Caesar never could understand why people jumped up immediately when the captain turned off the seatbelt sign at the gate. He watched an elderly couple frantically pull at their bags in the overhead bin, crowding the aisle with other passengers. No one’s going anywhere fast, he thought. They should take their time and file out nicely: front to back. Above him a child drooled on his mother’s shoulder and then lunged at him, laughing. Caesar attempted an understanding smile but only got a nervous glance from the young mother.
After deplaning and finding his car in a parking lot alongside Hartsfield airport, he checked all the gear provided by his employer: I.D., Walther P22 with silencer, room key and beret. He stared at the beret. Though it matched his dark blue suit, he decided not to wear it, feeling safe in his disguise—thick salt-and-pepper mustache and an uninspiring gray wig that made him look like the old man he was. Of average height, barrel-chested with thick arms, Caesar’s large chin gave his meaty face a menacing look.
In his suit and golf shirt Caesar climbed the steps to a side entrance of the Concourse Hotel. He waded through a swarm of teenage girls going to their rooms and allowed them to board the first two elevators before taking the next one with a handful of businessmen, flushed with drinks and dinner, not paying any attention to the old Italian guy in a dark suit. On the twelfth floor he got out and found the room and shoved the plastic key into the slot. No cleaning ladies were nearby and he saw only one hotel guest, across the atrium, leaving his room at the same time Caesar opened the door.
The hotel kept an electronic record of entry and exit for each room and would know someone had entered the room before the guest did. But with cameras only at the front lobby, there would be no other record of Caesar’s visit.
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