If you want to read the rest of the series, here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, and Part 19.
One of the goons gestured for Cinnamon to sit on the couch beside Geoffrey. She edged onto the seat, keeping her eyes focused on his gun.
"And you're not killing us now because..." said Geoffrey. Cinnamon noticed how calm his voice sounded. Like he was wondering why something wasn't included with an entrée on a restaurant menu. Like this wasn't life or death.
DeBussy chuckled and settled himself into Geoffery's armchair. "I'd rather wait until we receive news the third member of your little party has been taken care of. This is a very nice neighbourhood — even with silencers people might notice the gunshots. But if we move, you have a better chance of escaping. And that, that would not suit me at all."
"You left the work to the goons who'd been trailing us all night and already let us get away twice," said Geoffrey.
"I can't exactly walk in the front doors of your headquarters and demand to watch," said DeBussy. "Not yet, anyhow."
"How on earth did you recruit Alex?"
DeBussy shrugged again. Cinnamon wondered if it was an affectation or just a nervous twitch. "He is a weak and greedy man, and he hates Pepper." He raised his eyebrows. "Did you expect more?"
"Why the hell could anyone be bothered hating Pepper?" Cinnamon burst out. She instantly regretted it. Geoffrey had actually managed to connect, keep the subject talking. She might have just broken the rapport.
Another shrug. "She makes us look bad. In my case, every time she makes me look bad, it means I can't complete a job, and that means I'm losing money. I will agree with you that the people you work with are more... petty."
DeBussy rose from his chair. "As this is most definitely not a Hollywood spy film, you'll pardon me if I skip answering all your questions and try out Geoffrey's espresso machine instead." He stepped towards the kitchen.
Cinnamon checked the distances and angles, carefully wearing a bored expression on her face. Idiots, she thought. Always arrogant idiots. When DeBussy passed in front of the goon closest to the doorway, she sprang in a low dive for DeBussy's knees.
She never got to complete her tackle. The goon covering Geoffrey pivoted and shot her before she was within a metre of DeBussy.
"Fuck," Geoffrey and the goon who'd fired the shot both snarled in unison. Geoffrey was up and rushing him before the goon had a chance to react and pivot back. He forced the goon's hand to shoot in DeBussy's and the other henchman's direction, managing to wound the henchman in his gun arm.
Geoffrey slammed the goon into the wall and jerked the gun up, forcing another shot to be fired. The bullet went through the underside of the goon's chin and exited the top of his head. Finally able to grab the gun from the goon's hand, Geoffrey wheeled and shot the other goon in the head, just as he was shakily grasping at the gun with the hand attached to his uninjured arm.
Debussy had backed into the kitchen. Geoffrey stalked across the living room and found him standing by the espresso machine, fumbling to get the safety catch off his gun. DeBussy shrieked as he spotted Geoffrey in the doorway, pointing the gun at him.
"Don't," DeBussy stammered. "I can negotia—"
Geoffrey shot him neatly between the eyes. "You've got nothing to bargain with."
He stepped over DeBussy's body and picked up the kitchen phone, dialling a number from memory.
"Toronto Police," said a woman's voice.
Geoffrey asked for a phone extension. The woman simply said she'd transfer him.
A man answered the extension. "Code 34-7-51," said Geoffrey.
"Just a moment," said the man. Geoffrey heard him tapping at a computer. "At the address you're calling from?"
"Okay. We'll cancel all responses per procedure. Have a better one." The man hung up.
Geoffrey threw the phone on the kitchen counter and rushed to where Cinnamon was still lying on the carpet. He stretched out his hand to check her pulse, then withdrew it when he saw the extent of the damage to her head. Blood and brains were darkening the red of the Oriental carpet, and matting her bright copper hair.
He threw himself onto the couch. "Damn it, Sheila, what the hell did you think was going to happen?" He leaned back against the cushions, closed his eyes, and took several deep breaths.
Sitting upright again, he patted his pockets, swore under his breath, and then grabbed his mobile from the computer table. This time he had to look up a contact entry before dialling.
"Todd? It's Geoff. You know those two favours you owe me about the, uh, novelty coffee cups? I need to call them both in. Yeah. Now."
To be continued...
Important note: I love comments! But right now my web host has a bug with comment logins. Please feel free to leave a comment using the Guest option. You'll be able to ID yourself, mention your web site if you like, and say what you want to say!