His watch beeped and he reflexively looked at it. "Bad habit," he thought to himself with a grunt. Turning the key, he replied "No harm." As the Land Cruiser roared to life he retorted "Could be."
He swore (in French) at himself for the internal monologue and then laughed softly as he allowed himself one last "Get a grip." The large SUV shuddered slightly as the engine settled into its cadence. He eased off the curb and into the street. The traffic was light, but then that wasn't a surprise, this had all been carefully planned. What had not been planned was Mick getting reassigned to an earlier shift. "Such a stereotypical cop's name," he thought, shaking his head. Now was no time for mind games. He needed to be focused. Mick was now a problem. If he had still been on shift, he wouldn't have been able for the security detail. They'd thought about that. Mick was stuck. If he turned down the work, they'd know he was involved; Mick wasn't the type to take a sick day.
Dell reached to the passenger seat, bringing over first the envelope, then the gun, placing both in his lap. He didn't like the new plan. Mick was practically family. He knew what he was getting into, but Mick had brought the idea to them in the first place. Worse yet, the new plan was of his own making, no one else knew of his little improvisation. The envelope wasn't part of the plan, but Dell thought it might be the way to save Mick's life.
The vehicle glinted under each passing street light. He wished it weren't such a vibrant blue, but what did it matter? It would appear only gray on the surveillance cameras and would be torched before morning. Besides, they'd be looking for -- Dell checked the wallet in the envelope -- James Harrison, the guy who'd rented the Land Cruiser, not him. That, too, wasn't the way they liked to do things, involving civilians, but this was one case where their handiwork would be noticed quickly. In their typical job it would be months before the theft made the news, more often than not the company involved would pay big money to make sure the investigation stayed quiet. That was, if they'd even report it in the first place.
But Dell was a nice guy, he'd called the credit card company and reported the card stolen a few hours after renting the SUV. That would confuse them even more, but he sure hoped Harrison was here on vacation with family, family who had other credit cards or traveler's checks.
Right on cue, he spotted a series of police cars in his rearview mirror and quickly pulled to the curb. They raced by and before he could pull out again, another set of car raced by. He always marveled at how small the police cars were in these European countries, compared to those in America. By birth, Dell was American, but by passport, his nationality, even his identity, changed as it suited him. Which was quite frequently in his line of work.
A cop on a motorcycle racing along the avenue quickly cut in behind him. This was not according to plan.
to be continued... (not a typiclal 120 as I'm spending more than 2 minutes on each segment)
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