Carter Foxwell waited patiently in a dirty booth in Cafe Musáin for his contact.  Swallowing the remainder of his coffee, he relished the lingering bitterness of the unsweetened drink for a few seconds then placed a tightly rolled cigarette between his lips and lit it with a practiced flick of a vintage Zippo. He was a lean yet solid man whose appearance and physicality defied his years and anyone meeting him for the first time could easily be forgiven for believing he was still in his early forties.

The wonders of modern medicine.

Returning the lighter to an inside pocket, he exhaled a long stream of satisfyingly smooth smoke and was at once reminded of his recent decision to quit the habit. He wasn’t getting any younger, and the onset of a frequent, persistent cough suggested it was time to finally give up what was one of the last genuine pleasures in life.

And he would.  Just not today.

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