Fiction Saturday – “Peaches” – Part Four
Fiction Saturday – “Peaches” – Part Four
It was a little after 8 AM when the phone finally rang and woke me. It’s never good news at 8 AM. It was Regis alright and he told me that “Forty Ounce” said “No” to me bringing the money for the dog. It had to be The Lady – alone – or the dog was history.
There was no way I was going to go along with that, but I had no choice but to agree to tell “The Lady.” She would go along with any of their cockeyed plans if she thought it would get her dog back. She was the Perfect Victim.
The details, with all of the devil in them, were that Sunny Boggs was to bring the 15K to the swap location at 10 PM and, nice and neat, everybody goes home happy. Right, and I just fell off the back of the turnip truck.
I drove out to the Boggs’ McMansion after I pulled myself together and got something to eat. There was no rush. She could wait. “Forty Ounce” could wait, but my stomach couldn’t. I had to give it something to work on or it would snap back and try to digest me.
I told Sunny Boggs the plan as “Forty Ounce” had told it to Regis, who then told it to me. I also told her it made no sense and that I should go along with her in spite of it all. She refused and just to make her point, she fired me. She handed me an envelope that had a bit of a bulge.
“Here’s another $500. Your services are no longer needed. I can take it from here. You’re fired and ‘Thank you.’”
I’ve been canned more than a few times by clients, but never followed by a “Thank you.” Usually it was a string of curse words and threats on my license.
My mother didn’t raise no fools – A few whining neurotics perhaps, but no fools. I knew that even though Sunny Boggs had fired me I wasn’t about to quit.
9:30 PM and I was sitting in my car, parked a block away from the Boggs’ place. It was cold and rainy so I had to keep the engine running to stay warm and to keep the windows from getting as foggy as my old Uncle Bob trying to explain how Congress worked.
It was only a ten minute drive from there to the meeting place. I figured to follow Sunny Boggs over there and then to try to keep everything kosher. I also brought along my .38.
I decided to do things that way rather than go ahead to the swap house and wait because “Forty Ounce” would be suspicious enough to be waiting for me to show up. He would not be glad to see me. He still might have been expecting me, but this way he’d have his eyes focused on a pair of long legs prettier than mine.
At 9:37 a silver Lexus came down the block and went right past me. It was her. I let her get about a half a block ahead before I pulled away from the curb. We were both going to the same place so there was no need to get too close. I’d get into her shadow once we arrived at 832 Mallorca Drive.
Our destination was an even bigger place than the Boggs’ digs. The home screamed “Old Money” while the Boggs’ much smaller place said, “Big Credit Line and Stock Options.”
The front gate was open and the red brick drive curved around toward the house. I could see that there were about a dozen other cars already there and a bored looking valet leaning up against a big Bentley and having a smoke. All of that I didn’t expect. The place looked uninhabited when I checked it out a few days before.
Just before the last curve leading to the valet Sunny Boggs steered onto a macadam fork in the road that headed around toward the back of the house – a servant’s entrance at one time and maybe still.
I took the same cutoff and stopped. I didn’t want her to see me yet. That time would come.
She pulled up to an out-building behind the house. She got her look together in the side mirror on her car and headed toward the door. It was already open and waiting. She seemed to not be all that concerned. It was like she knew more than I did about how tonight was supposed to go. I’d said nothing to her about driving around behind the main house or about this out-building. This was beginning to make me nervous. Was I being played, both ends against the middle? It never smelled right to me, but now it was getting really stinky. I only like surprises when I’m the one hiding behind the sofa and it’s not my birthday.
I watched her pause at the door. She looked into her purse, patted the pocket on her long coat, and then walked into the darkened building. I heard a dog bark and a voice growl back at it to shut up. It sounded like “Forty Ounce” and I assume “Peaches” was picking up a friendly scent.
I gave her about fifteen seconds and then I started to circle around looking for a window where I could get a glance at what I would be walking into. Around the corner of the building I could see light spilling out.
Backing into the shadows I could get a good look inside. There was “Forty Ounce” sitting in an old wicker Peacock chair like it was a throne. He was holding a leash. At the other end was a dog, a dark brown Doberman. The dog was agitated, salivating, whining, and straining at the leash. It still had on the fancy jeweled collar. Standing off in the corner behind the big chair I could see Regis, grinning like a fool. He has his right hand behind his back, holding something. I could guess it wasn’t a dog biscuit. I was glad I’d brought along my own dog biscuit and extra rounds.
This whole picture looked like it wouldn’t take much to go south. Then Sunny Boggs came into the light. I was close enough to hear them through the window.
The moment she came into the room “Peaches” tried to get loose, but “Forty Ounce” yanked at the leash pulling the dog off its feet.
“Don’t you hurt him! “Peaches,” Sit!” The dog calmly obeyed her command. Boggs turned her focus to “Forty Ounce.” “I have your money. Take it and let us get out of here.”
“Forty Ounce” grinned.
“You’ve trained him well. I like that. Now, you sit,” he said, directing her to a small table with four wooden chairs in the middle of the room. She balked at his command and didn’t move an inch.
“I have the money, give me my dog.”
“Shut up and sit down,” he yelled. In the corner Regis shifted his weight and brought his hand from behind his back. He leveled a gray .45 caliber pistol at her. The gun was filthy, like it hadn’t been cleaned in years – a lot like Regis.
“What’s this all about?” she asked. “I told you I have the fifteen thousand dollars. I want my “Peaches.” She reached into her bag, Regis took a step forward, but her hand came back into view holding a bundle of bills, still with the paper bank sleeve.
“Forty Ounce” spoke to Regis, but kept his eyes locked onto Sunny Boggs.
“Regis, get the money – and you, Missy – sit down. I won’t ask again. Do as you’re told or I’ll have Regis here kill the dog. Right here, right now. Move.”
She slowly crossed toward the table. Regis took the packet of money from her hand. She pulled out a chair and sat down, putting her purse next to her on the floor.