Prologue

Standing in the shadows had become a way of life for Samson, he had always stood in dark corners, waiting for things to happen, or waiting to make things happen.  He didn’t complain, or at least I never heard him complain, but I often wondered at what he did in those moments of quiet contemplation.

He wasn’t a strange man, he was fairly average in about all the ways you could consider for a human being, but did stay to himself more than anyone else I had ever met.  And standing quietly, out of the way, letting the world slip by, seemed to be the perfect thing for him.

On this night, or perhaps it was early morning by this time, he was waiting patiently for someone to arrive home.

Delilah (not her real name) was expected to be out celebrating the upcoming closing of a major deal for her firm, and Samson was supposed to see her at home afterwards, but it was already late, and she still hadn’t shown up.  Samson wasn’t worried though, Delilah wasn’t exactly someone who would spend an unplanned evening in the arms of a stranger, or even someone she had known for a while.  She was a “straight shooter” and didn’t ask too many questions.  It pained Samson to have to wait, for he had a schedule he liked to keep, and waiting until the wee hours of the morning wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.

After celebrating, Delilah was to come home, feed her fish in their small aquarium, and then turn in.  This is what Samson was waiting for, she should be home any minute now and he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss her arrival.  It was important to be at the right place at the right time for Samson, so much could be riding on a slight miscalculation, that he’d rather wait longer than planned, than leave and not get another chance.

So he stood and waited.  Sometimes he would sit in order or flex his knees, not wanting them to crack and make him uncomfortable, or created unwanted sounds.  Samson liked the quiet.

It must have been close to 3:30 in the morning when Delilah came home.  He heard her jangling the keys and trying to get them into the lock of her penthouse door.  She was probably too drunk to realize how uncoordinated she was, and it sounded like she missed the lock several times before sliding the key into the lock and opening the door.

It was dark in the apartment, and she looked only slightly ruffled, but she definitely had too much alcohol in her system to see straight.  She closed the door without turning on the light, probably her eyes were too red and tired to stand the blast of light from even the small entry lamp.

She sighed, shook her head, and thought better of it mid shake, then hung up her evening coat on a hook and put down her purse by the door.  She had obviously celebrated much more than she had intended, and was dreading the suffering she would surely do the next morning.  But she had to be ready, it was at 9am that she would be signing the contract that would make her company very happy, and her very rich, not that she wasn’t already.

What to do to prevent the oncoming train of pain.  Alka-Seltzer?  Gatorade?  Maybe a cold shower was in order.  But Delilah just didn’t feel up to it.  A cold shower meant setting the water, taking off clothes, standing still for at least a few minutes, and she was frankly exhausted.  In the morning she woudl deal with it, maybe honey on toast with vitamin c supplements and a bottle of Gatorade to wash it all down.  It had worked before, but never had she felt so sure it wouldn’t be enough.

So it was decided, bed now, pain tomorrow.  She walked down the hallway to the master bedroom, dropped off all of her clothes and slipped under the covers.  Adjusting the pillow slightly she lied on her back with her head pillowed gently for a nice nights sleep.  Before too long she was breathing deeply.

Samson heard her come in, and heard her preparations for bed.  He had wondered if she would take the honey and toast cure she had experimented with in the past, but she apparently didn’t feel the energy required on this night.  Samson knew she would be asleep quickly, lying on her back as always, facing the world, rather than hiding from it.  He knew that she would be more focused on her upcoming day at work than pretty much anything else.  It would only be moments before he would see her in bed, ready to sleep the night away.  She wouldn’t disturb him, probably wouldn’t even know he was there, that’s how focused she was on just getting into bed and sleeping.

Stepping from the dining room, he saw her enter her bedroom and quickly disrobe.  She was always a quick sleeper and tonight (this morning?) was no different, her heard her pull back the covers and slip into the bed.  He listened to her gently arranging herself in the bed, and find her comfortable spot to sleep in.  He knew her habits as well as he knew his own, she was special to him in ways that not everyone would understand.  He slowly walked towards the master bedroom and listened to her some more.  Her breathing, while at first troubled, slowly eased it’s way to the gentle rhythm that told him she had finally found her way to gentle sleep.

The bedroom door was open and he could see her there, covers to her chin and asleep.  He contemplated her for a moment or two and through about all he had been through, and how she had come into his life.  She had changed him too.  Her gentle mannerisms, and sly comments showed her to be a caring person, but her viciousness at work showed that she could be a shark when needed.  He often wondered how she would react in bed with him, would she be the shark, or the gentlest of lambs.  Her ruthlessness in business was carefully hidden by her gentle charms, but that was not unusual for the truly successful woman today.

Finally he knew it was time, carefully he looked at her composed face and took aim, he remembered, as always, the silencer, two shots, one for each eye, opening them up to the heavens forever.

Quickly Samson headed for the door of the apartment and made his way to the elevator.  It wouldn’t be long now, the elevator doors would open and he would be gone, no one would ever know he was there, and no one would even understand what had happened.  It was quiet, and it was late, nothing could stand in the way of another successful day.

The elevator doors slid open and a man came out, he looked almost as drunk as Delilah was, and brushed past Samson as he made his way to the apartment, her apartment.  Samson entered the elevator and pressed the button for the lobby as he held the door close button.  He needed to be down and out of the building as quickly as possible.  This stranger may not know him, but might be able to identify him if needed.  The man entered the apartment with a key!  Where did he get the key, no one else had been in the apartment for the weeks that Samson had been following her, who could this new person be?  It was as the door was closing that Samson heard the scream…