After a longer, silent prayer, Ann took up her post near a teller’s booth, and smiled to the teller. “This will be over soon,” she muttered under her breath.
The woman frowned nervously.
“Smile; it’ll make the charade more convincing,” Ann encouraged, eliciting a dim, unconvincing grin from the woman.
Precisely on time, Ethan Vincher entered the bank looking surprisingly like his picture. His plain face resembled half a dozen men Ann knew, including her husband and Agent Dodger. Vincher wore his dark hair in a crew cut and had narrow, alert, dark eyes.
Ann watched him surreptitiously. As per the plan, the teller handed Ann an envelope and bid her good day. Ann thanked the woman, tucked the envelope into her purse, and turned to confront her quarry. Their eyes locked. Then, things went wrong.
Glaring, the man reached into his jacket and pulled out a tiny, plastic pistol.
The teller screamed and ducked, and all agents gasped. Ann reacted instantly. Stepping forward, she caught the man’s hand. A brief struggle ensued, but Ann won because five other agents expertly tackled both her and the target. Her breath left in a hurry.
Guns drawn and ties askew, Baker and Dodger charged out the manager’s office. It took half a minute to sort the mess of arms and legs. In the end, the criminal was cuffed, and Ann had her choice of a dozen hands ready to help her to her feet.
“I’m sorry!” Agent Baker blurted before Ann had even caught her breath. “I—I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have asked if—”
“Calm yourself, Baker,” Ann ordered. She grinned, having long ago learned how to smile seconds after having a gun pulled on her.