The Hitwoman vs The Security Guard
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 32
Even though they drive her crazy, Maggie Lee is all about family.
Now it seems her half-brother has gotten himself into trouble with someone known as The Security Guard.
Luckily (or not!) The Security Guard is now proving to be a problem for the mob boss she works for and he wants him taken out.
Maggie jumps at the chance to get rid of the danger to her brother and the thorn in her boss’s side.
But her assassination attempt doesn’t go as planned. (Do they ever?)
Now she’s the target of The Security Guard’s wrath.
Can old friends, new allies and her loyal pets save her?
You just know it’s going to be a bad day when a medical examiner looks at you like you’re a cadaver.
Waking with a start, I found my brother’s girlfriend, Kristen, watching me closely. Startled, and still half asleep, it took me a moment to figure out what was going on as I struggled into a seated position. The surface below me was crunchy and slightly sweet smelling, and I realized I’d fallen asleep on the bales of hay in the barn. I looked over at Irma, the donkey, who I’d bribed to be quiet by giving her an apple. She swiveled her ears toward me in acknowledgment. I frowned at her. I had wanted to nap in silence, but she could have given me a heads up that Kristen was watching me.
I self-consciously finger-combed my hair, trying to remove any stray strands of straw that might be stuck in it.
“Hey,” I managed to croak out with what I hoped passed for a semblance of a smile for the perky blonde.
“Are you okay, Maggie?” Kristen asked with concern.
She reached out, like she wanted to assess my temperature by touching my forehead. Instinctively, I ducked away, which caused her to scowl disapprovingly.
“You were sound asleep.” She squinted at me, as though giving me some sort of medical exam in her head.
Considering she’s more accustomed to assessing the dead than the living, I squirmed uncomfortably beneath her perusal. I fought the urge to pinch my cheeks, so they’d have some color and I’d look alive. “I was just tired,” I told her. “And it’s quieter here than in the house during the day.”
She nodded, but I wasn’t sure she believed me.
It wasn’t like I could tell her that I’d been burning the midnight oil and had just been desperate to catch a couple zzz’s. I’d been running around playing nursemaid to Gino, my mobster boss’s bodyguard and, I guess, my boyfriend. He’d recently been struck by a pickup truck and was still recovering. Not that he really needed my help, but I was trying to do the dutiful girlfriend thing after I’d all but ruined our romantic getaway. To make up for it, I kept going over to his place, bringing all sorts of takeout food because my girlfriend skills didn’t stretch to homecooked meals.
In addition to running back and forth to check on him, I’d had to pull off a job for Ms. Whitehat, who works for a shadowy organization that sometimes blackmails me into doing questionable activities for them. For some reason that I did not understand, she had needed me to steal an envelope out of someone’s mailbox in the middle of the night.
As my cold-blooded conspirator, God, had pointed out, stealing mail is a Federal offense. Figuring out how to do so without being caught on someone’s doorbell camera had involved causing a small power outage, a Pennywise mask, and making my escape on a scooter. Have you ever tried to ride a scooter? They’re hazardous to one’s health. It’s like the makers just ignored the laws of gravity.
Understandably, I tumbled off said scooter, leading to complaints about sensitive skin. All that for a thin, nondescript envelope with no return address.
And yes, I did hold it up to the light trying to get a peek at the contents, but I couldn’t see anything.
When I got home from my Federal fiasco, just around 4:30 in the morning, my sister Marlene was sitting on the front steps of the house, crying. I was momentarily tempted to ignore her and just go to bed, but that’s not what a good sister does. I’d gone to see what was bothering her.
From what I could discern between her hiccupping sobs, Doc, her fiancé, had applied to medical school. You have to admire a guy who is so well-rounded that he works as an exotic dancer to put himself through school. Anyway, the university he’d been accepted to was in Chicago.
My first reaction was that that would be great. She could check in with my friend Alice, who’d moved there with her husband and new baby.
But, apparently, Marlene was not excited about the possibility of going to the Windy City.
“I thought we were building something,” she’d wailed pitifully. “And now I can either kill his dream or abandon the family.”
“You’re not going to be abandoning the family,” I’d hurried to reassure her. Her twin, Darlene, had actually done that not that long ago, so I understood where she was coming from.
“How can I take Alicia away from everyone?”
I shrugged. She had a point, there. She’d only recently been reunited with her daughter, and the little girl seemed to be settling in well here with the family and everyone doted on her.
“Do you think Ian’s cheating on me?” Kristen blurted out, interrupting my recollection of my conversation with Marlene.
I blinked. Even if I hadn’t been overtired, her question wouldn’t have made much sense. “What are you talking about?”
“He’s acting strangely,” Kristen confided, settling down on the bale of hay beside me.
I tensed, remembering about how both the mob boss, Delveccio, and Ms. Whitehat had warned me that Ian had gotten on the wrong side of a man known as the Security Guard. Both had indicated that had put Ian in danger. Now, Kristen was telling me that my brother was acting strangely. All remaining traces of rest and relaxation left my body as worry and adrenaline flooded through me.
Even though my heartbeat was doing double time, I tried to keep my tone mild as I asked, “Acting strangely how?” Fear that Ian was in real danger coiled in my gut.
“He’s been making furtive phone calls,” she confided. “He goes outside for them. And he’s being sly with his texting, always making sure I can never see the screen of his phone.”
I nodded slowly, unsure of how to respond. Part of me wanted to tell her she shouldn’t be trying to look at his phone, but I understood why she was.
“Plus, he’s been going out at all hours,” she complained. “It’s very unlike him.”
I nodded. “It does sound a little strange. But I don’t think Ian would—”
“Thurston thinks so, too,” she interrupted.
I raised my eyebrows, finding it strange that she’d shared her concerns about her boyfriend’s fidelity with my uncle.
“Is he cheating on me?” Kristen demanded to know again; her hands balled into fists in her lap.
I shrugged and said as noncommittally as I could, “I don’t know.”
“Would you tell me if you did?”
I sighed heavily, feeling like I was stuck in an impossible position. “Would you rather I lied and gave you some false reassurances? I don’t know, Kristen. I’m his sister, not his keeper. Just ask Ian.”
She shook her head. “People with something to hide rarely tell the truth.”
“You’d be surprised,” a gravelly male voice said from just outside the barn.