Saturday, February 2, 2008

21.6 Torn/Writers Muses (A Deep End Ficlet)

What was it about Margaret Hall that made her so different from all of the others? It wasn't like this was the first time that Nagel had sent him out to do his dirty work for him. Oh sure, he could tell him that they were partners in the deal, but, that wasn't really the way it was. Okay, yes, he'd get a share of the take, whatever that happened to be, but nothing near what Nagle took, and in the meantime he was the one taking all the risks, he was the one who would end up taking the fall if something went wrong. So, what was it about this woman that made her so different from any of the others that Carlie Nagle had set his sights on?

How the hell was he going to explain to Nagle that he didn't get the money, that he didn't get any money from the woman? Lighting a fresh cigarette off the end of the one still burning in his hand, Alek contemplated the dilemma he had placed himself into. Carlie Nagle was not a man who tolerated mistakes, neither did he tolerate things not being done the way he wanted them done and Alek was positive Nagle would consider him guilty of both. Why then wasn't he bothered by the consequences that he knew would come of his having screwed up?

There was something about this woman that was different from the people he and Nagle normally dealt with and it wasn't just that she was trying to protect her children, he'd had no trouble getting payments out of those with wives and kids before. So what? The old man? No, what did he care if the old man lived or died, but, he must have cared, why else help her by doing CPR on him?

The feelings the woman was raising in him were ones he wasn't used to. In fact, if he was honest, he wasn't used to caring about anyone but himself, he'd learned early on that it was the only way to survive the life he'd been dealt. So, why now? Alek began replaying the conversations with Margaret in his head as he made the drive back to Reno. What the hell was he supposed to do? The woman meant nothing to him, but she had tapped into something in him he didn't know he existed and unfortunately, he was going to pay a hefty price to Nagle as a result, he could only hope she was worth it.

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