“Mom!” Malcolm yelled. “I’m going out for a while!”
“You don’t have to yell,” Nancy chided him. “I’m only in the next room, not the house next door.
“Sorry,” he replied.
“Where are you going?”
“Just out with some friends.”
“Who? That gang you used to hang around with in school?”
“Worthless, the lot of them,” Nancy scoffed. “A bunch of liars and thieves.”
Malcolm thought this was the pot calling the kettle black, considering what his mother did for a living, but he wisely kept his mouth shut. “Mom, I’m over eighteen. Stop telling me what to do.”
“You forget you work for me now, Malcolm. I’ll be telling you what to do for a long time.”
“Let’s make a deal: you can tell me what to do when we’re working, but stay out of my personal life.”
Nancy thought about it for a moment. “Fair enough.”
He was surprised and suspicious at the same time, but kept his mouth shut. “I’m off tonight, so I thought I’d hang out with the guys. I haven’t seen them much lately. We have been a bit busy with that mysterious man rescue, you know.”
“You’re right. Go on, get out of here. Just don’t get arrested.”
“I’d think that would be good for business, though,” Malcolm said. “Give me some street cred.”
“You don’t need street cred,” Nancy snapped. “I have plenty of ‘cred’ and I’ve never been arrested. You’d be wise to think about that if you want to get anywhere in my business.”
He went up to his room, grabbed his phone and wallet, then headed downstairs. He ran into his father, Gregory, at the bottom of the first floor steps. “Going out for the evening?” he asked Malcolm.
“Gonna grab some dinner with the guys, maybe go bowling or something.”
“Sounds like fun. Have a good time.”
“Thanks, Pops. Love you.”
“Love you too, son.”
Malcolm walked out the front door, making sure it closed behind him. Halfway down the sidewalk, his phone vibrated in his pocket, and he stopped to check the incoming message.
“Gotcha,” the message read just before he felt a piercing pain in his neck. He dropped to the ground, dead.