll be in contact with other proposals for consideration.”

The line disconnected and he slid the pane closed. He dissembled the gun and placed it back in the lined case. Locking the door, he took the stairs down instead of the elevator. He needed the exercise to keep his strength up. Among other things.

“Thanks, Bob.”

The guard nodded as Nick dropped the keys on the desk.

“See ya next week.”

It was warming up outside. Probably would be warm enough to head over to the park for a run later.

Damn side. He switched hands holding his case as the twinge hit him again. He really did need to get this taken care of before it killed him. The damn contract he was under meant he didn’t have time for surgery or chemo. Medicine always fucked with his aim and he still had “proposals” to address.

If he wasn’t dead in six months, he’d see to his health. In the meantime he’d take up running and eating better.

He had too many people to kill right now.

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