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Professional Courtesy

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Having gained entry through a second-floor bedroom window, John Reese checked the hallway and, finding it clear, crept silently to the first doorway he found. Looking into the home office, he found himself face to face with a Glock P35.


“Tasha? What are y— “

John woke up in a thigh lock. Staring down at him, Natasha Romanova was the human embodiment of irritation.

“Alright John, what are you doing here?”

“I'm on a job.”

She flexed her thigh muscles, causing John to see sparks.

“Who for?”

Even through the knowledge that Tasha could — and possibly would — snap his neck without thinking about it, John held his peace. The last thing he heard before passing out a second time was a huff of annoyance and “I don’t have time for this shit.”

He came to in the stolen car he’d parked a few blocks away. His seatbelt was buckled around him (thoughtful), and the keys were in the ignition (not so thoughtful).

When he went to put his hands on the wheel he noticed that Tasha had written BACK OFF across his left palm with Sharpie marker.

Shaking his head in amused admiration, he started the car and turned towards the library.