The ticking of the clock was eerie as it was the only object making any sound in the entire house. The clock gave a thud when it chimed twelve. On a classy sofa sat a man, immaculately dressed, with a glass of wine in one hand and a cigar in another. Although the cigar was out, he still puffed at it all the same. Gently, he swirled the wine, trying to overcome a piercing headache in his temple. He watched the red liquid glide back and forth, like his emotions. Carelessly, he took a sip, but it stung his head. He continued to stare at the alcohol, psyching himself up for the task ahead.

He was sure that the target was a cautious man, and he could not afford to miss. If he did, then in an instant everything would become chaotic in an instant. Crowds would scatter, screaming and shouting, distracting his concentration and jeopardizing the mission. The man’s bodyguards would be everywhere, hunting him down. Then he would have to go on the run, hide. That would mean leaving her. He clasped the glass tightly, releasing his pressure just before it broke. It had to be one shot – only. Taking a deep breath, the man suddenly stood up.

It was time. He put the cold cigar into a huge glass ashtray and looked at his reflection in a giant plasma TV. There stood a successful man of great confidence, with a signet ring on his finger and a gold watch; every aspect showed a wealthy persona. He straightened his tie, a perfect Windsor knot. It was the best quality silk, with blood red and pitch black stripes. He then adjusted his sharply pressed cuffs, carefully making sure that they were secure; since they were no ordinary links, but clever gadgets especially designed for him.

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Inside were numerous poisonous darts that would kill anyone within 50 metres, to be used only in a life-threatening situation. Lastly, he put on his Saville Row suit. He checked his appearance again, flattening his hair as he did so. His clothes were brand new, including his hand-made shoes. For every assignment, a new suit was bought, as if it showed respect for his targets as well as their families. Again, he looked blankly at himself, he was satisfied. Finally, he seized for the bottle of aspirin and took a couple.

He needed a clear mind for tonight’s job. Silently, he moved towards the grand piano in the corner of the room. He held out his right index finger and gently tapped the A-key. One might have expected a soft sound to be heard but it only gave out a clunk. For a moment it seemed as though nothing had happened, but in fact his fingerprint was already being scanned and confirmation of his identity is in process. Seconds later, the coffee table next to the piano gave a soft click, where a concealed drawer popped out holding different kinds of pistols and rifles.

He withdrew a pair of black gloves, putting them on contemplatively. He then bent down and picked up his favourite rifle, cleaned thoroughly for maximum accuracy. He also loaded a pistol, light but accurate, especially useful in tight corners. Tucking the gun securely into his belt, he straightened up, yet his eyes were caught by a gold chain placing next to a magazine. It had been a gift from her, wishing him good luck. His eyes went unfocused, his mind racing. But he soon shook his head and said to himself, “Get a grip. There is no time for this.

You have more important things to do. ” He sighed, and put the charm in his pocket. Tonight he needed its good luck. Quietly, he approached the study, picking up his wine glass on the way. Lying on the tidy desk were several documents, a laptop and an expensive gold pen. He had been going through the whole plan for months, making sure that all possible eventualities were covered. Although he knew the plot to be unquestionably faultless, yet he was still nervous, his hands were even trembling. He tightened his grip on the wine glass. He had to be precise.

Not a single shot had he ever missed, not one. But this was an exceptional case. He was covered in a cold sweat, muscles tensed, heart thumping. He thought of the narrow escape during his last assignment, it could not happen again today. He grasped the stem of the glass even tighter. Finally, it shattered. Droplets dripped down his hand, dyeing it blood red. Trickles of sweat broke out on his forehead; his shirt was completely soaked through. Panting heavily, he wiped his face with a handkerchief, then realised as he did so that it was again from her.

He flung it across the room into a corner. He had to stop thinking about her. He told himself to remain focused, to be calm and cool as his usual performance. After all, he was the man who had taken down Kim Donovan, the most influential person in the world. He examined the target’s profile again with two cold grey eyes that never tired. He had 20/20 vision; even his optician commented that he was one of the rare cases seen in his practitioner’s life. But there was no point in showing off, it all would hang on pure skill, and Lady Luck.

This was the day. He cocked the revolver before turning the knob of the door, but then realised he almost forgot something important, something essential to every job he had done. He went back to the coffee table and picked up a bunch of black roses. They were the most expensive ones in the shop, chosen personally by him the previous day. With the flowers was a card, addressed to the family of his target. Determined, he climbed into his black Mercedes with the beautiful flowers and the deadly weapons; he drove off.


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