Chapter 1. Arrival
The subway train slowly pulled to a stop and among all the businessmen, junkies, and other occupants, who quickly stepped off the subway eager to get on with their day, there was a man. A man few people would notice. He was the kind of man who could come and go without anyone knowing he was even there. He stepped onto the platform of the subway station, his sharp eyes surveying the entire platform and everyone there in a single glance. Then with quick, confident strides made his way up the steps of the subway station and into the cold Chicago air. Standing near the curb he tried to hail a cab. There were few cabs out today and all of them seemed to have an occupant. With a disgusted sigh he waited in the frigidly cold wind until, finally, a cab pulled up alongside the curb and stopped. The man quickly slid into the backseat, glad to be out of the freezing wind. " Where to?" the fat, shabbily dressed driver asked as he surveyed his new passenger with a critical eye. The man only spared the cabby a glance long enough to tell him the address and then settled back into his seat his eyes casting a bored glance out the window at the scene outside. Thick gray storm clouds hid the afternoon sun and a biting wind blew trash and other debris every which way in a frenzied whirl that never seemed to slow down. On the sidewalks dozens of people hurried along their own separate ways eager to get out of the frigid temperatures. He sighed and then pulled a laptop out of the briefcase he carried with him.
The cabby watched his passenger through his rearview mirror as the man tapped away at the keys of his laptop. "A businessman" the cabby thought as he surveyed the other. The man wore a well-tailored light gray business suit and black dress shoes. Clean-cut silver hair and slight beard and mustache, along with his piercing blue eyes gave the man an oddly distinguished look.
"You here on a business trip?" he asked his passenger suddenly. Talking to the passengers was against the rules and the cabby knew it, but he was bored and hoped the man was in the mood for a conversation.
The man lifted his eyes away from the computer screen, one silver eyebrow arched just slightly in question. "What?" he asked quietly, with just the slightest amount of irritation at being interrupted at his work coming out in his voice.
The cabby didn't take the hint. "A business trip" he repeated.
The man frowned and for a long moment he didn't say anything. "Yes" he said finally after a long pause.
"What do you do?" the cabby asked, glad that the man had at least answered his question and too eager to talk to someone to notice the others irritation.
"Mmhmm, I see" the cabby said thoughtfully. "Must be interesting work you do."
The other shrugged. " Not really"
"What kind of a case are you working on now?" the cabby persisted, hoping to draw the conversation out just a little longer. He could tell the man didn't want to talk, but hoped he would keep talking anyway
"I'm not allowed to discuss the details of the case," the man said with a slight smile. He could see the driver was bored and it amused him to see the cabby struggle to keep the conversation from drawing to a close.
"Is this your first time in Chicago?"
"Yes, I'm on my way to see my client now" The man said, and then after a moments pause, added, "How long will it take us to get there?"
The cab slid to a halt in front of a red light. "About twenty minutes."
The man seemed to think about something for a moment then glanced at his watch. " I'll give you twenty dollars extra if you get me there in fifteen," He said finally.
The cabby turned so he was facing his passenger. "Twenty bucks?"
The man grinned. "Twenty bucks" he affirmed with a slight nod.
A large smile broke out on the cabby's chubby face. "Alright, you got yourself a deal."
"Mind if I time you?"
The cabby's smile grew even bigger. "No, cause I'll get you there on time. You don't gotta worry about a thing, oh and by the way, welcome to Chicago. My name's Matt." The cabby said sticking out his hand.
"Thank you" the man said as he shook the driver's hand. "I'm Vincent."
Wellwhat do you all think? please read and review.