The Murder of Salvatore "Sal" Artino
I woke to the sound of a bell. A loud, annoying bell.
"What the...?", I said, looking around in a daze, trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes.
Looking over at my clock, it read 4am.
"4' o'clock in the morning?", I grumbled, plopping my feet over the bed, to the floor.
Not one for early mornings, I wasn't too pleased at whoever was ringing my doorbell.
"This better be friggin good", I said, as I grabbed my robe, and headed to the front door.
Opening the door, I immediately said, "What the hell are you doing here at this hour, and at my personal living space?" I wasn't caring if it was the President of the United States, noone comes knocking on MY door at this ridiculous hour.
Unless you are my cousin, Ginny Artino.
"What on EARTH do you want, Ginny? Are you drinking again? If you are, lemme tell you....", I started to say, before Ginny interrupted me , rushing right past.
I growled, as I shut the door, saying, "Sure, come on in! Coffee is fresh" I assumed this was just another one of her break ups, and she was thinking it was the end of the world, until another came along next week.
Ginny lit up a smoke, and was pacing.
"Mak, you are never going to believe this", Ginny was saying, taking drags of her cigarette, just as fast as she was pacing.
I was in no mood for bullcrap, so I said, "Sit down, slow down, then speak. I'm in no mood for your heart break stori.."
"My Father, YOUR Uncle Sal, is dead, Makensie", Ginny said, breaking down in tears.
"WHAT?", I said, grabbing Ginny's cigarette, and taking a drag off of it.
Ginny lit another, and said, "Yes, he is dead"
I instantly turned into full fledge detective mode, and actually felt good about it, since lately it's been like a soap opera.
"Tell me the who, what, where, and why's", I said, grabbing a note pad.
Ginny began talking in a rapid manner.
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter
"No worries Mak. This ain't gonna involve any rolling in the bushes...if ya' get my drift..." replied Joey with a clearly mocking smile, then gulped his second shot and waved the waiter for another..."but...well...it IS gonna involve you using your natural charm."
"I have a funny feeling I won't like where this is going..." said Mak with a conspicuous expression on her face..."But please go ahead. Hopefully you'll get to the end of it BEFORE falling under the table."
"Don't worry, I got a lot of practice at this." With these words Joey gulped his now third shot and ordered the rest of the bottle.
"I see...now, you were saying?"
"It's all for a good cause Mak, trust me."
"Well...'trust'...in your case is...not exactly the first thing that comes into my mind. But well, I somehow don't think I will have an option, now will I, Bane?"
"No, you won't. Ok, here's the deal: there's a guy called Pepe LeBrun. 'S the name sound familiar?"
"As in...LeBrun the pimp of the south side?"
"Him and no other."
"Now I'm sure I won't like this. Pardon the expression Bane, but what the hell do you want ME to do about him."
"Well...not much...just to get some information."
"JUST that? May I ask why exactly can't you do it yourself?"
Joey "Bulldog" Bane
Washed Up Punter
Bane took a short sip from his glass, then leaned ahead placing his elbows on the table and started talking a bit slower.
"Ya' see...we had a bit of business together back a couple of years ago."
"Don't tell me, Bane. I will assume it didn't end too well?"
"Indeed, doll. Indeed. Your detective skills never seize to amaze me."
Mak pulled a smoke and then released it slowly, posing a somehow mocking smile.
"So how bad did it end?"
"As in...I show my face a mile away from him and his goons make me dinner."
"Have you ever made a business that went well, Joey?"
Bane continued pretending he didn't hear her question.
"Bottom line is I can't get near him. On the other hand I have to find out what happened to this girl."
With this Bane pulled out of his pocket the picture of a young woman. Mak picked it up and took a look at it.
"Pretty girl..." she said "...who is she?"
"Someone somebody's interested in finding."
"I thought you were off the detective work, Joey."
"This...ain't exactly the usual work, but I won't bore you with details you may not want to know..."
"You're right about this. I don't. So what's the connection between her and LeBrun?"
"According to my sources he owned her a couple of months ago. The word is that maybe he sold her. If this is tru I need to know to whom."
"This isn't any piece of cake work, Bane. How in the world do you expect me to get this information from him?"
Bane grinned..."I'm sure you'll think of something, Mak. You are after all a very...resourceful woman."
Makensie leans back in her chair, toying with the empty shot glass in her left hand, while taking a pull off her cigarette, slowly, with her right.
Her silence, for some reason, was unsettling Joey Bane, as she poured herself another shot.
"A girl after my own heart! You handle your alcohol well, Mak", Joey said, with a cocky grin.
In a mocking manner, Makensie replies, "Don't worry, Joey, I have alot of practice with this"
She took her shot quickly, put the glass on the table, wiped her mouth, then she put her elbows on the table, clasping her fingers together, staring intently at Joey Bane.
"Did anyone ever tell you that you're sexy as hell when you're in deep thought?", Joey said, just to break the silence.
Makensie smirks, saying, "Please, Joey! Spare me! Now, first off, that was a cheap shot, Joey Bane, about the rolling in the bushes. I'm sure you've done worse.....sweetheart" Joey grabs his chest, hand over heart, and said, "Oh please, you're crushing me here"
By just watching Joey Bane, and Makensie Brewer, some would think thta they didn't like each other. Truth is, Makensie thought of Joey as a dear friend, and had great respect for the man. Their banter back and forth was just their way of flirting back and forth, in a casual way and they had fun doing it.
Ignoring Joey's sarcasm, Makensie said, "How do you think that I can get amy information out of this scum bag you're speaking of? By telling me that I'm a resourceful woman, are you implying that, since I had a situation involving a bush, that I'd portray a great lady of the street? By the way, I'm thankful for that romp, because it gave me my son"
Maybe it was the many shots he did, or that he was just plain tired, but Joey could no longer help himself. He let out a big, hearty laugh, that would've shocked anyone because noone has ever heard Joey Bane truly laugh.
He held up his hands in a gesture to say he was sorry, then pulled himelf together.
"Feel better, Bane?", Makensie said, with a slight grin on her face. She added, "You ought to smile more often. It definitely becomes you"
Clearing his throat, Bane said, "I do actually, feel better. Now, I must say, that I wasn't IMPLYING anything. I find you a very charming, very attractive woman is all, and I think you could charm any man out of anything if you really wanted to. That's all I was saying"
Makensie chuckles, then says, "You REALLY have had too much to drink"
"Ohhh, someone isn't comfortable with compliments", Joey said, grinning.
Makensie waved her hand at him, saying, "Whatever. Now, before I do this, Joey, IF I do this, I want to know who this woman is, and WHY she is so important to you. I know I need answers to my Uncle's murder, and even though something tells me you will help me regardless of what I decide, I will go along with you right now. Maybe. You first have to tell me the who, the what and the why...and why would they have you for dinner if they saw you?"
"Just as I figured", Bane said, smiling.
Makensie poured him and her both a double, and said, "Details, Joey. It's all about the details"
"You're lucky I like you so well, Brewer", Bane said, lighting up a smoke.
Hold a glass up in a cheer, Makensie said, "Almost as lucky as you, sweetheart"
They tapped their shot glasses together, drank, then continued their conversation, or more like their bantering back and forth.
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