Monday, August 9, 2010

Chapter 2

I’m in my hotel room watching the news when he knocks on the door. The door is locked, but he walks in unhindered, looking young and perfect without a single blond hair out of place, skin without a blemish, and pale blue eyes that burn. I dare say he’s beautiful, which is hardly a surprise. He was never one to be hard on the eyes. His suit is immaculate and probably cost thousands of dollars in some fine European country. I’ve never been big on fashion, much to his chagrin. He’s smiling, he’s always smiling. “Good morning, Anton,” I say, getting up from the chair. He wants me to panic. “I haven’t seen you in quite some time, how have you been?”

He looks around the room and then back at me. “This is impressive, Abraxas. The girl down in Florida went for the cheap-o. What is that supposed to be, humility? I don’t buy it.” Anton pinches his nose and sits down on the bed. “Fourteenth floor, you can see the whole city from up here. It’s not like you guys to splurge.”

“You could have let her live.”

He tilts his head in thought, and then shakes his head. “No, I couldn’t let her go. You, I would have let you go, not her.”

“And why not?” I ask, sitting back down and crossing my legs.

Anton points at me. “That is a very nice suit,” he says thoughtfully. “Have you finally taken my advice and started going to my tailors?” He knits his fingers behind his head and falls back on the bed. “She wasn’t the one. She was a red herring, did you know that?”

“I suspected it. Are you here to kill me?” I ask sarcastically.

He laughs. “This would be so much easier if you all would just tell me where I can find the real McCoy. We wouldn’t have to go through all of this.”

“I don’t know him.” I don't take my eyes off Eleazar. His teeth look like points.

He sits up, raising his eyebrows. “They don’t trust you?”

He’s needling, trying to get a reaction out of me. I go to the mini-bar. “Anton, do you want a drink? The room came with a full bar, and I’m not going to drink any of it.” I take a bottle of bourbon from the refrigerator and toss it to him. He screws off the cap and takes a long drink.

“You can’t keep him from me. I don’t see why you even try.” He takes another drink, finishing off the small bottle, and smiles wickedly.“Don’t know exactly, but I’ve narrowed it down,” Anton says, emptying his glass and tossing it on the floor. He starts inspecting his nails, producing a file from his pocket and working them over. “I know it’s a man, so I wasn’t concerned by this girl you sent after me.”

“I had nothing to do with that...”

“The cop was close, so I needed to lead him away anyhow, so I appreciate the distraction. As for the real-f’n-deal, he’s in this country. I’m a little pissed about that, because you all had me thinking he was in China.”

I thought he was in China.

“He’s in the North East, New York, I think,” Anton says casually. “I have it narrowed down that much. It’s only a matter of time before one of my boys finds him, and this is all over again.”

I take the remote control from the bed stand next to him and turn off the television. “I’m sorry, Anton, you must have known we would win eventually.” I sit back down in the leather chair.

“It’s not over yet, I still have plenty of time to find him.” He giggles like a child.

He's up to something. “Just face it, Anton,” I say. “The game is over.” He's always up to something.

“On the contrary,” he says, reaching into his jacket. “The game has just begun.” At first, I think he’s going for the gun tucked under his armpit, but instead, he pulls out a brick of cellophane-wrapped cocaine, standing, breaking it open, and jamming his little finger in the brick. There is a small mound on his claw that he snorts, and wipes the rest under my nose. He tosses the open package on the ground between us.

“Cute,” I say, and look at the door before it gets kicked in. Six FBI agents with guns drawn storm the room.

“Federal agents!” One of them is yelling, keeping his gun trained on me. “Show us your hands! Get on the floor!”

I do as I'm told, but Anton is laughing. In the corner of my eye, he finally goes for the gun. I just try to make sure I'm down before the shooting starts.

The agents fire first, and conveniently miss with every shot. Anton is laughing harder and spiteful, firing three times before he ducks into the bathroom. Two more shots and glass shatters. The agents are running into the room, one of them kneeling over me and jamming handcuffs on my wrists.

“He’s gone out the window!” One of them is screaming from the bathroom. “He’s gone out the fucking window!”

Go to Chapter 3

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