The glare from the sun was giving Sarah a headache. She glanced down at the metal stud sticking out of her bellybutton, wondering why she was doing this. She hadn’t dressed this way since university. A respectable thirty-year-old FBI Special Agent should know better. No wonder the suits were eyeballing her. They were standing yards away, talking loudly, as if they wanted her to overhear.

‘A hundred bucks says she does it.’ The taller guy was adjusting a metallic earpiece. A matching microphone positioned near his mouth glinted in the sunshine. He and his colleague were checking out everyone who came into the park. They could easily be in Sarah’s own line of business, but ops in major public spaces had been banned for years.

What were they talking about? Sarah was sure the shorter guy was staring at her handbag. A snatch? He seemed far too well dressed. Maybe they thought she was a hooker.

In the sweltering conditions, most visitors to the park were wearing T-shirts and shorts, but these two men were dressed in identical grey suits. Bulges spoiled the line of their jackets. Shoulder holsters? Sarah prayed they were nothing more than detectives on their lunch-break, making dumb bets to burn time. John called guys like that The Undead because they needed to get a life. Where was he?

‘This is nuts,’ the shorter man said. ‘If you think she’s going to do that right here in broad daylight, then…’

The tall man tapped his microphone. ‘Watch and learn.’

Sarah was certain they were talking about her, but it made no sense. She ought to get out of here, but there was still no sign of John. He hadn’t called to let her know why he was running late.

With the bright sunlight making her eyes water, she reached into her handbag and grabbed a pair of shades with mirrored blue lenses. She’d bought them on vacation in Vegas because they went well with her blonde hair, but the lenses were poor quality and gave everything a grainy appearance.

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