This one’s for @folkendefanel, who requested Sam breaking the fourth wall.
“You have to meet with your board of directors tomorrow.”
“I don’t want to meet with the board of directors,” Sam said, sighing. “Bunch of grabby bastards who’d loot my corpse before it was cold.”
“Yeah. And Solomon’s corpse is barely cold and they want to loot it. And if you don’t want them looting your company right out from under you, you have to go to the board meeting.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Sam leaned forward, resting his head in his hands. “You’re awfully invested in me staying in charge. I’d assumed you would want the company torn apart and me with it.”
Henry was quiet for a long minute or two. Sam waited. He as a patient person. And his patience usually paid off, like it had yesterday. “It’s going to be chaos if you don’t consolidate power. Who knows how many people will end up dead if you don’t show everyone you’re the boss right away.”
“Hm,” Sam grunted, smiling. “Including you, of course.”
“Yeah, including me.” Henry sounded empty.
Sam had a feeling that Henry was just saying what he wanted to hear, but that was okay for now. It wasn’t fun if Henry wasn’t thinking that he was up to something that Sam didn’t know about.
Frowning at something, Sam stretched. “Fine, I’ll go to the board meeting tomorrow. You can come with me.”
“You think they’re going to be threatened by me?” Sam could hear the disbelief in Henry’s voice.
“They will be when you have a gun and I don’t, and when they realize who really shot Solomon.” Sam paused, thinking. Maybe he’d have Henry kill one of them, just to show that he was serious. “Maybe I’ll have you kill one of them, just….” He trailed off.
“What, I’m going to be your hitman now?” Henry snorted. “You’ll be the one who ends up with a bullet in your brain.”
Sam wasn’t entirely paying attention to Henry. “That seems unlikely. Who’d take care of you then? Nobody understands you like I do, Henry.”
“Don’t start with that,” Henry sighed, his voice getting distant as he turned away. “We’re not friends and that’s not going to change.”
“Shared culpability does wonderful things for friendships,” Sam told him, smiling. He reached into his coat pocket and took out his gun, quietly checked the magazine and set it on the table in front of him. “There you go,” he said, sitting back in his chair. “There’s bullets in it. Put one in my brain.”
“I dare you,” Sam said. He knew Henry wasn’t going to do it. “One click, you can rid the world of me before I hurt anyone else. All you have to do is murder me in cold blood. No big deal, you’ve already done it once.”
Henry was quiet, doing that thing where he brooded before making the decision he’d been obviously going to make the whole time. Sure enough, he said, “put that away before someone gets hurt.”
Sam chuckled, took his gun off the table. He kept in his hands, not done with it yet.
Shut up, he thought, smiling at Henry. “Do you know how to drive?”
“You don’t trust any of your father’s people, do you?”
“No,” Sam said. “And I haven’t figured out which of them are going to really be my people yet.”
“Well, I can’t learn to drive before tomorrow’s board meeting,” Henry told him. “So you’ll have to rely on Tristan.”
“Yes. I know where his daughter lives, so I’m sure we can count on him.” Sam smiled. “I’m hungry. Go get me something to eat.”
He wasn’t hungry.
“What do you want?”
“A hamburger. Not a frozen one from the grocery store.”
Henry sighed, and Sam heard him stand. “Okay. I’ll be back when it’s ready.”
He was going to talk to Sam’s various employees on the way, Sam was sure. He frowned again. “Don’t get lost.”
“I already am,” Henry muttered, and Sam heard the door open.
He was so dramatic. “You’re so…nevermind. Just go.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Henry left, pulling the door shut with a thud.
Once he was gone, Sam sighed, waiting long enough for him to get away to the kitchen, tapping his gun onto his palm.
“God,” he said. “You’re annoying.”
There was nobody in the room except for him. He was just sitting there, by himself, talking to…
“Oh, shut up.” Sam sneered, lifted his gun. “I don’t need someone knowing my thoughts before I think them, or writing them out before I say them.”
“I’d be a little more sympathetic to you if you were on my side, but I don’t think you are.” Sam pointed the gun at something in the room, the barrel long and heavy, looking longer because I was staring down it as it…
“You really don’t know how to stop talking, do you?” Sam pulled the trigger, and I only heard half the bang.
“That’s better. Jesus, he was annoying. I guess that just leaves you and me now. Heh. You thought I didn’t realize you were there, didn’t you?”
“Come on, I’m not stupid. Why did that stupid little bird need to be chirping all the time if he wasn’t talking to someone? I know you’re out there, watching me. You get off on it? Watching me torture Henry, watching me hurt people? Or maybe you’re waiting for me to lose, waiting for that inevitable moment when the bad guy dies, his life’s work collapsing around him, that moment of emotional triumph where it turns out that good really does prevail in the end. Ha. That’s not now the world works. And even if it did, who says I’m the bad guy? Even your friend there never did. Maybe this is a story where I win in the end. I’m sure winning now.”
“Oh, you don’t know where I am without your in, do you? I’ll help you out. I’m closer to you now. Must suck, not being able to see me. You’re so used to it, losing it must hurt. I’m right in front of you now.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to shoot you. I left my gun on the table. That click, can you hear that? That’s a switchblade. You’ll last a lot longer if I use that. You won’t thank me. Or maybe you will. I mean, you’ve been following me this whole time. Don’t you want to know what it’s really like, to be in poor Henry’s position? I don’t like you as much as I like him, so I’ll probably just use the knife a little bit.”
“Hold still. This is going to hurt a little.”