The Innocents: Part Nine

Click here for previous installments   SIXTEEN   Wil waited until they’d finished breakfast to explain about the danger; afterward, in the silence, he took her hand. “I just think it would be a good idea for you to stay with your parents. A few days, Leese. Till Zavala’s finished.” Lisa looked at him. “This is our house, Wil.” “I know. But this is different, that must be obvious.” “Nobody can find La Conchita,” she joked, “even our friends. I don’t want to leave. What I want to do is help.” “You’ll be helping by leaving.” “No, I’ll be running away. There must be something I can do.” He was in no mood. “Zavala knows who I am,...

The Innocents: Part Eight

Click here for previous installments   FOURTEEN   It was the honking that brought him out of it, forcing him to notice the guy behind him in the jacked-up stepside. The driver was gesturing at the car’s length that had opened up, leaning out now, yelling loud enough for Wil to hear. “Fuckin’ car phones. Move your ass, goddammit.” Beating back the impulse to stay on the line, Wil killed the connection and dialed 911. As he waited, he fumbled for the Angel’s Bar address, then 911 answered and he told them. Next he dialed Vella, praying that he hadn’t left work yet; five rings, then Vella was there, listening, questioning, promising...

The Innocents: Part Seven

Click here for previous installments   TWELVE   The man in the ragged fatigue jacket sidled over to the white car and eased in. “Classy,” Wil said. “Explains the naked vagrant I saw back there.” Mo Epstein eyed Wil’s stained bomber jacket, jeans, and scuffed boots. “Go ahead,” he said, “spend all your money on clothes.” He examined the interior of the Bonneville. “Nothing sadder than a concours without d’elegance.” “You’d fit nicely in the trunk. What are those?” Epstein showed him a stack of photocopies: sketches of Bolo Zavala with an inset of the razor blade tattoo, his description, and a phone number. Wil glanced at one: odd...

The Innocents: Part Six

Click here for previous installments   TEN   Wil aimed the .45 and fired; a plume of reddish dirt rose and fell with a clatter of stones. Aiming again, he squeezed off another round: Fifty feet away, the soup can jerked in the air and clinked against the hillside. He replaced the clip. Reaching into his duffel, he pulled out the beer cans, lined them up slightly apart on the fallen cottonwood. Twelve paces he stepped off, closer this time. Assuming a two-handed stance, he let loose all seven rounds at the six targets. Four spun off as the sound rolled away down the canyon. Most of the time he hadn’t much occasion for the .45. But...

The Innocents: Part Five

Click here for previous installments   EIGHT   Leonardo Guerra put the phone back in the onyx cradle. Sunlight slanting through the French doors illuminated the smoke from his cigar, an exceptionally fine Havana. For a moment he watched it waft upward toward polished wood beams, then he rose from the desk. Father Martin was right. They were going to have to raise the stakes for Hermosillo; the work there was too important, the old facilities inadequate. The run-down hotel they’d converted was beyond repair, the orphanage similarly decrepit. They needed another drive, another huge effort. Money and a great deal of it. He flicked a...