Cost of Doing Business

Had we left the enchanter alive, he would have ruined us. Rather than risk prison, I needed him discreetly eliminated.

It cost five hundred to meet with the first potential hire. I’m not accustomed to paying for the privilege of interviewing someone, and it soured my mood. If I’d seemed a more welcoming employer, perhaps he’d not have laughed when I mentioned the enchanter’s name. He left me with the name of someone “crazy-skilled and just plain crazy” enough to consider the task.

That interview cost five thousand, and the woman was professional. When I named the target, she didn’t laugh. She wrote down a number and walked out. She seemed perfectly sane to me; five thousand for doing nothing is brilliant business.

The number reached an anonymous message service. Leaving a message produced a response; the response, an interview. The interview, surprisingly enough, was gratis. I gave him the name. “Anybody can be assassinated,” he said. Then he quoted a number. Had my glass of wine been more than decor, I would have choked on it. Instead, I took a deep breath and considered. Money was useless to me dead. I agreed.

Houdini would regret interfering in our business.