This is the continuation of a story. You can read the rest here.
Mac wasn’t at the bookstore when the goons ransacked the place, so it’s possible that he made his delivery. Perhaps the deliveree will know something. It’s not likely, but you never know.
I take another cab to the nightclub to see Oren and Fifty. Well, to see Fifty, since I know Oren won’t technically be in even though he probably is.
“Hi ho, Fifty. I am dropping by unannounced! Are you not lucky and humbled to receive me?”
“Punch. Face. Cump.”
“Infallible logic as always, sir. Any word on my goons?”
“Not yet. I can tell you there’s nothing obvious out there. It’s not the Chinese, Koreans, Russians or Italians. In fact, we can pretty much rule out all of organized Asia, Europe, and the east coast.”
“Not bad for a couple of hours sleuthing. You’re in the wrong line of work.”
“I’ll take my line over yours any day. The pay’s better.”
“Yes, but there are other perks, like, for instance, being tossed off cliffs.”
“Pft. That happens to me now. Well, it would if anyone got close enough. You need to work on your DE-fense, Cump.” He makes what I assume to be a sort of American sports gesture. I let it fly over my head and hit the wall. Touchdown.
“Swennyway, we’re either dealing with moonlighting rogues or minor league goons gone wild,” I work my own American sports reference in there. ”Not some sort of sanctioned butchery?”
“Correct. It’ll take some time to find the exact needle in this specific haystack, unless they’re straight up sloppy about it. Considering you’re still alive, they’re probably minor league and sloppy like your mom, but who knows. Maybe it was just a message. I should know more tomorrow.”
“What’s the message? Goons don’t respect finely crafted classic American steel automobiles? Got that one loud and clear.” Fifty gives me a look I’m all too familiar with. It’s a similar look to one from Bets’ arsenal, but without quite as much murder in it. I continue, “Well, it’s good to know the powers that be don’t want me dead.”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“OK then. It’s good to know the Chinese, Russians, Italians or whoever else aren’t actively trying to kill me.” Even though I know the answer, I ask anyway. “Oren around?”
“Nope. Sleeping or busy. Or busy sleeping. Dunno. Hasn’t shown his face yet this morning.”
“OK. Tell him I said ‘yo mama wears ladies blouses’ when he wakes up. Also, as to the primary reason you’re currently graced with my presence: can you hold something for me? Just for a couple of days…”
“Depends on how hot it is.”
“Oh, Fifty. I find your lack of faith in humanity in general–and me, in particular–so very sad. It’s not hot at all! In fact, it’s very, very cold. It’s my client’s stuff.” I feel not at all bad about bending the truth.
“Fine. Gimme. I’ll throw it in the safe.” I hand him the book and key that I pilfered from McGinty’s. I don’t think Mac would mind me putting them in a safer place than his ransacked office. Whatever the hell they are, they might be important, or more likely, not at all, but it never hurts to be careful.
“I’m off then, Fiftylicious. Thanks for the info and storage. Get yourself a cup of coffee, please, for all our sakes.”
“Don’t ever call me that again.” His eyes finish the threat. Fifty isn’t a bigot, but he’s very uptight about his sexuality. Homosexual implications thrown his way make him very uncomfortable. Most gangster types are this way; even some of the gay gangsters I know.
For this reason, I flaunt and sashay at him all the time. I enjoy making people uncomfortable, especially when the discomfort stems from their own human failings.
“Okey doke. Hugs and kisses.” I blow a kiss at him and scurry out the door before he can retaliate.