Bravo —Saturday, 2:01 PM
This is more like it... The world stage scrolls past me on panoramic, tinted limousine windows. The chauffeur screen descends as I summon her attention with the press of a button.
"Bank Street Dry Cleaning, please, my good man."
"Absolutely... Mr. Jefferson."
Her voice reveals her eagerness to leave the figure-eight route I've created to kill time, as well as disapproval at being called 'good man'. The Rideau Casino, as it's known to its criminal-element patrons, has check-in at nine. They have a new majordomo to handle the house—Clyde. Time to announce my pending arrival.
"Good man, can you connect this number?"
"Yes, Mr. Jefferson."
The music fades as the phone call hijacks the speakers. It's ringing!
Utilizing the linguistic connotations I've absorbed from movie villains I don a perfect Russian accent.
"Privyet. This is Orlov of the Sokolovs. I will be arriving shortly. Prepare my usual accommodations."
There's only a minuscule pause as papers are quietly skimmed, like a deck being shuffled, before Clyde lands on the right page. A hollow ping in the audio hints at a precautionary trace back to this limo phone.
"Great! Looking forward to meeting you Mr. Pretrov. My name is Clyde, I've replaced Saul as maitre d'hotel. Ask for me when you get here. I'll have everything ready, as well as your usual accommodations."
His emphasis on 'accommodations' hints at some unusual requirements Petrov must have. Champagne?
"Excellent! Da svidania."
I signal a few times before the chauffeur notices and cuts the call. She's distracted by the road again.
"We're here, Mr. Jefferson. Want me to park or is this just a quick stop."
Trick question—there's no parking on Bank Street. I greet the pavement with my fancy treads and admire the traditional brogue detailing on the calf-skin. Time to complete the ensemble! The shop, with its loud red sign and humble glass exterior, contains a fortune of freshly-pressed suits.
I pass through the glass door, after catching a glimpse of my dashing reflection. I mistake the electronic chime heralding me in as an alarm. My instincts activate. I tumble into a roll—one hand guides my curving decent while the other draws my nine mil to aim at the speaker as I spin. Realizing my error, I conceal my piece behind my back and rise back up.
"Oh!" I regain my composure. "Hello there! Welcome to Canada! Pick-up for Deboniare, or... Jago Blackman?—that's his actual name—my name! I seem to have misplaced my ticket."
The conveyor of plastic wrapped outfits spins under the guidance of its twelve-year old operator. Trembling little hands offer me half a dozen pressed-suits, twist-tied by the hangers.
"YES! YES! YES!" I thank him.
I clutch the soft prize to my chest and sprint back into the limo to select the perfect casino attire.
Time is of the essence...
[♥]]] [♦]]] [♣]]] [♠]]]
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Rival demigods-Venus and Killer Caterpillar-assume control of the gangster scene, dragging Dahl and Bravo into their ongoing conspiracy. ****** Trigger warning: Violence, Mature Language, Sexuality, Murder