Half an hour later, we were back in the main bar area of the Red Dog, perched on the stools at the bar, telling Revell what had happened.
"I was right for you to be careful," he said from behind the bar then quirked an eyebrow at us. "And you do not know who it was?"
"Not a clue," I said. "Can't think who'd be gunning after us. I figured we'd already taken care of everyone who was."
He nodded, folded his arms across his barrel chest and thought for a moment. Then he said: "Sakura?"
"Fuck," said Mouse. "I'll bet you it's her."
Something about that didn't seem right.
"No," I said. "I don't think it's her. Not after what she did a few days ago."
"The hotel," said Mouse.
I nodded. A little over a week earlier, Sakura had pulled us out of the seventeenth floor of the Ascot Arms hotel just before the room we were about to walk into exploded.
"What if she just said that to keep us off-balance?" said Mouse.
"Maybe," I said.
"You do remember the deathtrap factory, right?"
"Yeah. But she's also said that if she'd wanted us dead she'd--"
"--she'd have killed us already," said Mouse. She let out a long sigh. "I really hate this cloak and dagger bullshit."
"Makes two of us," I said.
The door at the back of the bar area creaked open and Specs and Jake Steele stepped through.
I was on my feet and starting to move toward Jake when I caught myself and stopped in mid-step. I folded my arms across my chest. "You're okay," I said to him.
He nodded. "You?"
"If you two are done make goo-goo eyes at each other," said Mouse, "can we get to work figuring out who just tried to grease us?"
Specs held up both hands, palms out. "I had nothin' to do with that," he said. "It all sounded legit. And half the fee got wired in no time."
"I got my tip from Tyler," said Jake.
"Who'd Tyler get it from?" I said. "Was it a woman?"
"He didn't say," said Jake. "I can ask."
"Do," I said.
He dug his phone from the pocket of his jacket, dialed, and stepped toward the booths that lined one side of the bar.
I turned toward Specs. "Was it a woman who called you?"
Specs frowned. "I think so."
"She give a name?"
"Just yours and Mouse's. Said she'd heard good things about you two."
"And the fast wire didn't seem weird to you?"
Specs shrugged. "Just seemed like she was on the ball, you know? And you think I'm gonna argue when someone wants to give me money? Hell, no."
Steele walked back toward us.
I said to him: "Anything?"
"Tyler couldn't really tell," Steele said. "He thinks it might've been a woman but the voice sounded masked."
"It was a woman," a voice said from the door at the back of the bar.
The Twins were out and leveled.
So were Mouse's wakizashis.
Steele was pivoting toward the voice, his two-toned SIG P250, rising toward target.
Out of the corner of my eye, Revell had his SPAS-12 shotgun pulled to his shoulder.
Sakura stood in the doorway that led toward the Red Dog's back hallway, dressed in black under a knee-length dark leather coat, her hands tucked into the coat pockets, an amused expression on her face.
"Who the hell is this?" said Specs.
"How did you get in here?" I said, waiting for an answer that would be an excuse to wipe the expression from her face.
She inclined her head back toward the rear hallway. "The back door's a nice touch. I've seen it in action. But I'd need the codes to get in. I don't have them."
"So how?" said Mouse.
"Roof acess door," she said. "You really should secure that better."
"Let me guess," said Steele, looking between us and Sakura. "Lady Deathtrap?"
"In the flesh," said Mouse.
Specs threw up his hands. "Son of a fucking bitch!" He wandered off toward the bar, swearing and muttering to himself.
Sakura turned toward Steele. "She was using you as bait, Handsome," she said. "A nice touch."
"Who was?" I said.
"And how?" said Steele.
Revell gestured with the shotgun. "You will tell us what you know," he said, basso voice booming.
The corner of Sakura's mouth twitched up into a small smile. "We'll talk," she said. "All of us. Just as soon as you put your weapons down." She gestured at Steele. "He can stay, too."
Steele quirked a eyebrow. "This sounds interesting," he said.
"Just wait," said Sakura. "It gets better."
"I don't like the sound of that," said Mouse.
Neither did I.