Story so far ~
Professional assassin Helena is in Barcelona on a job. At the last minute within feet of the target she receives a text message. There’s been a change of plan.
Helena drained her glass and with the caution of years of experience slipped it into her bag as she moved behind one of the pillars. She dialled. The call was picked up immediately.
“What’s going on Ian?” Helena said in a whispered voice to her assistant back in London.
“Message left on secure line from Ashall, the client has cancelled the hit.” Ian informed Helena.
“When was the message left?” Helena asked.
“Five minutes ago, I verified it and contacted you straight away.”
“Did the client give any reason?” Helena asked.
“The target isn’t the banker, the client was mistaken. It’s someone else. Well that’s according to Ashall. Oh, you’re not going to like this. He added the client’s only going to pay expenses and the deposit, the rest of the fee is forfeited.”
Helena was silent for a few seconds, clicking her fingers.
“I don’t believe Ashall, the hit maybe cancelled but he’ll be pocketing the fee from the client and banking on…”
“Poor choice of words there in the circs.” Ian interjected.
“I know, I know, relying on me to go quietly. Helena said.
“Well he doesn’t know you very well does he. What’re you going to do?”
“Not sure yet. Need to think.” Helena said.
She slipped her phone back into her pocket and began to circuit around the edge of room, she still kept an eye on her target. She felt someone move near to her and a hand brush too close to her jacket. Her instincts were on high alert so without looking round she swung out her arm in a karate move and at the same time kicked her foot out in a tripping movement. She heard a cry of pain. She recognised the voice. It was Felipe, the young man from whom she’d collected the invitation earlier that morning.
“What are you doing here?”
“Ashall…” Felipe began, but Helena interrupted him.
“Where is he?” This time she had Felipe’s right arm behind his back. Gripping her fingers into the soft flesh. He did not answer. Then harder onto the bone. He still did not reply. She moved her hand down to his hand and in one swift neat movement snapped back his little finger. There was the sound of a bone cracking and Felipe’s face grimaced. “Don’t make me ask again.” Felipe hesitated, Helena cracked back the next three fingers.
“Over there.” Felipe gestured with his free uninjured arm. He’s the one in the linen suit and yellow shirt.”
Keeping a firm grip on Felipe, Helena pushed him behind a pillar and with her free hand dialled Ian.
“Put me through to Ashall so he can’t trace the call.” Helena said.
After a few minutes Helena’s phone buzzed signalling the connection had been established.
“Ashall, enjoying the party? Good. So – what the fuck is going on. You can’t expect me to do all this planning, travel to Barcelona and not get paid as agreed. A deal is a deal.”
“The client changed their mind, last minute decision. You have to understand my dear. You’ve already had the deposit, and they’ll pay your expenses. You won’t be out of pocket.”
“Don’t mess with me. I want my full fee. Or I will put a mark by your name in my little black book. You don’t even want to be in my little black book, let alone have a mark by your name.” There was no mistaking the menace in her voice. I will give you ten minutes to arrange the transfer. Nice shirt by the way. Yellow, good colour on you”
She slipped her phone back into her pocket and holding Felipe firmly by the elbow moved further behind the pillar into the shadows. From here Helena watched Ashall press a series of buttons on his phone. Seconds later the phone in Felipe’s left jacket pocket began to vibrate.
“Answer it.” She demanded, “But put it onto speaker.” Helena indicated with her finger not to divulge she was listening to the call.
“Felipe, Ashall here. You are going to have to take out this morning’s contact.”
Felipe stared at his phone, but Helena nodded for him to answer.
“What exactly do you mean, take out?”
“Kill her. You know what she looks like, follow her, then kill her. She’s not as young any more, you shouldn’t have a problem. I want to see proof you have done the job. I will make sure you are well paid for this little bit of extra work.” Helena saw Ashall disconnect the call.
It did not take Helena long to find the weapon on Felipe.
“How did you get this past security?” she asked.
Beads of sweat had begun to form on Felipe’s forehead and he looked as if he might vomit.
“Ashall passed it to me once I’d arrived. I think he bribed one of the security guards. He said I might need it.”
“You have experience of this sort of work?” This time Felipe’s head just dropped till his chin touched his chest.
“Now Felipe, you don’t want to kill me. You don’t want to kill anyone.”
Felipe shook his head.
“You, a good Catholic boy – what would God and the Pope say? But Ashall needs to believe I am dead so do exactly as I say or you too will end up in my little black book.”
Helena and Felipe left the reception and headed out the main entrance of Roger de Llùria building, turned left across the concourse and Calle Wellington into Ciutadella Parque. They found a seat with some shade. Felipe sat quietly nursing his injured hand while Helena rang Ian.
“I need a photo of a middle aged female corpse, that doesn’t look like me.”
“What the hell are you up to now?” Ian said.
“I need Ashall to think I am dead. Can you send the photo via the secure network to the number I am about to text you. Thanks Ian.”
Helena tapped in Felipe’s mobile number. A few minutes later an image arrived. Helena forwarded it to Ashall with the message – ‘Done, transfer money immediately.’
“Now this time you listen to my advice. Get as far away from here and Ashall as possible. I won’t find you and you won’t find me.” Felipe nodded. “I may not be as young as I was but I am not as old as Ashall thinks I am.”
“My phone.” Felipe held out his good hand.
“No, I’ll keep that, I am sure that Ashall has paid you something already and you never know he might even cough up for this.” Helena tapped the picture on the phone and smiled. “Buy yourself a new iPad or whatever it is you young people want these days.” She proffered a gloved hand, Felipe hesitated for just a moment and then took it.
“I’ll take your advice, I’ll go to my family in M…”
“I don’t need to know that. Adiós y buena suerte.”
Helena watched as Felipe unsteadily made his way across the Parque towards the cascades before she rang Ian.
“You let the boy go, didn’t you?”
“I’ll see you in the office later. I am not going to let this one go.”
END OF PART TWO
The Female of the Species
In Part Three find out whether Helena takes her revenge.