Mona hadn’t expected Johnny. She was surprised at the knock on her door. She kept quiet, holding her breath, calming her heartbeat, moving toward the pistol in the Samsonite.

“It’s me, Wong jai,” the voice said.

She realized what had gone wrong; the cops had failed. She fought the urge to flee. He knocked again. She watched him through the peephole and gathered herself, playing it cool, letting him in.

“You got here fast,” she said, pouring him a drink.

“As fast as I could,” he answered, tired out from the long drive.

“Rest up, we’re safe here,” she said. “For now.”

Johnny lay down on her bed and began to wonder what was going to happen next, but the brandy was tuning him out. She turned off the lights and, like that, he was asleep instantly.

Mona plotted through the darkness. Wait until daybreak. Then she’d call from the outside again. The same setup, only the location had changed. Curses on the police, practically being handed the fugitive, they still let him slip away. She knew Johnny was edgy so she’d have to convince him to stay put, for a couple of days at least. Her mind was spinning, the ideas spiraling in her head.


Daylight washed over the Bay, a serene picture. Jack could see activity over toward Portsmouth, old folks practicing Tai Chi. A few people, some schoolchildren, passed, strolling down Jackson. He checked his watch, wondered who would show at the phone stand, wondered if he wasn’t wasting his time. There was nothing else he could do, he decided. His cop future hung on a woman’s phone call.