Sweat rolled down my back as my fist exploded forward. I did my best to imagine Styx’s thick, ugly face near my hotel room’s curtains. The nasty scowl he always had evaporated and his eyes widened. I was too fast for him. He was built like a truck, but he was also in his fifties and almost twice my age. It was time to show him that his bulk couldn’t protect his old man bones forever.
My fist sailed through him without landing or giving me a satisfying crunch. I threw a cross punch, but that, too, failed to connect.
“Damn it,” I grunted as I threw yet another strike at him. He’d had me on recon duty in the hellhole of a town he’d dragged us to for almost a week. I hadn’t gone an entire week without beating the shit out of someone for longer than I could remember. That he’d forbid me from getting into any fights was like asking me not to breathe. He might as well have cut off my balls.
I punched at my invisible target again. I would show him. He couldn’t keep me locked up like some kind of an animal. He and his group had hired me to kill, not to sit around with a thumb up my ass.
My phone chirped and interrupted my thoughts. I knew it had to be Styx, probably sending me out on yet another recon mission. I threw one more punch at the phantom in front of me and then snatched the phone from the wooden nightstand beside my bed.
I had an unread email from “The Puzzle Company.” What the hell that was, I didn’t know, but the subject said my daily puzzle had arrived. Bullshit. I hated puzzles. It had to be Styx trying to piss me off more than I already was.
My jaw tightened as my thumb moved to delete the message, but I stopped. I couldn’t just ignore it if Styx had sent an order. The last thing I needed was for him to send one of the others after me, or worse, stick me with something even more boring than recon duty.
“Please enjoy your daily brain teaser,” the email read.
“Go to Hell,” I mumbled under my breath.
What is the next number in the sequence?