The Hitwoman and the Family Jewels
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 4
How do you say “no” to a mob boss?
When bumbling hitwoman Maggie Lee is asked by her mob boss employer to kill a cop, she wants to say no.
When her sexy murder mentor, Patrick Mulligan tells her the cop in question is a guy she once dated, she REALLY wants to refuse.
But when her former date, Paul Kowalski tries to kill her, she changes her tune to “Hell, yes!”
Maggie and Patrick grow closer as they scramble to figure out what it is that Kowalski is looking for and what it has to do with her prison escapee father.
Maggie’s search is hampered by the presence of US Marshals hunting her father and her crazier-than-usual family.
Along with her snarky talking lizard, grammatically-challenged Doberman, and a pissy cat, she races to solve the mystery and protect her family. But nothing in Maggie’s life ever goes as planned…
You know it’s going to be a bad day when your worst nightmare is coming true, Doomsday is excited, and God is lecturing you about silver linings or some such crap.
I dumped the contents of a dresser drawer into a garbage bag.
If you’d asked me a couple of months ago what my worst nightmare was, I would have told you it was the possibility of having to move back in with my meddling aunts, and that’s exactly what I found myself doing.
“You’re doing the right thing,” God told me, as though he could read my thoughts.
I glanced over at the anole lizard, stretched out in the terrarium perched precariously in the middle of my bed. His full name is Godzilla, but he preferred to go by “God”. And yes, I can talk to him. This is a relatively new skill…just one of many I’ve developed since a car accident earlier this year.
“I know I’m doing the right thing. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.”
“Happy DeeDee!” The seventy-pound Doberman Pinscher sprawled in the doorway, whose real name is Doomsday, was excited because I’d told her we were moving to a place that had grass. I’d also told her it was hell on earth, but that particular detail hadn’t registered in her tiny canine brain.
Ignoring her, God said, “You don’t have to like it. You just have to remember that you’re doing this for Katie.”
Katie was the only person I’d do this for. The lawyer I’d hired to help me fight for custody of my niece had made the suggestion I move back in with my aunts. She said it would help to illustrate I could provide a stable family environment for the little girl once she was released from the premium care facility. The car accident had left her with a traumatic brain injury, resulted in the death of her parents, and made me Katie’s legal guardian. It also left me able to converse with animals, but I don’t like to think about that.
Just like I don’t like to think about the fact I’m a hitwoman.
“Are you adopting a homeless motif?” God asked.
“Most people treat their belongings with respect when they’re packing for a move. You’re putting all of your worldly possessions into a trash bag. Are you trying out a bag lady look?”
“I’m only moving my clothes, not all my worldly possessions. Everything else is staying here. If you piss me off you can stay here too.”
“God take! God take!” Doomsday panted.
“You’ve upset the imbecile with your threats,” God drawled smugly. “Don’t—“
Before I could finish berating the lizard for being mean to the dog (yes, my life is that pathetic) my alarm clock buzzed. “Crap!”
“You’re going to be late,” God said.
I dropped the half-filled garbage bag on the floor. “Where are my keys?”
“Kitchen table,” he replied. “Don’t forget to turn on the television before you leave.”
Snatching up the remote, I turned on the set and ran from the room.
“True crime!” God shouted. “You forgot to set it to the true crime station!”
Turning around I did his bidding. When I’d first brought him home, the lizard had been fanatical about watching Wheel of Fortune, but now, since he’s my wingman whenever I go off to kill someone, he’s obsessed with true crime shows.
DeeDee isn’t the slightest bit interested in television, so I tossed a rawhide treat in her general direction to keep her occupied. “Don’t gnaw on the furniture,” I admonished as I locked the door to my apartment. A day earlier she’d decided to chomp on the leg of my night table because she’d been bored.
I hurried to my car and raced—well, raced as well as one can when trying to obey traffic laws so as not to attract the attention of law enforcement—across town. My alarm wasn’t set to make sure I got to work on time and it wasn’t to remind me about visiting hours for Katie. The appointment I couldn’t afford to miss was with the local mob boss, Delveccio. I was never sure when I met with Delveccio if I met with Tony or his identical twin Anthony, but I don’t worry about it too much. If the people trying to prosecute him/them for “alleged” crimes can’t tell them apart, why should I even try?
I made it to Apple Blossom Estates, the premium care facility where Katie was a patient, eighteen minutes before visiting hours began. I headed straight for the cafeteria, doing my best to look like a family member killing time before she could visit her loved one. In reality, I was going to find out who Delveccio wanted me to kill.
I still can’t believe I’m a hitwoman. This isn’t how I’d planned my life. Then again, life hasn’t turned out the way I’d planned. When I was a kid I wouldn’t have thought that my mother would end up in a mental institution and my dad in prison. Now that I talk to animals and go around killing people, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up in one of those two places.
Becoming a hitwoman just sort of happened. One moment I was worrying about paying for Katie’s medical care and the next I was being offered a lot of money to kill someone. A very bad someone. Then I had to kill somebody else (also, a very, very bad man) because he’d stood in the way of my payday…well that and he had evidence that could have landed me in jail.
Not long ago I accepted a contract to kill a drug dealer. Again, someone who totally deserved what he got, but what Delveccio didn’t know is that I failed to kill him. When it came down to it, I just couldn’t make the dealer’s family suffer. Fortunately for me, fate intervened in the form of a killer disco ball, so Delveccio not only believed I did the job he’d hired me for, but that I’m very good at it. I took his money and didn’t disabuse him of that notion.
I don’t enjoy killing people, even those who deserve it, and I’d very much like to get out of the situation I’ve found myself in, but I’m also really, really afraid of pissing off a man the local papers have dubbed “The Deadliest Don”.
Plus, I need the money.
Which is why I was sitting in the hospital cafeteria scarfing down chocolate pudding waiting to find out who I was expected to hit next.
“We’re gonna have to stop meeting like this,” Delveccio said, as he slid into the seat opposite me. As usual his shirt was unbuttoned halfway to his navel, revealing way too much greying chest hair, and he reeked of some cologne that no doubt cost more than I made in a week at my real job.
“Do you think we’re being watched?” I glanced around. A couple of nurses were sitting in one corner cackling over a tabloid magazine. A guy who looked to be in his nineties was sitting at another table playing checkers with himself. The only person who seemed remotely interested in us was Delveccio’s steroid-ridden bodyguard, Vinnie.
“No, but rumor has it your niece is gonna get moved.” Delveccio’s grandson is in the room next to Katie’s. We never would have met otherwise.
“That’s news to me.” The mouthful of chocolate pudding on my tongue suddenly tasted like dog crap. I swallowed hard, barely managing to choke it down. After all I’d done to keep her here, they couldn’t kick Katie out, could they?
I did my best to not let my agitation show since I knew Delveccio was watching for a reaction to this bombshell he’d lobbed my way. “So what’s the job?”
Throwing back his head, he laughed. “That’s what I like about you. You’re all business.” He leaned forward so that his forehead practically touched mine. “This one’s going to require some finesse.”
I didn’t say anything. The last job had required me to assassinate a drug lord at a wedding with oodles of bodyguards in attendance. What could be trickier than that?
“I need you to kill a cop.”