Noir: Eyes Open

I continued down the length of the bar, heading for a stool at its far end that promised an easy view of the entrance. Halfway there, something that I had picked up in my peripheral vision registered. I backed up a couple of steps.

“Unbelievable,” I said to a recognized brown trench-coated back huddled over a glass containing too much liquid to be vodka. “Drink your water and get out of here. The only reason you’re still vertical right now is because I’m not keen to be bounced out of here yet. That will change.”

I looked back at Tugger and was pleased to see that he was paying attention. I gave him the “eyes on this guy” sign. He flashed back a thumbs up. I walked to the far end of the bar, sat and ordered a whiskey. When it arrived, I sipped it while I scanned the room.

The room was a constant buzz of activity, much of it originating from an impeccably tuxedoed man with well greased black hair, flitting from table to table, shaking hands and laughing with the patrons. That would be Vincenzo Otellio.

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