The Stranger lay across the couch, focused on the echoes of footsteps in the hallway, as he tried to fall back to sleep in the office’s second floor lounge. He should have felt at ease, but the little distractions were no longer working. He was awake, and that meant thinking.

It was, and never would be the same. Three months, and he was here, laying on someone else’s couch, in a place he should never have been allowed. Yet, still doing the exact same thing, avoiding. So, why? It had seemed so import-

The stairway door out in the hall slammed shut, and he heard  the familiar voices of three annoying hitmen.

“This floor is empty, right?” the first lackey asked.

“I don’t know. Have you seen the recluse lately?” the group’s leader, Fargus asked.

“Is he still here?” the second lackey asked, clearly not knowing.

“I wonder,” Fergus said. They reached the door to the lounge ,and Fergus opened the door.

They crowded into his space, unknowing that the target of their conversation was hidden on the other side of the couch facing the wall. The Stranger might have corrected them on their usage of the word recluse, as he wasn’t so much a recluse as he was an abandoned experiment, but…

“I swear,” Fergus said a bit louder, “If that boy, Oliver, humiliates me one more time I’ll kill him myself.”

So this is what it was about, The Stranger realized.

“What did he do this time?” the second lackey asked.

“Gave me the wrong house address.”

“Are you sure he isn’t doing it on purpose?” the first lackey asked seriously.

“That’s exactly what I asked him. Do you know what he said to me? He said that he’s going to take a complaint to the boss because of my harassment.”

“Ha,” the second said again, “That guy is as good as dead.”

As good as dead, that was something the stranger could sympathize with. Only a few months ago the he had still been living in the lab as he waited patiently for his life to end, but then he hadn’t really felt like it so he had walked out. He had yet to see them looking for him. As for being useful, Dominic Odalis had thought he might have been that once. That’s why he had been invited inside, but he had proved them wrong. They simply couldn’t threaten an immortal, so he had stayed exactly where he wanted to, out of sight and out of mind.

“Do you want me to do something about it?” the first asked.

“Wait,” Fergus said.

A very distinct set of footfalls had started verturing their way from the direction of the main office. Without another word, the three cleared out. Not long after, their boss, Mr. Odalis, stopped in front of the room. The Stranger thought that the man would finally say something, but he continued walking.

Odalis dealt in hate cases. He gave vengeful people what they needed, not always what they wanted, since he had the tendency of warning the opposition. It made for more profit and less cleaning up. Sometimes The Stranger could admire that ambition, but today that funny feeling was just his stomach lacking food, another sensation his immortal body had never forgotten. He finally got off the couch and stretched.

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                                                                                                                   Step Outside

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