Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(24) by Jennifer Estep
“Should I be jealous?” Owen asked, joining in with Finn’s teasing. “Because I am more than prepared to storm in there and challenge that guy to a duel. Pistols at dawn or something dramatic like that. Anything to defend my fair lady’s honor and win her everlasting favor.”
He pressed his fist to his heart and bowed low to me before straightening back up, grabbing my hand, and pressing a kiss to my knuckles.
I laughed. “As interesting as that would be, Sir Grayson, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Good to hear, Lady Genevieve.” Owen winked at me.
I turned away from the storefront. “What did you find out?”
Owen shook his head. “Dead end. They have the cigar—it’s called Chicory Coffee, interestingly enough—but the clerk couldn’t find a record of anyone ordering it in the past week.”
“At least, no one with a credit card or charging it to their room,” Finn added. “So the guy most likely paid cash for it.”
I sighed. “So we still have nothing that might tell us who the bomber really is.”
“You got it, sister.” Finn shot his thumb and forefinger at me, then perked up. “But on the bright side, I restocked my cigar supply with several of those exquisite Chicory Coffee smokes.”
He held up a white plastic bag that featured the Puff name and cigar rune in red letters.
“Peachy,” I muttered.
Finn grinned wider at my snarky tone.
“Now what?” Owen asked.
I glanced at my watch. “Now we go see what Mr. Smith is up to. His date should be wrapping up right about now, and he should be heading back to his room soon.”
“Going to smoke the truth out of him, Gin?” Finn chuckled at his bad joke.
I sighed. “Please tell me that you are not going to make stupid cigar jokes the rest of the night.”
Finn huffed, as though he were offended. “Of course not. There’s nothing stupid about my jokes. Is there, Owen?”
Owen shook his head, but a grin spread across his face. “Don’t ask me. I’m not getting in this middle of this . . . smelly situation.”
I groaned, but Finn raised his hand, and Owen high-fived him.
“If you two are done being clever, maybe we can get on with things?” I groused.
“Sure, just give me a second to put away my smokes,” Finn said. “I wouldn’t want them to get damaged when we talk to Smith.”
I frowned. “Damaged? Why would they get damaged? And with what?”
“Knives, magic, blood, big, fat, sloppy man tears as Smith begs for mercy,” Finn said. “You know. All the Gin Blanco specialties.”
He was right again. Those were my specialties.
Finn had Owen hold his briefcase so he could open it and slide the plastic bag full of cigars inside. The second he was done, I held out my hands, shooing the two of them toward the elevators. Finn put his arm around Owen’s shoulder, already planning a time for them to get together to smoke some of the cigars.
Instead of following them, I looked through the windows of the cigar bar again. The man I’d noticed earlier was focused on his phone once more. He reached out, grabbed his glass of Scotch, and took a slow sip, making the signet ring flash on his hand. He wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, but I still felt uneasy. There was just something about him that seemed so familiar—
A low whistle sounded. I looked over and realized that Finn was waving to me from the elevators.
I glanced at the man again, but he wasn’t the one we were here to see. That would be Mr. Smith, and he was waiting for me, even if he didn’t know it yet.
So I moved away from the cigar bar, more than ready to put eyes on someone who could finally help me get to the bottom of things.
Owen, Finn, and I rode the elevator up to the seventh floor, acting casual but keeping our heads down so as not to give the security cameras a good look at our faces. The doors opened, but the hallway was empty, so we were able to go over to the fire stairs and walk down to the third floor without anyone seeing us. The Blue Moon was one of those places that prided itself on its guests—and all their activities, legal and otherwise—staying anonymous, so no cameras monitored the stairwells or the room floors.
Finn drew an electronic key card out of his jacket pocket, slid it through the reader, and opened the door. He stepped inside, and Owen shut the door behind us. The room was empty, but that was to be expected.
Because we weren’t in Mr. Smith’s room—we were in the one next door.
I’d told Finn and Silvio that I didn’t want to question Smith. Not just yet. Instead, I wanted to watch him first and get a sense of what he was like. And, more important, who he was working for. Dead men tell few tales, and I wanted as much information as I could get before I went into the next room and put the squeeze on Smith in person.
So, wearing his disguise, Finn had come over to the hotel earlier today and lifted a master key card off one of the housekeepers. Making sure that Smith was out, he’d let himself into the other man’s room and made a few, well, adjustments to certain items inside.
Finn and Owen took off their jackets and threw them onto the bed, but I kept mine on, to hide the knives up my sleeves and just in case I had to leave the room in a hurry. Three chairs had been arranged in front of the TV, and we all sat down, with me in the seat closest to the door. If Smith realized that someone had been in his room, he might bolt, and I wanted to be able to run him down.
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