Book 2, Chapter 085

Unfortunately for Mister One, the cops were already there. Unfortunately for the cops, there were only two of them. Danny had killed the sirens and pulled over just out of sight from the theatre. He and Marco had gotten out of the car and crept closer to investigate. From the outside, there was no sign of a disturbance. Danny knew, deep in his gut, that what he’d heard over his ex’s phone was serious, though.

Danny continued to scan the theatre for any clue of shady going-ons. He also drew his gun, checked his ammo and disengaged the safety. Even if he couldn’t see anything, he knew there was trouble out there.

Marco looked at him like he was crazy. “Jesus, Dan, calm down! We don’t know what’s going on in there — or how many bad guys there are, if any, or what.”

Hitomi is in there,” Danny said.

“Yeah,” Marco agreed. “And if there are bad guys in there too, then it’s a hostage situation. And if you go charging in half cocked, you’re going to make it a messy one. We need to sit tight and wait for backup, Dan.”

Dan knew he was tensed up, so he forced himself to relax. He knew Marco was right — and if it were anyone other than Hitomi who’d called… And the worst part was, the fact that she’d called him instead of nine one one meant she was probably involved somehow. They’d split up because he wouldn’t put up with her non-answers about her past anymore, or the weird, semi-suspicious favors she would occasionally ask for.

Well, that and because she’d found out he’d had the guys in organized crime tap her line to see if she was involved with the local mob.

“Yeah,” Danny forced himself to say. “Okay. We wait for backup.”

Marco breathed out in relief

His relief was short lived, though. Almost immediately after Danny agreed to hold back, a black sedan screeched to a halt next to their cruiser. It’s front doors opened in unison, and two people who could only be described as agents got out. One was a shorter fellow in a full suit and tie. The other was a taller woman, also in a suit — but without the jacket. A shoulder-holstered gun was clearly visible on the woman, since she’d done without the jacket. They both wore shades and wired ear buds.

The woman cupped her hand over her ear and stalked toward the theatre. “Where’s my perimeter,” she snarled. “We need snipers on these roofs and air support, now.

The man left her to do whatever she was doing. He approached Marco and Danny, blocking their view of his partner. “Hello,” he said. “I’m agent Johnson.” He jerked his head vaguely in the direction of ‘behind me.’ “That’s agent Richards. Homeland security. You two can relax now: we’ve got this from here.”

Marco tried to reply, but his words were drowned out by the sudden whumpa-whumpa-whumpa of a helicopter arriving. Instants later, Marco’s jaw remained hanging open and his words unformed as the first helicopter — heavily laden with belly-mounted machineguns and rockets — circled the theatre and more helicopters arrived, disgorging men in military tactical gear who rode ziplines down to the ground and then charged toward the theatre, only to stop and begin fortifying well short of the building itself.

Danny looked at Marco in shock. Marco realized his mouth was open and clicked his jaw shut. Agent Johnson smiled at both of them. “Please remain here,” the agent said. “We’ll want your contact information and statements after the incident is resolved.” Then he tipped his shades the way another man might tip a hat, turned on his heel, and strode off to join Agent Richards — who was busily directing the soldiers in the streets.

Et Alia, Book 2: Black Magic, Secret Agents, Shakespearean Tragedies and Interoffice Dating

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