The goons moved to a back room to talk, leaving Deck to think about the mess he found himself in. These gorillas weren't the Triad types he expected to find plucking Kim Li's dingleberries. These were old school Mafia meatheads. What was going on? Deck could almost taste the answer -- and when Mona stepped out of the back room, Deck realized why that taste was familiar.

She had on a 3-piece business number that might have been professional, if the skirt's hem had been closer to her knees than her navel. The bowie knife in her hand didn't quite make the look either. She smiled maliciously at Deck as she knelt and tapped his crotch with the knife tip.

"Now, Carrie dear," she said, "here's the deal. We'll use my cell and call your bum buddy Pete. You arrange for him to drop the CD off at your shithole of an office in one hour. And no tricks, or ..." and she tapped the knife for emphasis "... little Deckie gets a haircut."

Deck swallowed hard. The bitch had been on top of him before he even caught wind of Kim Li. She'd probably been the one who tossed his office. She'd probably been doing just that when he called her about meeeting her at the motel. She'd fucked him good several times that day; no doubt about it.

"Untie me and gimme the phone," he snarled.

"Not likely, little man," she replied. "Tell me the number. I'll dial. You talk. And keep it simple, stupid!"

Deck told her a number and she punched it up while she held the phone to his ear. As soon as he heard the other end pick up, Deck started talking. "Yo, Petey. 'S Deck. That was some gig with the pigs yesterday!" he said cheerily. Mona poked him warningly with the knife.

There was a short pause. "Go on," said the voice on the other end. Deck carefully outlined his problem and repeated Mona's instructions into the phone, taking care not to mess anything up. "Got it," said the other end, and the line went dead.

"Not much of a talker, is he?" she asked.

"Petey hates saving my ass without a down payment," Deck replied.

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