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The women were pure eye candy. Three-inch platform shoes and skimpy dresses of every cut and fabric and lots of heavy makeup and wild hair. They looked more as if they were in line to audition porno than for a night on the town. Every thirty feet or so, a couple of buttoned-up preppy kids from the Hill could be seen trying to fit in. Their efforts consisted of losing their ties and unbuttoning their dress shirts two whole buttons. This had never been Rapp’s scene and it sure as hell was no place for a fifty-six-year-old former Agency employee.

Coleman could tell by the way his jaw was set that Rapp was looking for a fight. His brow was slightly knotted and he was looking at the group with a disapproving frown. “I know what you’re thinking,” Coleman said in an easy tone, “and I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Rapp kept his eyes on the front door. “What am I thinking?”

“You’re thinking of jump-starting this thing. You have other shit you need to take care of and you’re really not in the mood to sit around in a car all night doing surveillance.”

Rapp’s gaze didn’t waver. “Anything else?”

“Yeah . . . you’re frustrated. You’re thinking this Max Johnson should know better and the fact that he doesn’t means he deserves a good ass kicking.”

“And the Russians?” Rapp asked.

“You don’t like that they come over here and break all of our rules.”

“Anything else?”

“Yeah . . . I see the way you’ve been eyeballing those four bouncers at the door.”

Rapp grinned.

“You’re itching,” Coleman said in a not-so-happy voice.

“Sometimes,” Rapp said as he unbuckled his seat belt, “the best way to handle these situations is to force the issue.”

“These Russians are nasty people, Mitch. They don’t play by the rules.”

Rapp turned to Coleman and arched his left eye. “And we do?”

“No . . . not exactly,” Coleman stammered for a second, “but we’re not crazy like they are.”

“Well maybe it’s time we get a little crazy. Make them feel a little uncomfortable about coming into our backyard and recruiting some jackass like Johnson.”

“They don’t scare easy.”

“We’ll see about that.”

Coleman sighed. He knew there was no changing Rapp’s mind when he got like this. “So what are you going to do?”


“And if the locals show up?”

Rapp dug into his suit coat pocket and asked, “You said Marcus is monitoring the club’s network?”


Rapp pulled out a leather ID case. He opened it, reached behind his CIA ID and pulled out a second laminated piece of paper. This one said HOMELAND SECURITY in dark blue block letters. He slid it between the CIA ID and the clear plastic window. He showed Coleman. “Works like a charm. Who’s not for Homeland Security?”

Coleman shook his head. “If the cops show up I’m out of here and I’m taking my guys with me.”

“Understood. Tell Marcus that in about two minutes I want him to crash their security cameras and their phone lines and kill the mobile phone traffic.”

“Who’s going in?”

Rapp thought about it for a second, looked at the four big guys at the door, and assumed there were at least another six or eight inside. “I think you and I can handle it.”

Coleman half laughed and said, “Fine, but I’m telling Mick to stay close.”