Noir: Reservations

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 maĆ®tre d’ greeted me.


“Maryanne Stone.”

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.

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