Fade Away Page 39


It wasn’t Jessica. “Right lane, three cars behind you. You’re being followed.”

It was Win.

Chapter 17

“When did you get back?” Myron asked.

Win ignored the question. “The automobile following you is the same one we spotted at Greg’s house. It is registered to a storage facility in Atlantic City. No known mob connections, but that would seem to me to be a safe bet.”

“How long have you been following me?”

Again Win ignored him. “The two men who jumped you the other night. What did they look like?”

“Big,” Myron said. “One was absolutely huge.”

“Crew cut?”


“He’s in the car following you. Passenger seat.”

Myron didn’t bother asking how Win knew about the thugs jumping him. He had a pretty good idea.

“They’ve been communicating on the telephone quite a bit,” Win continued. “I believe they’re coordinating with someone else. The phone activity picked up after your stop on Eighty-first Street. Hold on a second. I’ll call you right back.” He hung up. Myron checked his rearview mirror. The car was still there, right where Win said it was. A minute later the phone rang again.

“What?” Myron said.

“I just spoke to Jessica again.”

“What do you mean, again?”

Win sighed impatiently. He hated explanations. “If they are planning to jump you tonight, it is logical to assume it will be by her loft.”


“Ergo, I called her ten minutes ago. I told her to keep an eye out for anything unusual.”


“An unmarked white van parked across the street,” Win answered. “No one got out.”

“So it appears they are going to strike,” Myron said.

“Yes,” Win said. “Should I preempt it?”


“I could disable the car following you.”

“No,” Myron said. “Let them make their move and see where it leads.”


“Just back me up. If they grab me, I may be able to get to the boss.”

Win made a noise.

“What?” Myron asked.

“You complicate the simple,” Win said. “Would it not be easier to simply take out the two in the car? We could then make them tell us about their boss.”

“It’s that ‘make them’ part I have trouble with.”

“But of course,” Win countered. “A thousand pardons for my lack of ethics. Clearly it is far wiser to risk your own life than to make a worthless goon feel momentary discomfort.”

Win had a way of putting things that made very frightening sense. Myron had to remind himself that the logical was often more terrifying than the illogical—especially where Win was concerned. “They’re just hired help,” Myron said. “They’re not going to know anything.”

Pause. “Fair point,” Win conceded. “But suppose they simply shoot you.”

“That wouldn’t make any sense. The reason they’re interested in me is because they think I know where Greg is.”

“And dead men tell no tales,” Win added.

“Exactly. They want to make me talk. So just follow me. If they take me someplace well guarded—”

“I’ll get through,” Win said.

Myron did not doubt it. He gripped the steering wheel. His pulse began to race. Easy to dismiss the possibility of getting shot by reasonable analysis; it was another thing to have to park a car down the street from men you knew were out to hurt you. Win would have his eye on the van. So would Myron. If a gun came out before a person, the situation would be handled.

He got off the highway. The streets of Manhattan were supposed to be a nice, even grid. Streets ran north/south and east/west. They were numbered. They were straight. But when you got to Greenwich Village and Soho, it was like a grid painted by Dalí. Gone were the numerical roads for the most part, except when they twisted and turned between streets with real-live names. Gone was any pretext of straight or systematized.

Luckily Spring Street was a direct run. A bicyclist sped by Myron, but no one else was out. The white van was parked right where it was supposed to be. Unmarked, just as Jessica had said. The windows were tinted so you couldn’t look in. Myron didn’t see Win’s car, but then again he wasn’t supposed to. He moved slowly down the street. He passed the van. When he did, the van started its motor. Myron pulled into a spot toward the end of the block. The van pulled out.


Myron parked the car, straightened out the steering wheel, turned the engine off. He pocketed the keys. The van inched forward. He took out his revolver and stuck it under the car seat. It wouldn’t do him any good right now. If they grabbed him, they would search him. If they started shooting, shooting back would be a waste of time. Win would either remove the threat or not.

He reached for the door handle. Fear nestled into his throat, but he did not stop. He pulled the handle, opened the door, and stepped out. It was dark. The streetlights in Soho were nearly worthless, like pen beams in a black hole. Lights drifting out from nearby windows provided more of an eerie kindle than real illumination. There were plastic garbage bags out on the street. Most had been torn open; the odor of spoiled food wafted through the air. The van slowly cruised toward him. A man stepped out from a doorway and approached without hesitation. The man wore a black turtleneck under a black overcoat. He pointed a gun at Myron. The van stopped, and the side door slid open.

“Get in, asshole,” the man with the gun said.

Myron pointed at himself. “You talking to me?”

“Now, asshole. Haul ass.”

“Is that a turtleneck or a dickey?”

The man with the gun moved closer. “I said, now.”

“It’s nothing to get angry about,” Myron said, but he stepped toward the van. “If it is a dickey, you can’t tell. It’s a very sporty look.” When Myron got nervous, his mouth went into overdrive. He knew it was self-destructive; Win had pointed that out to him on several occasions. But Myron couldn’t stop himself. Diarrhea of the mouth or some such ailment.


Myron got in the van. The man with the gun did likewise. There were two more men in the back of the van and one man driving. Everyone was in black, except for one guy who looked to be in charge. He wore a blue pinstripe suit. His Windsor-knotted yellow tie was held in place by a gold tie bar at the collar. Euro-chic. He had long, bleached-blond hair and one of those tans that were a little too perfect to come from the sun. He looked more like an aging surfer boy than a professional mobster.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies