The hotel room was small, not as big as hers, but then again Walter didn't have the UCAS Government backing him. She looked around and thought about the conversation they had at the bistro during an extended lunch, or at least that what she lead Walter to believe.
"So what do you think Ms Hunter. I know it's not much but it's temporary until I can find something more permanent."
She continued to scour the room with her eyes and finally said, "That's okay Mr. Timvic, I have no problem with it at all, I think it's quite quaint, actually."
"Please, come in, don't be shy."
She stepped further into the room and saw all manner of papers strewn about. On the bed, on the desk next to the tiny lamp hotels so generously give you to use for light, and the occasional loose paper on the floor.
"So tell, me again why an American like you is running from your own country?"
"Let's not talk about that again, politics are so boring, and besides, I really don't want to talk about it again."
She had struggled the whole afternoon to get the information out of him because Edward had not informed her thoroughly enough. She didn't know, Walter was an American. Of course she was right about not wanting to talk about politics. Why in the world would the UCAS ask her to kill this man? He posed no real threat to the nation. What was he running from? Did he piss some politician off? She couldn't get anything out him during their long three hours. All she got was cursing at the President, the VP and several politicians she had met, a couple she brought down herself. Those she was connected to, didn't really have any real serious connection with Walter. Maybe Walter had secrets. There couldn't be any other reason. She tried the whole afternoon to try to think of something terrible about this man. Something that would make him less than human but she couldn't for the life of think of anything. She even tried making something up but she couldn't. All she could think about was how the sand on the shore met the sun at it's door. That's it, that's all she could think about. The way he used words, the way he expressed his feelings, even the way he communicated his discontent toward his homeland and how the UCAS would benefit from an expulsion of many members that run the country now, but those opinions were no worse than some disgruntled citizen complaining about the I.R.S. There had to be some reason behind why Edward wanted her to kill this man.
Her mind came back to the reality of her situation. Walter was sitting in front of her waving his hand in front of her face as if she had zoned out.
"Kaitlin are you okay? You were staring off into space. What were you thinking about?"
"Huh... oh I was thinking about how I haven't visited the wine valleys."
"Oh, well as you may already know, France makes the finest wine..."
Walter started to talk about the best wineries in France but her mind trailed off. She just smiled and nodded her head and held a look of interest in her eyes all the time wondering why would anyone want him dead. Maybe, Edward was being his usual sick self. Any minute now he would call her and tell her not to do it, she would cuss him out insult his intelligence and say she would get even. At least that's what she was hoping for. She was hoping to just go to bed with him and maybe get information out him like she always does. Maybe she'll actually have to be a temporary mistress for him, they'll have a good time for a few weeks at Uncle Sam's expense visit a few sites and then that's it he gets brought down in the UCAS and goes to prison, but at least he would still be alive, not dead. Dead was such a horrible thing, so permanent. She'd been brought to it a few times by some seriously sadistic foreign emissaries who had some really kinky ideas about sex, and on occasion she'd nearly overdosed on a few drugs like heroin or PCP but Walter wasn't like that. He seemed like the typical take down, nothing out of the ordinary.
"What do you think Kate?"
"That would be nice."
"All of it, I want to do all of it."
"In one day?"
"Of course not silly, spread it out through my vacation, you are after all going to be here a long time, right?"
"Right. So what do you want to do first?"
"I think I'd like to go wine tasting first."
"Good, I know a few good..."
On and on he went about his expertise on wine. Not that it bored her, but the fact that he didn't know he was going to die in a few moments. It scared her. Her own death didn't really matter much to her, she had already accepted that as part of her job, but it was the actual taking of another human life. It was disturbing to her. She'd always been the type to wince whenever she heard of another person dying as the result of another. She particularly hated it when Edward would brag to her about his war stories. Not that it was much of a war, the victims Edward took all had no chance. Edward was the most devious predatory type of person she knew. He had no remorse, it was like a game to him. She can remember him telling her a long time ago when she asked how he could kill so many? His answer was that he thought of them all as animals. Less than men, nothing more. He said that if actually started thinking about it would drive him crazy. He said that he learned the little trick in Nam. Remorseless. Her body shivered remembering that.
"Are you cold, Kate?"
"Huh, oh, no..."
"Nothing. It's just that I was thinking about something, right now and it sent shivers down my spine."
"What was it?"
"Oh, I was thinking about this news story I read before leaving the states."
"What was about?"
"It was about this little girl who was killed in a random act of violence while sitting outside of her apartment building."
"That is worth shivering about. You know, that's another thing about the UCAS I wish would change, people should wake up and realize that they have the power to do something about it. They should realize that..."
Her mind again began to drift into her task. What if she called Edward and asked him why Walter should die. Maybe she could negotiate Walter's life so she wouldn't have to kill him. She started running all the reasons for it when she realized that Edward wouldn't buy it. Edward wasn't the type to stand down from anything, and he would never really ask her to do something she wasn't willing to do unless it was really important. But still, something in the back of her mind kept telling her that it wasn't right.
"What do you think Kate?"
"Yeah, that's terrible."
"Isn't it? Hey, you know what I forgot to offer you a drink, would you like something?"
Kate suddenly broke out into a cold sweat and felt the blood rush out of her face and into her feet. Suddenly she started feeling weak in her stomach but she held her composure. She took a hard swallow and finally uttered, "How about some champaign?" Walter gave her a baffled look and told her, "Hmm... I'll order room service."
Room service, that was enough time. She had bought him another few minutes of life. Maybe if she kept doing this should could stall it until morning. What if she didn't do it at all. What if she told Edward that she just didn't go through with it? She thought about it a while and realized that it wouldn't fly. He would find someway to take Walter's life, and Edward's way wasn't really pleasant. It was usually brutal and painful. Edward and Hans had a way of making everything look like a mugging gone bad, or robbery in a store with no camera, Edward really loved it best in a dark alley with no one around. No, she had to do it, it was more humane than Edward's method. Sick sadistic fuck. When Walter got off of the phone she asked him to recite a poem before room service knocked on the door.
"Another one? Hmm... let me see..."
He sat there a while and thought about it a bit.
"Okay, I have one. I placed on high... a pedestal in the sky... by the light of the blinding sun... And there you stood for all of me to see... until you looked at glow... from the star of Apollo... and you fell to the floor... among the masses of eyes... that once gazed at you... and then finally I saw... that unlike the angel you once stood... you were just an animal on all fours... with all the flaws and imperfections of man..."
A knock at the door and voice from behind it shouts, "Room service!"
Kate turned toward the door when tears suddenly began streaming from her eyes.
"I'll get it." Walter said.
Kate hid the tears and excused herself to the bathroom. There she looked into the mirror and saw a beautiful beast. A monster with a pretty face. How could she even consider it. How could she even fathom the thought of her hand placing that tiny little pill into his drink. She pulled the pill out of her purse and looked at it for a while. She thought about what it did, it's diabolical intentions. It was meant to be slipped into a drink so it could dissolve. There was no taste so the victim would never know he was being poisoned. After a few minutes the person... she held herself back and corrected herself, the victim would feel very sleepy then die of a heart attack or stroke. That was it. She kept trying to convince herself to do it, but her mind kept telling her no. Her heart kept telling her no. She looked into the mirror again, her eyes red and teary. She clenched the pill in her hand and cried quietly.
After a few minutes she came out of the bathroom with a new face on, a smile composed on her lips, she saw Walter with the drinks all set and ready on the table. She took her glass and drank from it, as he drank from his. He offered her more and she said yes. A half-hour later when the bottle was empty and Walter recited one last poem inspired by the moment he said he felt a little sleepy. Kate looked at him with dreary eyes and told him that she felt the same. They both got up and laid next to each other Kate on his chest and they soon fell asleep.
The street outside the Hotel was swarming with police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance. The crowd around the scene watched curiously along with Edward to see what had happened. He couldn't help but smile and tell himself, "That's a good little girl." He peered between a burly french woman and a tall man and first saw the figure of a man of about Walter's weight, height, and physique. Edward smiled again and told himself, "She actually did it. I didn't think she could, but she did it. I always pegged for the weak stomach kind. I actually expected her to call me and try to get out of doing it, or maybe stall for time. Of course, I couldn't let that happen. Not like I was going to do the job myself, hell, Walter's not even a threat." He looks into the ambulance where the draped body was placed. "Sorry Walt, nothing personal you know. I just needed to see if she could kill and she passed my little test with..." Edward suddenly catches himself in his gloating and notices two ambulances instead of one. The smile on his face disappears and his mind begins to swim. He thinks to himself, "She couldn't have. She wouldn't. Why would she...?" He looks into the hotel lobby from outside and notices everything clearing up, the police sending citizens on their way. Edward stands in the middle of the sidewalk and watches the two ambulances drive away with the lights off. He looks back into the hotel lobby and walks inside. He looks around for any sign of her. He takes on last look outside as the last police car leaves the scene turning back around toward the reception desk and makes his way to it. As he approaches a young lady in French asks him, "May I help you?"
In perfect French he replies, "Yeah, can you tell me what happened?"
"I'm sorry sir, I can't..."
Edward pulls out an I.D. card showing him as a journalist. The young lady then says, "Oh, you're going to have to speak to my manager, sir."
The young lady leaves the desk and disappears behind a wall. Edward turns back around toward the lobby in the hopes that maybe out of no where she'll appear, telling him that she finally got him. He starts to think about all the things he'd done to her and how he never really told her how much he liked her. He was always such an asshole with her, but he couldn't bring himself to tell her how much he liked her as a colleague, a friend. The young woman reappeared with an older man dressed in a dark black suit.
"May I help you, sir?"
"Yes, I'm with the local newspaper and I wanted to find out what happened."
"Well, it seems that an older man and a young woman died in a room upstairs."
"Did they say of what?"
"It seemed strange at first until they found her purse, full of secret government documents from the UCAS."
"Secret documents?" Edward began to think back to check and see if he remembered giving her documents to plant and couldn't recall.
"So what killed them?"
"No one knows for sure. At first it seemed like a heart attack, but a young woman dying at the same time of the same thing, made the paramedics suspicious."
"Well, they think it's a government conspiracy and their calling the UCAS to bring in some investigators."
"Hmm... thanks." As Edward walked away the phone in his pocket rang. "Hello? Yes, Mr. President. Yes, they are fake documents. No, they aren't incriminating. Yes, only Mr. Timvic. I'm sorry too, sir. Yes, I thought she could do it too, but I guess I was wrong. Yes, sir. I'll take care of that loose end immediately." Edward hangs up his phone and walks out of the hotel. He stands in the middle of the side walk and looks up at the sky and wonders if he'll ever get used to losing friends or death all together.