Author: Gary Ponzo
From Award-Winning Author Gary Ponzo.
Dina Torres is an ex-Chicago cop who spots a hitman on a restaurant patio where she’s dining. When she lures the unaware assassin to her table, she’s become part of his plot. Can she uncover who his target is that night? And will she be able to get help from FBI agent Nick Bracco's cousin Tommy Bracco who happens to be vacationing in Chicago. Or is he part of the plot as well?
LENGTH: Short Story
Available in .mobi for Kindle, .epub for NOOK and most other e-readers, and .pdf.
I watched the killer sit down at the outdoor table and take the dinner menu from the hostess with a genuine smile on his face. I was also sitting on the patio of Luxbar Restaurant on the north side of Chicago where a convergence of three streets saturated the intersection with upscale dining and small nightclubs. These were not inexpensive establishments. That’s why you found seventy-year-old businessmen sipping champagne with their thirty-year-old dates. It’s the reason the locals dubbed it the Viagra Triangle.
The killer was alone, however, as he scanned his surroundings. When he got to me I gave him a brief hint of a smile, but quickly looked away. He didn’t know who I was, so coming from a thin, fashion-conscious female, it wasn’t unexpected. Even in my late forties, long legs still got me places. By midnight, however, I was a knockout.
Since the guy was handsome and ring-less, a flirtatious glance was probably normal for him. And right about now I wanted him to sense normal as much as possible.
He couldn’t have known that just a few months ago I was a homicide detective with the Chicago PD. Lieutenant Dina Torres. That was before I was recruited to join the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and moved to Washington DC. Speaking fluent Arabic, Hebrew, Kurdish and Berber will command attention from the Bureau. Plus the pay was better so I signed up.
After living inside the beltway for a year, however, I got homesick and decided to take my first vacation back home. Maybe visit some old friends. Maybe even spot a hitman on the job.
The reason the killer probably felt safe was because he was from Baltimore. The thought which ran through my mind was, “Why was a hitman from Baltimore having dinner in Chicago? Sure, it was August and this was certainly a touristy part of town, but do assassins vacation? Here? In the heart of the second largest city in the country? In the most visible of locations? No, he’s here for business. And his business always ended with a dead body.
I was supposed to be meeting my ex-partner, Harvey Kaap, which turned south at the last minute and left me here, by myself, three tables away from a contract killer.