At Vivian’s cryptic comment about her drink, Pauley licked her lips, remembering the last time she drank some of her “spiced” tea. Returning Vivian’s hug, Pauley countered with her own warning.
“And, my people know where to find you if anything happens to me,” Pauley smiled at their homicidal banter. Even she didn’t understand their deadly friendship, but it worked for them.
Vivian picked up a store business card and pen from the cashier’s counter, and wrote out the address to her villa just outside of town.
“Have the hotel deliver your luggage here. My housekeeper, Lenore, will be there to accept the bags,” Vivian handed the card to Pauley, sarcasm dripping from her response. “We can sit up late tonight, talking. Just like a slumber party.”
Pauley shook her head at the thought of Vivian ever being like a typical teenage girl.
“I’ll do some research and when we meet later, I’ll have some ideas for how to deal with your predicament,” Pauley stopped short of the front door, fingering a tropical print, silk blouse draping a mannequin in the window.
“Your taste in clothing is definitely more refined,” Vivian approved of Pauley’s style. “I’ll have that wrapped for you when you come back.”
Pauley didn’t head directly back to her hotel, instead she walked to the nearby Cafe’ Suplicy.
A waiter in a crisp white shirt and expertly pressed black slacks brought Pauley a steaming cup of café com leite and a rosquinha de canela, a decadent cinnamon roll she would have to have shipped to her in New York. She sat in one of many saffron-colored leather chairs grouped in the back of the café. The plush decor made her question whether Sao Paulo could handle having two women assassins living within its borders.
From her vantage point, facing the front door, and floor to ceiling windows, Pauley could also see down the entire length of the café’s bar, and watch fellow patrons sipping their coffee at small, chrome tables filling the main dining area. The formal atmosphere was the perfect spot for a business call. She knew that she would not be disturbed while investigating a certain local drug lord.
Blowing steam from her hot coffee, Pauley took a tentative sip, not wanting to burn her lips. She made a mental note to get Stanley several bags of the café’s signature torra clara, a light roast coffee he would kill for.
With the three hour time difference in mind, Pauley dialed Stanley’s personal number knowing he would be away from his office. Most likely, he would be at Central Park Lake with his remote control schooner. It always made Pauley laugh to think of Stanley as a pirate.
“G’afternoon cap’n,” Pauley tried her best impression of a galley wench. The two discussed weather for a few minutes. Pauley taunted her boss about being in a country that enjoyed summer during the coldest months in New York.
“I was right, Viv’s gotten in over her head again,” Pauley said. “What can you tell me about a Brazilian drug runner named Tomas. That’s his first name. I don’t know that yet, but there can’t be too many to pick from.”
“What am I going to do? I’m going to save her ass again. I’ll figure that out once I know more about this Guido wanna-be. Who knows, you may want to expand your enterprise into South America. I could help you run things here. You know I would. I’d sacrifice the cold and dirt of New York for the awful sun and beauty of Brazil, just for you.”
Stanley promised to find out what he could and get back with her soon.
“Thanks, Stan,” Pauley signed off the call.
Finishing her coffee and roll, Pauley left for her hotel. Looking around the city streets, she scoped out the taller buildings, wondering if any would be a good vantage point for a kill.
*The continuing adventures of your favorite female assassins. For more from Pauley and Vivian (a.k.a. Millicent), check out Dead Money. Lance, writing partner extraordinaire and bouncer at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, has penned another chapter for this week too: “I Want You Around“