This was not the way I’d wanted to spend my day. It was a beautiful June afternoon in the Big Apple, but the atmosphere around myself and my lunch companion was anything but pleasant. Earlier this month, after almost seven years, suspects in the attack on this city were arraigned. Today, there were rumors of a breakout of more than two hundred Taliban members from prison. Neither of these things made New Yorkers more inclined to be friendly to the Saudi man across from me.
I wasn’t talking to him at the moment, however. No, I was on my cell phone trying to figure out how much more damage control was going to be needed for the disaster that had happened several hours ago.
“Were you able to move the car without being seen?” I kept my voice low even though the surrounding tables were empty. One could never be too careful.
“Yes, Sir, Mr. Weiss.” Gene was my fixer, the man I called when things went to hell like they had earlier today. “And I heard from my police contact, too.”
“And?” I asked impatiently.
“There’s a witness.”
I swore, my hand tightening on my phone.
“Sounds like he didn’t see much,” Gene continued. “It’s the woman’s fiancée. He was so busy with her, all he could tell the cops was that it was a black Bentley. He didn’t even get a single letter on the plate.”
I relaxed a little. Bentleys weren’t exactly common, but I was hardly the only person in the city who owned one. I owned more than one, in fact. If we played our cards right, this could go away.
“Tell your contact to keep you informed,” I instructed. “If the witness remembers anything else, anything that could come back on us, take care of it.”
The call ended and I pocketed my phone. I turned back to my business partner, a smile on my face. It was almost all genuine. “Everything is clear. We can move on as planned.”
“Excellent,” he said in his heavily accented English. He leaned down and retrieved a suitcase. He slid it across the table to me. “The price we agreed upon.”
I opened the case, my smiling widening into completely genuine as I saw the neat little bundles of bills. “It is always a pleasure doing business with you,” I said as I closed the briefcase.
Now, if the little incident went away, it would turn out to be a good day after all.