It all started in Venice – Episode 2

An old acquaintance

I had three questions that needed answers.

First, how did Larry find out I was the one behind his brother’s death?

It begged the question of whether there was a leak in Rodby’s organization because he was the only one other than the logistics team that knew anything about that mission.

It could be that he assumed that being part of the team sent to neutralize a problem, that I was the perpetrator or I knew who was.  Either way, I didn’t like my chances of surviving an interrogation.

Or someone had been taking photos of the crime scene, even though I’d taken precautions not to be recognized, slipped up, but that would assume he had photos of everyone on the team.  I made a note to ask about the health of the other team members.

I would have to compile a list of questions to ask Larry when we finally met, what one might call a fly on the wall moment.

The second, how did Larry know of my association with Juliet.  She was a respected doctor in a respectable hospital when I last saw her.

To be known to Larry, she had to have fallen from that pedestal.  Given what the Waterville organization was known for, all of the branches of crime seemed far removed from who and what she was.

Some investigation was needed, and I sent a message to Alfie on the burner phone he left me.  It had a few other tricks up its sleeve like recording conversations and taking photos that were automatically sent back to base, and an app that detected recording equipment like those used by the security services.

If Juliet was wired, I’d know.

And speaking of Juliet, the third question was how she going to orchestrate a casual meeting between us, and could I muster the necessary surprise when we finally crossed paths.

When a message arrived later in the day in response to my query, it had a current photo and an abbreviated resume of her life since the last time I saw her.

The first sentence that caught my eye was that she was no longer a doctor.  Well, not a practicing doctor.  It seemed the stress of working endless hours in the hospital led to an accident when she had been overtired, which led to an addiction to painkillers when led to self-medicating to making a mistake.

That led to seeking other means of fulfilling the addiction, and that was a slippery slope.  Without reading the fine print, it was a simple connection from ex-doctor to addict to a soul depended on a person the likes of Larry.  To him, a doctor of her caliber would be useful in patching up criminals who couldn’t go to hospitals to be patched up after committing a crime and getting injured if not shot in the process

Now, Larry had another use for her.

The current photo of her showed a woman who had aged more than normal, perhaps as a result of drug abuse, thinner than I remembered her, and with straw blonde hair replacing the rich burgundy she used to have.

Her recent resume was more of a horror story than the life she may once have expected for herself, but desperation often led people down paths the least desired, and saying they had choices was not always true.  It would be interesting to learn if she would be willing to tell me about any of it.

There was also a footnote that told me where and when would be arriving, the airport, the following day, and I decided to go and check her out, to make sure I’d recognize her when the time came.  As she was now, I didn’t think, without the photograph Alfie had sent me, I would have recognized her on the street.

© Charles Heath 2022

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