With Maddy out cold, Mike put the tissue into his inside pocket. One down, he told himself. Two more to go. He knew it was going to be difficult. A double bed would make it hard to put the wife to sleep before he grabbed Mr Francesco. Still, he’d done it before. Where there’s fifty grand, there’s a way, he thought to himself, and smiled his lop-sided smile.
Mike replaced the aerosol and pack of tissues, and took out his camera once more. He walked to the room next-door to Maddy’s. Checking his screen on the thermal setting, Mike could see nothing. Weird, he thought. Wouldn’t have left a room at the front of the house as an empty one. Mike guessed that the master bedroom must have a view of the garden, and moved to the next room.
The bathroom. Great, Mike thought. He was beginning to get stressed, and wanted to finish this job up. He moved to the next room. There were still two rooms and an extension for him to check after this. Mike fed the camera through, but what he saw on the night vision image alarmed him. Guns.
All Mike could think was shit. Shit, shit, shit. Seeing a gun collection in a kid’s room wasn’t too bad for him. He could handle the unusual juxtaposition. He wasn’t too sensitive. It was just that he knew that someone who owned a gun collection would almost certainly keep a gun in their bedroom. Mike knelt down. He reached into his bag once more. He pulled out a gun holster, a Glock and a suppressor. The handgun was heavy, and Mike felt by the weight that it was still fully loaded. Just like when he had put it into the bag. He felt stupid checking that. He put on the holster and put the silenced gun into it. He hated doing this.
Mike moved to the next door. Checking the thermal image, he knew what was waiting for him. He checked the night vision to see if there were any weapons on the walls. None that he could see. Must be under the bed. Or in the drawer. Shit. Not too late to turn back… except that it’s not too much of a risk. Mike tried to convince himself he was safe. You’ve come through worse, for less money, he thought. Much less money. So come on. Let’s go. Mike oiled the door once more.
So carefully, so quietly Mike opened the door. He was like a child stepping onto a frozen lake. How many times more will you do this, he asked himself? Maybe none. Maybe several. He pulled out the tissue he had prepared earlier. He walked over to Mrs Francesco without taking his eyes from her husband. He stooped a little, and held the tissue closer to her face with his left hand, his right hand resting on the handle of his pistol. God, how he wished the husband had been closest to the door. That would have been so much easier. This time, he did not berate himself for not having looked at the wife as he knocked her out.
Time to finish this, Mike thought. Fifty grand… he smiled at the thought. He was regaining his confidence. He walked around the bed to Jimmy’s side. He noticed a picture on the bedside table. A picture of a man and his daughter. There was a caption, handwritten on paper behind the glass of the frame. It said ‘Maddy and Daddy’. Mike sighed, and Jimmy Francesco stirred. Don’t walk away from this, Mike told himself. Fifty grand, and you’ve done most of the work. Do it. Do it!