It was good to be back in Stefaniak’s, a little normalcy with all the craziness lately. Time had seemed to speed along lately, and we found ourselves in December. It was the Christmas party for the employees.
The lights bounced and played against the windows, as the music played. A good Christmas cup, a muffin, and conversation. I felt almost comfortable, except for glancing outside every five minutes.
Otecko was entertaining everyone with stories. Joe was there, and my security guys. It was a caffeine fortress, no one was charging the door, so to speak.
I should have expected a more delicate touch, but I didn’t, until the phone call. “Hello, I think you’ll find the news interesting tonight.” That was the only thing he said, on the phone. He must have been tired after all of the talking he had done this afternoon.
“My country is reclaiming its national treasures. It has come to my attention that some very important artifacts were taken from our country years ago. I intend to pursue every legal channel available to get them back.”
That was his next move. I took Otecko aside and told him. “What he could not grab, he would wrestle away. Tomás, this man is clever, but he’s also brash. That will work in our favor.”
Otecko went back to the party as if nothing had happened. It ended for me with the phone call. I didn’t leave, but my mind did. Primarily on how to stop the bad guy without looking like a villain ourselves.