Firenze — Later

A few streets over, the next dance club was upscale, on a wider avenue with more lighting.  The neon silver Onion sign was red, outlined in yellow, and it didn’t flicker or buzz.  There was a waist-high line of stanchions along the curb, connected by coiled velvet ropes.  Nobody was waiting – it was early.  The two doormen were smaller and better dressed.  Dreyfus put on the baseball cap he’d bought earlier and adjusted the sunglasses so they sat on the peak.  He held the Beretta low against his leg as he got out of the car.  He took three long, sharp steps to cross the street and, without pausing, raised the gun and shot the larger man in the head.  The cobblestones were uneven and the shot was a little low, catching the man just under the chin.  But it was still fatal, and the bullet furrowed through the man’s brain before he had time to do anything but look surprised.  Dreyfus swung the gun to the second man.

“Open your jacket.  Two fingers.”

No Inglese.”  The man didn’t shake his head.

He was clearly no stranger to gun violence.  But he wasn’t a professional, or he wouldn’t be working the door.  Still, he was quite likely armed and was probably calculating his chances.  Dreyfus lowered the Beretta to waist high.

“Open you jacket slowly, or I’ll blow your balls off.”  For a quick glance nanosecond, Dreyfus shifted his eyes to the dead man.  The second man didn’t move.  (Gotcha!)   “I won’t ask you again.” Dreyfus added almost casually, his eyes firmly on the man’s face.  There was no hesitation.  The man opened his jacket.

“Wider.”

He had a gun on his belt.  Dreyfus stepped forward, his eyes still on the man’s face and his gun level with the man’s crotch.  He plucked the gun out of its holster and stepped back.  It was a fashionable Glock (Death by Ikea) and Dreyfus put it in his pocket.

“On your knees.  Hands on your head.  Cross your ankles.”

The man was clumsy but complied.  He was beginning to understand he wasn’t going to die.

”My name is Dreyfus Sinclair.  Tell your boss he should have left me alone.  And you should go back to Albania.  Next time, I’ll kill you.”

Dreyfus took one step backwards, turned, went back to the car and they drove away.  It had been a couple of seconds short of three minutes.

The next address was further away from the tourist area on a quiet, unassuming street.  There was a restaurant on the corner with a few early eaters, a couple of shops that were closed and a storefront grocery.  They parked across from a narrow double door with a small metal video intercom cut into the stone.  There was a CCTV camera on a pole over the door.

“Brothel?” Dreyfus asked the driver.

“Card room.  Midsized tables.  House take maybe one million Euro on a good night.  No entry unless they recognize you.”

Dreyfus put his hat back on and steadied the sunglasses.

“When I get out, back it up about five metres, wait until I quit shooting, then pull forward so I can get in.”

Dreyfus stepped into the street, took a step forward as the car reversed behind him, and pulled the Glock out of his pocket.  He put two bullets into the double doors, right at their handles, turned just slightly and shot at the intercom.  The first bullet hit the screen in a flurry of sparks, but the next two missed and ricocheted wickedly off the stone.  Not a good plan.  He turned the gun back to the doors and emptied the rest of the clip in a straight line across where the handles used to be.  Then he turned around and got back in the car which was already going forward.  It had been less than a minute, but Dreyfus had the effect he wanted — and anyone behind the doors was dead or seriously dying.

Dreyfus held the Glock in the air.

“Souvenir or should we toss it?”

“Souvenir.”

Dreyfus dropped it forward onto the passenger seat. “That’s enough for tonight,” he said.  He reached into his side pocket, pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to the driver.  “Do you know this place?”

The driver looked at the paper, “Yeah, I know it.  North-west from here, by the airport.”

“We need to go there.  No rush.  I want to watch it for a while.  And can you get me some Semtex?”

“Semtex?”

“Uh?” Dreyfus pushed his tongue against his bottom teeth and looked out the window, “C-4.”

“Right.  No, I’m just the driver.  Did they give you a telephone?”

Dreyfus reached into his left jacket pocket and brought out a cheap flip phone.

“Call the number.”  There was a pause.  “Why did you make me reverse back there?”

Dreyfus chuckled.  “You went just out of range of the CCTV.  Cops hate anomalies.  They’ll think you were doing something and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what.”

“Aah,” the driver said and nodded his head.  He liked this guy.  

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