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Waiting For Boudreau

  There was a van parked across the street, a blue utility van with white lettering—Percy & Slade Windows & Siding—which was absurd, really, considering the only renovating Percy or Slade ever did involved realigning the bones of unlucky men. The old-fashioned park bench was wood and iron—as opposed to those awful vinyl ones the Greenies made from recycled pop bottles, Olivia thought, a nice touch for an urban strip—and moist from the afternoon rain.  Damp seeped through her black corduroys, yet she was made far more uncomfortable by the fleeting glances of the brunette sitting beside her. I’ll have to speak to Slade about not sending me fucking amateurs.

 Olivia entered a number into her cell phone and held it to her ear without pressing send. The brunette unwrapped a bagel—cinnamon raisin, toasted, with butter—and proceeded to pick the raisins out and flick them to the pavement. Pigeons waddled and cooed at her feet, and Olivia thought, at least she’s wearing sensible shoes.

 Liv said to the empty phone, her voice a soft British lilt, “Might I assume everything is in place?”

 Cinnamon sans raisins frowned at the bagel as though it had offended her, and took a long look down Franklin street in the opposite direction. “Fell through.”

 “You’re quite sure?” Liv tapped a fingernail against the hard plastic of the phone expectantly, tap tap tap.

 “He won’t talk.” A paper cup of coffee appeared from her side, went to her lips, and disappeared again. “Won’t talk to Goldsmith, won’t talk to Pfeifer, won’t talk to me.”

 “Your failure displeases me,” Liv told the silent phone, finally thumbing send. “Moreover, it will displease M. As will your use of names in public. Christ.” Percy picked up on the first ring without a hello. She informed him, “I need some glass replaced.”

 There was no reply. Liv thought the silence was tainted by irritation. Then again, Mel Percy’s emotional range wasn’t that broad to begin with. He was usually dialed to don’t fuck with me, and only once had Olivia seen him brighten, briefly, to that’s not complete and total shit.

She waited for the blue van move away from the curb, to take Franklin to 13th, beyond which she could see ModAgro International’s massive chrome and glass headquarters, Stuart Roth’s phallic surrogate thrust stiff and proud above the other buildings, struggling into a soft and yielding grey sky. She waited a further five minutes beside a woman who might have half an hour left to live—and 30 minutes was stretching it–wondering if Cinnamon Bagel had any idea.  Now I have to call M. And M will send AJ.  He always does. This had the potential to get ugly, fast; Liv was no longer sure she wanted a part in it.

 When Liv finally did stand, sweeping a cascade of ash blonde hair back over her shoulder, she passed a brushing hand over her damp posterior with a grimace.

 Bagel stopped chewing to offer up a simple, if muddled, “I’m sorry.”

 Liv thought, Clueless.

 Olivia was half a block away, waiting for the limo driver to open her door for her, when she heard the single pop, and caught in her peripheral vision the crumpling of a body off a park bench. She didn’t look back to see the dregs of the rookie’s coffee running into the storm drain. Checking her Tag Heuer, noting the late hour in Ireland , she ignored some citizen’s wailing alarm, and swung into the back seat.

 In her natural accent, pure Quebecois, she told the driver, “Back to the Fairmont , s’il vous plait.”

“Gonna hit traffic, Madam Pelletier,” he said.

Ostie de marde,” she muttered beneath her breath, texting M. His reply, despite the late hour, was immediate and concise: Pass off to AJ.

“Be about a 50 minute drive,” the driver told her, avoiding her eyes in the rearview mirror.

 Olivia slipped out of her Etienne Aigners and brought her bare feet up onto the seat, silk stockings sliding across cool leather. Putting her iPhone ear buds in, she cranked Vivaldi’s opera 7 concerto 7 in D minor, and waited a heartbeat for her serenity to return.

 As it always did.

To be continued …

 

That’s right, my faithful readers. As you might have guessed from the above, another evil author interview is in the works (and by that, I mean the interview is evil, not the author). Can you guess who it is? I’ll give you a hint: his last name rhymes with flu-row … which sounds like the last kinda boat you saw if transferred to the lazarettos in Venice in 1423, yes? You know, yersinia pestis … NEVERmind, I’ve drifted into geek territory now. Back to spy-chick!

Coming soon, the curl-your-toes charming Al Boudreau will sit down with me (well, not literally with me, more’s the pity, cuz I’m a real sucker for that why-resist-me-I’m-harmless smile of his, not that I buy it for a heartbeat). Al and I (yes, Al and Allie) will discuss his political thriller In Memory of Greed, his coming plans—both writing and travel—and his views on the often odd life of a writer. And his thoughts on warm soda. And if he’s allergic to beestings, or has any scars on or around his junk—what?! Oh, don’t pretend you don’t wanna know, ya buncha pervs. Then, while his resistance is down, I’ll go in for the kill. My plan is a thing of beauty … if by “beauty”, you mean “warped and puerile”.

                      (Witness the “I’m harmless” smile ^ Not buyin’ it!)

 In any case, I look forward to prying his secrets from him. Some sympathy may be in order, since he’s a sweet, sweet man indeed, and I hate to have to rough him up. No, sympathy for me, not for him! It breaks my iron-clad heart to hunt him down like this. But I’d do anything for my readers, dontchaknow?

 He’s given my accomplices the slip, but don’t you worry: AJ’s been called to the task. *smiles innocently, hauling the business end of a .357 Walther P22 to eye level* And once I’ve set my sights on someone, well, you should know by now: I always hit my target center of mass. Just hope I don’t chip a nail …

 

(editor’s note: AJ Aalto’s evil interviews will continue until she is no longer amused with the free-for-all torture of Indie authors–this could take years. AJ can often be found lurking on Twitter in #pubwrite. To flush her out of hiding, just say something filthy and wait for the inevitable smart-assed reply, or say the words “I have a confession to make” and wait for the “OMG tell me now, what did YOU DO?!”)

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