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24

Dez Romanos man from the antimafia office called at 10:00 a.m. It was good to have his people everywhere, especially in organizations that were trying to fuck him.

Its me, his mole said in Italian.

S'i. Dez gestured to his secretary that she did not need to leave his office. This mole wasnt important, wasnt any kind of clandestino supersleuth, just a watcher, there to report on certain topics when he came across them. The mole was Antonio Sandello, not that his name was of any significance. It was his heritage. Hed grown up in the System-what everyone on the inside called the Camorra-and although he now worked for the other side technically, as a video tech for the antimafia office, the kid harbored a dream to move to America, to live a big life there. Dez had promised to help him do that someday in return for a heads-up when information came through the office, usually from feeds from office cameras, dealing with anything that had to do with the Camorra and the United States.

An American came into the office today, Sandello said.

Is that right? The System had never been successful at establishing a strong foothold in America, but Dez was going to change that. And people like Sandello were going to help him.

Said she was looking for her father, someone working on a Camorra case when he disappeared.

What kind of case?

Rizzato Brothers.

Who was the person working the case?

Didnt say.

Did the office give her anything?

Just the door. You know they do not hand out information.

Certa, he said. Obviously. Of course. It would be so much easier for him if the office was loose with their information. Did she come in cold?

S'i. She did not have an appointment. Walked in off the street.

Interesting. Name?

Isabel McNeil.

Sandello pronounced it all wrong, but Dez recognized the name right away. Shed been on his mind for days.

He put down his pen and gestured for his secretary to leave. He asked Sandello a multitude of questions and learned that after being turned away, Isabel McNeil had walked down the street with a staff member of the office. A notary. The offices cameras recorded the direction they were heading, but then shed gone out of range.

He told Sandello to talk to the notary, told him exactly how to do it, then he hung up, a little disappointed. She had seemed quite intelligent to him, but how fucking stupida did you have to be to run from the Mob and head straight for Italy?

Then again, maybe he was the stupid one. Could there have been any basis to the words shed thrown out in that goddamned butterfly room-that she was a federal agent? Was she the one playing him?


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