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Ever burrowed down in your homemade grave while large men with even larger guns prowled less than a hundred feet away? I wouldn’t recommend it. Using stiff and knotted muscles, I kept watch through minia­ ture binoculars, and hoped my bladder wouldn’t swell to exploding over the long hours. I’d done it three days in a row while Saul had pulled the previous watches. He hadn’t enjoyed it any more than I did. From the bitch­ ing and moaning, he seemed to doubt he’d ever be able to satisfy any woman again, much less his flavor of the 44 Rob Thurman week.

Taking care of the bill, I rather hoped the next time we came back, the rock star wannabe would have gotten a new job. For his sake. Gurov didn’t hold grudges; he’d invented them. Kicking the shit out of some waiter, I didn’t need a fortune-teller to read that in my future. I led the way out of the restaurant, pausing in the doorway to check the sidewalk and street. Clear. Kon­ stantin tapped a finger against his watch impatiently. A glittering gold and diamond piece, it cost more than my condo.

Gurov didn’t enjoy waiting for his coffee . . or any­ thing for that matter. And I didn’t enjoy what he might have me do if his needs didn’t get immediate attention. As I added a laser-sharp glare to my gesturing hand, the waiter pushed away from the wall and headed our way. His bored look was now mingled with a slight hint of unease. It seemed he wasn’t quite as thickheaded as I’d thought. “Never mind, Stefan. ” CHIMERA 35 Konstantin was folding the newspaper with quick, pre­ cise movements. “Perhaps you’ll have an opportunity for a little education with our preyatel upon our next visit.

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