Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret (8 page)

BOOK: Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret
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Carson picked up the chair and repositioned it so he could see Douglas, Gibson, and the door. Some habits died hard.

“Okay,” he said, sitting down. “Now are you going to tell me why you pulled me out of France?”

Douglas sighed and pursed his lips tight. Kidd could tell this was going to be bad news.

“What?” Kidd insisted.

“Mr. Gibson is my counterpart at the FBI. He heads up their organized crime program here in the states,” Douglas said.

Kidd looked at Gibson. The FBI was at Langley? That was one for the books.

“What?” Kidd asked. “Are you here for some pointers? Want some trade craft advice from the pros, do you?”

“Funny,” Gibson said.

Douglas interjected before Kidd got too fired up. “They're our friends, Carson. Let's try and remember we're all on the same side.” Douglas paused, pushed his chin down a little, and looked at Kidd for a sign that he understood.

“Okay,” Kidd said. “Right. We're all one big happy family.”

“We've got a situation here,” Douglas continued. “It's pretty bad.”

Kidd could now tell that Douglas was serious. That something was truly wrong.

“What's going on?”

Gibson got up, walked over to Douglas's desk, and sat on the corner. “As you know, the Salvatore crime syndicate has had a major operation in Chicago for years.”

“Yeah,” Kidd said, wondering what in the world this had to do with him. It would be illegal for the CIA to do anything about the Salvatore syndicate in Chicago. That was clearly FBI territory.

“Well,” Gibson continued, “my team has had a pretty good track record of infiltrating them.”

“Okay,” Kidd said impatiently.

Douglas must have seen that Kidd was growing restless, so he jumped in.

“The FBI was doing a stellar job until a local Chicago woman named Jensen got in the way,” Douglas offered.

“Got in the way how?” Kidd asked.

“Jensen took over the local gang task force in Chicago,” Gibson said.

“At the city level,” Douglas added.

“Right,” Gibson continued, “and she has been cutting very aggressive deals with all of the Salvatore scumbags. She's offering up sweet cash rewards and witness protection plans to anyone who is willing to rat out other Salvatore scumbags. She's cut over forty deals this year. Many of them with stone-cold killers.”

“So she's giving these murderous thugs a pile of cash, a new identity, and moving them to some secret location where they get to live out the rest of their miserable lives in comfort,” Kidd said, “instead of rotting in some jail cell?”

“Yes. She's moving the mobsters and their fami­lies,” Gibson said. “She's moved over two hundred people so far.”

“Our taxes at work,” Kidd commented.

“Not ours,” Douglas corrected. “This is a state-run witness protection program. Not federal.”

“A state-run program?” Kidd asked. “I've never heard of such a thing.”

“Illinois is the only one in the union that does it,” Gibson answered. “But here is the best part. The state isn't that big and, according to Illinois law, all the witnesses must remain in the state.”

Douglas jumped in and stole Gibson's thunder. “So some idiot in the Illinois state department has put all the witnesses in the same small town. Some small tourist town called Galena. Can you believe it?”

“That's messed up,” Kidd agreed. “But I still don't see how this is a CIA issue.”

“You're right,” Gibson said. “It's an FBI problem. Or at least it should be.” Gibson sighed.

“The FBI has a mole,” Douglas said. “The Salvatore
syndicate has been tipped off that all of their rats are sitting fat and happy in Galena. Gibson believes that someone on his team leaked it.”

“So the FBI has a mole.” Kidd threw his hands up in the air. “Welcome to the club. The Salvatores have penetrated every level of government in almost every country on the planet. It's unbelievable.” Kidd laughed and then continued, “But so what? They'll send some guys to kill all of these turncoats and everyone wins. Problem solved, right?”

“You're right,” Gibson agreed. “That's exactly what they've done. The bodies have already started to appear. Apparently the Salvatore syndicate is so excited about wiping out these traitors, they're calling in their best assassin.”

Recognizing the opportunity, Kidd sat up in his chair.

“That's what I thought too,” Douglas said.

“The Sicilian? They sent the Sicilian to Galena?”

Douglas nodded. “It is the perfect storm. The perfect opportunity to take out the world's top assassin.”

“Man.” Kidd stood up. “For the first time ever, we know where the Sicilian is? You've got to be kidding me.” Kidd was giddy with excitement. It was like Christmas morning. He had spent six years tracking
down Salvatore's top killers. And these weren't your average street-corner-gang thugs. These guys were pros. They lived in the shadows. They had rock-solid aliases. They were nearly impossible to find. They had families. They looked and acted like everyone else. They could be your butcher or accountant. But the Sicilian was different. He didn't live in the shadows—he
was
a shadow. There were days when Kidd wondered if he was even real. Maybe the Sicilian was just a rumor. No one knew for sure.

Twice Kidd was certain he was close to catching him. But he came up empty-handed both times. But now Kidd would have the upper hand. He knew where the Sicilian was. And once he got a hold of the forty ex-Salvatore scumbags who were now in the witness protection program, he would even know who the Sicilian was going to kill. It felt like a neatly wrapped present had just been handed to him until Kidd remembered that they were talking about a town on US soil. “It would be illegal. The CIA can't operate inside US borders,” Kidd said reluctantly.

“Technically this is true,” Douglas agreed.

“But,” Gibson interjected, “from what little I know, it seems like your team is the only group on the planet that might have the knowledge and skills to find and kill this guy. This Sicilian, as you call him.”

“And,” Kidd added, “technically we don't exist.
I
don't exist. How can I break a law when I don't exist? I'm black ops!”

“Exactly,” Douglas agreed.

“This is really a job for Anton, though,” Kidd said. “I could go in there and kill this guy. Believe me, nothing would make me happier. But people would notice. I'm good at what I do, but I'm not subtle. That's Anton's skill set. And that's how the Sicilian kills. They are both masters at making even the most bizarre deaths look like accidents. Anton thinks like the Sicilian. I think he'd be your best bet for finding this guy and killing him without drawing attention.”

“I couldn't agree more,” Douglas said. “And that's why I sent Anton and his family to Galena two weeks ago.”

“Well, there you go,” Kidd said. “Problem solved.”

“Turns out he's having a hard time finding the Sicilian,” Douglas said. “And the witnesses keep showing up dead. If we don't find the Sicilian soon, he will have killed all forty witnesses and disappeared back into the shadows forever.”

Kidd sat down. “What do you mean Anton can't find him? It's not that big of a town, right?”

“Right,” Gibson agreed.

“And Anton has the list of witnesses, right? I mean, he knows who the Sicilian is going to kill?” Kidd asked.

Douglas looked concerned.

“Okay,” Kidd said. “I'll go to Galena. I'll find and kill the Sicilian. But it ain't going to be quiet.”

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

I
just sat and stared
at the screen. Not only was my mom Carson Kidd, she was an assassin? A weapons expert? She had never even shot a gun, as far as I knew. And to top it off, I'd traveled with her all over the world while she'd killed bad guys! How do you handle information like that? I took a deep breath and handed Emma her computer.

“Thanks,” I said.

“No problem. Let me know if you need it again. It's a long trip.” She slipped the computer into her bag.

I pushed back in my seat and tried to stretch my legs. Buses and planes were brutal for someone my height.

“Have you ever done this before?” I asked. “Ridden the bus?”

“No. This is my first time. I hate the hour train ride from Westport to Yale to see Andrew. I'm not sure how I'm going to sit for over twenty hours.”

“Is that how long our ride is?”

“Something like that,” she said. “You'll have another three hours from Chicago to Galena.”

“Great. Do you go see Andrew up at Yale a lot?” I asked.

“Not a lot. He's superbusy with school and directing,” Emma said.

“Oh. Directing? Like a play?”

“A musical. He's part of Dramat at Yale.”

I assumed by the way she said “Dramat” that I was supposed to know what Dramat was. And I was clearly supposed to be impressed. I wasn't. I'd met enough private school punks over the years to know what they were like. Heck, my dad had been one. I said nothing. But I must have made a face.

“Hey,” she said defensively, seeing the look on my face. “Andrew's a good guy.”

“What? I didn't say anything.”

“You didn't have to. But Andrew's not like that. He also rows crew for Yale.”

“I'm sure he does.” I smiled. “Ivy league, rowing, drama—­I'm sure he's a normal great guy.”

“Seriously!” she exclaimed. Her face was red. I'd hit a nerve. “How about you, mister?” she said, trying to change the subject. “Anyone special in your life?” she asked.

“Nope.”

“Come on. There's gotta be someone? Somewhere?”

“Nope,” I said. “I literally have nobody anywhere.” And I didn't. No good friends. No family. Nothing left.

“So what's Andrew's musical about?” I asked.

“It's
Annie
,” Emma replied.


Annie
?” I repeated. “At Yale? Isn't that, like, a kids' musical?”

“I know, it sounds a little crazy. But Andrew's vision for
Annie
is amazing. Really.”

“His
vision
—for
Annie
?”

“Yeah, he's very excited. It's hard to explain. He describes it as sort of
Annie
meets
Hamlet
.”

I said nothing. There was a long silence before Emma said, “You said you lost both of your parents? That sounds rough.”

“What's this? You're changing the topic,” I said.

“I'm a reporter. I'm always curious to hear the story. And I'm tired of talking about me.”

“I don't want to bum you out,” I said. “My mom died about seven months ago, and my dad died a couple of days ago. It hasn't been a great year.” I stared at the seat in front of me. I had never talked to anyone about my mom. Or her death. And, obviously, I hadn't had a chance to talk about my dad or grandpa. At least not with anyone but Douglas. I don't know what it was about Emma, but I wanted to tell her everything. I wanted to tell her how much it had hurt when
my mom had died. And how much it had hurt when my dad had stayed away after the funeral.

“Oh, I'm so sorry, Furious.”

“No, it's okay.” I continued to stare at the seat in front of me. “I've just never really talked about it before.”

She stood up. “Here,” she said. “Scoot over. I'm gonna sit on your side.”

I slid into the seat next to the window, and Emma sat down next to me. She smelled great.

“What happened to your mom?” she asked.

“Oh, man. I'm not really sure.” I rubbed my face. “It's kind of a long story.”

She put her hands in the air. “Well, we've got nothing but time.”

“It's not that I don't want to talk about it. It's just—just different. My life is different.”


Your
life is different?” she said. “I'm dating a much older guy that's putting little orphan Annie's death to music, and you think
your
life is different?”

I smiled. “Right. Your life
is
messed up.”

“You don't know the half of it,” she said.

“So tell me. What is
so
messed up in Emma's world?”

“No, no. You first. You tell me what happened to your mom, and I'll tell you all about the incredible, caring, nurturing world that Tom and Cindy created for their lovely little Emma. That is, before Tom went off to jail.”

“I bet Tom and Cindy have got nothing on Robert and Terri,” I said.

“Oh.” She smiled. “We'll see. Tell me about Terri.”

“I don't know. I don't want to scare you away.”

She gestured around again. “Where am I gonna go?”

I sighed. “All right, so what do you want to know?”

“What was she like?” Emma asked.

“What was she like? She was like a bear trap. Quiet but strong.”

“A bear trap?”

“You asked. I'm just telling you the truth,” I said.

“I've never heard anyone call their mom a bear trap.”

“Well, you never met my mom,” I said, wondering if I'd really known her myself. “Don't get me wrong—she was kind. She was great.” Man, I wished we hadn't started this conversation.

“Did you guys get along?”

“Yeah, for the most part. We traveled a lot. And that was kinda messed up. Different cities and countries every few weeks. But we got along all right.”

“You said you were something like an army brat. Was your mom in the military?”

“No. She worked as a consultant for the government,” I lied. “I guess I never really knew for sure what she did for them exactly.”

BOOK: Furious Jones and the Assassin’s Secret
9.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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