THE HONG KONG DEAL by June Lorraine Roberts

Punk Noir Magazine

THE HONG KONG DEAL

By

June Lorraine Roberts

 

I braced myself on the backseat as my red taxi careened around the corner. When they hit a run of green lights in Hong Kong the drivers go for it. Time was money here like no other city on earth.

The wet heat was staggering as I exited the cab and made my way through the streets of Lan Kwai Fong. I manoeuvred past the bars where patrons, and those with beer picked up at the 7-Eleven on the way up the hill, stood outside drinking.

Reaching the tiny alley closer to Mid-Levels I waited chaffing my hands together anxious and shaky. A drop of water hit the top of my head. I glanced up, not rain but one of the leaking air conditioners typical for Hong Kong. 

It was a short distraction. Flagging and terrified my intention had been discovered, I saw him then coming down the alley. He was moving in that way only hard men can, with heightened awareness and confidence. 

The perpendicular street behind him was still. He was a recommendation from someone in the nebulous world in which I move. He has what I need and the price is agreed upon in advance.

I feel like I’d been smothered in a wet towel. May through September is like that. In the summer months,many expat wives are in cooler climes. That’s how problems begin for the women and men left behind at loose ends.

It was supposed to be a brief affair. One night of raw sex in a darkened corner of a private club where no one paid much attention to uncivilized gwailos.

Afterward he said, “I will see you again.”

“It’s not possible.” I was adjusting my clothing. 

Anton grabbed my hair bringing me face to face, “I will see you again.”

And he did, in the men’s washroom at the Shangri-La, days later in a park at Diamond Hill. Like the men before him he had agreed to the deal – that I always had to be satisfied first. It was me, then him. Anytime I was unsatisfied he would never have access to me again.

He liked that arrogance and certainty, and always kept the deal during our escapades. That was before I knew who he was, before his face in the newspapers: crime lord, drug baron, murderer. Before he made his mistake and brutalized me, leaving me lacerated and bloody.

The day we met I amused him asking that he stand up and turn around.

“Do you like what you see?” as he slowly turned.

“I like what I feel more.”

Now weeks later I was here in a dark alley waiting for a gun to be delivered by a man I didn’t know referred by another man I didn’t know and praying this chain of death remained undiscovered.

The man came closer. “Hello.” English accent softened by living elsewhere.

“Do you have what I asked for?” My rigid jaw barely allowed the question.

He didn’t answer but moved closer his eyes traveling my body like a map for the lost. I shivered. If Anton was polished danger this man was rough danger. He was lean and muscled and his eyes read of untellable stories. Who was he really working for, me or Anton?

“Yes, you have the money?”

I gave him the envelope and his eyes never left mine putting it in his back pocket. Even in my tense state I raised an eyebrow.

“If it’s not all there I know where to find you.” The threat was evident.

He removed a semi-automatic tucked into the small of his back. “Have you used a gun before?” At my nod, he handed it over. “It’s loaded, take off the safety, and…” He shrugged without finishing.

I put the gun in my handbag and began to move away but his hand shot out and stopped me. “We’re not done.”

I trembled and stiffened to hide it. “What else can there be?”

“Unfinished business.” His voice was harsh.

“We have no other business.” I moved abruptly to shake off his arm.

“I understand that every deal has a satisfaction clause.” Came the reply.

I felt the sky twist overhead in my vision. Anton knew I wanted him dead and now it was me who was going to die tonight.

“Of whose satisfaction do you speak?” I asked as coldly as I could.

He pulled me to his chest, breathing in my ear. “Why yours of course.”

And his hand slid under my dress and up my thigh.