Archive for July, 2010

Chapter 46

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

“Hey Pard, what is it you want me to do here?” Clancy was shouting in my ear.

“Go to West Valley station and get hold of Detective Gillette, he was with them and her attorney when I left. I hope I didn’t piss him off too much. If Gillette won’t give you anything, call her asshole lawyer, Jason Gibbs.”

“Hey, I know Gibbs. He’s a good guy, Rollo,” Clancy chided.

“Call me back when you get something.”

My cell started ringing before I could hang up the office phone. “Yes?”

“Anatoli left the building ten minutes ago with Green. He told Cassidy he wanted to get Darla to a safe place. But on the way out he bumped into Grey Hair and went ballistic. We had to pull
Anatoli off the guy and it wasn’t easy. I guess Cassidy wanted to know if these guys knew each other. Sure enough, they did,” Fontana reported.

“Dumb, dumb, dumb. Homeland Security is going to get Anatoli killed before he pays me what he owes. Can you get hold of Green right now?”

“Yes, but why?” he asked.

“Darla Mason slipped out of my office five minutes ago, headed to parts unknown.”

“Green and Anatoli are headed to her agent’s office in Hollywood,” Fontana said.

“Tell Green to bring him straight here right now. Can you get here?”

“I’m stuck with turning Grey Hair over to the FBI and giving them a report as to how he happened to be in my custody.”

“Call Green,” I said, “the FBI could take forever.”

Art was on his phone with Nerd, telling him he did not see Darla exit our building. Nerd was on the corner of Wilshire and LaBrea, looking four ways from Sunday for the runaway Darla. Linda was somewhere between our floor and the lobby doing the same.

“Rollo, come here,” Art shouted. I walked over to the window and he pointed to the street. “Isn’t that Sturdevant’s limo?”

We watched Darla make the dash from the front of the building and dive in the limo a split second before it pulled from the curb. Nerd managed to grab hold of the door but the autolocking door proved too much for even him. He managed the one finger salute as the limo sped off into traffic.

“Tell Nerd to find Linda and get back up here,” I told Art as I slumped down in my chair, feeling defeat had just jumped up and bit me on the ass. It was probably just my stitches reminding me of other moments of defeat. Ten minutes later the three of us were sitting in my office watching Linda make coffee while waiting for the phone to ring.

The first call was from my partner, telling me that my Ex and three kids were with her attorney at the Pancake House on Ventura Boulevard, enjoying shakes and goodies, probably planning my financial ruin. Clancy had gone in and informed them that he and Sylvia were their protection detail for yet another night, and would be following them home when ever they were ready.

The next call was from Fontana. Green was enroute to my office with Anatoli, an ETA of about ten minutes. He also told me an inter-agency squabble of the fourth kind was bubbling up over the arrest of the Cultural Affairs Attache from the Russian consulate. Yes, the position did come with diplomatic immunity, but it did not give him a pass for double homicide. Alas, there was no evidence to connect him with the deaths of Colletta Meyers’ two make believe bodyguards. The freshly showered Mister Grey offered to take a gunshot residue test. His wash and wear clothing was last seen going through the rinse cycle of the washing machine of the house in which he was captured by Green and Fontana, just a short block from the murder scene.

That there had been a multi-agency task force staked out on the murder scene at the time of the killings was interesting. That none of the on scene sleuths could identify the grey haired man who accompanied Colletta Meyers and the two soon-to-be victims seemed to muddle the picture to the point of embarrassment. Fortunately Nerd and I showed up to pistol whip my daughter’s kidnappers and provide the necessary cover for those involved to blow off the press.

Chapter 47

Friday, July 30th, 2010

As usual, Linda’s coffee was very good. Green’s ten minute ETA had expired twenty minutes ago, prompting another call to Fontana’s voice mail. “Greenis thirty minutes late,” I fudged. Linda poured the rest of the coffee into my cup and asked if she should make more. Nerd said he was in for depth and distance, but Art was another story, a love story.

“Listen Rollo, I’m supposed to be meeting Brandy at Brennan’s around five, and it’s already going on six. Do you need me to stick?” he said, pleading his case like the lawyer he was.

“I think you might be pushing the fashionably late threshold, buddy. Go ahead and split. If we need an attorney we’ll call a good one,” I said, playing on his guilt. “Say hello to her for me,” would have been better left unsaid, but I didn’t want to let him off the hook that easily.

Linda filled our cups from the fresh pot she had made and I added a good pour of Jack Daniels to kind of take the edge off. Nerd responded with “just a taste” while Linda frowned. I guessed she was about to scold us when the phone on her desk rang.

“Agent Green on line two,” she shouted, obviously pissed at our choice of coffee sweetener.

“Why are you not here in my office with Anatoli in tow?” I asked, keeping my cool.

“Colonel Cassidy said ‘take him where he wants to go’. Your office wasn’t on his list.”

“List?” my cool quickly evaporating.

“Radio Shack, Sav-On Drugs, Romanov’s to pick up his friends, and then your favorite hotel in Universal City.”

“Didn’t he know I was waiting for him?”

“Yes, we were heading your way when he got a cell call. No idea what was said, all Ruskie Speakie, but he got hot, lots of shouting. He finished that call and immediately made another, then eliminated you from his itinerary. Dropped him and his two friends off at the hotel twenty minutes ago.”

“Why didn”t you call me?” I asked, knowing the answer before finishing the sentence.

“Sorry Rollo for letting my job get in the way of your shit.” He hung up to let me know how he really felt.

I called Bob at hotel security. Thankfully he was on duty, I just could deal with his Number Two again.

“You really do want to get me fired, don’t you,” he said.

“What, no hello, how the hell are you, how can I help you?”

After our exchange of pleasantries he told me Anatoli and Darla Mason had booked adjoining suites on the top floor. Darla was now n the bar at a table with Chauncey Sturdevant and two guys whose size nineteen necks looked out of place in their silk suits. He said that Anatoli was at another table with a couple of “gangsta” types dressed up like Bob Marley, dreads and all.

“Go to the bar and give Anatoli your cell. Tell him I’ll call him in one minute.”

“Will do. You better have a job for me Rollo, this one’s probably run its course.”

I punched up Bob’s cell number and Anatoli answered on the third ring. “Yes Rollo?”

“What are you doing Anatoli? You and Darla are in danger as long as Colletta and that Grey Haired son-of-a-bitch are still out there. I can be there with my people in twenty minutes….”

“Rollo, relax, that won’t be necessary. I have everything under control, we are in no danger. I must thank you for all you have done for me and my family. We are no longer in need of your services….”

“You’re firing me?”

“No, no, no, my friend, the job is done. Send your final bill to Darla’s agent…”

“The job is not done Anatoli, the Russian Cultural Affairs Attache had my daughter kidnapped. He’s going to answer for that. My family won’t be safe until I put a very large hole in his head.”

“Rollo, trust me, you don’t have to do anything, your family will be safe. Trust me.”

“I can’t trust you Anatoli, you lied to me. Your bullshit has endangered my family, my friends and the people I care about. You didn’t know Colletta had her husband killed until I laid it all out for you. Then you pushed her to the point where she kills the Major, your supposed friend and business partner. Did he trust you? How can I trust a man who gets his daughter tied up in all this crap? She has a promising career and this shit is going to get her associated with the porn business. How could you do that? She trusts you, her father, and where is tht going to take her? No one should trust you Anatoli.”

“Rollo, I like you. My daughter likes you, but you must listen to me. The case is over. No harm will come to you or your family or anyone around you, but you must stay out of my business.”

“So now you’re threatening me?” I asked.

“No Rollo, I just want you to appreciate the seriousness of what I am saying. Step away. Send your bill to Chauncey and you will be paid promptly. Perhaps a sizeable bonus…”

“Let me talk to Darla, if she tells me to take a hike I’m out of it.”

“Just because you made love to her doesn’t mean you two owe each other anything. Let it go Rollo,” he said, sounding like a pimp. I heard him tell her it was me.

“Hello, Rollo. Sorry to have run out on Linda this afternoon. It didn’t take you long to find me. Please tell Linda I am sorry if I got her in any trouble,” she said unconvincingly.

“Your father is firing me and I need to know if that is alright with you,” I said.

“He’s not firing anybody. We have gotten what we wanted. My uncle’s busines in now ours, and my father is returning to New Jersey in the morning. He is putting Chauncey in charge of William Meyers Productions. He has hired new lawyers to settle the estate and keep my name out of it. Please tell Art to send his bill to Chauncey, and please, give him my thanks. And Rollo, I can’t thank you enough for keeping me safe and helping us bring this matter to a successful conclusion.”

“You reading this shit from a script?” I asked, prompting her to hang up.

Linda joined us in my office and Nerd was first to speak. “So, we’re done?”

“We’re done my man, but fear not. I’m going to hunt that grey haired bastard down and put it to him big time. Linda, send a bill to Chauncey Sturdevant for eight grand, services rendered, and another from Art for fifteen hundred worth of legal services for Darla.”

“We ought to add another thousand or two for them being lying sacks of shit,” Nerd said.

“Nerd’s got a point there, go ahead and make it ten grand.”

“I’ll make it twelve, I could use a raise,” she said, returning to her desk as my cell went off in my pocket. It was Fontana returning my call.

“I finally heard from your partner, a real company man. But he did tell me where Anatoli was holed up. Anatoli and Darla fired me and the gang, said not to worry about Mister Grey Hair, the Ruskie diplomat. Actually implied I should stay out of his business as of right now, or else, so to speak,” I explained.

“There’s more you should know before going after the Cultural Affairs attache. An FBI bigwig from DC just left Cassidy’s office. It got a little heated in there, but the best I could gather is the diplomatic immunity is bogus, he’s either a double or wants political asylum,” Fontana said. “Any way, two FBI guys took him home. Heard him tell them he lived at 318 North Titus, which puts him a few blocks away from the Major’s joint on Fairfax.”

“It’s a small world, after all, it’s a small, small world,” I sang as Fontana whistled along.