Athol Rough Draft Snippet 2-17-2014




For the first time since arriving on Earth, I’m starting to feel a little bit of confidence start to build. While the rest of her family may not know Lacey’s current location, they could point me in the right direction. And with the damn security dickheads on my back, I need every bit of information I can get.

I know what you’re thinking: if I already knew where the Marano family operated, then why didn’t I go there already? There’s an easy explanation for that. See, until I knew whether or not Lacey had full control of the syndicate, I couldn’t risk walking into their home base. I might be crazy but I’m sure as hell not stupid!

The night was starting to turn cold as I pulled into the hotel’s parking garage. Even with the walls shielding me from the wind, I can still see my breath. Thank God things are almost done for the night and I can take a hot shower!

A coupled, bundled up against the cold, join me as we headed for the elevator. The woman complained about the cold and I could empathize with her on that one. While Darbytown’s winters didn’t compare to Greenmist’s, I still found this to be too damn cold for my liking.

While tonight proved to be one big pain in the ass, some good did come from it. It appeared no one knew where Lacey was, which meant she couldn’t be hiding in Darbytown. Unfortunately, it also left me wondering where the fuck she’d gone since she’d split town.

Problem with her family is that they have so many branches that it isn’t funny. There’s the Richmond arm, one in Williamsburg, Va. and several other cities in Virginia, Maryland and part of Philadelphia. Either way, it’d mean doing some digging when I met with the new boss.

That could wait though because all I wanted to do now was to either take a hot shower or sit in the tub for a while. After everything that happened, I’d need to relax my muscles before I could even think of getting to sleep. Otherwise I’ll just lie in bed staring at the ceiling all night.

But then, that might happen anyway regardless of what I do. See, it’s hard to sleep when your friends are in danger of being murdered. I know, I know, I’ve said before that Alex wasn’t a friend, but you know, that was a lie. The tub of lard actually is the closest thing I’ve got to a father since my dad died-and I don’t want to see him hurt.

A couple minutes later I let myself into my room and then pull my gun out of its holster. Time to take a good hard look around and make sure things are ok after the events of tonight. See, the security dickheads love to put bugs, and sometimes even hide, in the rooms of targets.

And if they think they’re killing me, they’re in for a rude awakening.

After twenty minutes of searching I’m satisfied that there’s not bugs or potential assassins waiting. That’s a small relief, but not much of one. Just because the room is clean now doesn’t mean they won’t try to make a move. Perhaps there’s someone stationed on another building’s roof, armed with a rifle, ready to gun me down. While it sounds a bit farfetched in some ways, you don’t live as long as I have in this business without having a healthy dose of paranoia.

Damn the hot water feels good against my skin as I place the gun on a shelf beside the tub and then slowly lower myself into it. After the cold and stress of tonight, this is a nice luxury and one that I don’t always give myself for various reasons. With any luck, I’ll be able to enjoy this, but I’m not holding my breath by any stretch of the imagination.

See, if there’s one thing I learned early on in this business it was never to take things for granted. Things could go to shit at any time and your best laid plans can get royally fucked. It’s when that happens that I end earning my keep because I’ve always thought fast on my feet.

Hopefully this won’t happen tonight because I’d just love to sit here and have a chance to think things over for a change. Ever since getting clobbered by Lacey, events have moved at warp speed and I haven’t been able to allow myself a lot of time to just think.

I close my eyes and let a portion of my mind start to relax while the rest remains laser beam focused on the issue at hand. Lacey couldn’t have kept that bomb inside Darbytown because the scanners scattered throughout town would’ve detected its radiation signature. So, the question now is just where the hell did she go with it?

In all honesty, it would be more than likely that she went to a smaller town where they would feel that the scanners wouldn’t be necessary. Towns like Richmond, Cumberland, Md and others weren’t considered a big enough target that they’d have the specialized technology to detect an antimatter bomb.

What doesn’t make sense in all of this is just what she wants to do with the bomb? Is the crazy bitch going to detonate it or sell the thing to some terrorist? Just having it in her possession would give her and the part of the syndicate loyal to her a major extortion card. While the money a terrorist would give for the weapon could potentially be massive, the risk it gave Lacey would be more than I think she’s willing to take. Not even a crazy mafia chick like her is willing to take that on-I think.

But, and this is the part I hate, anyone willing to kill their own father to do something this crazy can’t be counted to do something rational. So, if you asked me, I think she’s going to try to extort the government by threatening to detonate the weapon. If this is what she tries to do in a city like Richmond or Williamsburg, she’ll kill millions and it’d bring down the current Presidential administration. While I wouldn’t shed any tears over that, given what’s happened, I’d rather kill her before she could do that.

Besides, I owe her one, remember?

A sound, soft enough to almost be missed, reached my ears and my antenna perked up as I grabbed the gun. Shit, can’t a girl take a fucking bath without being disturbed?

You know how hard it is to get out of the tub full of water while trying to keep from making noise? It’s got to be the hardest thing in the world to do, and I softly curse a couple times as I make small splashes. What saves me is that whoever wants to kill me is taking their time, which allows me to put the tub between me and the door.

The door starts to open and the first thing I see is the barrel of a submachine gun. Why the hell would someone bring such an overpowered weapon into a hotel? Didn’t the dumbass realize that it’d tear through the walls around here like a hot knife through butter?

A man came into view.

“How about dropping that gun,” I said.

“Shit,” he said before slowly bending over and then placing the gun on the floor before straightening.

Water ran down my body and then dripped to the floor as the would-be assassin and I look at each other. He was middle-aged, probably close to Tom’s age, and a scar ran from an inch below his left eye across to the base of his ear. His wide spaced eyes, high cheekbones and pointed nose made him look like a combination of pirate and rat.

“Who sent you?”

He looked me over. “Interesting.”

“You fucking amaze me. I’ve got a gun pointed at your head and you’re sitting there thinking with your goddamn dick. No, no, no, no more foreplay. Now, who sent you?”

“The Marano syndicate.”

“Oh, really? Why?”

“You assisted Lacey Marano in her scheme to murder the boss and steal an antimatter bomb.”

“Oh for fucks sake! Are you guys fucking stupid? If I helped her, would I need to clear my name?”

“How would I know?”

“Here’s how this is going to work. You’re going to call the boss and then I’m going to speak to him.”

“What makes you think I’ll do that?”

“Do you think I’m averse to blowing your sorry ass away?”

My would-be killer continued to stare at my wet, naked form and a slow burn started in my gut. How the hell can someone be so fucking stupid as to question a person with a gun pointed at them? I could understand if it was someone who you thought was bluffing, but me? Anyone who’s got half a damn brain should know that I’m not.

“Now, use that nice little wrist computer of yours,” I said sweetly. “And get ahold of the Boss. I want to speak to him.”


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