Winter Rain, part 17

Conlan’s objection is instantaneous. “Tiergan! No! What are you doing?”

I step into a restaurant entryway and pretend to study the menu, my back to intersection. It won’t be long. The reflection should give me a good look at them.

“Something’s up, Conlan,” I plead. “I don’t know what it is, but something’s not right.”

“That’s not your call!” It’s hard to yell through a phone while walking down a busy street, but he’s managing it. “Get back out in front, now!” He’s angry, but there’s more to it.

He’s also scared.

I don’t know what I’m expecting to find. I don’t even know that this isn’t just stupid, childish impatience. But I can’t help it. Something feels wrong. They’re too conspicious, too confident, too direct. Why are these people even on foot? If they really are going all the way to Old Town, why aren’t they in a car?

“Whatever you guys are going to do, do it now,” Tara growls.

Truth is, I’m probably screwing over a friend.

But at least he can blame me. If he weren’t saddled with the responsibility for the op, he’d be thinking the same thing as me. I wish Tara could weigh in, but she’s not in a position to have a conversation, presently.

And she’ll back my play, either way.

“Sorry, Conlan.”

“Approaching!” Tara’s voice is quiet, but urgent.

“Tiergan!” Conlan cries. But it’s too late, and he knows it. “Fuuuuck!

The lead bodyguard enters the intersection. He really is built like a house! Man. Good thing we aren’t trying to take him down.

He’s careful, too. Checking both directions. His eyes are on my back. I actually study the menu, now. Eye contact would be a dead giveaway.

And he’s past. I exhale slowly.

And she enters the intersection. Her ponytail bobs with her gait. She’s very confident, put together. The duffle swings heavily past her leg. But it’s crumpled. Like it’s mostly empty.

Her eyes scrape towards me and we meet in the glass.

Shit! I know her.

A smile tugs at her face, her eyes locked on mine—recognition, for sure. And a hint of glee.

She breaks contact and starts walking faster.


Conlan’s going to kill me.

Her second guard passes. Still trying to be casual, he barely looks around at all.

I force myself to breathe while he crosses the street. But it won’t save me for long.

“Guys,” I say, at last, “we’ve got a problem.

“And I’ve been made.”