He was thinking about serendipity when he heard the knock at the door.
Nathan did not remember ordering anything, and stood in the doorway of his apartment, puzzled, holding the paper-wrapped package. It was light but vibrated faintly in his hands.
There was no return address—only a small warning label stuck on the side. As he peeled it off to read it, the elevator door opened across from him.
Three large men stepped out. Nathan recognized the one in front.
“Mr. Gallahad,” Nathan muttered.
“Nathan,” snarled the scar-faced mad in front of him. His suit was dark and impeccably tailored. He looked down from six inches above Nathan, and his associates were even taller.
The broken line of Gallahad’s mouth wriggled like a snake as he spoke. “When you left the casino last week, you took something that wasn’t yours.”
“Buy yourself a little something?” Gallahad asked, tapping the box in Nathan’s hands. “Something … expensive?”
“Um, yes. Very expensive.”
Gallahad plucked the box out of his grip and handed it to one of his associates. “I hope, for your sake, its resale value is just as high. Of course, there’s also the price of all this trouble you’ve caused.”
Nathan thought quickly and glanced at side table near the door. A plain paper bag was sitting there. “There’s the rest, plus a little more.”
Gallahad took the bag and examined its contents. “Your life savings in here, Nathan?”
“I suppose if we leave you broke and out of a job, we might not have to kill you today. Make sure you’re out of town by tomorrow or we’ll reconsider.”
He nodded again as they filed back into the elevator. Gallahad have him one last, menacing glare as the doors closed.
Nathan let out a tightly held breath and closed his door. His suitcase was already packed, and the money he’d given them was only half the haul he’d taken from his former boss. He’d be gone in an hour. Hopefully, before those three returned. They might not be back for a bit.
He help up the label and read it: “Warning: Live Bees”.