John L. Woods was almost always on Jin Craig’s premises or alone in his heavily secured condominium. He had no social life, no family and no hobbies.
However, he did seem to have a love for chili dogs at Bob’s Dog Palace. At least twice a week he’d stop in to get an order of two chili dogs and fries. As there was no drive-through window, he had to go inside to get them.
Samael had waited for the perfect moment. In the first week John L. Woods had sent men to pick his food up, and in the second he had gone into the restaurant and left again too quickly for Samael to do anything.
On the Wednesday that Samael finally killed him, John L. Woods finally had time at 9:30 p.m. to sit down in one of Bob’s red plastic booths and enjoy his meal. He did not notice Samael slashing the tires on his car as he ate.
There was a pay phone on the side of Bob’s that Samael waited beside, his washizaki drawn and hidden up the sleeve of his black coat. He knew John L. Woods would have to use it to call for help, because his cell phone had been stolen yesterday and Bob’s had a policy against letting customers use the phone inside.
Samael’s clothing had changed slightly in the two years that had passed between his first kill and now. The dark, loose jeans were the same as before, but a dark coat had been added to hide the washizaki more effectively and he wore shoes with very soft rubber soles so no one could hear him coming. Sensei Barrie had given him a black half-mask, (“You can’t breathe in those goddamn full-face ones”) and he’d dyed his hair black to blend in with the darkness.
The half-mask was beautiful, though the workmanship wasn’t visible in the dark. Samael and Michael both found that they enjoyed carving symbols into the soft wood, everything from Chinese characters to Egyptian hieroglyphs to pictures Michael had seen on book covers at work. Soon Michael had begun to buy more masks, and then planks of wood to carve from scratch, but the one from Sensei Barrie was his favorite.
Loud footsteps and swearing alerted Samael that John L. Woods was coming his way.