Cover: Refueled

He stares through two different eyes at the corpse at his feet, the one he made himself.
     One eye judges his victim intensely, claiming his life was one necessary to end. The man was derelict to his core as if any virtuous qualities he might possess were anathema to his makeup. That eye cast a merciless gaze upon the body, filled to the brim with loathing, having seen the type too often.
     His other eye, the one blazing white in the dark room, shows degrees of remorse and guilt, but not on the same level as the fury of its mate. This is the eye that always causes his soul to chafe. The things it sometimes witnesses bring down the man’s spirits. A tough thing to do.
     He’s always been one for a laugh when he could rouse one from his friends, the stoic people that they were, or when he desperately needs a laugh to lift his soul from the muck his job forces it to wade through. Right now, he knows who he must call. And not just for her ability to make corpses disappear. She answers after a single ring.
     “It hasn’t even been a month since the last one?” The voice on the line sounds wary. “You know better than to be so,” the woman pauses to search for the correct word, “active.”
     “I know, but this was non-negotiable.”
     “Oh? Somebody got you over a barrel? Should we join forces against them?” the woman teases.
     And there it is. With a soft chuckle, he says, “That isn’t necessary. It was a worthwhile concession.”
     “I’m serious.”
     “I know you are, but I only require your services this last time.” He pauses as he leans back, his shoulders touching a banister. “For a while, anyway. How soon can you trace this call and do your thing?”
     “Just tell me how long it’ll take you to vacate.”
     He smiles. That’s their longstanding deal. He never sticks around to witness how she does her thing. Likely to keep her useful to him. All he knows of her unique skill is that she never performs it in front of anyone, but he allows her the stipulation for two reasons, one: she had an impeccable reputation before they met, and two: without her, his life would be as messy as the corpse before him. “Give me fifteen minutes.”
     He terminates the call promptly and breaks the phone in half. The minute sparks that flare illuminate a second pair of eyes behind him. A beast covered in shadows rises off camouflaged haunches and pads down the steps. When the man joins the beast, they turn to the bloodied shirt of the victim, grimly focused on the THV badge pinned to his breast pocket. Three hostile eyes are refueled.

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