If you want to read the rest of the series, here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, and Part 17.
Cinnamon fingered the gun in her right hip holster. "This is an awfully nice place for a guy on your pay grade."
Geoffrey allowed a quick, sharp glance in her direction before continuing to type furiously on his laptop. "Family money. And I don't really want to chit-chat. I need to get this phone recording saved in a format that's easy to pass around at the office."
"Is that Santa Claus?" said Cinnamon, studying a photograph of a man with a long white beard standing next to a little boy with a crew cut.
"It's Robertson Davies. All the men in the family have always gone to Upper Canada College, okay? Can we focus now?"
Cinnamon raised an eyebrow. "Shit. Would never have pegged you for a private school kid. Shouldn't you be running a giant mining corporation or something?"
"If you want to go back to the office and try to get Ellie out without my help, go ahead," Geoffrey snapped. "Otherwise you're picking a really stupid time to be a class warrior." He hit the computer's Enter key with three fingers. "That should do it." His hand found the mouse, and he gave the left button a solid click.
"Vera from research, we had coffee together, right?" Doug's voice said. "And she mentioned the hotel — the location for the pick-up. And I just thought instead of waiting all night, I could just meet Ellie there, right?"
"At the pick-up." Geoffrey's voice came from the computer speakers.
"Nice sound quality," said Cinnamon. "Unambiguous."
"They'll check it for doctoring anyhow, of course," said Geoffrey. "I did send a memo about Doug screwing up when it happened. Or at least I thought he was screwing up at the time"
Cinnamon snorted. "And who's going to read the memo? Could be someone working with Doug for all we know."
"Well, call's recorded to a couple different media now." Geoffrey stood. "We should go."
"We should have just come here," said Cinnamon. "All three of us. Skip the part about handing over Ellie."
Geoffrey shook his head as he put on his coat. "We do that, they have to give up Doug and maybe a few other people, but most of those involved could just pretend to be loyal and act as moles another day. Having Ellie on the inside gives them a sense of security, lets them show their true colours."
"I'm still not sure it was the right choice," said Cinnamon.
"Ah, but choices are made in context and carry consequences," said a voice from the doorway.
Cinnamon and Geoffrey wheeled around, Cinnamon reaching for her hip holster again. Anton DeBussy pointed his gun at Cinnamon first. "Ah no," he said. "You cannot draw faster than I can pull the trigger. That only works in Westerns. Do please divest yourself of your weapons."
"I'm surprised to see you holding a gun yourself," said Geoffrey. "Don't you have people for that?"
DeBussy shrugged the shoulder opposite his gun arm. "I've had some redundancies lately. My staff neglected to take care of... what do you call her, Pepper? Ellie? at the hotel as they were instructed. Apparently they thought she really was the cleaning lady." He gave a lopsided shrug again. "I'm sorry I didn't wait until five PM today to close the deal as we agreed, but sometimes one has to do things oneself, when the correct time arises. Clear!"
Two men in black turtlenecks appeared, pointing guns at Cinnamon and Geoffrey. DeBussy lowered his own gun and set the safety on.
"You two should both sit down," he said to Cinnamon and Geoffrey. "You're going to be waiting a while."
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