Chapter 47

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.

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