Fade Away Page 38

“How about Greg’s personal life?” Myron continued. “Girlfriends, that kind of thing?”

“You mean a steady?”


She ran her fingers through the thick, curling locks, then rubbed the back of her own neck. “There was this one girl. He kept it kind of secret, but I think they were living together for a while.”

“What’s her name?”

“He never told me. I saw them together at a restaurant once. A place called the Saddle River Inn. He didn’t look happy to see me.”

“What did she look like?”

“Nothing special from what I remember. She was a brunette. She was sitting so I couldn’t tell you height or weight.”


“I don’t know. Thirty-ish, I guess.”

“What makes you think they were living together?”

It seemed like an easy question, but she stopped and raised her eyes. “Leon let something slip once,” she said.

“What did he say?”

“I don’t remember anymore. Something about the girlfriend. Then he clammed up.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Three, four months ago. Maybe more.”

“Leon implied that he and Greg weren’t really that close, that the media made a bigger deal out of it than it was.”

Audrey nodded. “There is a tension there now, but I think it’s just temporary.”

“Why would there be a tension?”

“I don’t know.”

“How long have you noticed the tension?”

“Not long. Within the last two weeks maybe.”

“Anything happen recently between Greg and Leon that you’re aware of?”

“Nope. They’ve been friends for a long time. Friends have disagreements. I didn’t take it too seriously.”

Myron let loose a deep breath. Friends did indeed have disagreements, but the timing was curious. “Do you know Maggie Mason?”

“Thumper? Of course.”

“Were she and Greg close?”

“If you mean did they screw—”

“No, I don’t mean that.”

“Well, they screwed. That I’m sure of. Despite what Thumper claims, not every guy on the team has gotten thumped. Some have turned her down. Not many, I admit. But some. She hit on you yet?”

“Just a few short hours ago.”

She smiled. “I assume you joined the few, the proud, the Unthumped?”

“You assume correctly. But what about her relationship with Greg? Are they close?”

“They’re pretty close, I’d say. But Thumper is closest to TC. Those two are very tight. It’s not purely sexual either. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure TC and Maggie have had sex and probably still do on occasion. But they’re like brother and sister too. It’s weird.”

“How do TC and Greg get along?” Myron asked.

“Not bad for team superstars. Not great either.”

“Care to elaborate?”

She paused, gathered her thoughts. “For five years now, TC and Downing have shared the spotlight. I guess there is a mutual respect for each other on the court, but they don’t talk off it. At least, not very much. I’m not saying they dislike each other, but playing basketball is a job like any other. You might be able to stand one another at work, but you don’t want to see the person socially.” She looked up. “Take the Seventy-ninth Street exit.”

“You still live on Eighty-first?”


Myron took the exit and stopped at a traffic light on Riverside Drive.

“Now it’s your turn, Myron. Why did they hire you?”

“It’s like you said. They want me to find Greg.”

“What have you learned so far?”

“Not much.”

“So why were you so concerned I’d jump the gun and tell the story early?”

Myron hesitated.

“I promised not to say anything,” she reminded him. “You have my word.”

Fair is fair. He told her about the blood in Greg’s basement. Her mouth dropped open. When he told her about finding Sally/Carla’s body, he feared her heart might give out.

“My God,” Audrey said when he finished. “You think Downing killed her.”

“I didn’t say that.”

She fell back against the seat. Her head lolled against the headrest as though her neck could no longer support her. “Christ, what a story.”

“And one you can’t tell.”

“Don’t remind me.” She sat back up again. “Do you think it’ll leak soon?”

“It might.”

“Why can’t I be the recipient of that leak?”

Myron shook his head. “Not yet. We got a lid on this so far. You can’t be the one to blow it off.”

Her nod was grudging. “Do you think Downing killed her and ran?”

“There is no evidence of that.” He pulled up to her building. “One last question,” he said. “Was Greg involved in anything unsavory?”

“Like what?”

“Like is there any reason thugs would be after him?”

Again her excitement was palpable. The woman was like an electric current. “What do you mean? What thugs?”

“A couple of thugs were watching Greg’s house.”

Her face was positively glowing. “Thugs? You mean like professional gangsters?”

“Probably. I don’t know for sure yet. Can you think of anything that would connect Greg to thugs or for that matter, the murder of this woman? Drugs maybe?”

Audrey shook her head immediately. “It can’t be drugs.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“Downing is a health nut, a real Granola head.”

“So was River Phoenix.”

She shook her head again. “Not drugs. I’m sure of it.”

“Look into it,” he said. “See what you can come up with.”

“Sure,” she said. “I’ll look into everything we talked about.”

“Try to be discreet.”

“No problem,” she said. She got out of the car. “Good night, Myron. Thanks for trusting me.”

“Like I had a choice.”

Audrey smiled and closed the car door. He watched her walk into the building. He put the car in drive and headed back to Seventy-ninth Street. He got back on the parkway and continued south toward Jessica’s. He was about to pick up his cellular phone and call her when the phone rang. The dashboard clock read 12:07 A.M. It had to be Jessica.

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