I was laying on the couch, finishing off a fifth of Jack and staring at the ceiling, when the phone rang.
“Yeah?” I said, then checked the screen, hit the answer button again, and repeated myself.
“Matteson.” It was Benedict. “Are you free this week?”
“Depends on what you need.”
“Are you drunk? You sound drunk.”
“I’m sober enough. What do you need, priest?” I heard him sigh.
“I have a case that I think could use your particular skills. But it’s in England.”
“What the hell makes you think I can just up and fly to England? I don’t, like, own a plane.”
“No, but our benefactor does. And he can pay for your services.”
“Did he say that?”
“Would I tell you there will be payment if that was not true?” I had no idea what he’d say. But, to his credit, he had never promised me money before.
“And when would I be needing to do this?”
“We would leave in two days. I’m told his plane is occupied with something else this evening.”
“Yes, well. Look, Matteson, it’s the Brood. I get the impression they’re active, and I need to make sure we have whatever tools we need to shut them down. Are you in?”
“Let me talk to my boss. Can I call you back at this number?”
He said that I could, so we ended the conversation and I lit a cigarette. And then I realized that I was probably going to be out of the country for Valentine’s Day, and here I just picked up a new girlfriend. I grumbled for a bit and rolled off the couch, went to wash my face, and then made some coffee. Once I’d downed that, I went for the phone. First, the boss. No use getting Alice mad at me for leaving and then find out I couldn’t even go.
The blog of John Matteson.