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The darkest hour pt. 3

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The only mistake

Jeff arrived at the restaurant as the letter stated. He parked his truck alongside the curb. He killed the engine and sat for a few minutes taking in his surroundings. He learned this valuable lesson from his boat crew leader during his time as a navy seal. He flipped down his sun visor mirror. The old man staring back at him was far from the man he felt inside, but he still noted the wrinkles that were more than abundant. He sighed. He noticed an Asian female sitting on the bench in front of the restaurant staring into his vehicle. After a short time she looked away. Jeff exited his truck and pushed the lock button on the door panel. He waited for a car to pass then proceeded across the snow covered roadway and into the doorway of the restaurant. He was greeted by the hostess, a small, short Asian woman. “Good evening, how many?” Jeff held up one finger. “Follow me” she commanded. Jeff began to take in all of his surroundings once again, noting an older gentlemen sitting alone with only a glass of water, a family of children with the proud trophy brats that they have raised, several couples, a lone black female fashionably dressed sitting alone in a corner to which Jeff let his eye wonder from her exposed leg up to the rest of her curvy body. “Hmmm not bad” he thought to himself. “You sit here” the hostess pointed him to his booth. “What you want to drink?” she asked. “Coke.”

Jeff slide into the booth. The worn red leather seats and cheesy Chinese dragons everywhere made the spot even worse. He had actually been to China during his military time and it was nothing like this garbage that they served. The waitress returned with his coke a few minutes later. She told him to help himself to the bar. Jeff nodded in understanding. He wasn’t sure who the contact was and how the hell would he know. He was frustrated, worried, and felt triggered. He shifted in the seat to make sure his gun was still in his inside-the-waistband holsters. He sat for about 15 minutes without getting up from the booth. The damn waitress was constantly asking if he needed something. He got up from the booth and picked up a plate at the end of the food bar. He wasn’t very hungry but wasn’t sure what do to otherwise. He picked up some general Tso’s chicken, a few slices of fruit, and egg rolls. He was standing at the seafood bar looking it over. A tall, obviously well-built black man began talking about how nasty the crab legs were. Jeff nodded in agreement. “Black suburban around the corner 20 minutes.” The man walked away still talking to seemingly no one. Jeff stood a few minutes. What the fuck was that? He took his plate to his booth and sat down. He sipped a few sips of coke and managed to swallow the fruit. His nerves were beginning to get rattled at not knowing how people knew him and he didn’t know them. This guy is good, he’s fucking good.

He looked at his watch and realized it was time to start that way. He got up placed a twenty dollar bill on the ticket and handed it to the waitress telling her to keep the change. He headed out feeling the cold cut into him. It was hot as hell in there so he welcome the cool. He walked around the corner of the building and spotted the black suburban as described. He started that way and the driver and passenger got out. Two well-dressed men in suits. Jeff pulled his waistline to make sure his gun was available if he needed it. He approached the passenger who was closest to the sidewalk. The man opened up the rear door. “Do you have any weapons?” the man asked. “Yeah, my ccw.” Jeff scoffed. “Keep it holstered or you will be shot without a warning understand?” Jeff nodded as he stepped into the suburban and was greeted by a beautiful woman in a black dress. She looked strangely familiar to him. “I am Cassandra, Jeff I presume?” as she extended her hand to him. He took her hand, and could feel that she was strong, not at all what she appeared. “You killed my sister, Jeff. Might I ask why?” Cassandra asked him raising one of her finely trimmed eyebrows. “I am not sure I know what you’re talking about.” Jeff retorted. “You killed my sister because her employer Jim told you to. You stabbed her with a knife, the same one you have killed dozens with Jeff. I know you, and what you do. I know all about you and every move you make. I also know about her.” She showed Jeff a picture of a girl about the age of 17. Flowing, red, curly locks of hair and emerald green eyes. “Your daughter is beautiful, it would be a pity for her to die.” Jeff clenched his jaw muscles. “What is this about?” Jeff’s mind began to race. Was his daughter safe? How could this woman possible know the things that she goes? It’s impossible. I am too careful he thought to himself.

She leaned in so that they were only inches apart. “This is about the item you stole from my dying sister. The one thing you know nothing about. The one thing that cost her, her life. Where is the USB?” Jeff sat back into the leather seat. “I don’t have it, your friend does. He hired me to kill her and retrieve it. If you have beef, he is the one that put the hit out, not me. I am just the mercenary, and this damn sure doesn’t involve my daughter. If you decide to even remotely try to hurt a hair on her head I will...” He was cut off by the gun pointed directly into his face. Cassandra has pulled a nickel plated .45 caliber handgun from her purse and it was pointed into Jeff’s face. He swallowed hard.