Chapter 1-

What was it about this job that made me so dang happy? Maybe it was the pay. Maybe it was the awesome locations. Or maybe it was the notion that I had a deciding hand in the path of destiny. If that question was on a test I would have marked "all of the above".

I sat lounging in a blue and white striped pool chair, letting the hot tropical sun work a number on my skin and enjoying a slightly alcoholic banana-orange drink that made me feel deliciously drunk every time I took a sip. I had been in Porto Rico for a while now, wandering around the small, open streets that crisscrossed the large city of Mayaguez, and smelling the rich spices that the street-sellers presented at their stalls. Behind me right now though, there was a mansion that had been built by the Spanish so long ago for the Duke of Porto Rico. It had been abandoned for years, but still kept clean by the good people of Mayaguez. I would have enjoyed the sparkling pool waters to my right a bit more if I hadn't known the real reason for my trip to this island country.

There was a man by the name of Hernández Del La Soy that had committed several felonies and petty crimes in his life, but had never really killed anyone. That changed when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had been forced to kill a man to save his own skin. The problem, which was now set squarely on my shoulders, is that the man that Soy killed was the Secretary of Defense of the United States. I didn't know much about Soy, but the Agency had informed me that he had fled to Porto Rico, and my job was to kill him. Or something along those lines. I would have gotten the job done earlier if Soy hadn't become such a paranoid freak when he had fled to this country. I rarely saw him at all, and by the time that it took for me to draw out by sniper rifle and put on its silencer and holographic sight, he was already barricaded behind shut doors and windows. Soy was really getting on my nerves.

Most of the targets that I had been contracted out to kill usually were the occasional wealthy businessman, or a person that had tried to double cross the Agency. This Soy guy seemed different somehow. Instead of flaunting his position, like most of my targets did while they thought they had outsmarted the Agency, this man seemed to actually grasp his actual position of weakness and danger. I am the best assassin that the Agency has ever known, and I never miss my target.

But I wouldn't let Soy's reluctance to become my latest kill ruin my mood, which felt very much like a holiday rather than a target's city of hiding. The cool waters of the pool my lounge chair rippled a bit as a warm wind came in from the ocean. Honestly, I really didn't know why the previous owners made the decision to put a pool in the backyard of their mansion when the equally cool waters of the ocean where just a few yards away. It never really got cold in Porto Rico, even when it rained. It could be raining buckets of water at a time, and still be 90 degrees.

Never the less, I was enjoying myself when my phone rang. I looked over to it as it buzzed on the pool table nearby. I knew I couldn't ignore it and I knew who was calling, but I didn't want my good mood spoiled. But, grudgingly, I picked up my vibrating cell phone and flicked it open. "47."

The voice on the other end of the line was woman, but curt and to the point. "You are spending too long on this assignment, 47. You need to hurry along with the deed."

I knew that trying to justify myself would just lead to silence from the woman, so I just said, "I understand."

The woman continued. "Wrap this up, 47. There's another job ready and waiting for you. And it's important."

I my head I was saying that "everything was important" but I knew better to say such things aloud. Feelings and thoughts were not welcome when talking with the Agency. The woman on the other end hung up, as she always did, and I got up from my position on the chair with my bathrobe in hand.

I sighed as I walked over to the glass outer patio doors, and strolled in. I wasn't really using even half of the mansion's facilities and rooms, instead making the large sitting room next to the kitchen by base of operations. My assortments of guns were displayed on the north wall of the room with a large picture of Soy with a sniper's crosshairs covering his face. The floor was scattered with piles of ammunition and a few cases of grenades and knives. Everything that I would need was right here in one place. The mass amount of ammo was probably not necessary, but crazy things had happened to me on stakeouts before, so I didn't want to take any risks that I could avoid.

I headed to one of the bedrooms up the lavish flight of stairs that were next to the sitting room to put on a shirt and replace my swimming trunks with dress pants. A few moments later, I strolled out of my room wearing a silk-lined suit made especially for me by my tailor Tommy. I caught my reflection in one of the mirrors that lined the walls, and almost smiled. Tommy might be blind and old, but he knew how to make a kick-butt business suit. And yes, I did have business to attend to. The business of death.

It was the Agent's Call.