Lon heard a knock on his door. That was cause for concern; he had no friends, and the Girl Scouts and Jehovah’s Witnesses had better sense than to visit his neighborhood.
Still, it was a knock; someone had manners enough for that rather than to knock down the door – or make a new one. So maybe this wouldn’t end fatally.
He threw back three deadbolts and opened the door. Sonia was there, and Jerzy loomed behind her. He stepped back to let them into his little house. Jerzy closed the door.
“Lon,” Sonia said, “you should know why we’re here.”
“Something about my truck being hijacked, I suppose.”
“That’s right,” she said softly. “Bruno is increasingly of the opinion that it was an inside job.”
“Maybe he’s right, but I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“Bruno thinks you did. Because you strayed from the assigned route–”
“I already explained that.”
“And because there’s word on the street about how some people in the organization are making side deals at the Boss’ expense.”
“I would never do that,” Lon said quietly. “That’s suicide.”
“It sure is,” Sonia agreed. “Lonnie, I’ve tried to get Bruno to see that you’re a good guy, but he distrusts you now. He feels betrayed. There’s nothing more I can say to him.”
“Do you feel betrayed, too?” Lon asked.
“Of course not, Lonnie. But … I can’t help you.”
Lon looked at the floor. “I understand. Thanks for trying, Sis.”
Sonia hugged her brother for the last time. Then she moved into the shadows behind him.
The hulking Pole stepped forward. He slipped a pair of brass knuckles onto each of his hands.
“Nothing personal,” Jerzy said.
“It never is,” Lon whispered.
Jerzy moved around to Lon’s left side and raised a meaty, metal-clad fist. A soft thwip kept it from landing.
Sonia stared as her target fell dead, and her gun hand went limp for a moment. She swallowed hard and put the silenced pistol back in her purse.
“Thanks, Jerzy,” she said. “Thanks for letting me give him a better death.”
“Sure.” He took the brass knuckles off. “Bruno’s still gonna get his message across loud and clear. He can’t complain much.”
“Yeah. Let’s go. Bruno’s still going to expect me to have his dinner on the table when he gets home.”