“Take a yellow cab to Smithsonian. There’s a Wal-Mart there. Meet me at the fast-food outlet. Thirty minutes.” Emmy ended the call. Wal-Mart: plenty of people, easy access, a garden exit. Ideal. She would wait and watch, he would be easy to spot. Probably never been in a supermarket ever. Got his groceries delivered. She picked up her bag and moved across to a seat where she could watch better. She waited.
BG thought back to his meeting with Detective Mackenzie. The cop had a lazy charm and a folksy smile, but behind that exterior, a sharp mind. Reminded him of some movie star, but younger-looking. Not Eastwood, but someone smoother – hell, it would come to him later.
The cover story sounded much more plausible except Sammy De Maggio might be a maggot, but he was no easy mark. Ruth could have told him she was hanging out with Babe George. She could have sent him a photo. No, he couldn’t have gambled on telling Sammy what he told the cop; that would have been inviting lead boots.
BG thought about calling Sammy, but that was too dangerous. Why should he, now that he had the opportunity to meet her himself? If he could get the pics and all, he was safe. He could let her know that any more money demands, he would set Sammy on her.
BG was on time, she gave him that. He must be a worried man. He was carrying a briefcase: it looked bulky. Well it wasn’t gold, just paper. Bills, fifty thousand bucks. All for her. She got up from her seat and moved across to the fast-food outlet. There he was sitting at a corner table at the back.
She moved over and sat down next to him. “You want coffee?” she asked. She saw him staring at her changed image, raising an eyebrow as if wondering about her nose job and new hairstyle.
He shook his head. “I’m not socializing, Emmy.” He shifted around. No one listening in. “You got the pics and all?” he asked.
She patted her bag “All in here. Camera, the works.”
He put the briefcase on the table. “It’s all there. In hundreds and fifties. Take a look.”
She opened the clasp and looked inside. Like the man said. She rifled through a wad to check, and then closed it.
She passed her bag over. He took a quick look inside, moved the camera and pics to one side and saw the gun. He quickly closed the bag. “Okay, but I want to make it clear. You got any more pics hidden away, I now got insurance.”
She was puzzled. “Insurance?” she asked.
“His name is Sammy De Maggio. Ruth’s brother. Mafia. You really don’t want me to frame you. I can be very convincing.”
She was taken aback. Suddenly flustered. “But it wasn’t me, BG.”
BG smiled, as if catching her out. “Emmy, I’m giving you a break here. You take me down and he’ll give you lead boots just for being in the same place, just to be sure.”
Emmy stood up. Regained her composure. “I don’t believe you,” she said.
BG pointed a finger at her. Nail bitten down to the quick. “Who do you think put a stop on the bank transfer?” he replied. “That was Sammy. If I were you, I’d get out of town fast.”
Emmy stopped and stared at him. Asshole, she thought. “BG, I get the chance, I’ll rip off your balls.” She picked up the suitcase, and flounced out.