Sinclair pressed his forehead against the cool glass and sighed. Late. If only Senator Praxon had photo-op’d with a few less babies he might not have missed his chance.
Now he could only stare forlornly at the pale globs in the darkened window.
Sinclair had traveled the world, first on the government’s dime as a military brat, then as a jar head himself. Now he was security detail for the gregarious Senator. Throughout the near daily changes there had been one reliable constant since he was old enough to hoist a fork, the quest for the perfect cheesecake. And here it was before him at long last, in the dark, out of reach.
A flicker inside caught his eye.
Sinclair found the back door propped open with a broken crate slat. He entered quietly. Voices and light spilled out of an office. The tone was mild, conversational. But the frightened look on the seated youngster and the baseball bat in one of the two men’s hands said otherwise.
“You need to leave.” The youngster said.
“Not till you pay.”
“We barely break even.”
“Still gotta pay.”
Sinclair had heard enough. He didn’t want to get involved but he couldn’t walk away and leave the kid in danger. Plus there was the cheesecake to consider.
He opened the door, one hand on his pistol. “Okay kiddies, playtime is over.”
All three started.
“Who the hell are you?” Bat man stepped forward.
“Just a man who wants a piece of cheesecake.”
A warbling wail came from the kitchen.
The young man groaned. “You all need to leave!”
The empty handed man looked to the youngster. “What was that?”
“Gran Nana is prepping the next batch of cheesecake.”
Great, two innocents to protect.
“She strangling cats?” The batless thug asked.
The boy sighed. “No, singing as she crushes fairy wings. Please get out.”
“She’s gonna call the cops.”
“No. She turns her hearing aids off after we close. Leave now, you might be safe.”
The bat wielder scoffed. “Playing crazy isn’t going to help.”
Sinclair pulled out his gun, muzzle to the floor, safety off. “Listen to the kid. Leave.”
The kid’s eyes widened as he stared past Sinclair. “It’s too late.”
Sinclair felt someone at his shoulder and he ducked aside as the room erupted in a deafening boom.
The bat man’s chest exploded. The bat became kindling.
The source of the carnage stood next to him, a tiny white haired woman with a shotgun. But the real shocker was the tiny fairy on each of the woman’s shoulders. They took flight and hovered over the dead man.
The woman turned to the remaining thug and loaded another shell. “Run.”
After he barreled past she turned to the stunned Sinclair. “I shoot they’ll clean up.” Indicating the fairies. “You shoot, not so much.”
As they flew past with the dead fellow in tow one of them flipped Sinclair off.
She cackled. “It’s their sass that adds flavor to the cheesecake.”