Tuesday, March 6

Velvet Threats

There are days when I can't stand the four walls of my office, staring at me, trapping me, breathing down my back like some cruel overlords of purgatory. But there are days, like today, when it feels good to come in, shut the door, watch the rain and throw back some whiskey.

Thornton turns out to be every bit the royal cat he puts himself out to me. I managed to bluster my way into his office this afternoon. It's all about the food chain. Once you know who to scare, intimidate, charm or bribe: it's just a matter of time before you're knocking on the right door. Thornton's throne lies in a grand office, all oak panels, gold ornaments and glass decanters. The kind of style you buy to show how much money you can burn. The kind of room which makes anyone feel small and untidy.

Thornton sat with his feet up on the huge desk, cigar in one hand and fine brandy in the other. He beckons me in with a voice of velvet and thunder, smiling that charming grin. He's a figure cut in silver and black, short hair, smart suit and glinting eyes. His smile never faltered for a moment as threatened my head if I didn't back off the case. He didn't know any Thompson, and it wasn't my business if he did. Bastard almost made me feel grateful for letting me out of there alive, such was the charm and grace of his voice.

He didn't win all of the cards though. In my office, I put down the whiskey glass and lift a slim, black leather organiser from my coat pocket. Thornton's address book. I raise a toast to Amoe and his parlour tricks. It'll take some time to leaf through and get the information I need. But I've got all night.

Sleep with one eye open Thompson. I've got a silver bullet with your name on it.

Despite my promises, I still haven't followed through on the Eigonvectors. I caught up with Arbon to try and figure out their plans for the evening, but he didn't have anything to offer.

Some good did come from the day though. An old contact of mine resurfaced. Sometimes it feels like the world is getting smaller: I keep bumping into ghosts from the pasts. Half the time I think I'm imagining them, rising out of the ether to drag me away for my sins. But sometimes the ghosts look me in the eye and say hello. I smile to think of him, and find myself glad to find another friendly face.

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