Union Plaza, Las Vegas, Nevada…Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009…9:00am
This should have been easy; all of my plans are easy. But this time, this one single time there was a wrinkle, a blemish, a monkey in the wrench of my day. I had expected that gnat, Whitey Roode to follow me as I followed her. He was the obvious one; he loves her after all, in spite of her unfortunate affliction. But the Turk, I must admit, he was a surprise. I seldom have surprises, delicious. But if Hassan is here that means Roode is dead. And if Roode is dead, why is the Turk here? His Russian masters could care less about this woman. She is no threat to their precious lies. It was the little present that I left for the so called detective to find that contained what they feared. If he found it, and how could he not, even an imbecile like him should've found it, then he would be the hunted one. Surely he had pulled some strings as they say inside his brotherhood of blue and discovered the list that Hassan had explicitly warned him to ignore.
That insatiable curiosity must've been his death sentence. Pity, I was hoping to have had that pleasure myself. Bollocks then, the Turk will take his place, he must to pay for Mei Li's death anyway. All the years grooming her for greatness, wasted, damn his eyes! He'll answer for that, and soon, as I sense he is much too close to my frightened entertainment. It's decided then; Hassan will be first on today's menu of mayhem. I'll dispense of him before I visit the good doctor and her mate, Whitey's former wife, the transgender abomination.
Union Plaza Room 3023…Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009…10:00am
Judy Looney pulled the heavy drapes closed as soon as they got into the room. She hadn't felt safe since discovering the chip. Goddamn Whitey, why did he get her into this mess? Actually that wasn't fair; he was just the enabler, she made her own choices, everyone does. She pondered that thought a moment, why do people blame the circumstances for the choices they make? Everyone wants to be the victim she supposed, and for an instant she remembered her victim moment. The relationship she walked away from that propelled her into the life she now led. She left behind the love of her life because she lacked the capacity to forgive. She let her anger harden her heart and rob her of the life she had dreamed of as a little girl. For a fleeting moment she secretly wished for a do over chance, but those are only dreams as well.
She did enjoy the little detours that Whitey's schemes brought into her boring life. As much as she loved her work and teaching, a little part of her yearned for the excitement his recklessness brought. She wasn't in love with Whitey, but she was in like with him. She knew that he was smitten and she felt guilty about leading him on, but she couldn't help herself. In a way Whitey reminded her of what she had let slip away. However, no man could ever replace her lost love, she would never allow that. Hence her relationship with Ronnie, let's face it, loneliness kills. She paused a moment to survey the street below, not exactly sure what to look for. Judy hoped that whatever survival instincts she possessed would surface if anything caught her eye.
"You didn't say a word the entire trip. Five and a half hours without traffic, what gives," Ronnie asked?
"I know, I'm sorry honey, I just didn't want to wind you up with a lot of speculating about what your ex is up to back in LA, that's all," Judy replied, walking away from the window and crossing the room.
She collapsed into Ronnie's arms and wept, allowing herself to be vulnerable for the moment. Judy sensed that sooner or later she was going to have to suck it up if they were going to survive and she was betting on sooner. She regretted that her addiction to Whitey's nonsense was going to cost more than she was prepared to admit to. They had really stepped in it this time. What she read of that list, and she had read most of it, convinced her that she ought to be scared to death. The names on that chip were powerful people and the notes associated with each of them were undoubtedly worth killing for. She knew for a fact that the chip had cost Ernie his life, the poor sweet kid, as it had Whitey's pals at the deli, and the girl that had set all of this in motion. How was she supposed to tell Ronnie all of that? She wasn't, that's how. What Ronnie didn't know wouldn't hurt her, right? It wasn't like they could stop this runaway train. Their best bet, according to Whitey was to get this freaking thing to his contact in Vegas and then disappear for a while, maybe take that Parisian honeymoon they talked about before Proposition 8 ruined everything?
"Penny for your thoughts," Ronnie whispered as she stroked Judy's hair?
"A penny's about all their worth right now love. Just hold me a while, okay," Judy replied, drying her tears on her lover's shoulder.
LVMPD…Metro…Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009…10:30am
Wally Price replaced the telephone handset back onto its cradle and leaned back in a rickety old wooden captain's chair. The WWII Army issue desk and chair he sat at was out of place in the ultra modern facility that was LVPD Metro. But I suppose a 30 year career that would make Rebecca Tran's wet dream, Josh Stanford jealous, afforded you a few perks. Wally laced his fingers behind his head and stared at the ceiling. He was doing the usual gut testing, due diligence that he did whenever he heard from me about a tiny favor. The last time I called in a marker from him he nearly got dead helping me retrieve a skip for Sweet Baby's Bail Bonds in San Pedro (Sweet Baby was another Nam acquaintance of ours). Turned out the skip just happened to be a hot prospect with a local outlaw biker outfit which shall remain nameless to preserve our mutual survival. Nothing to be gained opening that can of worms! Suffice to say Wally got his man and then some. How was I supposed to know the skip was really an undercover DEA operative? Freaking Feds, it ain't bad enough that the IRS is always getting in your kitchen, but when the good guys get other good guys shot, that just ain't right! But I digress.
As soon as Wally finished ciphering over the merits of my latest favor request he picked up his phone and dialed Judy's cell phone. He rubbed at the five o'clock shadow even though it was only ten o'clock in the morning, and waited for her to answer. She picked up on the fifth ring, just before he hung up, secretly hoping that she wouldn't and he could dodge a bullet.
"Hello," Judy said softly?
"Dr. Looney," asked Wally?
"Yes, who is this," she replied?
"Wally Price lady, Whitey says I should call you," Wally answered gruffly.
"Oh thank God! Where are you right now," Judy exclaimed, relieved?
"I'm right here, where are you," Wally replied annoyed?
"Oh, sorry we're at... Wait, I probably shouldn't say where we are over the phone, right?"
"No you shouldn't. I guess you're as smart as Whitey says you are. Wherever you are, find a payphone and call me back at this number. Do it in the next five minutes or we won't be meeting, you got it," Wally instructed, giving her the number and hanging up without waiting for her to reply.
Judy looked at the phone before hanging up. Were all of Whitey's friends' assholes or what she wondered? No matter, she didn't have time to contemplate that. She had less than five minutes to find a payphone and return this call and she was pretty sure that Wally started the clock the instant he hung up on her.
"Where are you going," Ronnie hollered as she came out of the bathroom with a towel around her just washed hair?
"Out, I'll be right back. Are you hungry," Judy asked as she went through the door.
She didn't wait for Ronnie's answer and sprinted down the hall, nearly knocking over the maid's cart outside the room across from theirs. She skipped the elevator and took the stairs, the clock was ticking. She had no idea how right she was…