The Devil's Elixir

The Devil's Elixir by Raymond Khoury

Book: The Devil's Elixir by Raymond Khoury Read Free Book Online
Authors: Raymond Khoury
you screwed up at the house? What did I say?”
    “What is this, fucking kindergarten?” Walker shot back gruffly.
    “What did I say?” Navarro insisted, low and slow.
    Another pause, then his contact came back, sounding annoyed and impatient. “You said not to consider her a priority anymore. You said she was expendable.”
    “I said kill the puta if you have to, but get me what I asked you for.”
    “And your words were heeded, amigo ,” Walker replied. “In fact, we’re pretty sure the bitch took a round in the chest.”
    Navarro felt a slight ruffle at the American’s use of the Spanish word. It wasn’t so much the word itself as the way he said it, which had a condescending, racist tinge to it. “So what’s the problem?”
    “She had someone helping her. Some guy she called after she got away from us at the house.”
    “She called someone?”
    “Yes. After we last spoke.”
    Intriguing .
    “Who?”
    “I don’t know yet. All I know is, she called him Sean.”
    Navarro’s pulse flared.
    “It seems he’s the kid’s dad,” Walker added, his words bathed in mocking contempt. “Something that asshole didn’t know, not until now.”
    The flare went red-hot, igniting every nerve ending in Navarro’s body.
    Sean Reilly , he thought . He didn’t know.
    He kept his tone measured. “What else? What else did they say?”
    “He gave her some instructions, to avoid detection. I’m thinking he’s a cop, or maybe another DEA agent.”
    Navarro didn’t bother correcting him. “And what else?”
    “He said he was flying out here to meet her.”
    Navarro felt light-headed.
    Perfect.
    He’d probably experienced a wider variety of highs and hallucinogenic trips than anyone on the planet, and yet, right now—this was right up there with the best of them.
    “So he was with her? When you found her, he was with them?”
    “Yep. It took us some time to track her down, and he was already with her by then. And this guy turned out to be a serious pain in the ass. I lost another one of my boys.”
    Navarro didn’t bother inquiring about that. His mind was busy elsewhere, processing the update and strategizing his next move, doing what it did best when it wasn’t busy figuring out new ways of inflicting pain to put down any challenges to his little world.
    “Well, I’m afraid your task just got significantly more . . . challenging, amigo ,” he finally told his contact. “The man’s name is Sean Reilly. He’s an FBI agent. And I’d really like to meet him.”
    “Whoa whoa whoa, back up there. The guy’s FBI?”
    “Yes.”
    The man blew out a small whistle, then said, “That wasn’t part of our deal.”
    Hijo de puta , Navarro thought. Here it comes. “You want more money, is that it?”
    “No, I’m just not sure I want any of this,” Walker snapped testily. “Some broad and a kid, that’s one thing. This guy . . . you’re talking about a whole different ball game. FBI, ATF—last thing I need is those guys crawling up my ass. Especially when I don’t know what the whole story is.”
    Navarro fumed inwardly. “I thought you were someone I could rely on to get the job done.”
    “Yeah, well, what can I tell ya? There’s jobs and there’s jobs. Thing is, you start getting up close and personal with our federales , and things get real messy real quick.”
    Something Navarro knew well, from personal experience.
    He ruminated over it for a long second and realized he might have to get his hands dirtier than he’d expected.
    “Where are they now?”
    “I don’t know. We lost them after the hotel. We’ve got the scanners on and me and the boys were gonna recon some local ERs, but now I’m thinking maybe it’s time to pull the plug on this mother and call it a day. If she dies, this is gonna get red-hot. So maybe this is a good time for us to say vaya con dios , you know what I’m saying? And maybe we can do business some other time—like when it doesn’t involve a fucking fed and his

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