After discovering a disc from Shaft in my truck, I sped off to Chloe’s to see what it was. I took the long way to her house to make sure no one was following me. I pulled into her driveway about 1am. She met me at the back door with her arms outstretched.
I embraced her and whispered. “Where’s the computer?”
“Oh, I’ve missed you too, Mike.”
I handed her the envelope and said,“Come on Chloe. This could be a matter of life and death for Shaft and his daughter.”
“Alright, it’s in my office. Let’s see what you have here.” She opened the envelope. “It is a disc. We’ll plug it in and see what’s so important.”
Back in her office, as Chloe was inserting the disc, I noticed writing on the inside of the envelope. ‘Mike, if you got this disc that means that things jumped off point, I left it with my cousin DeWayne. He’ll get it to you if he don’t hear different from me. He works at that place next door to the bar where we meet for drinks. If you don’t hear from me, ask him to check on my girl, Pennae.’
Chloe interrupted my thoughts. “Okay, it’s up. All I’ve seen so far looks to be a bunch of intercepted emails. “
She sighed deeply. “About that NASCAR crap. The Chase, Victoria Lane, TV ratings, someone is due for a win, blah, blah, blah.”
“What about the one with Victoria?” I asked.
“It says.” ‘Robin, We can’t let Victoria Lane ruin our plans by getting too close to Jr. It’s too soon. We need those TV ratings during the Chase when we’re up against the NFL. Create a distraction for her. That shouldn’t be too hard, she’s not that bright. If you can’t handle her, we’ll just rotate her out, permanently. MH’
That was enough. After looking in the phone book to see what was next door to the Skyline Bar, I wasn’t shocked to see that DeWayne worked at the Exotic Ebony Showplace and Revue. I called to see if they were still open and if he was there. They were, and he was. I got his cell number, and told Chloe that I had to leave right then. She took it pretty well. I made her take my .38, and put it in her nightstand, just in case.
I roared off into the muggy night, hoping that the Kinkos on State Street was one of the 24 hour ones. Chloe couldn't copy the disc and I had to make a copy somewhere.
I wondered if I should stop by my place for more firepower after giving up my .38. Decided that my two Glocks, and 25 cal palm piece would be enough. Just as I was hitting I-77 my phone rang. Unknown caller.
I answered and heard a familiar voice. “Hello, Hanner.”
“What is it, Jack?”
“The name’s Frank, not Jack. And it took awhile, but we finally convinced your friend Shaft to tell us where our disc is. We want it back Hanner. Shaft and the girl for the disc, straight up. ”
“I’ve got a better idea, Jack. You give me the girl right now as a show of faith, then we trade the disc for Shaft tomorrow.
I heard the anger in his exhale as he said, “Frank is the name. We’ll bring the girl to you now. Where?”
“The back parking lot of the Skyline on King Street.”
“Nice neighborhood. Twenty minutes, and you better be alone.”He growled.
It would take me the twenty minutes just to make it there, so I called DeWayne and told him to keep an eye on the back parking lot next door. Some outsiders with a young, black girl in their car shouldn’t be too hard to spot.
DeWayne called back in fifteen minutes. “They’re here. White van, backed into the corner spot next to the fence. I got the plate number too.”
“Alright man, I’m two exits away. Stay on the phone with me till I get there. Lay back and don’t get too close.”
I heard DeWayne breathing hard. “Their inside light just came on. I think they’re getting out of the side door.”
I was flying down King when I heard DeWayne yell, “Hey! Stop!” Then two pops, and a revving engine. I almost t-boned the van as it was pulling out of the lot. For an instant I thought of following it, but I had to check on DeWayne.
As I rolled into the back, I saw a large, bald, black man standing in front of a frightened girl with a zip strip that was holding her wrist to the chain link fence. I jumped out and cut Pennae loose.
I turned back to DeWayne. “You hit?”
“Just nicked me on the arm. I’m okay.”
“D, can you take her home with you?”I asked quickly. “We need to get out of here before the cops show up. I may need your help tomorrow getting Shaft back, you down? Oh by the way, when you put something in an unlocked car, don’t lock it back.”
He smiled at that last bit of advice. Then told me he had my back tomorrow, and let me know that if Five-O even received a shots fired call in this neighborhood they wouldn’t be in a hurry to respond. I decided to get out of there anyway.
Fifteen minutes later I was half way home when my phone rang. Unknown caller. “Hello, Jack.”
Frank sputtered. “What the hell was all that about? I told you to come alone. What was Shaq doing back there?”
“The hell if I know.” I lied. “He wasn’t with me. He was just a security guy, in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Definitely the wrong place. My boys said they capped him at point blank range, and he didn’t go down.”
“Yeah, you got some real crack shots there, Jack.”
He continued on, “Okay the girl is all the good faith you’ll get, Hanner. Tomorrow, 4pm, Concord Airport, last hangar down on the left. You bring that disc, and we’ll bring your friend. And this time come alone. Anybody else shows up, and people die."