Chapter XXI. December
Cooper clicked his tongue behind his teeth. More waiting. He hated waiting. If it were up to him, there would have been no waiting. In fact, if it had been up to him, the deed would already be done and the team would be sitting around the table toasting their accomplishment. Or they would be behind bars since his way consisted of many illegal acts. Or they would be dead because his way was a little rash based on instinct and very little thought. He could see the logic in Ant’s plan. It was a solid plan. Well thought out, many years in the making. Cooper could recognize the value in it when his thoughts of revenge didn’t overtake him. He conceded actual revenge was better than dying without bringing his mother’s murderer to justice. So, he waited.
The van door slid open and Ant climbed in.
“Geez,” Cooper said, “you’re moving as slow as an old man.”
Ant sat heavily in the chair next to him. “Being shot does that to a person,” he replied. “Plus, I am old.”
Cooper smiled. “You’re still in better shape than Malone here.”
Malone climbed in after Ant and took a bite of a sandwich he carried. “Hey, stake outs make me hungry.”
Ant ignored him. “Anything new?”
Cooper took out his ear buds. “No, all quiet. Just an old man in a luxurious hotel. He hasn’t spoken with anyone about business since dinner. No phone calls, nothing. Except he does like to yell at his valet. What a miserable old goat to work for. I’m pretty sure his staff will thank us after doing them this solid.”
“Never underestimate the loyalty a buck can buy,” Ant said. “I’ve known people who have sold their kin for a little greenback.”
Cooper nodded. “Speaking of loyalty, where’s Al?”
Ant looked at him. “Don’t worry about her, she’s on board.”
“You sure? She didn’t sound too convinced with the plan.”
“Trust me, I know my team. She’ll follow through.”
Cooper nodded. He trusted Ant, he just wasn’t sure if Ant’s trust in Al was a little too hopeful.
“It’s almost gametime. Should we go over the plan again?” Ant asked going over his notes.
“I think we got it,” Cooper answered.
“I’m pretty sure even the bugs in the van could tell us the plan,” Malone said.
Ant and Cooper looked at him. “Not your surveillance bugs, I mean real bugs. If spiders could talk they would tell us the plan.”
“You think there are spiders in my van?” Ant asked.
“No, not your van. Your van is spotless, of course. But if there were spiders or flies on the wall they could tell the plan.” He shrugged. “If bugs could talk.”
“You should probably stop talking now,” Cooper said.
“Good plan,” Malone took a bite of his sandwich.
“Just remember, there is no room for mistakes. You get caught you are caught. Nothing anyone can do to help you because we are flying under the radar here. You get caught you are on your own and Jacob Peterson wins again.”
Cooper looked at Ant. “Okay, maybe we should go over the plan one more time.”
An hour later, Cooper took a deep breath and exited the van. He was about to commit a crime sanctioned by only three other people. Well, two other people. He wasn’t convinced of Al’s allegiance yet. His palms were sweaty as he squeezed his hands in nervousness. There was no room for failure. Too much was at risk. Plus, there was no way he was going to let that oily Jacob Peterson slip through his fingers.
“You ready?” he heard Ant’s voice in his earpiece.
Cooper took a deep breath. “I got this. Let’s go.”
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