Hotel Diamond was not much to look at from the street, but the gem of a view of the azure waves of the Grande Anse du Diamant from the bungalow-style lodgings and luxurious pool area truly did make this resort live up to it name. A gentle breeze rustled through the giant green fronds of the palm trees that lined the walk between the pool and the beach. To the west, a lush headland jutted high from the waters, and to the south, the bulbous Diamond Rock rose from the ocean like a craggy, shrub-covered skull.
Not a bad place to wait around for Outfit business.
Allen knew from Outfit scuttlebutt that Greg Fram had scored this sweet gig thanks in part to a huge takedown of Russian mafia thugs operating in Kiev. But it wasn’t that success that set him up here — it was the loss of his right arm at the climax of that operation. That loss was no accident, either, but the result of some of the most brutal torture tactics Allen had heard about in all his years with The Outfit. Fram had definitely earned this post in every way imaginable.
Allen glanced over his shoulder to make sure he still had his tail before making his way down to the beach, where a one-armed man in a white cotton button-down short-sleeve with khaki shorts strolled barefoot along the shore where the sand was wet but the receding waves seldom lapped. The man’s shoulder-length black hair was streaked with gray, and his face wore something closer to a beard than a need-a-shave. Allen approached him and gave him a nod, then flicked his eyes up and to the side in a gesture that silently said, “I’m being followed.”
Fram turned abruptly and headed slowly back down the beach toward a small, secluded cove. Allen followed from afar, stooping occasionally to examine the odd seashell or dried starfish along the pristine sandy strip. He followed Fram into the cove, then the two laid in wait for the tail.
After less than a minute, the beefy dude, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, blue jeans, and dark sunglasses, rounded the cliff-face corner and was met with a fist to the face from the shadows of the rocks. His shades flew off and he was stunned, but he shook it off and lunged for Allen. Before he could get his thick fingers around his neck, Fram brought a length of rebar across the man’s back with a swift single-handed swing, dropping him to his knees. Another blow to the back of his neck crumpled him to the sand face-down.
“Nice swing,” Allen said.
“Thanks. You know this guy?”
“I was thinking maybe the two of us could get to know him. Or, at least, know what he knows,” said Allen.
“He can’t leave here alive, you know,” said Fram. “He’s seen me.”
Allen nodded as he zip-tied the man’s wrists behind his back and rolled him over. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now…I really need to know where I can find Greaves. I received some kill tech, sent from his encrypted email. Something’s obviously wrong. I need answers.”
Fram stared out at the crystal blue sea, inhaled deeply. “Are you sure you want those answers, agent? You might not like where they lead you.”
Allen kicked at the white sand. “Like it or not, I want the truth.”
“All right,” said Fram. He leaned in and whispered. “Greaves has been dead for nearly six months. But I can tell you his last known.”
Allen closed his eyes. Greaves was a good man. The man who had sponsored Allen’s entry into The Outfit. And a friend. “How? How’d he die?”
“All I have is an address, agent. Take it or leave it.” He gestured at the unconscious thug on the ground. “I’ve gotta find a place to stash this lump for now. Don’t worry about the interrogation. I’ll safe-send you any intel I get out of him. It’ll come up as a Chime property alert with the standard encryption. You should probably go now.”
Tune in next week for another exciting installment of Agent Allen!