The room was dim, almost dark. He sat on a chair, offering her to sit down with a careless gesture, yet never taking his eyes of her.
Scarlett stayed downstairs to help the boys clean up after dinner or to be more accurate boss them around while sitting on a table top and cleaning her nails with a giant kitchen knife. It occurred to Mikaela that there was no female staff in the house or staff in general, Joker’s henchmen seem to do everything from cleaning the restrooms and braiding Scarlett’s hair to delivering guns and maiming people. Though it didn’t came as much of a surprise, who will want to argue with two dysfunctional murderous psychopaths after all?
What did surprise her, was Joker’s offer to have a few words in his office. Deep inside she knew it would be safer to leave right then, but the curiosity took over and she agreed and followed him upstairs…
“You know what upsets me?” – He began, his drilling gaze still locked at her – “Waste.”
Mikaela raised her eyebrow in question, not sure where the conversation was heading. His voice was mocking, but that seemed to be his average way of expressing his mind.
“I’ve seen the raise and the fall of the government, Mrs. Raita. Puppets… fools driven by the greed and pride.” – He bared his teeth in a rather maniacal grin – “You are wasting yourself by choosing their side and there’s nothing more saddening than a waste of a fine thing.”
“Was that a compliment?”
“No. It was an offer.”
He got up from his chair and walked behind her, placing his hand on her shoulder.
“Offer is a matter that can be refused, Mr. Joker. So, are you implying that I can deny what you are offering and walk out of here alive?”
The sound of his laughter almost tied her stomach into knots, but she managed to hold her composure. After all there’s no people more honest than psychopaths, for they don’t hide their secrets, and Mikaela always admired honesty. If he wanted to kill her he would do so a long time ago.
“You are smart.” – He clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. – “A smart woman like you have no place among the puppets… People like us are meant to write history… color the pages…”
… with blood. Mikaela couldn’t say why the ending of that phrase popped up in her mind and yet it did. It seemed almost surreal, hypnotizing… this place, this conversation. He knew how to pull the strings, yet she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction so easily.
“What do you want?” – She asked in rather dry and calm voice.
“I want to play a little game.”
He grinned, heading back to his desk. She waited patiently as he fetched a small white envelop from the clutter, most of which was likely to be a part of a bomb.
“Inside you will find the rules, date, time and address. The choice is yours.” – He handed her a piece of paper with rather theatrical gesture.
“What’s the catch?”
“Oh, you are hurting my feelings, Mrs. Raita. It’s a gift. You have time to make your decision…”
The cab ride home seemed to last eternity. Why would he offer her a job? Why would he be so persistent about it? Or course, part of it was more likely Scarlett’s doing. Mikaela often ranted about her job and the troubles that came with it, but Scarlett’s opinion alone was not enough to change a mind of such man.
Was she flattered? After all she actually opened an envelope and read ‘the rules of the game’. She knew that this was a one way ticket. Did she dare to risk it all? Why was she even considering such possibility? Sure, she often felt underappreciated and underestimated, but working for the most dangerous man in the country? Breaking the law?
All these questions were swarming in her head as her phone beeped, displaying one incoming message from Scarlett. ‘Think about it. Love ya. S.’ framed in sparkly emoticons and playful winky faces. Mikaela slipped the phone back into the bag without answering. What has she gotten herself into?