The Mercenary Bitch (Alex)

I followed Kate’s daughter around for two weeks listening to her thoughts, watching her habits. I had my hacker bug her phone and gather whatever social media presence she had. Then with all that intel I knew what she wanted and needed to get my biggest reward. I rented an apartment above the Lincoln Center, something that fit her budget and her prestige. It was a three bedroom with a great view of Central park. It was already furnished and I was more than happy with the decorations. The next step was to put myself in her path. Which wasn’t hard. She frequented a high end club that her ex-husband used to own. But he sold out to some other high end company. I was beginning to not like her ex. He had taken advantage of a great many things.

Janice also had the auction where she was selling her mother’s estate off. I was going to that of course, but I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. Seeing Kate’s possessions was bound to have a negative effect on my mood. Or a good one depending on what it was. New York City was a rough place to be.

The auction was to take place in an hour at Kate’s estate. I’d never been there. We stayed at high end hotels at first, then the place I have now. It was a gift from her late husband when they were dating. But I wouldn’t be going back there for a while now that I had to play the role of Brent Smith. Ironically the name I was supposed to use with her mother, but when asked by those plump red lips I said Alex. I never used my real name.

I dressed in a high end tailored suit and shoes that cost more than the monthly rent on the apartment. I felt good. I looked even better. This woman was going to be eating out of my hands.

Kate’s estate wasn’t a grand lush mansion. Those didn’t exist in New York City. Maybe out in the Hamptons but in New York they were penthouse estates. I wasn’t the only one dressed to the nines on our way up to the auction site. I had to keep thinking like that, this was about the acquisitions, the antiques, the paintings, the jewellery. I needed to forget these were Kate’s things. Janice was the mark, and I needed to

But the moment I walked into the penthouse apartment I could smell Kate. And when I laid eyes on Janice Pritchard I could have swore I saw Kate. I stopped in mid step and the man behind me ran into me. I adjusted my coat and stepped aside with a mumbled apology. I stared for too long, the woman approached me with a bright smile – the same smile as her mother when I first met her.

The smile made it easier and harder as she came up to me with it. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around before. Mister…” she fished for my name.

“Smith, but you can call me Brent.” One minor victory, I didn’t tell her my name.

“Brent. What are you here for today?”

I glanced around and looked at the sign for the auction and was taken aback by the generous donation of Janice Pritchard to the very same children’s hospital her mother had founded and given half of her estate to. I looked back at the woman who looked terribly like her mother, and had the same large heart for their fallen kin. “I’m here for the children.”

“Oh, how lovely.” Janice clapped her hands. “Come sit by me. I can give you all sorts of juicy tidbits about each of the pieces.”

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