Sid Miller was an obnoxious little prick who was used to getting what he wanted, when he wanted it.
Right now he was in the men’s room at Buvette’s, an over-priced French restaurant in downtown Manhattan that his wife, Sheila, had dragged him to for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. His black designer dress pants and silk underwear were down below his ankles, bare ass pushed up tight against the inside of a locked stall door while a cute little French waitress knelt on the floor in front of him.
“Damn, you are good,” he muttered as wave after wave of orgasmic pleasure rippled from his balls on up through his belly.
He leaned his head back against the stall door and closed his eyes.
A loud rap on the other side of the door, a whispered fuck! and he was pushing the waitress out of the way and pulling up his pants.
“This stall is occupied!” he yelled, watching as the waitress wiped her mouth on some toilet paper and rose up off the floor.
“Payez-moi mon argent!” She whispered, smoothing out her skirt. Then, in broken English, “Pay me my money!”
Another loud rap on the door. Then silence.
“Okay, okay, I’m coming!”
Sid unlocked the door and the waitress breezed past him. She stopped, turned and stood in front of him, right hand extended, palm up. He pulled a large wad of money from his pants pocket and peeled off two $100 dollar bills, laying them neatly in her hand. Stuffing the money into her black apron she strode through the men’s room and then back out into the restaurant proper, the door slamming shut behind her.
Sid poked his head out and looked around.
The men’s room was empty.
“Hello? he said, his voice rising just a bit. “Anyone there?”
He knew he hadn’t imagined the knocking.
“Hello!” He repeated, louder this time. He left the stall and checked the remaining three stalls in the room but all were empty.
“What the fuck is going on?”
“That, my friend, is a very good question,” came a voice from the stall he had just been occupying.
Sid stopped in his tracks, a look of confusion on his face.
“Who the fuck said that?”
Sid stiffened as the stall door he’d recently had his ass stuck to swung open, revealing a well-dressed middle-aged man in a black suit and tie.
“So who the fuck are you?”
The man smiled, stepped out from the stall and extended a very polished and manicured right hand.
“Not much of a vocabulary, hm?” he said, his hand still extended.
Sid glowered, reached into the inner lining of his sport coat and pulled out his Glock 9mm. He chambered a round, pointed the gun at the stranger’s head and in a quiet voice he repeated his question. “I said, who the fuck are you?”
The stranger’s smile broadened. The hand remained where it was.
“You may call me M.”
Sid snickered and lowered his gun. “Seriously? M? You want me to call you by a fucking letter?”
M nodded his head in agreement but did not offer an explanation. Retrieving his hand he tipped his hat (as gentlemen must) and then left the stall to stand in front of the men’s room door.
“I’ve had my eye on you for some time now, Mr. Miller. I have a proposition for you.”
Sid chuckled. “Sorry buddy, but I actually like women.”
“It’s not that kind of proposition, I assure you.”
“So what kind is it? And how the fuck do you know my name?”
M tilted his head sideways. It was a sign of inquisitiveness one would expect to see on a precocious six year old. On M it just looked creepy.
“There is much that I know about you, Mr. Miller. I know your strengths: perseverance, dogged determination, to name just two. I also know your weaknesses.”
Sid pointed the Glock back at the stranger’s head.
“What do you know about me? Is this some kind a shakedown? And just how the fuck do you know so much about me?”
M leaned forward, around the gun, bringing his face to within inches of Sid’s till their noses almost touched. This close Sid could smell something vile on M’s breath, like a rotted, decomposing corpse. Sid made a face and turned his head.
“I am a Collector, Mr. Miller.”