A couple of plates crash to the floor and I look up. The black waitress was standing next to the restroom, unsteady on her feet. I wonder if she’s drunk or just tired. Then I saw what it was. A naked dude ran out the door and down the sidewalk with just a smile on his face Another thing to remind me of my new project.
Herrington’s nickname was the “The Streak.” He’d gotten it after being caught by a jealous husband during a “negotiation” session for an investment. The thought of his pasty physique blowing down the dock made me laugh. He was the fastest thing on two feet and he lived to play another con.
Last I heard, he had shacked up with a boat bunny who knew how to cook. My client wasn’t one of those. She just had bad taste in men. The set up sounded like one of his cons. Tell a fantastic story then blow the flicker into a flame. It’s hard to think clearly when your breathless. I make a note to follow up on how long they had been together.
I had fresh brew. It must have happened when the naked guy went by. I wince at the first sip. Battery acid ain’t got nothing on this stuff.
Herrington hadn’t changed much. The picture had him standing at the end of a dock with his hand on the bow of a ski boat. Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt over a t-shirt, Oakley’s perched on spiky gray hair. There were a few more wrinkles. The weight was about the same as I remembered, but muscle tone was gone. Time takes its toll on everyone.
The sheet said he was going by Robert Charles Springer. His date of birth was different, but close enough to his real age to pass muster. Under his normal M.O., this will lead to a dead man in another state. I’ll run down the rabbit hole to confirm it.
The mailing address given is a PO Box near the lake. Figures. Can’t have anyone be able to trace the location that way. No houses or other real estate. Were they living on a boat? No. Client said they were in a house. It must be a rental and he probably used another alias with better credit on the paperwork.
The asset list has something: A fifteen year old Lakeview Houseboat called Sunset Dream. Good name for the game he play, set up a dream and nothing is ever as it seems. It is probably stolen or salvaged. Herington was skilled at hiding fenced boats in plain sight using minor cosmetics. After everyone gets used to the new look, change the name and sell it to the next sucker. Nobody will ask questions.
There’s the I.D. number. I’ll start with a broker search. They’ll be pictures of it.
A couple personal watercraft listed. They could be anywhere. The rest of it is bank accounts and stocks, stuff easily shuffled into oblivion. Total amount was around a million. I’ve seen worse, but I can see where the client would be pissed.
An emergency contact name is at the bottom: Donna Bartlett. Is this my client? I underline it and put a “1” next to it. I need to know who I’m working for before I go any further. I put everything back into the envelope and drop a bill on the table. Bunny yells as I go out the door. She’ll get over it.
When I get to the car, I get the distinct feeling of being watched. I decide to walk back to the apartment. Before I do, I slip my gun out of the door holster and put it in my jacket. It isn’t often I want it on me but this case is giving me the willies and I haven’t even started yet.
I badge myself through the door to the parking lot. The Audi is gone, in its place is a fresh oil spot. Typical German engineering. Pay all that money for a car that is incontinent as an old man. I’ll stick to the Honda.
I hit the stairs and look at the access door to the hall. There was a small scratch on the jamb and no other marks. I’m impressed.
So, what’s behind the door?
There’s only one way to find out.
Topic- Diana Jillian
Pic- Dahlia Ramone
Pic guesses: Nothing is what it seems (in blog), Lola, Dress up, Clubbing,