The door opened and Mr. Davis stepped into the apartment. In one hand was a plastic bag from the deli on the corner, over his shoulder was the shabby, brown, leather briefcase he always carried when he left his office. He strode towards the kitchen and set the to go bag on the counter. After a moment of fiddling with the buckles on his satchel he reached in a pulled out a large, plainly wrapped package, which landed next to the plastic bag with a dull thunk, rattling the coffee pot.
“What’s that?” Jerry asked motioning towards the older man with his chin.
“Meatball sandwiches,” Davis grinned as he took off his jacket, “from Sal’s, they make the best tomato sauce in town. There’s one in there for you.”
Jerry sighed, he wasn’t in the mood for this. “The package, Davis. What’s in the package.”
“Oh that, it’s a language course, conversational Russian. Totally immersive, software, books, audio files, online content, the works.” he said, removing the foil wrapped sandwiches from the bag.
“Alright, I’ll bite. Why did you bring me a course on Russian?”
“Cause you’re gonna learn it.” Davis informed him. “Our guys say most of the people we’re lookin’ at seem to be from Slavic families, a lot of them from the mother’s side of the family, so it took us a bit to make the connection. Good chance you’ll run into some heavies from the old country as you work your way up the chain.”
“Don’t you think it might make them suspicious,” Jerry pointed out as he walked over and picked up the package, “that I conveniently speak Russian?” He turned it over in his hands glancing sideways at Davis.
Davis just smiled and rolled up his sleeves. “You don’t need to speak it, you just-,” he stopped and looked around the kitchen briefly. “Say, you got anything to drink around here?”
“Not really,” Jerry shrugged, “haven’t had a chance to get out to the store today.”
“Damn it,” he swore under his breath, “I can’t eat one of these beauties without beer, it’d be damned near a sin.” The old man sighed and pushed the sandwich away from him. “Any way, we don’t want you to speak one god damned word of Russian, not in front of anyone. We want you listening in it. Make sure these guys buy into the fact that you don’t understand a damned word of what they say if they start talkin’ in it. If you can get at least a basic grasp of the language we won’t have to wire you for sound, and that’ll be good for your life expectancy.”
Mr. Davis unrolled his sleeves and reached for his jacket. “You have to learn it as you start making your moves on our boy Pete. How’s that coming along? Never mind, we’ll talk about him when I get back from the store with our drinks.”
“I guess I wasted my time taking french in high school, huh?” Jerry suggested as he started opening the package.
“That depends kiddo,” Davis mused as pulled on his coat, “did bein’ able to speak French ever get you laid?”
“Not that I can remember.”
“Then you probably wasted your time Jerry.” The handler affirmed as walked outside.