The blonde walked nonchalantly down the street, casting a glance over his shoulder. He clutched a small box in his hand, black, with a gold ribbon wrapped around it, hinting at an expensive object like a gold necklace or priceless pearl earrings inside. He was so close to the drop site, but something felt odd. He felt eyes on him. He yanked the hood of his raincoat up around his blonde head, covering himself. He knew someone was watching in the vicinity. He couldnt see them, but by now, he had grown to recognize the stillness in the air and the cold, eerie feeling of being spied on.
He continued walking, glancing down at his cell phone. He had left careful instructions for the buyer a few days prior: "Park your car on State street. Leave your driver's side window open six centimeters. The drop will be this weekend. I'll send you a message when the drop is completed. You will pay us immediately upon drop off."
He came upon the car with the make and license plate that matched the information the buyer had provided to him. Walking up next to it, the driver's window was down about an six centimeters. Perfect. He slipped the small box in the open window and watched it drop down onto the expensive black leather seats of the new Cadillac. The box bounced slightly, opening up and showing the tiny flash drive inside, then closing and sitting unassumingly on the driver's seat, looking as if it had been there the whole time.
Armin breathed a sigh of relief at his success and continued his walking down the street, shooting off a text message of completion to his partner. Once he was far enough away, his partner would text the buyer that the drop had been made.
They should be in the clear, but there was a problem. Armin still felt like he was being watched.
A few more steps and he glanced behind himself again. The street wasn't crowded by any means, it was night, and rain was lightly falling, but a few people were still making their way home from various destinations or taking their dogs on a late night stroll. His eyes scanned the view behind him, and then he saw the watcher. A man sidestepped from behind a high wall, and his eyes lifted to meet the blonde’s.
He was caught.
The blonde hurriedly scooted off down a sidestreet. The rain sped up, pattering on the ground as his converse-clad feet splashed in the puddles, rain splashing up his jeans. He did feel a little guilty about asking the buyer to leave the window down now, but considering that they had sent someone to tail him for who knows what reason, he hoped it started torrential raining so there was standing water in the damn thing.
He yanked his jacket tighter around himself, and his hood down over his eyes. He turned and made his way into an office plaza. The buildings all looked to be closed and completely dark inside. He moved to a door and slipped a lockpick in, jimmied the handle, and with no trouble at all, made his way inside.
He quietly closed the door and moved to the window soundlessly, watching as his stalker moved past his hiding place and moved on down the street in search of him. He breathed out slowly, only hearing his heartbeat in the quiet room. Safe.
That was close.
He couldn't believe that had set up. Those bastards.
He had to make it to the meeting place before his partner started to worry about him.
Lost in thought, he suddenly felt a small, frigid hand on the back of his neck. It grabbed and held on tight, making the blonde let out a yelp of pain.
“What the fuck are you doing in here?”
The blonde swivelled, and came face to face with a short, raven-haired man, his silver eyes gleaming with the reflection of the streetlight and rain outside the window. He flicked on the light, and the blonde noticed the ravenette was wearing an apron and holding sharp hair cutting shears. He had wandered into a hair salon.
“Were you cutting hair in the dark?” The blonde asked, startled by the man's outfit.
"What's it to you? Answer the question, why the fuck are you in here?" He responded, pointing his shiny silver shears at him.
"Sorry. I was being followed, so I came in here to hide." He said, truthfully.
The raven-haired man's silver eyes narrowed.
"What, it's the truth. I can leave now, I think he is gone." Armin turned to try to sneak away, but the ravenette grabbed him by the back of the coat.
“How did you get in here? And what’s you’re name?” The man asked, intrusively reaching out and messing with the blonde’s long locks.
“Ow, don't pull--It’s Armin, my name.” He said, as the ravenette yanked on his blonde locks, grimacing. “Is anyting wrong with my hair?”
The ravenette sighed. “The question is is there anything right with your hair. It looks like shit.”
Armin frowned. His long blonde hair had become a little unkempt lately, and his bangs hung in his eyes and were long overdue for a trim, he generally kept them out of his eyes with a hairpin.
“Well, I’ve been busy lately.” Armin stumbled, fiddling with the few strands of bangs that had fallen out of his hairpin into his face while he had been running.
"Well, your hair should be your number three priority. Number one priority is good sleep. Two, is good shits. Three, good hair." He grabbed Armin by the sleeve and pulled him with force that seemed like it shouldn't exist in that small of a body over toward a styling chair.
“No really, I’m in a hurry. I need to meet someone. I don't have time for a haircut right now.”
“This will only take a minute.” The man said. "Trust me. There is nothing that you need to do right now that is more important than taking care of this squirrel's nest on your head."
“Can it, blondie, you’ll thank me for this.”
Armin finally conceded, and sat quietly as the dark haired man trimmed his hair into a neat, shoulder length cut that pulled up nicly in a ponytail with a blonde fringe falling just over his cobalt blue eyes.
"There. Now you don't look like you just crawled out of a pile of shit." The man said, yanking the sheet off of the blonde when he was done.
"Wow, it looks really good." Armin murmured, looking in the mirror with a smile.
"Damn right it does."
"How much is it?"
"On the house. Just tell your friends about this place. I'm Levi, this is my shop. I'm still looking for new clients. Oh, and for shit's sake, don't ever let your hair get that long again."
"Yeah. Sure." Armin said, nodding, as he took off into the night.
And that was the first run in that Armin had with Levi, the King of Spades. Had he known that he was talking to one of the most dangerous assassins on the face of the planet, the conversation would have probably gone a bit differently. But that was a conversation for another day.
“Jesus, where were you?” The tall, sandy-haired blonde stood up from the table at the bar when his petite partner strolled in. “Did you...stop to get a haircut?” He asked, tipping his head slightly to the side, looking the second man over with his inquisitive green orbs. "It looks really, really good!"
“It was...I was kidnapped by a midget hairdresser. But you seriously wouldn’t believe me if I told you, Jean.” Armin said, scratching the back of his neck.
Jean just shrugged and left it at that, welcoming his partner as he joined him at their usual small booth pressed against a wall in their favorite bar in town called 'Scouts'.
A dark-haired waitress walked over to the table, taking away Jean’s two empty beer glasses. “You two ready for your regular now?” She asked with a smile.
Armin nodded. “Two shots of Fireball please.”
The waitress scurried away, and the two men looked at each other across the table, then turned to gaze at the rain, now coming down in sheets outside the window.
"It would suck to leave your windows down in a storm like this, wouldn't It?" Jean pondered, looking out at the pouring rain.
"Sure would." Armin murmerred back with a small smile.
Jean's phone dinged, and he looked at it. It was a notification from the bank, the payment for the drop was in their account.
Armin made eye contact with him as the phone buzzed, and Jean smiled. "It's in."
The woman came back with two tumblers of fireball and they raised them, clinking them together.