The gunmen kept their weapons pointed at Will.
“Hi, Mal,” he said.
He ignored him and forcibly shoved him against the car.
“Check him,” said Mal.
One gunman kept his weapon pointed as the other frisked Will. When he finished, Mal stepped forward and pulled the sunglasses from Will’s face.
The henchman grinned. “Nice contacts. Well, you certainly look like him, and you’ve got the voice right.”
“I am Wil.”
“It’s not me you’ve got to convince. Get him inside.”
One of the men nodded aside, sending Will on his way as both fell in behind. Two more men flanked the front door, exchanging curious looks as Will approached.
Mal pushed the door open.
“Up to the study,” he said.
They all walked up the broad central staircase, leading to the mezzanine level. A man stood idly on the second floor as they passed. His eyes widened.
“Is that Wil?”
“Just someone who thinks he is,” said Mal snidely.
The group made their way to the opposite side of the first floor and up a smaller flight of stairs.
“What the…” trailed off the taller of the two guards by Meissner’s study door.
The guard opened it, allowing them inside. Three more guards gaped. Meissner; a middle aged stocky man with dark hair, greying at the sides, sat behind an antique desk. Only the minutest widening of the eyes betrayed his surprise.
“Wil, I thought you were down the morgue with Gerald.”
“They let me off early.”
Meissner laughed. “I like that one. Well… I’m curious; why the eyes? You’re looking paler too.”
“I don’t know. I just woke up in a drawer like this.”
“What do you think, Danny? Is it Wil?”
The man by Meissner’s desk stepped forward and peered hard into Wil’s face.
“He might look a bit different, but it’s him.”
“Well that’s good enough for me,” said Meissner cheerfully. “So, Lazarus, you said something about a business deal?”
“Yeah; all I need is about $50,000 and a way out of the country. You get my house and everything I own; fair enough?”
Meissner raised his eyebrows, nodding.
“That is a good deal. The only thing is, you already signed everything over to me.”
“I don’t remember doing that.”
“Of course you don’t. When you signed all the paperwork for me to employ you, I had my people slip in an extra form. So you see,” he said, producing a sawn off double barreled shotgun, “You have nothing to bargain with.”
“You’re still going to kill me?”
“Well… you can still give everything away; can’t you? That makes you a liability. Nothing personal, Wil.”
“I just thought of something. I could do this in a shopping centre full of people, if I wanted to. There’s no law against killing a corpse, especially one that breaks into my house.”
He took aim. Meissner’s men laughed too as Will backed away.
“No,” he protested as the weapon resounded.
He expected pain; to fall on the floor and perhaps take in their smiling faces a second more before is life’s blood flowed from him. Instead, he felt strangely invigorated, empowered as laughing turned to gaping.