The front door opened. “Sorry, we’re closed.” Holding a broom, Burlie swept behind the bar.
Finn stepped closer. Drunken merrymakers, they were not. His heart hammered like it was stuck in overdrive.
“We offer protection.” Speaking with a Spanish accent, the shortest of the trio dressed like the others, donned the ISIS-style full face black mask.
“I have protection.” Burlie’s big mouth nailed his coffin.
“I just paid the Irish.” Panic burrowed into Burlie’s high-pitched cry. He thrashed his arms as he tried to pull his hand back.
“Us you pay”. His utterance with the object in the first position identified him as an Arab speaker. Light glinted off shiny metal. The thug pulled a combat knife, grabbed Burlie’s arms, spun him, put the blade to his neck. Finn dialed 911 and then shouted, “Finn Donahue here. Gang trouble. Burlie’s Jazz Club,” To grab their attention even more, he heaved in a breath and released a long whistle. His distraction worked.
Burlie broke from the hold, and Finn thanked God for the curious.
“Where are you?” Heavy boots pounded toward him.
Finn’s phone vibrated, but he killed the call and darted into the first door he saw, the one with the frosted pink window. He spotted Amy at the sink and pointed his index finger up.
He took off his coat and wrapped it around his fist. After rapping on the glass, he wound up and threw a hard punch through the window. Glass splintered as he connected with the thug’s nose. Prepared to jump aside, he opened the door.
Amy followed and jumped over the guy spread on the floor, holding a hand over his bleeding nose.
He struggled to stand. Finn patted him down, took his gun, and pointed it at him. After the guy stood, Finn walked him to a chair. “Don’t move.”
“I’ll phone the police.” A high-pitched squeal came from the back of her throat. “Never mind. Police are here.”
From the street, the blue light of a cop car radiated across the club’s interior like a strobe. Uniforms burst through the door.
The first officer made radio contact with homicide, and the second, much younger, rushed to the nearest thug and pulled out flex-cuffs.
“Stand over there, Amy.” Finn motioned toward a corner.
She rolled her eyes and dashed toward Burlie who wrestled with the Arab and tried to keep him from moving toward the young rookie. Amy pulled an item from her purse. A Swiss army knife? Out came a miniature cork screw.
The rookie cop turned the Arab around to be handcuffed and leaned him against a wall. The thug used the hard surface as leverage to throw himself against him.
Finn saw it coming. A switchblade.