“You aren’t seriously doing the tacky tourist thing and taking pictures with your smartphone?” Vivian walked up behind Pauley on the street outside of Café Suplicy. “At least use a real point and shoot.”
“Your sense of humor is as droll as ever,” Pauley looked at the display on her camera phone. “I’m not taking photos, I am taking measurements.”
Pauley turned her phone around to show Vivian she was using a range finder.
“A hunter’s app?” Vivian allowed herself a stifled laugh. “How appropriate.”
“If it comes to it, it’ll be helpful to know certain… characteristics of potential vantage points,” Pauley tucked her phone away, and pulled out an English-language newspaper. “Why did you follow me? Do you like the coffee here that much?”
“There’s a problem. Tomas and his thugs are coming back to the shop at noon,” Vivian took a seat at one of the cafe’s outdoor tables. “Danela, my assistant overheard them in the alley.”
Pauley joined her, opening The Rio Times to the local news pages. “You trust this Danela? She couldn’t be a plant?”
She hadn’t met Danela, but Pauley thought it was a little too convenient that she heard Tomas and his men talking. Chances were that the girl was placed in Vivian’s store to keep an eye on her, and report back to Tomas. She needed to get back to the shop before Tomas returned to get a better fix on Danela, she could be a problem.
Waving away Pauley’s mistrust, Vivian looked at the lead story, an item about the recent increased violence in the city. Nearly 100 local police officers had been killed in the last three months. Drug cartel feuds were blamed for the deaths.
Pauley turned the paper around so Vivian didn’t have to read upside down.
“I put in a call to Stan,” Pauley began, tapping the paper. “But, I’m thinking we can use this as a cover. If we decide to take out Tomas, it would be easy to convince authorities it was retaliation.”
“Have you always been this devious?” Vivian called over a waiter. “Café por favor. A rosquinha de canela e café a ir.”
Pauley smiled, picking up the paper and tucking it back into her bag.
“I’ll do some more reading, find out how these killings were carried out,” Pauley waited while the cafe server brought out Vivian’s coffee. “It doesn’t look like they’re trying to be be very sophisticated. Mostly drive-bys. Stray bullets cause collateral damage all the time. One day, Tomas could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Vivian lifted the lid off her drink, blowing into the cup to cool the hot, black liquid.
“I need to wait to hear back from Stan before I check out of my hotel,” she said. “I swept the room, so I know I can talk freely there. Once I know something about Tomas, we can devise a plan. But, I also need to know more about this assistant of yours.”
*A new series with your favorite female assassins, Pauley and Vivian (aka Millicent, aka Cinnamon Girl), brought to you by me and Lance, soon-to-be famous writer of My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. Check out his new chapter, “Ain’t it Heavy.”