“Trust me, Terry. If you take me to my father, he will shoot you.”
“We made a deal so shut your mouth.”
“You don’t know him like I do. His deals aren’t worth shit. He killed my mother, you really think he’d think twice about shooting you.”
He slaps me across the face, the car swerving across the traffic. “I told you to shut up.”
We sideswipe a bus, leaving it blaring its horn as we carry on. I manage a smile which infuriates him further. “What’s so fucking funny?”
“I was just thinking that if my father doesn’t kill you, Alexsei is going to. You’re a dead man, Terry.”
He glares at me, barking out a laugh a moment later. “It’s funny you say that.”
“Alexsei is already dead.”
“The Italians were taking him out after I got you. He’ll die thinking you ran from him. Don’t you think that’s kind of funny? What’s the matter? Not laughing anymore?”
I spot my chance. The lights are turning red and Terry’s still staring at me, not watching where we’re going. I brace myself as the car slams into the back of the queuing traffic.
As we crunch to a halt, I go for the door, getting it open and sprinting out, ignoring Terry’s shouts. I know he won’t shoot. It’s too crowded here. All I have to do is lose him. I dart onto the sidewalk and into the nearest building. A clothes store.
“Can I help you?” the woman behind the counter asks as I duck below a stand of blouses.
“Ex-boyfriend,” I say as I point toward the window. “Is he there?”
She looks outside. “Overweight guy? Sweaty? Losing his hair?”
“That’s the one.”
“Honey, you can do much better. Shift back, he’s coming.”
The door swings open and I hear Terry’s grunting breath. “You see a woman running past here?”
“Can’t say I have.”
“I got eyes, I’d notice.”
“Fuck.” The door slams shut.
She watches before beckoning me to step out. “You can definitely do better,” she says as I get to my feet. “Trust me.”
I thank her and then head outside, looking left and right. No sign of him.
I’m not sure what to do next. Could he be right? Could Alexsei be dead? There’s only one way to find out.
I walk back toward the restaurant. I don’t get within a hundred yards before I see the squad cars outside. Police tape has been hung by the entrance and a crowd is peering over, watching detectives going in and out the front door. “What happened?” I ask the nearest person.
It’s an old man with a thin white beard. “Some kind of shootout,” he replies. “Goddam Bratva bastard ruining the peace around here. Used to be a decent neighborhood, you know?”
“About half dozen bodybags brought out but don’t worry. They got him.”