J J Hanna
Adam - The Regulars of Amanda Lexie Part 2 - Short Story
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
J. J. Hanna © 2020
I was tired. More and more, I realized I was always tired. I knew they’d tease me for it, but boy did I need that extra shot today. I pulled into the drive through lane and up to the speaker.
“Good morning! How are you today, Adam?”
I never knew if it was a good thing that they knew my name. “Tired.”
“Doing your double today?”
“No, I need a triple.”
“You got it, Adam. We’ll see you up here.”
I pulled forward and rubbed my face. Man, what a night last night had been? Maintaining a cover had always seemed like it would be easier to do. You go to work, you do your job, and then you go home, and do your other job. And it was always something else. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slept for more than two hours at a time.
I pulled up to the window and smiled at Amanda. “Good morning.”
“How are ya?”
She gave me a knowing look, and I was certain she knew what I meant. After all, she’d been here every day for as long as I could remember—which was a while. She had that look in her eyes, the “I haven’t slept well in months and I’m running off of caffeine” look.
“Your total today is $3.75.”
I handed her my card and she handed me my espresso shots. I tried to remember what she’d told me about her life. It was always easier to talk about her than to have her ask about me.
“Have you played any new games recently?”
I watched her eyes light up. “Yeah, actually! I just downloaded another survival game—one of my friends was watching me play. She started a death count for me.”
I laughed as she handed my card back. “How many times did you die?”
She thought for a moment. “Six, I think. By the end I was doing better. Have a great rest of your day, Adam.”
I lifted my little espresso cup in a sort of salute as I pulled away.
I took a sip and grimaced. It didn’t matter that I drank it every day. The espresso was always a shock to my system. And that was the point.
Five in the morning was a rotten time to try to stay awake, and an even worse time to have to pretend you’d slept at all.
No one needed to know how I spent my nights though, so I had to make sure I didn’t raise any red flags.
I parked at the office and walked inside, taking another sip of my espresso. Man. The longer I waited, the worse it got. But I needed the caffeine, and sugar wouldn’t do me any good.
I settled in at my desk and fished my phone out of my pocket. No sign of any notice on my most recent activity. That’s good. That meant that I’d covered my tracks. Or it meant that people were simply unobservant. Or it meant that no one had gotten to the office yet to notice the drain to their accounts.
I took a deep breath and another sip. Man, I needed to drink this faster.
No one would know. I’d done this enough times before. I was fine.
I logged into my computer and took another sip while the screen loaded my desktop. As I opened my spreadsheets to continue my normal accounting work—after all, no one asks questions about your job when you’re an accountant—a dialogue box opened up on my screen. A box I hadn’t opened.
Good work last night.
I glanced over my shoulder to make sure no one else was in the office yet and clicked into the box.
Who is this?
Call me Avalon.
How do you know what I did?
I hired you to do it. You’ll receive your cut after the money is clean.
When will that be?
I’ll contact you. In the meantime, I want you to look into Carion Electronics. You’ll know what to do.
The dialogue box flickered and closed on its own, and I took another shaky breath. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten a triple espresso. My heart felt like it was trying to run a marathon while leaving me at the starting line.
I was in way over my head, and whoever this Avalon character was knew far too much.
There was absolutely no way this ended well.
This story, segments of this story, and ideas from this story are not to be duplicated or replicated in anyway. This content belongs to J. J. Hanna alone.
Please note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real life events is unintended by the author.
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J. J. Hanna is a writer and reader from Colorado. She loves suspense stories above all else, and is currently working on a debut novel of her own. When she's not writing, you can find her cuddling with a cat, drinking a caffeinated beverage, and watching one of her favorite shows. Go find her on social media @authorjjhanna to keep track of her most recent reads, current adventures, and to get the most up to date news on all things publishing.