Everyone has a price!

Tooth is a short story with Bite! 
Can you trust those who you deal with?

“I have the perfect solution for your problem.” Whispered the solidly built man, known only as Gold Tooth. And grinning displayed the large golden tooth that was stashed in the middle of his mouth. It was rumoured that the original tooth was displaced in a fight, a fight in which he took on five men and won, the tooth was his only casualty.   

“Are you sure that you can do it and not be traced?” The second man inquired as he scanned the bar nervously. He was out of place in his Armani suit, the rest of the patrons wore leather bike jackets and grease-covered jeans. Music, which had its bass turned up to full pumped out its rhythm as semi-naked girls gyrated on the bars. 

It was not very often that the suit-clad man; Terry Wilson, ventured into the Bronx, being from upstate New York and he always regarded the common masses with disdain. Wilson though had never revealed to anyone that he came from one of the poorer sides of town. He had made up his mind at an early age that poverty was not for him, and he built up his empire from scratch. He started by reading the wanted-to-buy column in his local paper, then searching the for-sale ads. If he were quick enough he would match the two ads and make a tidy little profit. That grew into a trading business, and soon he was plying his trade all over New York. His wealth was generated by having an eye for a bargain, and the ability to close a quick sale. 

 His problems started when he married in haste, falling head over heels for a stunning blonde leggy socialite, he lost all his self-imposed judgement.

He had no pre-nuptial agreement, and he knew that if his wife were to ever leave him he would lose half of his fortune. That was something that he couldn’t endure. He also had developed a roving eye, and in the space of three years, he had had five affairs. If his wife ever got a sniff of them he knew without a doubt she would file for divorce.   

 “Hey relax man,” As he slapped Wilson on the back. “I can do it for you and no one will be able to trace the death of your wife.” 

  ”I thought there were to be no names mentioned here!” Panic and fear were the main composites of his voice.   

  “Man you need to lighten up, all these guys here are my friends,” and he made a sweeping gesture with his arms. “Right, we need to discuss details and money.” At the mention of money talk, the suited man tensed.   

  “Can we do this someplace else? Somewhere perhaps a little more private?” Wilson looked uncomfortable. 

  “You’re not getting cold feet on me, are you? Because I don’t like people that waste my time,” The gold-toothed man looked menacingly at the other.  

  “No, not at all, I just thought you… Ah, we, could find a place where we could go over details on our own.”    He loosened his tie from around his neck and took a deep breath, the smell of nicotine and alcohol filled the air.   

  “You are the one that came to me, and this is my office, so are you here to do business or are you just messing me around Mister?” Gold Tooth stared at him, his eyes as cold as ice.

“Okay man, what do you need to know?” The head of the Gold Tooth nodded up and down and he chuckled out loud.

   “I need her name, for starters and what she does, where she works, is she seeing someone else? Like you are.” Gold Tooth’s eyes held Terry’s eyes until the guilty man had to break the stare.

“I also need to know how much you are willing to pay?”  He then turned his attention to the bar, “Hey Larry,” he called out in the direction of the overweight balding barman, “Fetch me a whisky,” turning and asking for the suit. “What do you want?” 

  “I’ll have the same.” 

  The drinks were served and Gold Tooth looked at his counterpart and waited for him to pay. Reluctantly, the money was handed over to the barkeeper.

  “I hope you are not going to be that slow at paying me! Because if you are, you can call off the job right now.”

  “No, I promise you, if you do the job you will receive what you are owed.” He then cleared his throat and spoke in a low voice. “My wife’s name is Rebecca Wilson, she lives with me at my house in Manhattan, she works at the Hotel Delphi, as the CEO.” 

  “Did you bring a photo of her,” Gold tooth’s voice was deep?

  “Yeah, I have one here.”  Reaching into his pocket, pulling out a photograph. “Don’t you have one on your phone?” Gold Tooth asked, then snatched the photo and studied it. He looked at his target, the photo was taken on a sunny day, she wore a simple summer dress, and a decorous smile sat easily on her face. Her hair hung freely on her bare shoulders, Gold Tooth nodded in appreciation of the woman’s ample bosom.

  “Your wife is an attractive woman, Mr Wilson, it seems a shame to relieve the earth of one so fine.”

  “You are not here to pass judgment on how she looks,” Wilson snapped back.

  “Okay, okay,” Gold Tooth held up his hands in mock surrender. “She looks fit, so she must work out somewhere?”

  “Yeah, she jogs, most evenings around the block, and across the park, that our house backs onto.”

    “Well that is good information that you have given me, there is just the little matter of the fee.” Gold Tooth paused, lifting his lips to expose the prominent gold tooth. “Don’t you have a set price for this kind of thing?” Wilson asked.

  “No Mr Wilson, it all comes back to the price that you are willing to pay.”

  “I have never done this kind of thing, surely you can give me a ballpark figure.” Gold Tooth shook his head to confirm the negative. 

  The thought of having to part with money was always an odious thought to Wilson. “Why don’t you tell me what is involved and then I can make a judgment on what your inputs are? How will you make the hit? And how do I know that her death can’t be traced back to me?” He looked at the gangster, and tried to read his mind, or at least get some kind of handle on the dollars needed.

  “What’s involved, is four of nature’s finest fighting machines, would you like to come with me, Mr Wilson?” Gold Tooth drained the last of his whisky, stood up and walked out through the back doors of the bar.

  Wilson followed him, all the time forcing down the urge to run. Out the back was a dimly light street, a light rain was falling and raindrops glistened on the huge array of motorcycles, cars and pick-ups parked in the back street. Several vagrants loitered in the cover of darkness, one figure caught Wilson’s eye, a tall willowy female figure, he licked his lips at the thought of being free again and able to do what he wanted. Gold Tooth walked up to a grey-coloured van, its windows were tinted black. 

  “You better stay close to me, if you want to live, Mr Wilson.” 

  Wilson hurried over to the side of Gold Tooth and standing beside he was surprised to see that he was a good six inches taller. The van rocked back and forward as Gold Tooth took hold of the door, then in one quick motion, he flung open the back door, and out rushed one of the most fearsome sights that Wilson had ever laid his eyes on. Death on four legs soundlessly landed on the wet pavement. 

  “Get in here,” Gold Tooth spoke calmly to the four Pit-Bull terriers, they circled around him, “Stand,” he commanded and they all stopped and stared at Wilson waiting for a command. 

  Their large white teeth contrasted sharply with their dark eyes. Wilson by now was almost cuddling into the side of the dog’s master.

  “So what do you think?” Gold Tooth asked.

  “Ah, nice dogs, why are you showing me them?” Wilson replied rigidly, afraid to move too quickly, in case the dogs should be provoked to attack him.

  “I’m showing you because these are what will get rid of your problem, these little beauties will be waiting for her as she runs around the park, one command from me and the four will tear her limb from limb. Her death will be over in a matter of seconds, that is unless of course.” And he then chuckled out loud, an evil spine-tingling laugh, “Unless you want her to pay and suffer for the hurt that she has caused you, then I will just send one dog at a time. For an additional fee, you can watch.” 

  Wilson stared back, at first with a look of horror, and then a wicked smile broke over his smooth-skinned face. 

  “Yes, I would like to see that, and yes, I would like to watch.”

  “Okay, we are back to the little matter of the fee, as I said Mr Wilson, it is all a matter of business.” 

  Wilson looked at the dogs, then worked out what his wife’s insurance was worth, he had insured her for two and a half million US dollars. Looking at Gold Tooth, he figured that the guy though tough probably was not very bright. The thought of getting him to do the job and then not paying him had entered his mind, but even as greedy as he was, Wilson was not that stupid. 

  “How does eight thousand dollars sound?” Gold Tooth returned a look that chilled Wilson to the spot.

  “You insult me, Mr Wilson.” He spoke coldly. Thinking quickly Wilson then went on.

  “No eight grand as a deposit, and another twelve on completion.” Wilson wore a smug grin, he was already doing the calculations, twenty thousand out of two point five million is nothing, damn good investment, he thought.

  “So is that your final offer?” Gold Tooth asked nodding. Wilson looked him in the eyes, he sensed that he had bought the man.

  “Yes, as you said it is all a matter of business.” And then Wilson held out his hand. Gold Tooth nodded, and shook the outstretched hand,

  “Yes, you drive a hard bargain, Mr Wilson,” 

  “Thank you, I pride myself on my business acumen. I will have the cash to you tomorrow.”

  “You mean you came here empty-handed?” Gold Tooth eyed Wilson, making the businessman feel even more uncomfortable.

  “Oh, how forgetful of me, I have some of the deposit on me now.”  Reaching his hand into his vest pocket he retrieved a wad of cash. “Here’s five K, I’ll get the rest of the deposit to you tomorrow. Now if it’s okay with you, I’ll be heading off. What’s the best way out of here without going back through that sleazy joint?” 

  “I’ll let you know when it’s about to happen.” Gold Tooth muttered then extended a finger pointing. “Down the alleyway, take the first turn right and you’ll be back on to the main street.” There seemed to be no need to say anything else, he didn’t really like dealing with this type of person, but he was happy to have dealt with the situation, and soon he would be wife free.  

  He vowed and declared to never get tied up like that again, and a feeling of freedom rushed through his veins.

    He was about 20 yards down the alleyway when Gold Tooth called out,

  “Hey Wilson,” Wilson turned around, what he saw made him feel sick; the tall feminine figure he saw just moments earlier, he knew she was familiar. Rebecca was standing beside Gold Tooth. A cold chill ran down his spine, as the clang of a steel gate closed in the laneway where he was walking.

Then pointing at Rebecca. “She has known all along about your cheating and when her PI told her about your meeting with me, she met with me this morning, and she bet her life that you were too cheap to afford me. What can I say, I always go with the highest bidder.”

“You are insured for Four Million, your lovely wife offered me half. As you say business is business, and your pride in your financial acumen might have been a little off this time.”

  “What the hell are you talking about?” Wilson screamed back, his eyes focused on the dogs that were intently looking back at him. “Rebecca,” Wilson screamed out, his voice unusually high as his vocal cords started to constrict.

“You know this was just a joke right?” He said, the fear in his voice now was now overwhelming, he wanted to flee, but the pathway forward was blocked. Gold Tooth flashed his golden grin and then in a voice that would be the last words his client would hear.

  “Oh the Websites will read that you were found savaged to death outside a strip bar, but then this is New York, and the next clickbait piece of media will drown you out. And by the way, she said she wanted to watch.”

  Looking down at the foursome, Gold Tooth uttered three words.

  “ GO, get him.”     


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