WARNING: NEIL'S GOT THE FEELS FOR TYPOS...
A DEA agent. The Russian who I’d spend all that time tracking, the one right under our noses in beautiful, sweet, serene Charlottesville, was actually a DEA agent?
“I don’t believe you,” I said.
“You don’t have to believe me,” the possible-ex-Russian criminal said. I don’t know if it was my head, the stress, my paranoia or reality, but I could’ve sworn the guy was looking and sounding more and more red-blooded American as the seconds ticked by. “How mobile are you?” he asked, surprising me from my thoughts.
He pointed at my leg. “Unless I’m mistaken, you have a prosthetic. You don’t limp. You don’t seem to be in pain.”
I’d done A LOT of rehab to make my gait as normal as possible. Sometimes I still tripped, usually because I forgot to pick my fake foot up enough.
“I’m perfectly mobile.” My answer came out sounding like the cousin of a petulant child. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound defensive, it’s just that—“
“You’ve worked hard to rehab, to make it look like you’ve got still got two working legs.”
“Right.” There was some ruckus outside and we went quiet to listen but I couldn’t make out what was happening.
“You think they’ll kill ‘em?” my new companion asked. It didn’t sound like that concerned him much.
“Probably not. They’re thugs, not murderers.”
“That’s good. Dead Russians makes my reports harder to write.”
What a ridiculous situation, I thought. Time to reel it back in.
“Quick, you have to tell me where the money is. I have certain assets at my disposal that can—“
“There’s no money,” the agent said like he’d just told me we were out of jam.
“No money?! That’s impossible. I saw it.”
“You saw what we wanted the world to see. There’s no money.”
As if on cue, the entire motorcycle club marched back into the house.
“Your time is up,” Big Boy #1 said. “Where’s the money?”
Crap. Crap. Crap.
Neil, the big dumb idiot