A hand grabbed my left shoulder strongly enough to prevent me from entering the club. The hand’s owner, a muscular and well turned out young man, stepped between me and the door.
“Do you have a reservation?”
It was a demand more than a question and the tone of voice carried an implied threat. The raw knuckles I had seen on his hand reinforced that. I made a mental note that he was right handed.
“Several,” I muttered. More loudly, “Yes. I’ll be dining with Maryanne Stone.”
He consulted his reservation list.
“You’re Mr. Beretta?”
“Enjoy your dinner, sir.”
It was a spectacular room; no expense seemed to have been spared. The maître d’ greeted me.
A complex expression crossed his face that I couldn’t quite read.
“She hasn’t arrived yet. May I show you to your table?”
“No, I’ll wait for her at the bar.”
“Very good, sir.”
Tugger was at the end of the bar, sipping from a goddamn cup. As I passed him, I slipped him a 20.
“Geez, kid, look the part,” I hissed.