As it turns out, "wearing a wire" is an outdated phrase, a relic from when the feds used old-time recording devices with reel and tape and bulky microphones under clothes.
I wish Justine were here so she could see how my wire is actually a microchip embedded inside a sleek silver cufflink in the shape of a knot on my right wrist. She'd be impressed. She loves details like that, and I imagine her biting her beautiful and plump bottom lip while considering assigning a reporter to write about new surveillance techniques.
"Thank god for French cuffs," the agent, the Cuban one, had said when a tech was affixing the microchip to my shirtsleeve. "Just get Alberto Alonso to talk as much as possible. Got it?"
As a longtime fan of Mafia movies and spy novels, I secretly think it's thrilling that I'm going undercover. Of course, my life and business are at risk here, but it's pretty fucking cool, nonetheless.
If only the stakes weren't so high. If Alonso or Christina doesn't let on about the offer and give me evidence of blackmail, then I could be screwed. And while Justine and I seemingly have patched things up, I still feel like I'm on thin ice with her.
I'm in the backseat of my chauffeured Mercedes, driving past the neon-bright, pop-art murals of the Wynwood section of Miami, the artsy neighborhood. Alonso and I are supposed to meet at Twenty-Eight, a hot new restaurant for lunch. I'd chosen the location, ostensibly because I had a prior meeting nearby.
The driver stops in front of the restaurant's valet station—yes, here in Miami there's even valet for lunch—and he climbs out to open my door.
Twenty-Eight is all leather and dark wood, brick walls and exposed iron beams. Like an old-school gentleman's club. The powerful and the rich have flocked here in recent months, but it's my first time. Since February, I haven't frequented Miami's hot spots, and as I'm walking in, I see a half a dozen businessmen I know.
This fake atmosphere makes me long for the simplicity of St. Augustine. Makes me miss Justine even more.
That's the worst part of all of this, that Justine and I have been apart for a few days. She's putting on a brave front. I'm not, at least not when I talk with her.
"I can't sleep without you next to me," I'd grumbled last night on the phone.
"Don't worry, Rafa, this will be over soon," she'd said. "The feds work quickly."
I sure as hell hope so. The investigators don't want me seen with her, which means no trips there and no visits from her.
Feeling like James Bond in my blue Tom Ford suit, slate grey tie, and light blue shirt—with the expensive-looking cufflinks—I step inside the restaurant. Inside, my eyes adjust to the darkness after the bright Miami sun.
"Rafael, good to see you." It's a city councilor, and he slaps me on the back as he leaves the restaurant. I shake his hand, point, and grin.
I nod to a few people seated at the chrome-and-leather-accented bar, raise a hand to a few others at tables. The place smells of money and earthy red wine. Alonso will surely be thrilled to be seen here with me—a fact that the feds loved.
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Constant Craving: The Complete SeriesRomance
To save her business, she'll trade every last inch of her body... * * * Justine's passion is journalism, and she's trying to beat the odds and save her family's newspaper. With the company on the edge of collapse, she begs a private equity group fo...