Patrick looked through the files on his computer, organising everything, he shook his head, he only left it for a few days and already it has all gone to shit. Still once it was fixed he’d feel better. He was passing time at the moment until his client arrived, once that was done he had to go out and take a few pictures. He was looking forward to the client that was coming in, he nice to deal with, Martin Pastin. He had hired Patrick not for himself, but for his boss. Martin was one of the few close friends Jason Strand was able to keep, others had been driven away by him, one after the other, but not Martin. Jason had married another woman, well, girl really, she was 21, he was 63. It was his fourth wife so far, of the three he had, only the first had remained faithful to him and he had been happy for a while, until he struck it rich, then he had apparently decided to upgrade. The only problem was he never considered that it might be difficult to get an attractive woman in the shape he was in. He had never taken care of himself, he was old, but he appeared older, his gut spilling over his belt. He could be a cruel man, something women he dated found out quickly enough. Patrick had taken photographs of the other wives at Martins request, Martin always told Jason that the photos were sent to him anonymously. Patrick had an easy time with this one, Stephanie, she wasn’t the brightest woman out there, well, she might have been intelligent but she certainly wasn’t the most devious. unsurprisingly she was gorgeous, a woman who could have been a model if it didn’t involve her actually having to do work. Despite her beauty, or perhaps because of it, she was incredibly lazy. Patrick found it almost comical how clever she thought she was being, with all her boyfriends, and she had many. He had nothing against that, not really, if someone wanted to go off and have sex with every living person it was none of his business, he didn’t care as long as it was consensual and legal, but in cases like this, cases where someone would get hurt, he had no qualms shining light on it all. He had photographed her with six different guys over the course of three weeks. He had made sure he was able to include proof that it was after the marriage, he had worried about that at first, but there was no need, she was driving the car he had bought her, wearing jewellery he had custom made for her, in a few photographs he had taken there was even her tattoo of Jason’s name, something she had gotten to “prove her devotion” to him. Jason always made sure there was a prenuptial agreement before marriage, it was non-negotiable for him, he had dumped three women at the point of marriage over it. Patrick had asked Martin before how it didn’t affect Jason, but Martin had laughed, “He doesn’t care, as long as she’s faithful and willing to have sex with him he doesn’t give a fuck if its love or not.” It didn’t surprise Patrick to learn it was mostly the women that pushed for marriage. A message popped up on the screen, “Martins here, will I send him in?” Patrick smiled, the feature was new, or at least their implementation of it was. He felt it made the place seem seamless and better run, rather than Gloria popping her head around the door or using the intercom. He typed back a quick reply and after a moment the door opened and Martin walked in. Patrick stood, smiled and stepped out from behind the desk, “Martin, good to see you.” “You too.” They shook hands. Martin sat down in the offered seat and Patrick sat down again himself. “So, what’s the verdict this time?” “Same as before unfortunately, guilty as charged.” Martin shook his head, “I’d like to say I don’t know where he finds these women, but it’s these women that find him.” Patrick took an envelope from the drawer, an address was hastily scrawled across it, he passed the envelope to Martin. “They’re all there, six different guys, all after the marriage.” Martin smiled sadly and took the envelope. “Thank you. I’m sure you’re getting sick of this, I know I am.” “It’s part of the job, unfortunately.” Martin nodded, “I’m not looking forward to this, he seems especially taken with her, she’s good at what she does. This will be a bitter pill for him to swallow. Still. Must be done.” Patrick opened his mouth, then closed it, thinking better of what he was going to say. He almost asked why Martin was doing this, surely if Jason didn’t care if they loved him, what did it matter if they were going out with other men. No doubt Stephanie was being safe, she couldn’t afford to have a baby, Jason would no doubt demand a paternity test. “He’s always bounced back before.” Patrick wondered if perhaps Martin had other reasons for doing what he did, less altruistic ones, “Yes, but he’s getting older. Still, he’s my friend and it’s for his own good. He’ll find someone eventually, hell the rate he’s going through these women he’ll find a good one at some point.” Patrick doubted it, “I’m sure you’re right.” Martin opened the envelope and had a quick look through them, then nodded at the photographs, then he replaced them and sealed it. It was being sent to his home address, he‘d post it himself then bring it to Jason‘s attention. “Thank you again for doing this.” “Of course.” “Charge it to the usual account.” Martin stood, Patrick did likewise, they exchanged goodbyes and Martin left. As he did, Patrick reconsidered his opinion, Martin did care for Jason, that was obvious. They had known each other for a long time, Martin was the Godfather for Jason’s children. It wouldn’t be long until he saw Martin again, a few months at the most. It must be a sad life, he couldn’t live the way Jason was living, money or no.
Patrick sat down and went through his drawer until he found it, his book. He checked to see if anyone had money due or if he was due to send picture out. He sighed, someone hadn’t paid. He printed off the pictures and slid them into envelopes. He needed to carry out his threat. Oh well, had to be done. He wrote out the addresses, as always, in block capitals. He’d post them from a good distance away when he was out later. He would post each one in a different post box. He was confident that the person was not the one who had sent the package to the office, nor were they the person who had visited his house. The woman in question had been a right bitch anyway. Her husband had come in, almost in tears and spilled his guts to Patrick, the whole, sad tale. He was confident she would be safe from any repercussion on the husband’s part, he was always hesitant when a man came to him, asking him to track their wife. He had only taken a few of those cases, most times the men were borderline psychotic or overly controlling, it was always worrying to turn them down, but he hadn’t experience too many problems, thankfully. Once that was done he put the book away again, then he picked up the phone and started to dial home, as he entered the last digit he decided against it, no better to ask in person, he hung up the phone, then looked at the time. He’d have to be leaving soon. He put everything away, in the waiting room he could hear Gloria packing away. There was little point in her staying if he was gone, besides that he always felt a little nervous leaving her here on her own, they had gotten people in a few times who were angry or overly aggressive, he was sure that if it came to it, she would be able to take care of herself, at least until the police arrived, but he didn’t want her to end up in that situation. He dropped the envelopes into his bag and closed it. He would get Gloria to process Martins payment in the morning, the her computer was probably already shutting down, he started to shut down his own.