[previous chapter] [start from the beginning] Lifting Abdul’s fingerprints from her phone and sending them to be run through the system had been an easy task. Now she had to wait for the results. Since hers wasn’t a real emergency, it would take a few days, maybe as much as a week.

In the meantime Rosie had to be careful. Her target was sure to recognize her if he saw her sitting in a car outside his apartment. So for all intents and purposes her cover was blown, and that was a drag. She would have to start looking into a few of his associates and see what, if anything, she could pick up from following them.

That’s how she got onto me.

She had noticed us, me and Claire, hanging around Abdul but so far she hadn’t had much luck tracking us down. She was comparing blurry cellphone pictures she’d taken of us with descriptions of break-and-enter suspects from civilian complaints and the footage from surveillance cameras. But of course we didn’t show up there at all.

We were different than the others among Abdul’s retinue. Different because we looked clean-cut enough, and because we made no apparent effort to hide ourselves from view. That could mean we had nothing to hide and were of no interest to her, or it could mean something else, like maybe it could be a sign of overconfidence (a cop’s best friend) or stupidity (ditto) on our part, which might prove to be a weak link in Abdul’s security fence. She figured we were her most interesting option so she decided she would start following us and see where that led her.

****

“You’re following who now?” Raymond Bouthilier had trouble keeping track, but he usually had some idea who people were, or might aspire to be, just by whom they’d been seen with. He listened carefully to Rosie’s description and had to admit he’d never heard of us.

“Is the girl known to our vice brothers?” That was the name he enjoyed giving the cops who were in the business of busting up prostitutes, their johns, their pimps, and their drug dealers.

“I asked Stéphanie Villiers and she’s looking into her records for me but offhand our girl didn’t appear to ring any bells. Maybe she’s new in the neighbourhood, or maybe she’s smarter than average and finds ways to keep herself out of trouble.”

“Or maybe,” Bouthilier said, “she belongs to someone who doesn’t like to share.”

Rosie thought for a second. Yeah, that might be a possibility.

****

Rosie’s assessment was slightly off, seeing as her targets, I mean, us, had suddenly disappeared on her. We weren’t at the apartment building, where we normally spent most of our time, and as far as she could tell from keeping a distant eye on Abdul Bédard-Lellouche, we weren’t with him either.

No, I wasn’t throwing her a clever strategic curveball. I’d just decided to skip town with Claire for a bit and go sit on a beach in the Dominican Republic. There was a big sale on Expedia and a small lull in the business, so I asked Abdul if we could take off and he said Bon Voyage… So while Rosie was scratching her head and having anxiety attacks at the thought of having to report her disappointing lack of progress to her boss, we were sipping drinks with little parasols in them.

That made the pretty cop feel like a big clumsy moron, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit pleased by that.

[next chapter]