"Yes, of course," Margie said, getting up and crossing to the bureau in the dining room, where after a moment of fishing through fifteen years' worth of tablecloths and old placemats, she found a white, overstuffed envelope. Feeling older and more weary than she had ever felt before, she carried the envelope over and handed it to Sonia. "All in twenties, just as you specified."
"Thank you," the other woman said, tucking the envelope into her briefcase, then closing it with a resounding snap. She rose, extended her beautifully manicured hand and smiled. "I must tell you, Mrs. Cargill, that you are taking this extremely well. So many women I deal with cry and sob and beg at the last minute to be released from the agreement, even after the warning, and when they realize they cannot, they begin to blame me for all their problems. That, of course, is why we keep the photos. We cannot afford any afterthought lawsuits."
"Of course," Margie said, accepting her hand. "There was a time when I might have even been one of those women myself. But not now. Patrick was tested and he failed, pure and simple, so he must pay the price. But do you have any idea of when the deal will be completed?" She had almost said consummated, but that, of course, was redundant.
"On Thursday," Sonia answered.
"Hmmm. I suppose I shall have to make corned beef and cabbage for dinner Wednesday night. That's Patrick's favorite meal."
As Margie walked Sonia to the door, she asked: "And will you be doing the job yourself?"
"Oh yes, and I am an expert markswoman. It will look like just another drive-by shooting, quick, clean and with no clear motive or suspects. Just another senseless tragedy in a world filled with them. I assure you, Mrs. Cargill, he will feel nothing."
A sad smile formed on Margie's face. "He hasn't for quite some time," she said, opening the door for her husband's killer.