ROBIN MONARCH LEANED OVER
the balcony railing, peering out into thedarkness toward the Bosporus Straits that separate the Black Sea fromthe Sea of Marmara. The smell of the straits came to him on the east wind, saline and brackish in the heat that gripped the city.Monarch wiped a sleeve against his brow, closed his eyes, andbreathed deep and slow, trying to clear his thoughts. He took anotherdeep breath and fell into a clean place. Stubble bearded, with shortdark hair and a dusky tone to his skin, Monarch was smoothly hand-some. He was six-foot-two, muscled, and a bit more than two hundredpounds. Hunched over the railing, eyes closed, breathing slow in deepmeditation, Monarch gave off the impression of a panther dozing.Gloria Barnett walked through the French doors behind him.“Robin,” Barnett said softly. “Slattery says it’s time.”Monarch roused and turned to look at Barnett, a ginger-hairedcrane of a woman in her thirties. She wore a white shirt and jeans and was barefoot. A pair of reading glasses hung on a chain around herneck.