Saturday, October 10, 2009
Jon tucked his phone into the crook of his shoulder and flipped through his bag. The battered leather was bulging at the seams with files on all the new players. “Yeah, Leo, I heard you. Just handle it all right? You don’t need me to hold your hand.”
“I don’t have the authorization—“
“I’m giving it to you now. Tell Jules that you can sign temporary contracts for the kids you find when you’re scouting. I need a backup quarterback, Leo. End of story. I’ll shoot her an email backing you up.” He sighed and pulled out a folder. “Matt’s kicking ass but I need two backups this time.”
“All right. Where you at?”
“I’m taking in Weston Blake’s game over at St. Mary’s. I’ll check in with you tonight.” He looked up pushing his baseball hat back so he could see. Wes was ploughing through the field. He was second string, but he was fast; perfect for the half field, arena ball and the Soul.
Jon flipped his Blackberry case closed and clipped it to his hip. This was the third game he’d watched with the kid since he signed him. Wes caught on quickly and played with one of the lower tiered Arena teams on the off season. Football was in his blood, but college wasn’t an option for the kid yet so he was hungry to play for the Soul to make a name for himself.
“Jon, I think we might have a problem.”
He pulled the brim of his black hat down and shot a look at his new assistant coach, Jerry. “God, he didn’t get hurt or something did he?” Jon looked out at the field.
“No, that’s not it.” Jerry wiped sweat off his gleaming bald head. “There’s been some talk about Wes that you’re not going to like.”
“Ah, fuck. Please tell me the kid isn’t using.”
Jerry laughed. “Man, I almost wish that was it.”
Jon arched a brow. That wasn’t good. “Well lay it on me now while I still have a scout out there trying to find the next, Money.”
“Hell if we find another Jackson, you couldn’t afford him.”
Jon smirked. “True that. C’mon, don’t keep me in suspense. My phone hasn’t rung in—“the annoying buzz at his hip started. “See, you jinxed it man.” He unclipped it, checking the display. “Hell,” he muttered and hit the send button. “Hey Rich.”
“Hey bro. Where you at?”
“Game with Jerry.”
“Oh, all right. No big. Just seeing if you wanted to play my date tonight.”
“No sex, I’m still sore.”
Richie’s howl of laughter had Jerry chuckling next to him. “You’re such an ass. All right, well you’re no good to me for food or fucking. I’m out. Catch ya later.”
Jon shook his head and re-clipped it. “Hurry up man that was definitely a fluke.”
Jerry shook his head. “I was hoping I was wrong, but take a look over there.” He nodded, but didn’t point.
Jon frowned. ”Look where?”
“By the fence.” The game started breaking up as the announcer gave the final score. The stands erupted in cheers. Cheerleaders stomped and the whoop of teens and parents alike battered at him. Both of them stood up. “See there?”
Jon watched Wes head over to the chain link fence. A group of man-boys were gathered, all wearing gang colors and twisted caps. “Fuck.” Jon shot a startled glance at Jerry. “C’mon. We had him checked out. He doesn’t have a record at all.”
“I know, I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks, but I had a friend run a few faces from some shots I took last week. Definitely gang. Four of them are out on bail for possession with intent to sell and the head guy, Black Watch, is under investigation for three murders.”
Disappointment ran deep, and he sighed. “Are we sure he’s involved?”
“I can’t be sure. He could be just one of the one’s that doesn’t have a record yet.”
Jon pinched the bridge of his nose. “Hell, man. I’ve got a lot riding on this kid. All right, I’ll take care of it.”
Jerry stood up and shook his hand. “I hope to God, I’m wrong, Jon.”
“Me too.” He watched Jerry lumbar across the field and do his thing with Wes and a few other guys they’d been watching. St. Mary’s had an impeccable record that year. He unclipped his Blackberry again and hit a button. “Rog, how you doin’ man?”
“Jon you shit, you never call me to know how I’m doing.”
Jon leaned back on the cool bleachers. “Yeah, I guess I don’t. I’ll make it up during Christmas.”
“You do that. I like scotch.”
“Of course you do,” Jon laughed. “I think I’m going to need you to contact your private investigator for me again.” He gave him a quick rundown of what he and Jerry had discussed.
“Damn, that’s above Bobby’s range. Tell you what? I’ll contact this new investigator my firm’s used a few times. She’s really good. Has contacts in the police department in the city and out in Philly.”
Jon nibbled on the corner of his nail. “She?”
“Yeah, she’s a bit scary actually. Ex-marine, ex-cop and hell…she’s like GI Jane.” Roger laughed. “She’s a professional of the first order. I’ll have her meet you and you can decide.”
“Yeah, can’t hurt. Shoot me a text or email with a time and I’ll get back to you.”
Jon tucked his files back into his bag, pounding down the stairs. This is not how he wanted to spend the rest of his week off.
“Thanks for your call Mr. Watts. Tell Mr. Bongiovi to expect me within the hour,” she said checking her watch as she clicked the phone back into its cradle. She swung back in her swivel chair and snapped shut the leather bound folder. “Sorry Mr. Briggs, Mrs. Briggs and her little Italian cabana boy will just have to wait.” She tipped the folder onto the pile that forever towered her desk these days.
Everyone had a secret in this town that they didn’t want to share, and finding them out, well that’s how she made a living. She stretched back and closed her eyes visualizing out how to make it across the city to Soho at four o’clock in the afternoon without sprouting wings and flying. She spun around and grabbed her leather brief, stuffing in her keys, iPhone, and the disclosure papers she would need her newest client to sign.
David really could have taken this one, but Mr. Bongiovi’s lawyer reiterated that this needed to be handled in the strictest confidence so she tended to take them on personally ensuring their needs were met. Her own agency had been running for a little over five years with business branching out into personal security within the last two. It was a small team, but they were like her family, and they all worked closely together.
She picked up an apple and crunched a big bite. Well least this one was more of a business matter, certainly would make a change from busting out mistresses and sordid affairs that were popular in this circle. She wiped away the juice away with the side of her knuckle, and waved at her assistant before heading down to the basement.
The click of her boots followed her for ten flights, why she did this to herself every day she had no idea, but she liked food too much, so this was the trade-off. She pointed her key lock at her trusty Toyota Prius and with two sharp beeps, the car clicked and she climbed inside. Wasn’t her choice of car, but it was practical for the job. Maybe one day she could own something classic and little racy, like a mustang or a charger.
Squinting into the glare of the afternoon sun, she sighed and slipped on her sunglasses. “Goodbye beach, maybe tomorrow.” Man, I so needed to get out there today, I NEEDED it. Damn it! But Business came first, it always came first. She gave a longing look over her shoulder to her blue beach bag. One thing that kept her sane was that beach, whether it was running, walking, or surfing, it kept her grounded. There was just something about the sea air that was so settling.
She pulled into the apartment complex on Mercer she’d scrawled down a piece of paper, and parked. Checking herself over once in the small rear view, she pulled her hair back in a loose ponytail tucking the stray curls behind her ears. She straightened the collar of her suit jacket before exiting the car clutching her briefcase.
“Time to rock and roll,” she winced at her own cliché before striding into the marble floored lobby.
“I’m here to see Mr. Bongiovi, its MacKenzie Cooper he’s expecting me,” she nodded towards the suited man.
He smiled and picked up the small phone attached to the wall. “Good evening Mr. Bongiovi, I have a MacKenzie Cooper here to see you.”
“Yes sir, right away,” he hung up and turned back to her.
“Ms Cooper, take the lift to the top floor and Mr Bongiovi will be waiting.”
“Thank you,” she smiled and walked into the elevator.