The man smiled at the brunette, raising one eyebrow above his black sunglasses. He pulled his arm from her shoulder and reached into his jacket pocket, to pull out the world’s largest stogie. He clipped it, wet it and plunged it into his mouth.
He managed to mouth out “darlin’, light me, would you?”
The blonde on the other side of him was quicker. She flicked her lighter at the end of the cigar. Soon, a pungent smell enveloped the room.
The clean-cut man at the other side of the room covered his nose. “Do you really have to smoke that?”
He looked at him, smiling around his cigar. “Why?” He wiped some non-existent dust from his jacket. “Does it offend your sensibilities?”
Jack grimaced. “I’m just worried about your health. Wouldn’t want to see you choke to death.”
The man with the receding hairline took out his cigar, laughing and ultimately choking. Wiping his mouth with the back of his sleeve he said “don’t worry about me. If I were you, I’d be more concerned about your, ah, state of health Jack.” Grinning, he placed the stogie back in place.
Jack looked at him. “What do you mean?”
The man snickered. “Well, my boys are kind of anxious to try out their new toys.”
Jack looked at the ugly thugs scattered around the bar, who in turn were all looking at him, bored stares on their faces. Two of them were playing with their Glock 18 machine gun pistols.
“Besides” added the man. “You’ve been up for what, twenty-three hours now, running around the city, right?”
“So are you Superman or something? You’re bleeding from the gut and – here’s what really gets me – you haven’t been to the washroom even once.”
Jack’s face turned red. He was right. He hadn’t even thought about it, and now that he had, it was *all* he could think about.
“What’s the matter Jack? Do you have to be somewhere?” The man grinned and looked around at his men expectantly. The men all gave half-hearted snickers in response.
“Oh go ahead Jack. It’s right back there at the other end of the room. It’s the one with the picture of the little sheep with the tophat. Honest to God, I don’t know who thinks up this shit for the can.” He looked at the thug next to him. “Really Rocky – why not MEN?” Rocky shook his head. The man pulled out a gun and shot him. He spat on him, then looked around. “The next time I ask you assholes a question, I kind of expect an answer. You know?” He looked at the next thug, who stood straight.
“Got it, boss”
“Good. ” He looked over at Jack. “You still here? Go ahead. I won’t shoot you.” He looked at yet another thug, who was racking some balls at the pool table. “Pete – you go with him.”
Pete put the rack down and answered “Ok boss.”
As soon as they were in the washroom, Jack turned around and pretended to nod at someone behind Pete. Pete whipped around, and Jack stepped up and grabbed him in a sleeper hold. Pete struggled briefly, while Jack lowered him gently to the floor.
After grabbing the thug’s gun he walked over to the small window, opened it and took his penlight out and flicked it twice, signalling the Task Force to breach the premises.
Ten seconds later the three doors to the bar burst open, and shots flew back and forth across the bar.
Jack walked out of the washroom, scanning the room with his gun.
He walked over to the man, who was bleeding from the mouth, struggling to breathe. He crouched down, grabbed his head with both hands and shouted at him. “WHERE IS IT? WHERE??”
The man gurgled “my….back..pock..” And with that he slumped down.
Jack felt for his pulse. Nothing. So he flipped him over and grabbed the iPhone from his back pocket. “Fucker.”
The chief of police walked up to him. “Geeze, you’re a hard ass, Jack.” The chief stared at all of the dead bodies, then looked back at Jack. “What was on it anyway? Some national secret or something?”
Jack pocketed the iPhone. “It had my Celine Dion collection.”