“Now listen to me real good Jason. Not only does your life depend on it, but so does Marie’s. If you lie to me, I going to put this pistol in your hand and shoot Marie in the head with it, then I am going to put it in your mouth and pull the trigger. Since your business is not doing well, it will look like suicide. I’m still a lawyer, I know what evidence to leave here for the cops to find. Do you understand me?” I asked. “I know you can’t speak with the barrel of the pistol in your mouth hun, but you can nod. Now do you understand?” Jason nodded his head.
The home invasion by Royce and I went off without a hitch. Why wouldn’t it? Between the two of us we had been involved, one way or another, in scores of them. Hell, Maybe it was more like hundreds of them.
“Now Jason I am going to remove the pistol from your mouth and you are going to answer me. You are not going to say a single word that is not in response to a question by me. Do you understand?” I asked. He nodded again.
I removed the barrel from his mouth. “Now what did Wilma give you at that last party?” I asked.
“It was her business card. That’s all I swear. I never called her.” he added.
“Jason just shut the fuck up. You answer my questions do not elaborate, remember?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“Who called you Sunday to get her address? I know that someone found out you were our sponsor. I also know they found out she was calling around to the papers and the cops about the underage boy and girl who were there. So who made the call?” I demanded. It was easy to tell he was terrified.
“Listen to me Jason. The man who called you might kill you, but he isn’t here. I am and I am sure as hell am going to kill you, if you don’t tell me who called.” I said menacingly.
“Some kid named Angelo called. He wanted to talk to Wilma to convince her stop the calls. He said that he could clean up the mess and keep us all out of the press, if he could convince her to retract it all. So I gave him the information from her card. If he found her somehow, I don’t really know.” Jason explained.
“You do know what happened to her?” I asked.
“Yes I know. I swear I had no idea.” he said.
“Shut the fuck up and listen to me. Angelo killed Wilma to be sure there was no one to testify. He has a contract on me for the same reason. Now, how long do you think it is going to be before he has a hit on you and Marie as well. Give it some thought, then do what you need to do.” I suggested.
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“I am going to do what I have to do to stay alive,” I replied. He did not need to know that it wasn’t just about staying alive, it was about Wilma and Shawn. I had plans for Angelo and his mom, if she decided to join the fray.
I knew damn well that I was on my own, unless Angel Jo came to help out her whelp. If that happened, then there would be something in it for my dad. When that happened, it would be hell in the south till Angel Jo was dead or beaten into submission never to rise again. Her best move was to stay out of it. Just let the kids of two crime families do battle. But with mothers and sons, who knew.
“You need to call your cop friends. I want to know if they are looking for Angelo.” I suggested it to Royce, when we were back at my old law office. With those words I handed him the burn phone. He just nodded then walked off to a corner of the waiting room.
I cleaned up the place. I never got to start the new mash so it was just wash out the buckets and cooker. The stuff did not look anything like a still. Especially when I unwound the plastic tube I used for a condenser.
“My friend tells me there are no leads yet in Wilma’s death,” he said.
“Come on, we know who did it, how can they not?” I asked.
“They can’t ask every junkie in town like your dad’s people can. They aren’t keeping Angelo on the radar like the Russians are. He isn’t potential competition for the cops. They also aren’t going to put a gun in Jason’s mouth and threaten to shoot him and his wife.” Royce said.
“Those are fair points, so do we tell them?” I asked.
“If Angelo goes in for it, the pressure to have you killed increases. If you kill him,, Mama is going to increase the contract to have your head. You don’t have a good option, Lucy.”
“I’m not the only one who fucked up. Junior went from kiddie porn, and pimp to murderer in one night. That can’t be good,” I said.
“I would bet you a million bucks his mom had no idea what he was doing. The risk reward just isn’t there. He made some kid type decisions, probably to prove to her that he was a man,” Royce suggested.
“So how do we find him?” I asked as much for myself as Royce to answer.
“I guess we do it like the cops would. Start with the school where he is enrolled,” Royce said. “The problem is that will make it easy for the head hunters to find you.”
“They can find me, but they can’t kill me till after I find Angelo. So does Angel Jo have a cop in her pocket?” I asked.
“Why would she bother with a local cop. The local cops would be more likely to be in the Russian’s pocket,” Royce suggested and I agreed.
I didn’t even answer Royce. I just called the Russian. “Ivan, it’s me Lucy. I need a local cop. So give me a name,” I said.
“What’s in it for me?” he asked.
“You get to stay alive, what did you think. I can also tell my dad you did me a favor,” The two things should be incentive enough I thought. He must have agreed.
“Sergeant Burke, is your man. He knows or can find out anything you need to know. He keeps track of the gangs and all things related to them. He also collects from me and no one else,” the Russian informed me.
“Fair enough,” I said. “How do I contact him?”
“I will have to set it up. The meeting will be somewhere in the open I assure you. If he sets you up for a hit, his whole family will pay. He knows this.”
“Good, nothing like a good reason to play by the rules,” I suggested.
“So when do I really get to fuck your ass?” he asked.
“One day soon, maybe,” I suggested.
“So Burke, where is Angelo?” I asked.
“Who?” he answered with a question.
“Angel Jo’s son, Angelo,” I replied.
“Oh the high school kid?” he asked.
“Yeah the high school kid who put a contract out for me. You do know who the fuck I am don’t you?” I asked.
“Yeah you are Martin’s kid. So Angel Jo’s kid put a contract on you. Talk about poetic justice,” he said.
He had pushed my patience too far. I put the tiny box opener against his throat while Royce looked the other way. “Now you list to me you cocksucker. Over half this police department is under investigation and so far you have stayed above it. I can throw the State Bureau of Investigation a fucking hint about the Russians. There goes your pension, and the Russians would have no more interest in you, except to be sure you never, ever testify in a trial. So now you slimy mother fucker, where is Angelo Gomez?”
“He is hiding out. He hasn’t gone home or back to the school. I can give you his apartment address, but he ain’t there. I made some calls to be sure after the Russian called. I can’t find him.” Burke said.
“So who would know? Somebody has to know.” I asked.
“I can’t figure out who his contacts are. At least none that he would need to get in touch with,” Burke said.
“Does he do drugs?” I asked.
“If he does, he wouldn’t let it be known. His Mama would kill his ass,” Burke said.
“What kind of car does he drive?” I asked.
“A BMW convertible of course,” he replied.
“Find it,” I demanded.
“He has left town for sure,” Burke said.
“Not till I’m dead. He is still doing damage control. Find him now,” I demanded.
I watched him get back into his patrol car and drive away. “What now?” Royce asked.
“I guess we set a trap for the head hunters first. They might know how to collect. Angelo might want to do the job himself like he did with Wilma,” I said.
“You don’t know that he really pulled the trigger on Wilma. That may be just a story going around.” Royce said.
“He is looking for his mother’s respect. I would be willing to bet my life that he pulled the trigger after someone else had her subdued of course. So what if we let them find me?” I said.
“Then we turn the table on the head hunters and make them call Angelo. When he shows up, we call the cops,” Royce said smiling. He knew the cops were a last resort.
“Of course,” I replied.
“So how do we lure the head hunters here?” I asked.
“I’m sure they know we are here. They were bound to have someone watching your house and office. They are probably waiting for us to leave or for cover of dark,” he suggested.
“Then order a pizza delivered. Let them know we aren’t leaving. Then let’s see what they do,” I suggested. “Lets see if they hijack the pizza delivery guy.”
“What kind?” Royce asked while shaking his head.
“Makes no difference order what you like and find out how much the bill is going to be.” I demanded.
“The pizza is seventeen bucks,” Royce said after the call.
“Good,” I replied. I put twenty five dollars in an envelop, then put the envelop in the air lock between the front doors. I unlocked the outside door, but kept the electric lock of the inside door in place.
While all that was happening, Royce kept an eye on the cameras. He saw the pizza man drive up and said, “The pizza is here. Hold on someone is rushing up to his car. A man paid for the pizza and the driver left.”
“So are they ripping off our pizza, or planning on delivering it themselves?” I asked.
“Surely they know we are watching them?” Royce asked.
“Not really the locksmith who installed the cameras put them behind solar panels for the parking lot lights.. The bad guys can’t be sure there are cameras inside those panels,” I said.
“Damn you had a first rate system built,” Royce said.
“I had good reason to do it. There were crooked cops out to kill me, just like this kid is trying to do now.” I admitted.
“A car is pulling up to the door. Here comes our pizza.” Royce explained.
“I should have listened to Sam and had a gas chamber installed inside that doorway. Oh well too late now,” I said. “How many?” I asked.
“At least three is my guess,” Royce said.