Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Paul Carr Read Free Book Online

Book: Long Way Down by Paul Carr Read Free Book Online
Authors: Paul Carr
lights flashing, and made a quick U-turn in front of the smoldering heap of metal. More sirens whined in the distance as Sam’s car disappeared down the side street.
    The clock on the dash displayed 10:50. He'd arrived at the coffee shop around ten. It seemed like hours ago.
    “We need to find a place to stay tonight,” Sam said.
    “We can go to my hotel.”
    Sam glanced at Candi in the glow of the dash lights. “They probably saw Tommy pick you up.”
    “Oh, yeah, right.” Candi lay her hands in her lap and looked out the window.
    “We have to ditch this car, too. They know it by now.”
    Sam drove toward Miami International and spotted a taxi waiting by a hotel. He pulled into the hotel lot and parked where his car couldn’t be seen from the street. They got out and Sam retrieved some things from the trunk that he couldn't afford to lose if the car got hauled away, primarily burglar tools, fake passports and IDs, and a noise suppressor for the 9mm. He put the items, along with a flashlight and a pair of field glasses, into a bag, and they walked over to the taxi.
    The driver had his eyes closed and his head against the headrest. Sam opened the back door and he and Candi got inside. The driver, a young black man with dreadlocks, jerked awake when Sam slammed the door.
    “We need to go to Avis,” Sam said.
    The man nodded, rubbed sleep from his eyes, and started the engine.
    It took only a few minutes to reach Avis, and Sam had the driver drop them out front. He used a driver’s permit from his bag that he knew would be difficult to track, and rented a black Chevrolet Impala. It looked as if it would blend in as well as any of Avis’ cars, and it had decent engine power. There were few customers that late at night, and Sam and Candi were on their way in ten minutes.
    Sam drove to South Beach and left the car at the front door of the Palma Hotel. Only three vacant rooms remained, each on a different floor. The clerk, a tall young man about as wide as a pencil, showed Sam the choices.
    “You sure you don't have anything closer together?”
    The clerk shook his head and smiled, as if wondering why they needed two rooms. “Sorry, we got lots of vacationers. These rooms have two queen beds, if that helps.”
    Sam sighed and turned to Candi. “You mind sharing a room?"
    Candi raised an eyebrow and pressed her lips together. “Looks like we don't have much choice. I don't want to be on a different floor.”
    Sam tried to read something into her look, but then let it go and told himself that they were here only because of the threat on her life; this wasn't a date.
    They went to the room and Sam dropped his bag onto one of the beds. A smell of stale cigarette smoke lingered in the air, surprising for a three-star hotel.
    Candi glanced around the room and smiled. “Not bad. I’m going to take a hot shower.” She unbuttoned the top button of her blouse and flipped on the bathroom light.
    His pulse quickened at her smile. Don't read too much into this.
    “Okay, I’ll be back in a few minutes. I need to move the car.”
    He went downstairs to the rented Chevy and parked in the lot, keeping his eye out in case anyone might be following. A young couple ambled down the street. They seemed interested only in each other.
    Returning to the lobby, Sam wished he had something to drink, but the bar had closed. He walked to the counter and looked at the kid who had rented them the room, probably a college student with a chronic need for cash.
    Sam slid a folded fifty across the counter and asked if the kid might know where he could get some gin and tonic. The kid leaned against the counter with his hands spread wide and stared at the bill. He glanced at Sam and then to either side. Seeing the lobby empty, he scooped up the fifty and walked around the counter past Sam toward the bar. Gone less than five minutes, he returned carrying a paper bag with two bottles, the hint of a smile on his face when he handed the bag to

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