“Double scoop of dark, semi-sweet, chunky chocolate, on a chocolate sugar cone,” said Ace.
“I’ll have a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of chocolate, on a waffle cone.”
The ice cream person handed them their goodies and they left. Once outside, Ace unwrapped the napkin from around her cone and memorized the phone number written on it. Then she tore off the number, dropped in on the sidewalk and ground it to dust with her heel of her boot. “I love this ice cream,” she said, walking away.
“Are there spies everywhere?”
“Who does the number belong to?”
“No idea,” said Ace, licking a drip that almost made it to her hand.
“Do you ever go there just to get ice cream?”
Ace stopped and thought about that. “I guess not.”
“I don’t know. It’s work related, I guess.”
“Do you ever have fun?”
“The swelling around your eye is going down. I think the ice helped.”
“Your life is very one-sided and tiny.”
“I’m too tired to argue, or defend myself, and I’m not in the mood to admit that you’re right.”
“I just thought you might want to know. I think we’re being followed again.”
Ace, turned around. “Gentlemen. Is there a problem?” she asked, reaching for her knife.
“What was on the napkin?”
“My lipstick and chocolate. Why? Did you want it for your keepsake album, or would you rather have it tucked into your caskets, before they closed them
“Who’s that guy?” said the taller, of the two, motioning toward Tim.
“My cousin, in for a visit.”
The shorter, gray haired, man shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
Ace threw her empty hand in the air. “Why do people keep saying that?”
“He smiles too much,” said the tall guy.
“What’s THAT supposed to mean?”
The man shrugged. “Just don’t feel right.”
“Manny says you owe him.”
“I owe him? For what?”
“The guy he hired to take Mathews place wants more money.”
“Tell him I’m coming for him and if I see either one of you again, you’ll each have a knife sticking out of your necks, just like Mathews did.”
“Is Smokey working for you now?”
“I thought he was putting out Forest Fires,” said Ace, sincerely. “Doesn’t he have a friend called Boo Boo?”
“Nah, you’re thinking of Smokey the Bear, I’m talking about the guy who lives in a flame.”
“You’ve been drinking too much Johnny Walker.”
“I don’t think what the boss is doing is right,” said the tall guy.
“Me neither,” said the short one.
“Ace,” said the tall guy, softly. “You still hiring?”