It was raining hard; the kind of rain that stings when it hits then washes away the tears that flow afterwards. But nothing ever washes away the criminals on the street. Except me. Some days. Only this wasn't looking like it was going to be one of those days.
I'm a patient guy – you don't get anywhere in this business if you can't cope with waiting – but the rain has a way of soaking into the soles of your shoes and rising up to your neck even when you're under shelter and it can get cold and miserable pretty damn quick. My mark was over an hour late. And that neon sign over the pizza place wasn't helping my mood. It flickered and buzzed, it distracted and hypnotised. It's a dangerous thing to be distracted and I didn't realise it was Mickey Thumbs dashing across the street trying to avoid the puddles until he was almost on top of me. I slunk back deeper into the shadows and waited for him to dive into the restaurant then pulled my fedora down tighter and braced myself for the tailing that would hopefully soon start.
Suddenly, there was a flash and a bang – a gunshot from inside! – and a scream from a woman! Action at last, but this wasn't how it was supposed to go down and I wasn't packing heat. I froze and it all seemed to go quieter than before for a second before the rain started coming down harder. I waited, but nobody seemed to want to come out of the pizza place. I had to know what was happening. I took one last look at the neon sign buzzing and flickering away, then stepped out of the shadows…
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