Fade Away Page 12

“Uh huh.”

“You know anything about hostile takeovers?”

“I was alive in the eighties,” Myron said. “In fact, someone recently remarked on what an eighties kinda guy I am.”

“Well, I’m undergoing one now.”

“I thought you were a majority owner.”

Clip shook his head. “Forty percent. No one else owns more than fifteen percent. A couple of the minority shareholders have gotten together and are trying to oust me.” Clip made two fists and put them on his desk like paperweights. “They say I’m too much a basketball mind and not enough a business mind. I should only be handling players and the on-court affair. They vote in two days.”


“So right now the vote is very close. A scandal and I’m done.”

Myron looked at both men and waited a beat. Then he said, “You want me to sit on this?”

“No, no, of course not,” Clip said quickly. “I’m not saying that at all. I just don’t want the press going berserk over what might be nothing. I can’t afford to have anything unsavory uncovered now.”



“Like what?”

“Hell if I know,” Clip said.

“But Greg might be dead.”

“And if that’s the case, a day or two isn’t going to help—cold as that might sound. And if something did happen to Greg, there might be a reason.”

“A reason?”

Clip threw up his hands. “Hell, I don’t know. You lift up a corpse or even a man in hiding and worms start to crawl out. You know what I mean?”

“No,” Myron said. But Clip went on.

“I don’t need that, Myron. Not now. Not till after this vote.”

“Then you are telling me to sit on this,” Myron said.

“Not at all. We just don’t want an unnecessary panic. If Greg is dead, we can’t do him any good now anyway. If he’s vanished, well, then you are his best hope to avoid media glare or to save him.”

They were still not telling him everything but Myron decided not to press it just now. “Do you have any idea why someone would be watching Greg’s house?”

Clip looked puzzled. “Someone is watching his house?”

“I think so, yes.”

Clip looked over to Calvin. “Calvin?”

“No idea,” Calvin said.

“I don’t know either, Myron. Do you have any thoughts?”

“Not yet. One more question: did Greg have a girlfriend?”

Again Clip looked toward Calvin.

Calvin shrugged. “He played around a lot. But I don’t think there was anyone special.”

“Do you know any of the women he played around with?”

“Not by name. Some groupies, stuff like that.”

“Why?” Clip asked. “You think he ran off with a broad?”

Myron shrugged and stood. “Guess I better get to the locker room. It’s almost game time.”


Myron stopped.

“Please, Myron, I know it sounds like I’m being cold, but I really do care about Greg. Very much. I want him found alive and well.” Clip swallowed. The wrinkles in his skin looked more pronounced, like someone had just pinched them out a bit. His color was not good. “If you can honestly tell me that revealing what we know to the public is best, I’ll go along with it. No matter what the costs. Think about it. I want to do what’s best for Greg. I care about him very much. I care about both of you. You’re both fine young men. I mean that. I owe you both a great deal.”

Clip looked like he was about to cry. Myron wasn’t sure what to make of all this. He decided to nod and say nothing. He opened the door and left.

As he approached the elevator Myron heard a familiar, husky voice say, “If it isn’t the Comeback Kid.”

Myron looked over at Audrey Wilson. She was wearing her customary sports-reporter garb: dark blue blazer, black turtleneck, what they called “stone-washed” jeans. Her makeup was either light or nonexistent, her nails short and unpolished. The only splash of color could be found on her sneakers—bright aqua Chuck Taylor Cons. Her looks were completely unspectacular. There was nothing wrong with her features but nothing particularly right about them either. They were just there. Her straight black hair was cut short in a pageboy with bangs. “Do I detect the scent of cynicism?” he asked.

Audrey shrugged. “You don’t really think I buy all this, do you?”

“Buy what?”

“Your sudden desire to”—she checked her notes—“weave your own legend into the lush tapestry of sports.” She looked up, shook her head. “That Clip can sure talk some shit, huh?”

“I have to get dressed, Audrey.”

“How about giving me the lowdown first?”

“The lowdown, Audrey? Gee, why not ask for a ‘scoop’? I love it when you reporters say that.”

She smiled at that. It was a nice smile. Full and open. “Kinda defensive, aren’t we, Myron?”

“Me? Never.”

“Then how about—to coin yet another cliché—a statement for the press?”

Myron nodded, put his hand to his chest in dramatic fashion. “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins.”


“Felix Unger. It was on The Odd Couple, the one where Howard Cosell guest starred.”

He turned and walked toward the locker room. Audrey followed. She was probably the top female sports reporter in the country. She covered the Dragons for the East Coast’s biggest newspaper. She had her own radio show on WFAN in a coveted time slot with huge ratings. She had a Sunday morning roundtable talk show called Talking Sports on ESPN. And yet, like almost every other female in this male-dominated profession, there was something tenuous about her station, her career always a half-step from toppling over no matter how big she became.

“How’s Jessica?” Audrey asked.


“I haven’t spoken to her in a month,” she said with a singsong tone. “Maybe I should give her a call. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart, you know.”

“Gee,” Myron said, “that won’t be transparent.”

“I’m trying to make this easier on you, Myron. There’s something strange going on here. You know I’m going to find out what it is. Might as well just tell me.”

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