Cover of Darkness, part 8

Nodding with a half-smile, “I’m all for getting down to business.” Opal took two steps back. A cold stare filled her eyes, as she turned with a nod, “Preston. I’m glad to see you.”

His froggy eyes looked beyond her to the window, “I see you still have that strange cat. Why would you be glad to see me?” He bobbed his head.

Opal raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms, “Why Preston, you know the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. By the way Henry’s not strange, he just senses when certain people aren’t to be trusted.”

Preston didn’t try to hide the leer filling his face as he stared her down. “At least you know where you stand with me.”

Opal turned handing John the envelope she had retrieved from the safe just before they arrived. “Here is what you paid for.”

The white haired man slipped it from her fingers. Pulling the top open he stared down inside at the contents, motionless and silent for a few seconds. The incredulous tone in his voice caught Opal’s attention. He glanced over at her, “This is it?” His disbelief filled the room.

Opal moved closer to John, “Yes, everything is there, all twelve pieces.”

He jerked his head up in a stark stare, “I thought we were to get twenty, not twelve.”

Her eyes grew large, “Twelve pieces is all we agreed to. I have the letter in my desk that you signed. Do you need to see it again?”

Preston slid his hand inside his coat and pulled out a gun, “I say we just kill her and take what we want. Then I’ll kill that stupid looking cat once and for all.”

The kids sucked in their breath and took a step closer to the window.

John moved between Opal and Preston, “That’s enough Preston, put that thing away.”

Preston grimaced and slid the gun back inside his coat at the same time rolling his eyes in the direction of the cat.

John’s voice softened as he turned, “Opal, we are paying you a lot of money. I think you should just put in eight extra pieces for old times’ sake.”

In one swift movement Opal was on her toes, nose to nose, with John, standing resolute and unswerving, “Now you listen real good John, twelve is all you’re getting, and I want all the credit for the inventions of this weapon. I’m not sharing the lime light with my father.”

Preston’s face hardened, “Don’t push your luck Opal.”

John held her gaze, “So you want us to tell Wy Ling at the Chinese consulate, that you are the inventor and the one selling them?”

Opal blurted out, “You wouldn’t dare.”

“Oh…wouldn’t I? Opal, I think the word for it is treason,” John raided an eyebrow, “You’re the one who set this in motion, now we are fulfilling our part. You will have to protect yourself, somehow.”

“Treason.” Fisher mouthed the words, in Clint’s direction.

To be continued: Thanks for traveling with me.

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