I’ve been sitting on the beach for an hour, just staring out into the waves, my sweatshirt pulled tight over my knees, making me as small as possible. Occasionally people walk by, avoiding the surf or walking their dogs, their faces happy and relaxed.
I’m guessing I’m the only one on the beach with a fully loaded .38 tucked in the small of my back.
But then again, I’m probably the only one who just got back from a mission in Bosnia that involved an attempted hit on a diplomat, a hotel fire disguises as faulty wiring, and the apprehension of a known terrorist as he was pawning off uranium to the highest bidder from the Middle East.
I haven’t slept in two days, and yet I’m too keyed up to fall into bed and sleep away the mission. I have to be around people for a while – innocent people, enjoying the sunset and eating ice cream; holding hands or playing with their children; having conversations, or, God, even bickering.
Goodness knows, it’s the only reason I do what I do – to keep these innocents safe from the dark forces around the globe, who even now are spinning webs of evil, plotting and planning and waiting for just the right moment to unleash their fury on the world.
Unless I get there first.
It’s no wonder I always sleep with that .38 under my pillow.