22 July 2009

Unholy Crusade, part fifteen

Chapter Six


'I don't see her,' said Cartwright. 'Think she's actually going to come?'

Seth kept his eyes on the street ahead. The rain had eased off during the afternoon but showed no signs of abating entirely. 'Of course she'll come. She wants this just as much as we do.'

They sat in Seth's black sedan and waited, watching the rain fall and the pedestrians hurry down the road in the hope of getting out of the weather quickly.

The minutes dragged by and Seth was beginning to give up hope when he spotted a redhead in black glasses walking toward the car. It took him a moment to recognise her, but he did. All his training coupled with years of on-the-streets experience had made him an expert in recognising people. It had been three days since they had met in person but she was still fresh in his memory thanks to spending days analysing photographs and other records. Her hair might be different and her spectacles changed the eye-to-face ratio slightly, but her overall face shape was the same. She may be able to fool the average person with her disguises, but he was not having any of it.

He unlocked the car doors and she climbed into the back.

'We were starting to think you weren't coming,' he said.

'I got delayed. Let's not hang around here. You were easy to spot; chances are I'm not the only one who saw you.'

Seth turned the ignition, pulled out into the road and headed off at a steady twenty miles per hour. There was no sense drawing attention to them by speeding.

'What was the delay?' asked Cartwright.

'It doesn't matter,' Gretl replied, sounding edgy. 'It won't affect tonight.'

Seth hoped Cartwright knew better than to push for more information. He glanced in the rear-view mirror, noted the vampire's smarter appearance: black suit, black blouse; all neat and ironed. She had even brushed her hair. Maybe she had been telling the truth about how important tonight was to her.

'So what have you found out?' Gretl asked.

'Dupont is meeting with Reggie Dixon again tonight. They're trying for another deal. What about you?'

'Allemand will be there too. So will his new lackey.'

'What new lackey?' asked Cartwright. 'Why didn't we hear about this?'

'His name is Pellier. He's been sniffing around town, asking about me for the last couple of days. I just found out tonight that he's working with Allemand.'

'If that's true, tonight is going to be more complicated than I thought,' Seth said.

'It doesn't change the plan.' Gretl's tone was firm. 'Everyone we want is going to be at the meeting tonight. If we're going to hit them, tonight is the time to do it. The last thing we need is to give them time to work out what's happening and go to ground. Agreed?'

'Agreed,' said Seth.

'Then let's get our gear ready and get in there.'

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