Seventeen

The three are down a dirt road out in the vast nothing between Houston and Dallas. It's a stretch of dense woodland, pine trees mostly. They took a long walk in a circle. No buildings in sight, no trails, just trees. They string a line of four cans from a branch about two feet apart. Katja gets them swinging, steps to the side. Katya plunks the first, misses the second, hits the third and forth.
Ellen steps up, Katja sets them in motion again, she hits two, misses two, "Dang, not as simple as I'd hoped."
Katya, "Ees why practice."
Katja gets three and nicks the forth. They go back and forth like this, replace a couple of shredded cans. Go through a hundred fifty rounds between the Glock and Ruger.
Katya, "Let's go, good enough for now."
On the way back, Katya says, "Ellen, find a place where we can practice on moving target. Better even, find us property with no one around, maybe with old house or farm with a barn. We will build shooting range with moving targets."
"I'm on it, that's gonna be fun. Got to be a bunch of places, might have to drive out of town a ways."
"Even better. Make sure is isolated, no nosy people, nobody to hear gunshot."
"I'm your girl. How much you wanna spend?"
"Don't know. Does not need to be nice, just so things work, water, electric, we are not moving in, maybe stay overnight sometimes. You search, quiet, look for listing online. No rush, better to find good isolated place."
The agent calls, she has a place that looks just right for the new shop. Meets Katya's requirements, schools nearby, middle class residential, no retirement community close, can't have everything. Two other tenants, dry cleaners and a martial arts school. Good for parking, the martial arts school is closed most of the day, active at night, opposite of Katya Donut. And they can build a drive through on one side. There is room for a half dozen tables and a counter to run along two walls. The bank comes up with their end, gut the space and start the build out. Katya is there every day, Katja makes the round of the other stores, Ellen has a lot of fill in time with Katya out, dinners at home shift to cold cuts or prepared food.
Finally, ready to open. Three tired girls are as happy as anyone that life can be more normal.
Penny had one job, an easy one on the other side of Houston. Katja drove over on her Vespa, followed the doctor from the hospital parking lot to his apartment. Gated place, she went in behind him. He never made it out of his BMW. She took his wallet, drove off, lifted six hundred in cash and tossed the wallet in a street drain. Whole job took an hour and a half, most of that getting to and from. Houston is a big place.
Ellen, "The shop is beautiful Katya, best one yet. And packed already, you are becoming a brand, girl."
"America ees land of opportunity. We sell sugar bread, people do not get enough."
"Honey, you sell the best quality donuts on the planet. People love them. You guys are making happiness."
Katja, "Flourless cookie sells out in an hour."
Ellen, "Make more."
"Nyet. Better to sell out. People always buy something else, and we get rid of other eenveentory, not throw money in dumpster."
"Ah, I get it, sneaky Russian doll."
"Da, eef shop makes money, everybody has job, we get reech. Throw money een dumpster, no jobs, poor."
"I think I may be onto a place for the gun range. We've been so busy, I didn't do much looking until last week. It's fifty miles out of town though. But it has a small house and a barn. House is okay, could use some work, it ain't new. The barn is a barn. Wood's not rotted, roof needs replacing. Best part is, there ain't jack for miles. Place been on the market for two years. Old lady died, kids all grown and live out of state. We can get it for a song."
"How much?"
"The listing said two fifty, but nobody gonna pay that. Well water, a septic system, no sewer lines run out there, barely got electricity."
"What ees septic?"
"A tank the toilets and drains run into. Solid waste settles from the water, a company comes out and sucks it out every so often. It works fine, just needs the sewer service to empty it. If we don't use it much, it could be a year or more between service."
"Da, okay, two days, we will go see."
It's fifty miles, but part of it is on a rural road, it isn't just off the interstate, drive is close to an hour and a half.
The house isn’t in bad shape, a standard brick nothing. Good that it's brick, wood would be a mess by now. Needs a roof, so does the barn. But they can do cursory fix up. They need running water, electricity and functional bathrooms. That's about it, they aren’t moving in.
It's wide and deep, near fifty acres, three quarters of a mile side to side. Nothing around that but scrub and woods. Land around the house and barn is buffelgrass, which grows to three or four feet and covers much of the property.
Ellen, "Grass too high, but it keeps the dirt from washin' away."
"We will have cut away from house and barn, drive is gravel, we can add gravel around the house and behind to the range, good enough."
Katya, "Offer a hundred fifty, they will say it is ridiculous, we will buy for under two. Best for us because it is completely isolated."
Ellen, "Going to the bank?"
"Da."
The purchase sails through, appraisal came back at two twenty, mostly for the land. They bought for one ninety.
Ellen, "Geez, another house."
"Just only for shooting. Cheap furniture, enough for us to sleep for a night or two. I have ideas for targets, and we will set up for rifle also. Learn to use scope, set sights, hit target at distance, wind, rain, whatever."
"Gonna take a lotta practice."
It takes another month to get the roofs replaced, Katya had asphalt laid between the house and barn, the grass cut and a bit of basic furniture, refrigerator, washer dryer. Hot water heater needed replacing. Ellen cleaned the place top to bottom and put roll down blinds over the windows. The carpet was shot, had to be ripped up. They painted the concrete floor and new baseboard to seal off the sheetrock and the floor. No curtains, no pictures on the walls, no frills.
Katya built flip up targets, when they walk the circuit, things pop up here and there. And they are on wheels, surprises aren't in the same spot all the time. The barn has a dozen small targets that either pop up, or tick tock like a metronome. Finally, they have dirt mounds at fifty and a hundred yards with targets on posts in front. Those are stationary, the object is to learn the rifles and their capability, adjust for weather conditions.
Ellen pulls down her ear protection, "This is a blast. But, when are you gonna tell me what it's for? Really. You two ain't hardly the type to do this for fun. No money in target practice. And you go off on trips for business, but never come back with a piece of property, or anything at all. I know you ain't goin' to investment seminars. If it ain't my place to ask, just say so."
Katya, "What do you think we are doing, when we are on business?"
Ellen, "All this gun trainin'? I expect you're puttin' it too work. Takin' people out, for money."
"If we were, what then?"
"Well, like I said, it ain't my place, but you asked, so, can I make some money too?"
"You think you can shoot somebody, don't know why, just kill?"
"How much does it pay?"
"Maybe ten thousand, sometimes more."
"Fuck, how many people you want dead?"

Eighteen

Ellen's first hit isn't local, they fly to Los Angeles, then drive up the coast to a patch of suburbia called Moorpark. The target is male, forty five, they have a photo and a location. He's a former middle school teacher and recently registered sex offender. Apparently some kid's dad doesn't think a year in jail and registration was enough penalty. It's good first outing for Ellen, one more easily justified than some citizen with no obvious reason for assassination.
They wait outside until nine p.m. Ellen walks up, knocks, target opens the door. She raises the silenced Glock, puts a round hole in his forehead, turns and walks down the block to the car.
"Hell, that was simple."
"You made sure it was target?"
"Oh yeah, balding, same glasses, pussy moustache, just like in the picture. It was him."
"You are okay?"
"S'all good, better than good, I fuckin' like it."
To celebrate, Katja booked a suite at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. They check in late, but they're staying for another night and can enjoy Venice Beach all day tomorrow.
Ellen, "Sheeyt, this is a swank place, a suite. Stocked with booze, can I get you a drink? Dumb question."
They have vodka shots, then a bottle of sparkling wine and kill that on the balcony. To further reward Ellen's success, the twins take turns going down on her while she contemplates the moon over the Pacific.
 "Let's get to sleep, you can sleep with us if you wish,"
"Oh yeah I wish."
Three assassins in a row, it's Ellen's celebration, so the twins surround her and snuggle in. She falls away with a happy idiot grin.
They sleep in until nine. Coffee in the room, then dress and out to Ocean Front Walk. Venice Beach is its usual busy.
Ellen, "This is such a cool spot. Everybody is so laid back, roller blades, bikes, skateboards. The vibe here is...easy."
"We haf never been. I look up when we got job, better than most of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hill. More relax."
"I'll say, hey, look let's feed, James Beach seems popular."
They work their way through calamari, shrimp cocktails, followed by chicken and fish tacos, washed down by Chimay Belgian Ale and a Moscow Mule, Tito's vodka and ginger beer.
Ellen is giggly, "This is great stuff. You guys ever think about moving, let's move here."
"Maybe good idea, but shops are in Houston. We will come here again, longer next time, a vacation. We will go to San Francisco also. It is time to see more America. Miami, New York, maybe even New Orleans and see if the food is so good as you make for us."
Ellen, "Man, I never thought I'd get outta Texas, now I'm in California and headin’ for the rest of the country," she tears up, wipes her eye with the napkin, "ain't no way thanks is enough."
Katja, "Do not make seentimental. We will take care of you, you will take care of sisters. Now, we will walk along beach."
They wear out the sidewalk, the ocean, vendors, every sort of person on the planet. Eventually they wind up on the Santa Monica Promenade. Sort of a hip outdoor mall, full of brand name shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars. It’s seven, they stop in at The Misfit and have drinks until eight.
Ellen, "We have one more night in that fancy suite, maybe we should finish up there."
They return to Shutters, shower, wash hair, wrap up in the fluffy robes provided. Room service delivers a Coast cheeseburger, lobster roll and shaved roast beef sandwich. Katja cuts everything in chunks and they share. Ellen has both Katya and Katja for dessert, they collapse at eleven and don't stir until seven thirty.
"Ellen, what time ees flight?"
"Two twenty, lose two hours, back home for seven."
"Da, okay. Maybe we eat downstairs, goof off, leave for airport at eleven, haf to return car."
Ellen, "I'm good with hanging here, I love this place."
Coffee, leisurely breakfast in The Living Room, pack up and fly. A few days later the second payment comes in. Travel expenses come out of the twenty five thousand, this time Ellen gets the rest.
Ellen, "I don't know why I should get the whole deal, everybody went."
Katya, "First time. In future, we will split money. If we all go, one third each after expense. If two go, half and half, like that."
"That feels right, thanks for this though. Most money I've seen in a pile."
Katya, "Do not put in bank all at once, they report more than ten thousand. You can put five or six thousand, wait a couple of weeks, put more."
Ellen, "Glad you told me."
"And if you take out cash, keep it under ten thousand. Also, never buy ammunition with card, always cash. Best to leave gun to us."
"Where do you get them?"
"We steal from house. People haf gun everywhere, good ones too."
"Wait, you break in somebody's house? Isn't that dangerous?"
"Nyet. We find house with people gone, pick lock and look around. About half have a gun or rifle, sometimes several. We take good ones, ammunition. They also keep money stash, a few hundred, sometimes we get a thousand or more."
Ellen giggles, "Sheesh. Can I go on one?"
Katja, "You will learn to pick lock, spot alarm system. We can disarm eef we know where box is. Or just clip phone line outside house. Sometimes a big house has cell backup for alarm. Cut outside line doesn't work."
"What do you do?"
"Don't break into fancy house, plenty of regular house with no alarm. If we cut the line, we always wait. If nobody shows up in a half hour, we go in. One of us watches street while the other searches house. So far, nobody ever comes around."
"You two are your own crime wave."
"Not much anymore. We have enough guns, make money from shops. Only for practice, pick lock, quick check of house. We stay only ten minutes, always follow rule. No gun or money in ten minutes, leave. Never take anything else, no jewelry, no gold or silver. Gun, ammunition, cash."

Nineteen

The next weeks are spent improving targets, small motors operate some, a board appears, try and shoot it before it disappears, the best target for speed and accuracy is the star, Katya copied a design she found on YouTube. They practice with the rifles, Ruger mini-mags. They scoped them both, added twenty round clips. The rifles are lightweight, durable and accurate.
Ellen turns out to have quite an eye for distance shots. And she can pop off six rounds in under five seconds and put a two inch grouping at a hundred yards.
Katja, "You are good shot."
Ellen, "Heck, the scope makes the target look like it's arm's length. We'll see how I do if the wind kicks up or it's rainin' jackhammers."
Katya, "Enough for today, we need to close up the house and go."
Back home around three, line the guns up on the bench. Cleaning guns is simple enough and they are diligent about doing it right away. If they need a weapon on short notice, they want it ready.
Ellen has dinner going, brings cocktails, back to the stove, "I got red beans, hot pork sausage and ham, brown rice, cornbread."
Katja is looking over her shoulder into the crock pot, "Smells good. This is New Orleans recipe?"
"Yeah, I can't never decide if I like these or the white beans better."
"What ees different?"
"Beans taste a little different. I use Blue Runner beans, theys already cooked nice and mushy. Heat up perfect in the slow cooker. The sausage adds flavor and fat. Red beans, I add garlic, but not to white. White gets a dab of cane sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Chopped onion in both. Use the same kind of sausage and ham pieces. Sometimes I use pork chops too. Just set it all in the cooker and let the flavors mingle for six or seven hours. Pork chops get fork tender, you gotta shred the pork though, slow cooker makes lean meat dry. Bacon adds fat and moisture. Even better to let it sit in the fridge overnight and heat 'em up again the next day."
She spoons out the beans over a small mound of rice on each plate, adds a chunk of buttered cornbread, they dig in.
Katya, "Ellen, this is good. Such a simple thing, beans and rice. It comes out like gourmet."
Ellen beams, "Always thought most gourmet was hype. Ain't nothing better than a Katya Donut, or a steak off the grill, baked potato fulla sour cream and butter. I'm gonna make you a roast beef po-boy this weekend. You gonna get a whole new perspective on good. Next week, fried catfish, macaroni and cheese."
Katja, "We will do extra pushing up. Also, I am ordering treadmill. I am for running, but not outside to dodge cars and haf men stare."
Ellen, "Treadmill, cool. My contribution will be a stationary bike. We can ride or run, swap up. And a rowing machine. Good for legs, arms and back. You gotta a whole empty bedroom, stuff will fit easy. Plug in the music and get after it. If we're going to put a gym in here, I can quit the one I go to. Easier to do at home."
Katya, "Good idea to put machine in house. Katja and I do gymnastic, extra work out will not hurt."
Katja and Katya are ultra-flex, when you start at age three or four, it's pretty simple to be flexible. They aren't elite gymnasts, but they can do handstands, standing flips, splits, back arch. Their gymnastics was primarily tumbling, not so much balance beam, vaults or uneven bars. Still, they are strong, with excellent proprioceptive awareness. Tossing their bodies in the air doesn't freak them out.
The girls have seconds. Ellen grins, she's discovered a way to make her serious as death twins happy. They never smile, don't giggle or laugh. They have a sense of humor, but it's drier than Texas sand, even macabre. She knows firsthand they enjoy sex, but they aren't noisy about it. You aren't going to hear either one scream in ecstasy. They like vodka, they like her to walk around naked, and now she knows they appreciate simple delicious food. And they don't lie to her, or feed her a line of shit. It may be what she likes best of all, well, except for showing off her buff stuff.
Katja, "After dishes are clean up, we will have wine, you can watch something you like on TV. Then you will give us sex and we will fuck you."
Ellen, "Now that's how to spend a goddamn evening."
And they do.
Ellen wakes up to an empty bed, the girls allowed her to sleep with them, but are long gone to the shops. She smiles as she goes to the bathroom, two strap-ons lying on the counter. She picks one up, tries to remember which one went where, nothing comes to mind, it was dark.
Today she's housecleaning, then to the grocery to get a chunk of chuck roast for tomorrow's slow cook. It's Friday, marinate the meat overnight, cook it Saturday, serve on crusty toasted French bread Sunday. Maybe it would inspire them to jump her again.
The twins took the Vespas to work, Katya to the big shop, Katja will cover the other three and meet up with her sister later. One thing the girls understood from their first day in business, nothing is as important as the owner being on premises as much as possible. It isn't to catch workers slacking, Katya could read that on spreadsheets. It's to show the staff the business is serious to them, not something just to suck a few bucks out of. To show they are going to check for cleanliness and quality. They want to see staff in action, how they are dressed, how they interact with customers. Yes, it's only donut shops; doesn't matter, it matters. If the owner is lax, why should the staff bust their butts? Human nature is like inertia, objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest will collect rust and dust.
Katya is behind the counter with Maria, the only others in the shop are a couple of retirees having coffee. It's ten thirty, morning rush over, the lunch crowd isn't in yet. Katja has expanded the sandwich menu in the big store beyond ham and cheese croissants. Now they have turkey, chicken, add jalapeno and cheese, croissant or sliced bread. The reason the simple sandwiches are so popular is quality and quantity. Unlike some places, Katja loads the offerings with layers of meat and cheese, not a thin half slice of cheese and barely noticeable ounce of meat. Overstuffed sandwich, bag of chips and a soft drink, five ninety five.
Katja arrives, comes in the back door to the kitchen. At the same moment, two men, just barely, maybe nineteen, bang in the front. One of them is waving a gun.
"Gimme the cash, do it now, nobody gets hurt."
Maria's eyes are huge, she's trembling.
Katya opens the register, mentals Katja, "Assholes out here with gun."
Instead of handing the money over the counter, Katya walks around and holds it out, second guy snatches it.
"What the fuck, two hundred dollars? Where's the rest?"
Katya, "Donut shop, not Bank of America. Bank is down the street."
Gun Guy, "Very fuckin' funny. You have a safe then. Open it up, or I can shoot the bitch behind the counter."
He makes a junior varsity criminal mistake, two actually. He assumes Katya is afraid, and he looks over at Maria. Katya has his gun hand, she cracks his elbow over her knee, dislocating it, the gun clatters to the floor. Then her knee is deep in his groin and her fist smashes his Adam's apple.
Second moves to the gun, stops, Katja has a rather massive chef's knife poked in his throat, drop of blood seeps out.
"Be still asshole person. Move one millimeter, dead."
"Maria, call 911."
Retirees Bill and James have just begun to process the scene.
Bill, "Need any help Katja?"
"Nyet, finish coffee."
Squad car screeches up, it's Officer Torres, Frisco, short for Francisco, "Well, well, Katya, Katja, looks like you've captured the notorious convenience store criminals. We been looking for these two for a while. Guess they changed their MO, goin' for donut shops now."
James, "Picked the wrong goddamn one. These girls were all over it, guy with the gun, Katya fucked him up right good."
Frisco has Second in cuffs, "So I see," he cuffs Gun Guy, ignores the dislocated elbow and gravelly yelp of pain, his larynx doesn't work so good.
He manages a gritty whisper, "Fuck man, my elbow's broke," cough rattles from his busted throat.
"Shut up."
A second car, two more cops.
"Katya, everybody okay?"
"Da."
Frisco, "Everybody but the one with the busted arm, Katya dislocated his elbow and clocked his throat, neutered him too from the way he's bent over."
Bill, "Yeah, she gave him a knee to the nuts, hurt me just to watch."
Paramedics arrive, they load Gun Guy in the ambulance, the second squad car takes the other for booking.
Frisco, "Let me get statements and I'll get on my way. Any chance of a donut and cup of coffee? One of those glaze, with the chocolate on top."
He sits with Bill and James, writes down the story, Maria confirms. He doesn't ask the twins anything.
"You girls better be careful, those two hadn't shot anyone so far, but the gun is loaded. They could have."
James, "Punks better be careful, Katya didn't blink an eye. More like intimidated him, just walked up with a handful of cash, then put his sorry ass down. Katja came outta nowhere, stuck a knife in the other one's neck, calm as a spring day."
Frisco looks at the twins, then Maria. Her hands are nervous, fiddling with a dish towel. The twins look bored. Most crime victims are fidgety, cry, or get mad, like it was the cop's fault somehow.
Katja, "Okay Freesco, you will go now, want another donut? We haf lunch crowd already coming."
The big cop laughs, "Yeah, how about a cake, the one with cherry icing?"
Maria hands him a box with a dozen mixed treats, "Take them to the troops," her hand still shakes.
"It's okay now Maria, but it's also okay to be scared, need anything," he looks at Katya, "maybe take the day off?"
Maria, "No, just kind of shocked, I never got robbed before, never had a gun pointed at me. Better to work and get my mind off it."
And a few minutes later, there's no time to think, just bag, ring up and wait on the next customer.

Twenty

Ellen, "You what? Good God! And nobody got hurt? You didn't get hurt? You coulda took a bullet."
Katja, "Sister knows what to do. If boy had kept distance, he would have gotten money, but he ees stupid, let Katya get close. He haf no chance."
"But what about the other guy? I mean, she didn't see you come up behind him, she was dealing with the first one."
"She doesn't think of other one, she ees know I think of other one."
"Like how? She reads minds?"
"We are tweens, think of same thing at same time always."
Ellen is incredulous, "Naw, you're pullin' my leg, you can't pull thoughts outta each other's head."
The twins give her their trademark blank stare, with a simultaneous blink.
"Jesus, you're doin' it again, you blink at the same exact time. Hell, maybe you can read minds, each other's anyway. Hey, you can't read mine, can you?"
"Nyet, you can be privacy, we are not Facebook. Except only you tell us everything anyway."
"Why do you have more of an accent than Katya?"
Katja tilts her adorable head, "So we can tell each other apart."
Ellen's turn to blink, "Aw sheeyt, I give up. I gotta get on the rowing machine, then dinner to prep."
They all burn a few hundred calories, deep breaths and sweat.
Ellen, "You're worse than the gym. Women there, most of 'em, ride the bikes like they’s enjoying the park. S'pose it's better than nothing, but it ain't hardly a workout."
Katja is collecting gulps of air, "You are good working out person. We will go hard a couple of times a week, gymnastic also, enough."
A second bottle of water, off to shower, then in the main room.
Ellen, "I didn't realize we'd gone at it so long. I still gotta whip up dinner."
Katya, "Call pizza place, make us a drink. We will have pizza, watch movie, relax."
Ellen, "Get no argument from me, usual?"
"Da."
Pleasantly swizzled, first on vodka, followed by Chianti. Enjoy margherita pizza with anchovies while they watch Chloe Moretz play a cool vampire in Let Me In.
Ellen, "That was fun, I never paid much attention to her movies. The rest of 'em any good?"
Katja, "No idea, we will find more for another time."
Tired, slightly sloshed, the twins go to their room, Ellen to hers. The submission game, which never got very domineering, has shrunk. They're just too busy to think up ways to boss around or humiliate. Our twins don't love, but Ellen has earned their respect. She takes care of the house, feeds them, washes their clothes, things are always neat and orderly. Amazing ballerina legs, and she can kill. The perfect companion.
Penny calls, "Got a good one, hundred grand. Have to go to New York though."
"What ees target?"
"Investment banker, you know, Wall Street. Client didn't say why they wanted him dead, not a rush job, just dead in the next couple of weeks. I have no idea and don't want one. You get a chance, you can ask the target, maybe he knows."
"I will be over later, three?"
"Now that I'm an independent contractor, I'm on twenty four seven, like Blackwater."
"What is Blackwater?"
"Sociopaths that kill for the government."
"Da, okay. Three."
That evening, Ellen has fried catfish, mac and cheese, as promised. Crispy, crunchy coating, tender flaky fish, ketchup and horseradish, creamy four cheese macaroni. She threw in a purple cabbage salad with Goddess dressing as a nod to good health.
Katja's on her fourth piece of fish, drags it through the ketchup and horseradish and crunches a bite, "You will make again, ees good."
Ellen, "Thought you might like it. Good news is, the fish is baked not fried, Panko bread crumbs are the crunch. It took me a few tries to get the filets to come out as good as fried, it's damn close."
"Maybe fry one time, just for experiment, we will see."
Katya, "We have work. New York City."
Ellen, "Can I go, please, I'll pay my way, man I'd love to go to New York. I'll kill the guy free."
"You will go. Is simple job, good pay, one hundred, so fifty for us. No risk, just take him out."
Ellen, "When do we go?"
"I have to ship gun to drop box in New York. Too much risk to pack in luggage. We pick up the gun, kill target, throw away the gun. I am shipping revolver, cheap, no big deal."
Ellen, "It's noisy."
"New York is noisy. We will figure it out when we follow soon to be dead man."
JetBlue has them at JFK for four thirty, taxi to a suite at the Soho Grand. One bedroom, one bed to Ellen's delight. Stocked wet bar, nice view, only nine hundred a night.
Soho is south of Midtown, Chelsea and Flatiron, further south is Chinatown then downtown and the financial district. The target lives near his job, has a condo on FDR Drive. Katya's research showed it isn't a multimillion dollar showplace, more like a million and a half. In this part of Manhattan, that gets you maybe twelve hundred square feet in a stack of six hundred other condos.
Ellen, "What now?"
"See if target is home. We cannot get gun until tomorrow. Maybe we can spot him, see where he goes."
They spread out around the several entrances. Doors require a key, like a hotel key card to get in the entrance. This place isn't exclusive enough for doormen, they have the key cards and cameras, called a virtual doorman. It's six thirty, so far no target.
His name is Wilton Frederic, late thirties with a mid level banking job for one of the second tier investment banks. It's no Goldman or Morgan Stanley and bankers aren't earning seven figure salaries and ten million dollar bonuses. In a good year, Wilton might drag in a million. He makes enough to enjoy the better, if not the elite, side of the city, enough to attract a fair number of women. New York is a playground for a SMGI, straight male good income. Hang out at any of a half dozen after work meat racks, you may not find perfection but you'll find close enough.
At seven thirty, he doesn't come home, he goes out.
Katya, "Was already home, okay, now we follow."
Wilton is on foot, doesn't appear to be wanting to flag a taxi. They split up, Ellen crosses the street, Katya is closest, Katja behind her thirty yards. He opens the door to a restaurant, Andaman Thai, is led to a table and sits.
Katya, "We will have dinner here."
They get a booth down a few from Wilton. He appears to be a regular, the waitress chats like she knows him. She brings a glass of wine. Then she approaches the girls, they order wine and appetizers, spring rolls and coconut shrimp, entree of fish and garlic sauce, vegetables in cashew sauce.
Ellen, "What if he finishes before us?"
"Does not matter. We do not have gun, we got close up look. Tomorrow, we will follow him to work, lunch, after work. Something will happen and we will complete contract. Enjoy dinner, place looks good. Ignore target for now."
Ellen grins, a few tables down, there’s a guy who’s going to be dead in a day or so. She knows it, he doesn’t. Maybe it’s not like being God, but it’s a fresh buzz, almost sensual.

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