Emmy shook the last Marlboro light from its pack and lit up. She didn’t usually smoke, but she was scared. Scared stiff in fact. She held no illusions. If everything went to plan, Coach would eliminate Sammy De Maggio. If Sammy had any Mafia mobsters with him, they would die as well. And then she would be next, after Coach had his fun. She shuddered at that thought.
The alternative wasn’t much better. Sammy could kill Coach, and then interrogate her. And then he would do what BG said, kill her for being in the same place as Ruth. Either way, she would lose out on the money. The money she needed. Whichever way she looked at it, her future didn’t look bright. She couldn’t go to the police, the Mob was out of the question; she had no one. She was becoming desperate. And then she remembered Jake.
Jake was sitting at the back of the coffee bar by the window, morosely spooning the froth on his hot chocolate. He didn’t particularly like hot chocolate, but it was a change from the insipid coffee. Vanity was off duty - that was a relief. Anna was talking to another of the persons on Mac’s list; she would join him later to recap on her meeting.
He picked up his cup and took a sip. And jigged it down on its saucer before he dropped it. The girl who looked like Emmy was staring at him through the window. He shot to his feet and ran to the door, this time he wasn’t going to lose her in the crowd. He needn’t have bothered. She sauntered up to him with a smile on her face and said in her familiar voice, “You looking for me?”
He had been so taken back, he couldn’t speak. He just spluttered. She ushered him back in the coffee bar, and sat down at his table. “You want a cookie with that?” she said, when the waitress came over.
Jake shook his head, and pushed the hot chocolate to one side. He could handle this conversation. “Make mine coffee, black, no sugar,” he told the waitress. “No cookie.” He waited while Emmy ordered green tea with lemon. She had changed; no doubt about it. But she also acted nervous, he could smell nicotine. She started to tap the table with her index finger. He looked at it. The nail was chewed, as were the others on her hand. Something she couldn’t deal with on her own, maybe? He felt a lot calmer and watched her eyes. They sat in silence until the waitress returned with their drinks.
“I’ve missed you Jake,” she started to say. Eyes to the right.
“Cut to the chase,” replied Jake. “Both of us know that’s not the truth.”
She stopped. “I need your help,” she said simply. Eyes moved to the left.
Jake frowned. Very unlike Emmy; she was so independent. She must be in real trouble. “I’m listening.”
“There’s a lot of money coming my way, that’s the problem.”
Jake thought he knew. “How much?” He sipped his coffee.
“A quarter of a million bucks, tax free,” she responded, as she dipped the tea bag into her cup. Eyes to the left again.
Jake sat up straighter in his chair. That was news; where did that come from? “That doesn’t appear to be a problem,” he said. “What’s the catch?”
She took out the tea bag with a spoon and put it in the saucer. “Being alive to spend it would be one,” she replied, taking a mouthful. She grimaced at the taste. “Maybe I should have ordered coffee,” she said. “Yours, okay?”
He nodded. His did taste okay. Must be a fresh pot. “Let me get this right,” he ventured. “You collect the money, your life’s in danger?”
“That’s about it,” she said.
“If I help you what’s in it for me, apart from being killed myself?”
Her thin lips parted. “You get twenty five percent.”
Jake shook his head. “No deal until I know the full details -- and it will be higher than twenty five percent.”
She looked at him coyly and reached out a hand to touch him. “You want to talk it through somewhere quieter, my apartment’s close by.”
He flinched. No he didn’t. Somehow her change in looks also changed her personality, and not for the better. She seemed more scheming, and she held no attraction for him now that he had Anna. “Emmy, your apartment sounds like a good idea, but there’s something you should know.” He looked at his watch. “Her name’s Anna. She’ll be here shortly. We can all go together.”
Back in Emmy’s apartment, they looked at one another. They were in deep. The prospect of easy money overriding caution and common sense. How easily they had stepped over the line, especially now BG’s fifty thousand had been spent already. The split had been agreed.
Emmy looked at Jake and Anna sitting on her bed. “If your plan works, I’ll still be taking the risk he won’t kill me,” she said. She shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “It’s a fine line. I want better odds.”
The plan seemed feasible enough. It would be safe to assume that Sammy would not take on Coach Mason by himself. That would be lunacy, given their physical differences. It would be putting a flyweight up against a heavyweight, a total mismatch. Therefore he would have others with him, probably two. They had all agreed on that. Emmy’s task was to follow Coach Mason’s plan, except that she would try and persuade Sammy to go up to her apartment alone with her, leaving the heavies waiting in their car outside the building. Appeal to his male ego, Jake had said. Harmless female in the clutches of a macho male, and the prospect of honey enticing him.
Once in the apartment, Sammy would be no match for the Coach, but Mason would be worried about the two heavies sitting outside. It was up to Emmy to become irresistible, so that he would only tie her up, while he went after the others and dumped their bodies somewhere. Jake would let himself in with Emmy’s spare key, free her, and they would all make their escape. Emmy could take the next bus out of town with a cool one hundred and sixty thousand and, with the remaining ninety thousand, Jake and Emma could set up their agency anywhere they liked.
Jake held out his hands. “You want a big cut; it’s a risk you have to take. Make yourself available as a bonus. The creep won’t turn that down a second time. As soon as you’re safe and the money’s split, we’ll point the police in Coach Mason’s direction.”
Emma shook her head. “You want ninety thousand bucks; this is what we’ll do.” They listened while she modified Jake’s plan.