Drop point

Char and Paulie pulled in to the park at 2:30 pm, just as the guy had instructed over the phone.  Char didn't like this drop point. It felt too exposed. Picnickers at the benches on their right, joggers looping around the lake path in front of them — any of them could be him and this whole thing felt like a setup.

Paulie fidgeted with his passenger side seatbelt like a two-year-old.  "Did you see anyone?"

"We just got here." She pulled into a parking stall and turned off the ignition, still refusing to look directly at him. Not after that stunt he'd pulled back in Tacoma.

"I meant behind us." He tugged his baseball cap low and turned to look out the back of the jeep. "It happens in the movies all the time. Someone follows the people to the drop point and ambushes—"

"Paulie, just shut up, okay? You don't know dick about how these things work." Char gripped the steering wheel so hard her knuckles popped.  "No one knows we're here. And if they do it's because of that dumbass move back at the hotel."

It had been three days since that incident. Three days since Moira had been taken. God, she could kill Paulie for all the crap he'd caused since leaving Miami. Hell, she'd still have four brothers left if she capped him.

"Oh, it's my fault now?" He put a hand to his chest. "Like this whole thing didn't start when you screwed that guy over in Philly?"

Char clenched her teeth and stared straight ahead at the water. A man moved into her line of sight. Blue winter coat, jeans, short dark hair. He wore sunglasses even though it was overcast. He set course straight for them.

She sat up and reached for the Glock at the back of her waistband. "Get the duffel bag."

"Don't change the subject. You say you're a 'professional', but—"

"Paulie." Char held up a hand, her eyes still on the stranger. "Get the duffel bag."

The End

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