From there, even though for the first couple of hours Martina Ciampi was practically trembling with impatience, events moved rather quickly. Dreyfus learned what he needed to know about the Kovaci brothers and, in theory, decided to destroy their little corner of the world. However, first he needed to slap these clowns for involving Emily and also remove her value as a bargaining chip. A delicate balance. Eventually, he ordered coffee and excused himself to make a telephone call.
“Sydney, I need a car and a driver. A taxi would work perfectly.”
“We don’t actually do taxis in that part of the world. But I’ll get you what you need.”
“Something nondescript and deposable.”
“At your hotel in an hour – maybe a little longer?”
“That’s perfect. Thank you, Sydney. Goodbye.”
Then he finished his coffee, thanked Signora Ciampi for the information and told her he’d walk back to the hotel. Martina, who had never seen anything like this in her life, said goodbye and sat for several minutes trying to figure out what had just happened. When she finally stood up, she looked down at the crumbs on his plate and the red tinge at the bottom of his wine glass. Jonathan McCormick hadn’t told her anything about this man. She turned, to her left — in a circle — one and a half times and, standing facing away from the table, made the sign of the cross before she walked to the car.
At about the same time, Dreyfus could already see the river. (Florence is a small place.) He stopped at a tourist kiosk and bought a hat, sunglasses and a red “Italia” shirt. Then he bought a gelato and fought the crowd across Ponte Vecchio. Back at the hotel, he found Janet Miller in the bar.
“What the fuck are you two playing at?” Janet Miller was Janet Miller again. Her eyes had flavor and spark and a lot of anger.
Dreyfus was going to say … but decided against it and exhaled seriously. “Tell me what happened.”
“Three men with guns.” The barman started over, took a look and turned around. “They came from …
Dreyfus made a gesture with his hand.
“No, they just opened their jackets and showed us.”
“Em said she wasn’t going anywhere unless they paid the bar bill.” Janet took a drink, “So one of them went over and paid it.”
“Then when she was getting into their car, she said, ‘Tell Dreyfus his damsel is in distress.’ And they just drove away. James was going to call the Carabinieri, but I talked him out of it. They think you two are playing some kind of a sick joke. Is that what you’re doing? Because …”
“No. No, it’s not. Look, Janet, you have to go back to the Montroses. The Italians are going to release the body of their daughter in two days, and you need to help arrange transportation.”
‘How do you know …?” Janet looked pained at the mention of her goddaughter, and her face lost most of its life.
“I just know. But this is serious. You have to get the Montroses out of the country as soon as. And you have to make sure they don’t come back until the rest of this gets sorted.”
“They’re coming here later to pick me up.” The colour was coming back into Janet’s face. She had a job to do.
“JJ didn’t die of an overdose, did she?”
“No. That’s what the autopsy is going to say, but no, no she didn’t.” Dreyfus was definitely not going to give Janet Miller any more information.
A couple of hours later, Dreyfus was sitting in the back seat of a squared-off, four-door some kind of car that he couldn’t name. He had Emily’s suitcase beside him and a 9mm Beretta in a holster under his left arm. It was that strange time in the Italian day – too late for sunny afternoon but too early for cool breeze evening – when even the tourist streets were relatively empty. As if the world was waiting. Dreyfus was waiting for a gaggle of middle-aged, middle-class couples to get out of the narrow side street he wanted a little privacy on. He could just see the blue-green neon Salut sign. It was a one-door Kovaci brothers’ dance club, with two bored doormen waiting for the late night dance ‘til-the-Ecstasy-wears-off rush. The couples turned the corner, and Dreyfus got out of the car. He pulled Emily’s suitcase behind him, and in his other hand, hidden by his hip, was the Beretta. He stopped just short of the two doormen and pulled the suitcase forward.
“My name is Dreyfus Sinclair. Tell your boss this is the English woman’s suitcase. She’s going to …”
The first man stepped forward.
“Fuck o …”
On average, 9 mm bullets travel at 300 mps (metres per second.) So, at that range, when Dreyfus shot the man in the face, he was dead before he finished the sentence and was already crumpling to the cobblestones when Dreyfus leveled the smoking gun at the second man’s head.
“Open your jacket. Two fingers.”
The man obeyed, shaking his head.
“My name is Dreyfus Sinclair. Tell your boss this is the English woman’s suitcase. She’s going to want to change her clothes. I’ll be by and collect her in a couple of days. And you,” Dreyfus gestured with the gun, “Give your boss the message, and go back to Albania. Because if I see you again, I’m going to kill you.”
Dreyfus let go of the suitcase, turned and casually walked back to the car. He got into the back seat and said to the driver Sydney had provided for him: “Next.”