The music boomed through the loudspeaker. Vries could feel it thrumming through her chest as though the bassist was picking out the rhythm on her ribcage. She moved with the beat of the music shaking her hips, feeling the silken swish of her vintage Pucci maxi skirt against her legs with each step she took in the platform heels. She made a striking figure and she knew it. It was her job to always stand out in a crowd, to draw attention wherever she went. A role that oddly enough lent itself even more to her more sinister vocation. The spotlight did a great job of concealing that which she didn’t want seen. She spotted her target almost by accident. The tall man with the thick mane of graying hair would probably blend in almost unnoticed were she not deliberately looking for him. Years of experience had given her almost a sixth sense for these things.
She made her way across the large room until she was standing nearly directly behind him. Smoothing her damp palms over her skirt she continued moving to the beat. This was always the worst part of any assignment, the moments right before the strike when she had time to question herself and her technique. She had no idea who this man was. She preferred it that way, it left her with fewer doubts. She trusted her handlers to only give her the cases where her target needed killing. Still she wondered about the morality of what she was about to do. Of course, there was little room for that kind of thought in this world of realpolitik. Eliminating the bad guys by legal means was both time-consuming and messy. And she knew that afterwards, the doubts would go away, and she would feel nothing but pride in a job done well. After a few seconds she reached up to remove her signature platinum Afro pick from her mammoth Afro. She automatically checked the safety lock on the mechanism and glanced down briefly to ensure she’d filled it properly. Then she sidled up behind the man. It only took a moment for her to jab the pick into the back of the man’s hip with a smooth, practiced gesture. The man reacted quickly to what she knew to be a sharp, but momentary prick. She smiled apologetically; the music was much too loud to allow conversation, so she gestured toward her large designer bag as the culprit. He waved it off as inconsequential, not knowing as she did that he was a walking dead man.
The slow-acting poison would take nearly a week to kill him, but kill him it would. Its effect would mimic that of a heart attack. He probably would never remember their meeting at this Paris fashion show, and if he did, no one would ever connect his death to such a brief encounter. Continuing on her way she returned the Afro pick to its customary place in her hair and made her way backstage. She was due to strut down the catwalk in less than ten minutes. Vries St. John was on.