Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2317298-5-Job-Offer
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317298
In which Kam is given an offer he can't refuse
“Aren’t you supposed to be in jail?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”

Silo has known Kam for since they were sophomores in high school. Kam is also one of the few people who knows Silo works for Intelligence, just like his dad did. Except, Kam didn’t really know exactly what Silo did for Intelligence. When pressed, Silo said he Knew People.

Kam used to joke that all of Silo’s “knowing people” might get him killed one day. Silo would respond that if Kam made the wrong contact in the wrong country through his international car restoration company, Kam could end up in jail one day. So that became their standard greeting.

What’s not standard is the meeting place: a second hand bookstore. Silo called Kam, and Kam told Silo to meet him here in two hours. It had always been that way. Kam never went to people; people came to Kam.

Except when Silo got there, Kam was nowhere in sight.

There was a cafe next to the bookstore so Silo got a Cappuccino and waited.

And waited.

Until Kam texted asking where he was, and Silo found him in the corner of the first floor, flipping through books, saying he’d been there for half an hour already and what the hell took Silo so long? Silo did not pour the remains of his Cappuccino down Kam’s back, because they were adults and not in high school anymore. But damn, it was tempting.

Besides, if Kam moved while he was pouring—which he would—and Silo got coffee on the books, he might have to pay for them.

There were too many people on the first floor, and on the second, so the two men are now on the third floor, moving through the floor to ceiling bookshelves so crammed with books it’s amazing the shelves stay up. Kam is still pulling books off the shelf, flipping through the pages, and replacing the book.

Then pulling out another book.

And another.

Pull, flip, return.

Pull, flip, return.

Silo cocks an eyebrow at him. “Never thought of you as a Reader.”

Kam’s eyes, the color of dark roast coffee, shoot daggers at his best friend, capitalizing the word just as Silo did. “Do I not look like a Reader to you?”

Now Silo’s other eyebrow goes up. “We’ve been here for hours, and you’ve picked up and put back at least a hundred books.”

“I’ve been here for one hour, and picked up thirty-seven books actually, but who’s counting?”

“Thirty seven books in one hour?”

“Some of them were interesting enough that I actually read a bit. And you were late.” Kam’s hands are moving again.

Pull, flip, return.

Pull, flip, return.

End of the row, around the corner to the next aisle.

Silo follows, planting a hand in front of the book Kam is reaching for.

“Are you done?”

“With that aisle.” This time Kam crouches down, moving from the bottom shelf to the top. At least, that’s what Silo assumes he’s doing. Silo flips Kam the bird behind his back, and Kam flips it back without even turning around.

“Are you going to do that with every shelf?” Silo is only half-serious. If this was how Kam spent his days off, then—

“I nearly lost a Bizzarrini GT because of you.”


“So yes, I’m going to do this with every shelf.” Kam hasn’t risen from his crouched position, and the look on his face says if Silo doesn’t get to the damn point, Kam is leaving.

Never mind that Kam told Silo to meet him here in the first place.

An hour ago.

Silo sighs. Fine. Getting to the point. “I got a call yesterday. From Nina.”


Kam’s fingers freeze above the book he’s about to pull from the shelf, then lowers. Kam doesn’t stand yet, but he does turn to face Silo with a cocked eyebrow, and a glint in his eye. Now, Silo has his attention.

Because Nina and Silo have History.

History that Kam knows about.

History that Kam enjoys knowing about.

Nina is one of the few people whose phone number Silo has kept. One of the few people Silo would probably commit to, if she asked him. But she hasn’t asked him. Once upon a time, Silo might have committed to Kam too, but Kam put a stop to that. Or maybe Silo did. Or maybe both of them? Hard to remember clearly what happens in high school.

“Ni-na?” There’s something about the way Kam says that name—splitting the single syllable word into two, and with more meaning then necessary—that sets Silo’s teeth on edge. Kam knows this; it’s why he said it that way.

Now the daggers are shooting from Silo’s eyes. “Shut up.”

“I didn’t say anything.” Because Kam knows he doesn’t have to. “What did she say?”

“She has a job for you.”

Kam’s eyebrows shoot up intto his hairline. “Does she even know who I am?”

“No, but I do.” Silo says it like it explains everything. It doesn’t. “She needs you to look after her brother.”

“I’m supposed to babysit some brat.” Kam turns back to the bookshelves, this time browsing the one second shelf from the bottom. This means the conversation is done.

“I didn’t say that.” Silo isn’t taking the hint.

“That I’m babysitting or that he’s a brat?”

“Both. It’s good pay, and worth your while.”

“How much?”

Silo pulls out the paper Nina wrote the offer amount on and holds it out to Kam. It’s written as a US dollar amount, and a number that made Silo’s eyes nearly leave his head and ask Nina if she could afford that much. But Nina said she could, so—

Kam gives the number on a paper half a glance, if that, and turns back to the shelves. “Not interested. Go away.”

Pull, flip, return.

Pull, flip, return.

Next shelf up.

Now Kam is back to a standing position, but won’t look at Silo. He wants him to leave.

As in, exit the bookstore.


Silo hesitates, then goes in for the kill. “Nina got sent a USB. It was mailed from Bangkok, and wasn’t sent to her office, but her apartment. It’s labeled ‘Gray Wolf’.”


This time, it’s not Kam’s hands that freeze.

It’s his whole body.

Not even a muscle twitch, like he’s turned to marble.

A marble statue in the middle of a second hand bookstore.

When his eyes meet Silo’s, they’re cold.


“What did you say?”

Silo swallows a grin. He’s got him. “I said the USB was labeled ‘Gray Wolf’. As in: the late American Intelligence agent your dad knew eight years ago. Are you interested now?”

"6. Perfect Match

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
© Copyright 2024 aracrae (aracrae at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2317298-5-Job-Offer