The Defense by Steve Cavanagh Read Online (FREE)
Read The Defense (Eddie Flynn #1) by Steve Cavanagh online free here.
I’d grown sloppy. That’s what happens when you go straight.
“Do exactly as I tell you or I’ll put a bullet in your spine.”
The accent was male and Eastern European. I detected no tremors or hints of anxiety in his voice. The tone sounded even and measured. This wasn’t a threat; it was a statement of fact. If I didn’t cooperate, I would be shot.
I felt the unmistakable electric pressure from a handgun pressed into the small of my back. My first instinct was to lean in to the barrel and spin sharply to my left, turning the shot away from my body. The guy was probably right-handed, which meant he was naturally exposed on his left side. I could throw an elbow through that gap into the guy’s face as I turned, giving me enough time to break his wrist and bury the weapon in his forehead. Old instincts, but the guy who could do all of those things wasn’t around anymore. I’d buried him along with my past.
Without pressure on the faucet, the patter of water falling on porcelain faded. I felt my fingers shaking as I raised my wet hands in surrender.
“No need for that, Mr. Flynn.”
He knew my name. Gripping the sink, I raised my head and looked in the mirror. Never saw this guy before. Tall and slim, he wore a brown overcoat over a charcoal suit. He sported a shaved head, and a facial scar ran vertically from below his left eye to the jawline. Pushing the gun hard into my back, he said, “I’ll follow you out of the bathroom. You’ll put on your coat. You’ll pay for breakfast, and we’ll leave together. We’re going to talk. If you do as I tell you, you’ll be fine. If you don’t—you’re dead.”
Good eye contact. No blushing of the face or neck, no involuntary movement, no tells at all. I knew a hustler when I saw one. I knew the look. I’d worn it long enough. This guy was no hustler. He was a killer. But he was not the first killer to threaten me, and I remembered I got clear last time by thinking, not panicking.
“Let’s go,” he said.
He stepped back a pace and held up the gun, letting me see it in the mirror. It looked real: a snub-nosed, silver revolver. I knew from the first second the threat was genuine, but seeing the short, evil weapon in the mirror set my skin alive with fear. My chest began to tighten as my heart stepped on the gas. I’d been out of the game too long. I would have to make do with thinking and panicking. The revolver disappeared into his coat pocket and he gestured toward the door. The conversation appeared to be over.
“Okay,” I said.
Two years of law school, two and a half years clerking for a judge, and almost nine years as a practicing attorney, and all I managed to say was okay. I wiped my soapy hands on the back of my pants and ran my fingers through my dirty-blond hair. He followed me out of the bathroom and across the floor of the now-empty diner, where I lifted my coat, put it on, slid five bucks under my coffee cup, and made for the door. The scarred man followed me at a short distance.