"Let's stroll, Mr. Munro, so we don't attract undue attention." He fell in beside her, and they began to walk. "You mentioned Eamon Cill Chainnigh," she said, giving the name its Gaelic pronunciation. "That's a name I haven't heard in a very long time. So, I'm curious why you mentioned an IRA hit man to me."
"So claims ninety percent of Americans with a vaguely Irish surname."
"No, I am Irish. Was Irish. I was born there. My parents came to America when I was two and became citizens."
"So, you're Eamon's long-lost cousin, and he's hit you up for money or guns?"
"Well, Mr. Munro, I'm Irish, too. Now that we have that in common, I'd like to know how you know Cill Chainnigh."
"You're saying his name differently."
"You Americanized it—Kill-kinny. I pronounced it in Gaelic—accent on a different syllable. Tell me why you mentioned his name to me."
"He kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Ireland, and he contacted me."
"That's not in my jurisdiction. You want your brothers in the FBI."
"I'm aware of that."
"Have you contacted them?"
"Why the hell not?"
"Kilkenny said he would kill the person if I did."
Fisher shook her head in disbelief. "You've been a federal law enforcement officer for what, fifteen, twenty years?"
"And you fell for that?"
"You don't understand."
"No, I don't, and I'm losing patience waiting for you to explain it."
"Kilkenny suggested I contact you."
"My last dealings with Cill Chainnigh were more than thirteen years ago, and I haven't worked Ireland since. Not even the Omagh bombing. Besides, Cill Chainnigh didn't know me as Mai Fisher. The person he thought I was is 'dead.'"
"He said, 'Tell her I found out she survived Lifford.'"
Mai stopped walked, her eyes staring ahead at nothing. "Fuck," she murmured. She turned around and held a hand up to Kolya, then her eyes came back to Munro. "All right, I know the kidnapped person isn't anyone in my family. If it were the President's daughter that would be all over the news. Since it's not anyone important to me, I'm still not sure why I'm here."
"No, the person doesn't matter to you. She matters to me."
Mai gave a throaty chuckle and motioned for them to walk again. "What was it? An exchange program with the Garda and you met a little piece over in Ireland you just had to have? Now, someone's claiming she's kidnapped to get something from you."
"If you'd let me finish…"
"Open your eyes, Munro. You've been had. They knew you were from the Secret Service, so they knew you'd have the means to contact someone in the intelligence community. I'm not playing the IRA's game, and neither should you. Give the President my regards. I'll forgo mentioning this to my Director."
She turned to go, but Munro put a hand on her arm. They stood, facing each other again.
"Please, let me finish," he said. "The woman is not a 'piece' I had. I'm trying to explain. It's just difficult to find the words. This is beyond my control, something I couldn't go to my superiors about. I know I should have. That's how I was trained, but I couldn't react as a Secret Service agent because I had to act as a…" Emotion stopped him again.
She peered into his face, her expression softening. "Munro, get on with it."
She watched Munro swallow and find his voice. "As a father." He slumped, from exhaustion, emotion, she didn't know, but Mai supported him and clasped one of his hands.
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