Calling a man, who is doing three life sentences, in a maximum security prison, should not be easier than calling a doctor’s office, but it must have been. Royce was back in five minutes.
“I guess I’m in,” he said.
“What made you change your mind?” I asked.
“Your dad convinced me that I would have a better chance to stay out prison by helping you stay out of prison,” Royce said.
“I don’t understand,” I replied.
“If I bail on you, the cops get a tip and search my house, car, or gym bag, inside it they have a couple of ounces of junk. I get violated and I’m back inside with your pissed off old man. That makes it a death sentence. Your old man also thinks with me to help, we can do what needs to be done and keep you on the outside as well as me.”
“So, is this Angel Jo here?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but your dad gave me a man to contact. He is your dad’s main man for this area,” Royce said.
“You make it sound like a corporation of some kind,” I suggested.
“It is just exactly that. When your old man went inside, he knew he was going in to do the maximum, so he set up a protection racket. It wasn’t some half assed strong arm extortion thing. His was the real deal. So there were franchises. The franchise owner here is expecting us to drop by his office this afternoon.”
“He will have the information we need?” I asked.
“I would bet your ass, that he is making calls and calling in favors right this minute. He should have all the background we can use by this afternoon.” Royce said.
“Surely there is something we can do before we meet with dad’s man,” I suggested.
“We don’t have the kinds of contacts who can shed any light on this,” Royce informed me.
“Sure we do. We just don’t know who they are right now, but we will.” What Royce didn’t know was that Jeff had transferred the index link to all my old cases to the file. I could look them up several different ways.
There was also a search engine that allowed me to pull up people from my past. At least ones that Jeff and the kids knew about. All that is to explain how I knew to call Michael, the kid whose girlfriend Jane got me shot.
“Michael,” I said into the cell phone. “Tell me something about Angel Jo,” I demanded.
“Nice to talk to you again Lucy,” he said sarcastically. “She is one bad bitch. She smuggles dope and people here from Mexico. The people bring the drugs in as payment for their passage over the river. Hell the politicians help her with her business. They pols want to illegals to vote for them so they make sure we can’t stop them.
The smugglers know that if they get to the US, the system will take care of them. So the mules are lined up on the Mexican side to take a backpack full of dope over the border. She has almost no overhead and collects the heads of the people who try to screw her. Fear, and the desire for a better life, drive the honest people to commit the one crime, then they are gone. If it goes bad, they just disappear.”
“How do you know so much?” I asked.
“Every dealer out there has bought some of her product at one time or another. I used to be a dealer, remember?” he asked.
“So does she have a standing army here?” I asked.
“Most of her people are on the Mexican side of the border. She has a distribution network, but it’s mostly non violent. It’s better to keep a low profile on this side of the border,” Michael informed me.
“Well, she fucked up. Someone killed a friend of mine and her son, then set fire to their house. I hear it was Angel Jo,” I informed him.
“It wasn’t Angel Jo. It was her bastard kid Angelo. The word was that the woman was calling cops and newspapers about Angelo running a child porno ring. I don’t know if it was true on not, but word is Angelo did the killing himself.”
“Michael, how much of that are you really sure about?” I asked.
“Well I didn’t see it, but people tell me he was real proud of it. Wanted Ma’ma to know, and be proud of him. So they say on the street,” he informed me.
“If he is that stupid, putting his business on the street, the cops should be all over him,” I said.
“They will be for sure,” Michael said. “The cop bosses are mostly state cops thanks to you two. They say they are honest, so if they are, Angelo will be in jail by tonight. If he isn’t in jail, then they have been paid off again,” Michael said.
“Now that should be interesting,” I replied. We will just have to wait to form a plan.”
“Then we are going to leave it to the cops?” Royce asked.
“Of course we are,” I said. I knew, when I said it that I was lying, but I was going to do whatever was necessary to make all it right again.
A hamburger, from the ‘talk into the clown place’ eaten by the lake was my lunch. I had to wonder what would happen to the hit on me, if Angelo went down for Wilma and Shawn. I doubted that he knew I couldn’t testify against him. I was a loose end. Then again so was he.
“So, if it is true that Angelo killed or had Wilma killed are you planning to murder him?” Royce asked.
“I plan to kill his young ass just as many times as I can. He gets to know who and why though, Wilma and Shawn probably didn’t know. Angelo thinks he can operate by Mexican rules here. Well he can’t.” It was quite the speech for me.’
“Do you believe Michael?” Royce asked.
“If daddy’s man verifies it, then you and I might need to part company. You don’t want to be involved in what I do. I can plead brain damage as an extenuating circumstance, you can’t,” I said.
“Your dad is not going to see it that way. I’m with you to the end no exceptions,” he said.
“Then you and I start with Jason.” I said. I had struggled to remember every small detail from the night. I remembered that Wilma had given her card to Jason, so he could call her direct I suppose.
“So I get that Wilma gave him her address, and he must have provided it to Angelo, but he is never going to admit it,” Royce said.
“Sure he is. He just needs the right incentive,” I suggested.
“It’s almost time for the meeting with the Russian,” Royce said.
“What the fuck is my dad doing in bed with Russians?” I asked.
“Your dad was the master negotiator and alliance maker. It’s why he can run things from prison. He has thousands of eyes and ears on the street. Now he just pushes a button and things happen. Your dad is a son of a bitch, but he is not someone who kills for fun. I can understand what he does. He will give a man a chance, then he might have him killed, if he doesn’t take it”
“Royce, I have no respect for my dad, I just understand him and you can’t make him sound better no matter how hard you try. If he helps us with this, it is because there is something in it for him. He never does anything that isn’t selfish. That is the one thing I can always count on with daddy. Make it worth his while and he will help. Otherwise you are on your own.”
“So why is he helping now?” Royce asked.
“Something to do with Angel Jo. Probably turf or something. They might have a ‘you leave my kid alone and I’ll leave yours alone’ kind of thing going on. If Angelo has a hit on me, then all bets are off. Now there might well be a war. That’s what your Russian can tell us. If there is going to be a war, then he and his crew are going to be knee deep in it.”
“How come you know all this, but don’t know what you had to eat last night?” Royce asked.
“Somethings never left me. Part of that motor memory the doctor was talking about. I grew up listening to him make deals. I know how all this shit works.” I replied.
“Then tell me what we are going to do next?” Royce asked.
“We are going to find out from the Russian what is going on. They will have the best intelligence. Well except for my dad who will have theirs and ten others, who he has already vetted and pieced together into the picture on the puzzle box.” I said.
“So why not just wait for your dad to explain it all,” Royce asked.
“Because, what my dad knows and what he tells is never the same thing. He will filter all the intelligence before he passes it on. What is good for him is how it gets told. I want the truth.”I explained.
“What makes you think the Russian will talk to you?” Royce asked.
“I’m going to make it irresistible,” I said.
“So you are Martin’s Daughter?” the middle aged man asked.
“I am, and you are his local associate. So let’s talk about my friend and her son,” I said.
“It was a terrible thing that happened to her, but she was making a lot of waves. It is not good to rock boats,” The Russian said.
“Ivan let’s just cut through the bullshit,” I suggested.
“My name is not Ivan,” he snapped.
“Do I look like I give a shit,” I said angrily.
He move across the table toward me. I had choices most of them terrible. “Do you want to kill Martin’s daughter, or fuck her in the ass?” I asked. He calmed down instantly. “I will not tell him, but you and I will always know. Your bodyguard took my gun, when I came in, so you are safe with me.”
I lifted my skirt and pulled off my panties. “So which will it be have my dad as an enemy, or have me as a special friend?” I asked.
“Have her friend leave the room. I do not want any witnesses.” the Russian said. After everyone had left the room he said. “Suck my dick first.”
“No problem at all,” I said. I was on my knees and had his cock in my hand when from out of the waist band of my skirt I produced a plastic handle with a box opener. It was the kind with the blade you snapped the tip off when it gets dull. The one I had was about two inches long and a quarter inch wide. It was just big enough to make a mess. “Take a look Ivan.” I said holding his cock in one hand and the box opener in the other.
“Now you are going to tell me what you told my father, or I am going to cut your dick off. If I do that, you will bleed to death while your body guard come through the door. I will also shoot him with your gun, since you won’t be needing it. So tell me what I want to know or prepare to go through the short time you have remaining dickless.”
I wasn’t at all surprised when he told me, then begged me not to tell his employees what had happened. “Ivan, I’m going to tell them how good I fucked you, but not how I did it.” I smiled at him and he actually smiled back at me.