He was blindsided when it finally happened.
He'd been afraid of it, of course: that someone he knew from home would come to Vegas, would recognize him. It didn't even have to be something that blew his cover--just a glimpse of something familiar and dear that would worm its way inside his defenses. He couldn't afford that.
As it turned out, she was familiar, but not dear.
She'd been flagged as a potential threat, and now he was watching the security cam footage. She had different clothes and hairstyle, and the footage was grainy, but it was her.
He could never forget that face. His breathing went shallow just seeing her.
With a word, he could have her killed. He wouldn't have to dirty his hands himself, oh no. Armando--Ray--could just say so, and she'd be dead by morning.
And it would be one more nail in the coffin of Ray Vecchio, loving son, affectionate (okay, often annoyed) brother, divorced husband, half-way lapsed Catholic, somewhat competent cop. Trusted partner.
He already didn't know what to call himself in his own head most days. Ray. Armando.
"So what do we do about her, boss?"
He took a breath, and decided.
Ray shrugged. "Small fry. Let her go."