Snyder smiled as McGraw’s horse landed on Boardwalk. Snyder stared across the board at McGraw’s pile of cash. One blue $50 bill, 3 pink $5s, and 2 white $1s for a grand total of $67 Monopoly dollars. Boardwalk cost $400.
“I think I’ll pass,” said McGraw.
“You can’t pass. The rules say if you don’t have the money to purchase a property, it goes up for auction.”
“Auction? Kid, I’ve got the gun.”
Snyder smiled. “I guess if that’s the only way you can win.”
McGraw sighed. “Fine! Auction!”
“I bid $68.”
McGraw stared at his $67. “You think I’ll let Boardwalk go for a lousy $68?” He slapped down his deed to Pennsylvania Avenue. “I’ll mortgage this and get $160 from the bank and bid $227.”
Snyder said nonchalantly, “$228.”
McGraw slapped down St. Charles Place and took $70 from the bank. “$297.”
McGraw turned over the Water Works. “$372.”
McGraw flipped over New York Avenue. “$472.”
Snyder clucked his tongue. He’d now gotten McGraw to overbid Boardwalk by $72. Should he really press his luck? “$473.”
McGraw threw down Illinois Avenue. “$592.”
Snyder smiled. “All yours chief.”
“I guess I showed you.”
Snyder feigned sadness. “Yes, you did.”
And I’ll show you on your next trip around the board.
A noise clanked on the roof.
McGraw stood. “What’s that?”
Hopefully Sarge. “Sounded like a cat.”
“I’m gonna check it out. First, I’ll have to get some restraints on you. Sorry.”
“Afraid I’ll make a break?”
“No, I’m afraid you’ll cheat.”
“Oh, come on, we’re so close. One more trip around the board and I’m sure you’ll bankrupt me.”
McGraw drew his gun. “Kid, this ain’t my main game. In my game, you get too distracted and it’s game over. Permanently.”
McGraw kept one eye on Snyder as he walked backwards and opened a drawer. He removed a set of electromagnetic cuffs from the drawer.
A ninja jumped down from the ceiling on top of McGraw and disarmed him.
McGraw screamed. “What the-”
A punch to the stomach cut McGraw off. McGraw hugged the ninja like a wrestler and used his weight to throw the ninja to the ground. The ninja threw McGraw off.
McGraw charged, but the ninja threw McGraw to the ground. Sitting on McGraw’s chest, the ninja wrapped his hands around McGraw’s throat. McGraw gasped for air.
Snyder dived for the gun, grabbed it, and stood to his feet. “Let him go!”
The ninja looked up. “What?”
“Let him go, or I’ll kill you!”
McGraw delivered a right hook to the ninja’s jaw that set him off balance. McGraw stood. “Thanks, kid. I could’ve handled it.”
“Sure. Tell yourself that.”
The door burst open. Cutler barreled in, his sidearm drawn. “What happened here?”
Snyder shrugged. “We were playing a friendly game of Monopoly when this ninja attacked us.”
“I sent him to rescue you.”
“Was killing someone part of the deal?”
Cutler glared at the ninja. “No.”
The ninja sniffed. “No one survives an encounter with me.”
“You’ll have to make an adjustment to that policy. I won’t have bodies piling up.”
McGraw removed a remote from his pants pocket and silenced a high-pitched whine. “Heck of a distraction, Cutler. The intruder alarm was going off, but nobody noticed thanks to your friend. Now, are you going to tell us what this mission is before I get really testy?”
Cutler raised an eyebrow. “You’re not in a position to negotiate. Pull a stunt like this again and you’re off the mission.”
McGraw’s face contorted, his voice cracked. “No, you can’t do that. The prophet who healed my kid sent me on this blasted mission. I don’t want my kid to get worse.”
“God doesn’t work like that.”
“No, this is a deal I got to keep.”
“Part of the deal is waiting. My boss said on the way over that I’ll have something within a week.”
The ninja frowned. “You didn’t get any calls on the way over.”
Cutler shrugged. “Oh, my boss has His devices. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get Private Snyder back to base before he gets court-martialed.”
McGraw stood. “Snyder, I was glad to meet you. Maybe we can talk again.”
Snyder shifted uneasily. “Well, next time, no gas or restraints.”
Cutler led Snyder out to a jeep. Snyder got in beside Cutler. “What’s this all about?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve got three dangerous rogues ready to do my bidding, and no idea what the mission is.”
Snyder smiled. “You get all the fun ones.” Snyder paused. “He told me my sperm donor was an old army intelligence officer. Do you buy it?”
“One way to find out. Run yourself through the paternity database.”
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