El Tiburon-Chapter One

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He was a tough, lean man. The dark magnified his sharp features and coffee-colored skin. His bodyguards towered over him in stature but not power. Few men in Central America matched the fear he created in those who served him, and especially those who opposed him.

At the moment, he stood in a cloud of smoke from his cigar. A guard near him glanced at his mobile phone when the screen lit up with a new text message.

"It's done, Jefe," the guard told his boss.

El Jefe, 'The Boss,' dropped his cigar, grinding it out on the cobblestone walkway in his garden. Turning, he walked back to the house. His men followed.

"Confirm the hits. Send a bouquet of flowers to their families. White lilies with a black bow...and a note..." His piercing, ferret eyes gleamed in the porch light. "'Death is especially painful to those who are the cause.' These Mexicans must learn to stay out of our business." He gave a low chuckle as he walked into his house alone. No family, no friends. Just bodyguards.

* * *

The next morning started as a typical day for Sport. She was sound asleep with a pillow over her head when her husband came in to shut off the alarm. He shook her inert form, knowing from experience that though she may appear dead, she was not. She twisted away and burrowed deeper, making a growling sound.

"It's Monday morning, whether you like it or not," Sean informed her. "It's seven o'clock, babe. You have a full schedule. Wake up."


"Right here."

Sport threw the pillow and blankets back dramatically, lying with her arms thrown wide for several moments before swinging to the side of the bed. Forty-five minutes and two cups of coffee later, she was out the door with the third cup in her hand.

Sean stood waving good-bye as she backed the Jeep out of the garage. He leaned pensively against the doorframe for several minutes after Sport left. Though he had played it off lightly the day before, he was concerned about Sport. She was a perceptive woman. As a detective, Sean had learned to appreciate the talent for observing subtleties and nuances of human behavior his wife seemed to come by naturally. Sport had experienced the ebb and flow of his disappearing acts in their short marriage, but this time she was quiet. She was concerned about something. Sean pushed decisively off from the doorway. In his home office, he logged off the database of the CIA.

An hour later, he was still trying different searches when his partner popped up an instant message to ask him what he was doing. "You are all over the place buddy! What are you doing? None of your searches have anything to do with the cases we are working on."

"None of your business!" Sean retorted with a laugh. "Stop snooping around my computer." Sean leaned back to await the reply.

"I can't help it, you're irresistible. Let's have breakfast."

The IM disappeared from the screen and the arrow began to go through the process of shutting down the computer while Sean watched.

"I hate it when he does that. It's the down-side of sharing a work computer program," Sean told the feline sprawled across the desk. The Scottish Fold lifted her head and gave Sean the scared, owlish look common for the breed. Sean gently patted the round head as he stood up. "Well, Scaredy-cat, I gotta go."

Sean pulled on a t-shirt and slid his feet into a pair of flip-flops at the door. "Good-bye kids, I'll be back in a bit."

He strolled into the up-beat coffee shop within ten minutes. His partner hadn't arrived, so Sean stood in line to order for them both. He settled into his favorite pastime—people watching. Sean could guess what drink someone would order just by looking at them. He decided the pencil-thin woman in front of him would order something non-fat, and then he realized she was too thin. She was either genetically thin or obsessively thin. After noting the long slender nose, he revised his decision and chose a mocha with whipped cream. She leaned forward and ordered a mocha with whipped cream in a nasal voice. Sean smiled.

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