Chapter Two

Al

The ring tone on my mobile was the reason I was awake, and as soon as I realised where the low-pitched music was coming from, I reached out to answer it, my eyes still closed, and my voice groggy from the early awakening.

"You're alive then."

I sat up in bed and glanced quickly around the room. It was something I had gotten used to doing, daily, for the last year of my life, and although there had never been anyone in the room, I wasn't about to give it up… the moment I did, I was putting myself in even more danger. Of course, it wasn't my room. I couldn't remember the last time I'd slept in a bed I could call my own – no, this was a hotel room booked for me under an inconspicuous name. Today, I was Jonathan Smith.

"I am? Looks like hell to me." I answered the female voice and was rewarded with a chuckle. She was my latest conquest in a long line of women – and she knew it. No matter… after we split up, she'd go on the hunt for another short-term man who she could use for her own amusement. A few nights ago (possibly that night when I got myself severely drunk…), she'd managed to get me to confess what my career was – and she had been pretty impressed. After all, not many women have a boyfriend who can seriously say they are an assassin.

"Ready to come over?" She asked, practically purring down the phone. I could imagine the lust in her jade eye – and the temptation was almost too much.

"Sorry Kaye – I have work to do."

She sighed and the temptation was gone. "My bed's lonely without you, Al. Come see me soon…"

And then she was gone. I should have stopped it with the women a long time ago – but it was my one link to reality, and I wanted to keep it. Without my nightly vacations, I'd probably go crazy… but if the Boss ever found out…

I got out of bed, not quite wanting to face the day, but knowing I had to. A meeting with the Boss was imminent after my success last night. Another important figure was down, I thought with a smirk. My task last night had been the removal of James Winters – a man well-known for working alongside our target enemy. We'd just received word of him helping out a key target, so I'd been given the job of getting rid of him. And it hadn't been too difficult.

We'd been working to get rid of the Wilson Corporation for around a year now, after we had noticed their sharp increase in power. The Boss immediately got phone calls from people who wanted our services to eliminate the competition from this new, booming business. The Boss himself felt as though the business was taking over too much, too quickly, and had even taken over a few of the buildings that we used for our training – and so they had become our target enemy, and we were beginning to break them down, piece by piece. We couldn't wait to see it fall.

As soon as we'd started, Wilson knew what we were doing and tried to fight back, with a different group of assassins. We got rid of them pretty quickly. Since then, we'd managed to kill off around fifteen of their major employees, as well as countless minor employees – and I loved it. I loved the control I had over my victims, I loved the fear in their eyes, and I loved the idea that I was invincible – no one seemed to be able to catch me.

It didn't take me long to get dressed, pack my things, and leave the hotel. When I did, Jonathan Smith was no more. I was back to my original identity – Alastair Logan, Assassin of the Guild. As I stood in front of the hotel, I surveyed the street in front of me, watching as cars went by, as people lived ordinary lives. They had no idea that a professional killer was standing metres away from them, and probably wouldn't believe me even if I told them. Why should they think that there was something as horrible as a man who was willing to kill to get money?

With this running around my mind, I turned and made my way to the end of the street, where I knew there was a small train station. The train I wanted would take me back to the bigger city – back to the Guild, and to my Boss, back to my… home.