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Chapter 10: The Night Has Eyes

Earlier in the day, Fields had set up his surveillance and assigned each of his foot soldiers to a specific sector of the district. A picture of Cosmo and a sketch of what Lilly would look like at her present age had been circulated. “Watch and wait” were the orders. If and when there was a sighting, they were to call Fields for further orders.

“Randall is a dangerous man,” Fields had trumpeted. The U Street corridor fell to Wanda, and her new husband Leo. Both were ex-military, committed, lethal, and greedy, they epitomized the perfect assassins.

Wanda turned her Hungarian blue eyes on her husband. that tricked you into thinking she was a saint. Leo wore fresh out of the package work clothes and too clean boots. Wanda was in baggie brown jeans, the kind with lots of pockets. A snug gray tank top under a cotton long sleeve shirt hung loose, untucked, and unbuttoned. Her running shoes showed signs of wear.

“The boss is hyper about grabbing this kid. But mention the name Cosmo Randall and he goes ballistic,” Leo told Wanda.

“Yeah, this one’s personal. Randall and his genius I. Q. was one of Nautilus’s shining stars. Fields recruited him. Vouched for his loyalty. Randall knows all their secrets. Where their skeletons are buried. So, when Cosmo pulled a disappearing act, stole the diamond, and then blindsided them by taking the kid… well guess whose head went on the chopping block.”

“Fields.”

“Yes. Big time. Nautilus allowed Fields to buy his way back in. The old times that manage the torture pit say it cost him every cent he had. Close to three and a half million. Behind closed doors the boss has been the court jester, the brunt of many jokes.”

“He’s lucky to be breathing. No wonder he’s obsessed, with catching Randall.” Leo imitated Fields. Puffed out his stomach and lowered his voice. “‘If anyone screws this up I’ll hack off their toes and stuff them down their throat.’”

“The boss enjoys that shit.”

They laughed as they strolled through the park holding hands.

“Let’s hope this meeting draws Cosmo out.” Wanda fluttered her lashes at Leo. “And the boss gets back the respect he deserves. I like him.”

He rubbed a shoulder against hers. “Music is nice. Not a great neighborhood but not too shabby.” Leo leaned close and pecked his wife on the cheek.

“Not the honeymoon we planned. Sorry. You flirt like other men breathe and I like it. Right now, it’s time to go to work. Eyes sharp. Remember that bonus? I want it.”

“We could get more than that if we made our own deal. There’s a lot of chatter circulating about an exceptional big-ass diamond.”

“Dangerous talk. Forget it. I, we work for Fields.” Was her husband asking her to choose between him and the job? Nine years she worked with Fields and always thought of herself as the job. Changing the subject, Wanda checked her phone.

“What are you doing?”

“Shopping. Dolce and Gabbana’s new line.”

“You want me to stay alert then plant an image of your legs in stilettos in my brain.”

“Sorry baby.”

“The odds of taking down Randall are not in our favor. So, don’t buy more shoes just yet sweetheart. Fields has a ton of foot soldiers on the streets. Odds of us collecting the bonus are mighty thin.”

In the next breath she said, “Just kidding. I’m checking the sketches. I’ve got eyes on the park. Keep yours on the apartment buildings. If Randall comes out one of those doors, we’ve got his home base and the kid. I’d pay to see Fields bust a gut when we haul in the father and the daughter.”

Leo laughed. “I’m not so sure I want to see Fields’ guts. He’s not your normal warm-blooded mammal. His type is snake like, cold bloody.”

“No more watching the science fiction channel!” Wanda lifted the back of Leo’s hand to her mouth and kissed it. “Meeting between Terry and Cosmo is set for midnight. Right?” She checked her watch.

Leo nodded. “And we’re stuck here, away from the action. It’s after ten. We must have circled this damn park fifty times. I’m taking a bench.”

They sat down. Leo put his arm around Wanda and they cuddled.

Wanda stiffened. “Hold on Leo. Look over there.” She nodded at the other side of the street where a small girl marched with determination toward Schaffer’s.

Wanda pulled up the stats and pictures on her phone and pointed at it.

“Let me see.” Leo grabbed his wife’s cell. His head bobbed back and forth between the cell and the girl. “She fits the description. Right age, African American and Asian. But where’s Randall? I was told he never left her alone. For sure he won’t send her out like this.”

“What do you think?” asked Wanda.

“It’s worth a look. She is going into Schaffer’s. How about something sweet, besides me?”

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