Oh Mama

"I still don't understand." Char slid her tray away, careful not to get sticky residue from the table on her jacket sleeve. "What does Martin's abduction have to do with Moira?"

Across from her, Kurt scanned the crowded food court. She suspected it was more to avoid her gaze than to keep an eye out for his partner. So far the agent was ten minutes late with info on why Isaacson hadn't moved on Char the night before.

Kurt said, "We don't understand it either. Gary thinks they're unconnected - a coincidence. The more I look at it, the more I'm thinking the same thing."

"So Isaacson caught Martin for ratting him out at the same time he took a Hire on Moira. But what does this have to do with me?"

"Honestly, we're thinking you were the intended target. Not Moira."

Char reached for her soda and sucked on the straw. Her shaky hands were the only hint this information had rattled her. The steady voices of the lunch crowd seemed to intensify, making her head hurt. "Why?" She finally asked.

"I was hoping you could tell me." Kurt looked at her then, as if daring her to keep quiet.

"Sorry to disappoint."

"Your friend's life depends on this, Charlotte. You know something - from your past maybe...?"

Char ran a hand through her hair, not quite used to how sleek and short it was. She cleared her throat, irritated with his blatant ruse to get info on her. Even if she knew what Isaacson wanted, she wasn't so sure she'd tell this guy. "Why lie to me about being locals, not FBI?"

Kurt sat back in the rickety red plastic chair, hands behind his head. The black t-shirt highlighted how nicely shaped his upper body was. "That was Gary's idea. Mostly so if Isaacson finds out we're applying some heat, he won't think it goes that far up the chain. He wouldn't waste time on local cops unless we really press him."

"Smart." She set down the soda. "What are you going to do to save my brother?"

"Half brother." Kurt reached a hand forward and flicked through the file set beside his half eaten burger. "Paul's your only full brother, right? The baby?"

Char inhaled though her nose and sighed. "Stop with the verbal dodgeball and answer my question about Martin."

Kurt snapped the file shut. "Our job was to see how you and Moira Reirdon were connected to our informant - your brother. Now we know there isn't a connection, we have to check back in and see how they want to proceed. There's already someone on the inside with Isaacson, but we haven't heard from him in twenty-four hours."

 "So that's what Gary's doing now."

"That's what Gary's doing. And here he is."

Char turned and looked around a fat Asian man at the table behind her. Gary weaved his way through the eating area. Anyone else watching would think he wasn't in any hurry. The tight set of his fleshy jaw said otherwise.

Gary edged his way around a fleet of baby strollers and squished into the chair next to Char. "Isaacsons got problems."

No small talk with this guy.  Char inched towards him, zeroing in on a file in his hand. "What's that?" She snatched it before Forman could.

Gary picked up Kurt's burger and took a bite. He swallowed it after two chews. "Those are surveillance photos. Isaacsons goons got into a big ol' gunfight last night in the Bank of America parking lot."

"No kiddin'." Kurt leaned forward. "What started that?"

"Don't know." Gary moved on to Char's soda and sucked it dry. "From what we can tell, some broad rolled up on them before they set off to pick up Templeton here." He stuck a thumb in Charlotte's direction.

"Some broad?" Char opened the file and studied the grainy black and whites.

They were a series snapped at regularly timed intervals. Five men, two dark sedans, and one petite woman strapped with an arsenal. At least one automatic weapon in her hand. Two visibly loaded holsters - one hip, one shoulder.  Her face was in the shadows.

"Two of the goons got away. Our guy's okay, too." Gary picked at his teeth. "We can't find one of the goons, though. Think he might have flown out of Dodge."

"To Seattle?" Kurt asked. He made a swipe for the pictures, but Char sat back and flipped to the last one.

"Maybe." Gary looked down at his slacks pocket. It was vibrating from his activated cell phone. "Man, this better be good news...oh, hey it's my boyfriend, Sammy."

Kurt nodded, then held out his hand towards Char. "Let me see those."

She barely heard him. Had barely registered anything they'd said since she'd turned over the last photo.

Kurt frowned and cocked his head as if it would help him see the picture. "What? You recognize someone?"

She looked up. Her eyes first met Gary's. It appeared that the news from Sammy was bad.

Char blinked back to Kurt. Her voice sounded distant in her own ears. "She's supposed to be dead. Killed by a Hire."

"Who?" Kurt gripped her forearm, .

"Bud told me he saw it with his own eyes."

"Jesus, Char, who? You know who that woman is?"

"She's my mother."

The End

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