Fade Away Page 64

“Would that be yours, Jason?”

“Damn straight mine! So I call up little Miss Nice Ass—”

“She’s got great legs too.”


“Her legs. She’s not that tall, so they’re not very long. But they’re nicely toned.”

“Will you quit fucking around here, Myron? Listen to me. She tells me the Sox called up and asked if they could use my picture in the ad, even though I wasn’t signed. She tells them to go ahead! Go right fucking ahead! Now what are those Red Sox assholes supposed to think, huh? I’ll tell you what. They think I’m gonna sign with them no matter what. We lost all our leverage because of her.”

Esperanza opened the door without knocking. “This came in this morning.” She tossed a contract on Myron’s desk. It was Jason’s. Myron began to skim through it. Esperanza said, “Put the pea brain on the speakerphone.”

Myron did.


“Oh Christ, Esperanza, get the fuck off the line. I’m talking to Myron here.”

She ignored him. “Even though you don’t deserve to know, I finalized your contract. You got everything you wanted and more.”

That slowed him down. “Four hundred thou more per year?”

“Six hundred thousand. Plus an extra quarter million on the signing bonus.”

“How the … what …?”

“The Sox screwed up,” she said. “Once they printed your picture in that mailer, the deal was as good as done.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Simple,” she said. “The mailer went out with your picture on it. People bought tickets based on that. Meanwhile I called the front office and said that you’d decided to sign with the Rangers down in Texas. I told them the deal was almost final.” She shifted in the chair. “Now, Jason, pretend you are the Red Sox for a moment. What are you going to do? How are you going to explain to all those ticket holders that Jason Blair, whose picture was on your latest mailer, won’t be around because the Texas Rangers outbid them?”

Silence. Then: “To hell with your ass and legs,” Jason said. “You got the most gorgeous set of brains I ever laid eyes on.”

Myron said, “Anything else, Jason?”

“Go practice, Myron. After the way you played last night, you need it. I want to talk over the details with Esperanza.”

“I’ll take it at my desk,” Esperanza said.

Myron put him back on hold. “Nice move,” he said to her.

She shrugged. “Some kid in the Sox marketing department screwed up. It happens.”

“You read it very well.”

Her tone was an exaggerated monotone. “My heaving bosom is swelling with pride.”

“Forget I said anything. Go take the call.”

“No, really, my goal in life is to be just like you.”

Myron shook his head. “You’ll never have my ass.”

“There’s that,” she agreed before leaving.

Left alone, Myron picked up the Raven Brigade photo. He located the three members still at large—Gloria Katz, Susan Milano, and the Ravens’ enigmatic leader and most famous member, Cole Whiteman. No one had drawn the press’s attention and ire more than Cole Whiteman. Myron had been in elementary school when the Ravens went into hiding, yet he still remembered the stories. For one thing, Cole could have passed for Win’s brother—blond, patrician-featured, well-to-do family. While everyone else in the picture was scraggly and long haired, Cole was freshly shaven with a conservative haircut, his one sixties concession being sideburns that went down a tad too far. Hardly your Hollywood-cast, radical leftist. But as Myron had learned from Win, looks could often be deceiving.

He put down the photograph and dialed Dimonte’s line at One Police Plaza. After Dimonte snarled a hello, Myron asked him if he had anything new.

“You think we’re partners now, Bolitar?”

“Just like Starsky and Hutch,” Myron said.

“God, I miss those two,” Dimonte said. “That hot car. Hanging out with Fuzzy Bear.”

“Huggy Bear,” Myron said.


“His name was Huggy Bear, not Fuzzy Bear.”


“Time’s short, Rolly. Let me help if I can.”

“You first. What have you got?”

Another negotiation. Myron told him about Greg’s gambling. Figuring that Rolly had the phone records too, he also told him about the suspected blackmail scheme. He didn’t tell him about the videotape. It wouldn’t be fair, not until he spoke to Emily first. Dimonte asked a few questions. When he was satisfied, he said, “Okay, what do you want to know?”

“Did you find anything else at Greg’s house?”

“Nothing,” Dimonte said. “And I mean, nothing. Remember how you told me you found some feminine doodads in the bedroom? Some woman’s clothes or lotions or something?”


“Well, someone got rid of them too. No sign of any female apparel.”

So, Myron thought, the lover theory rears its ugly head once again. The lover comes back to the house and cleans up the blood to protect Greg. Then she covers her own tracks too, making sure that their relationship remains a secret. “How about witnesses?” Myron asked. “Anybody in Liz Gorman’s building see anything?”

“Nope. We canvassed the whole neighborhood. No one saw nada. Everybody was studying or something. Oh, another thing: the press picked up the murder. The story hit the morning editions.”

“You gave them her real name?”

“You crazy? Of course not. They think it’s just another breaking and entering homicide. But get this. We got an anonymous tip called in this morning. Someone suggested we check out Greg Downing’s house.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. Female voice.”

“He’s being set up, Rolly.”

“No shit, Sherlock. By a chick nonetheless. And the murder didn’t exactly make a big news splash. It was stuck in the back pages like every other unspectacular homicide in this cesspool. Got a little extra juice because it was so close to a college campus.”

“Have you looked into that connection?” Myron asked.

“What connection?”

“Columbia University being so close by. Half of the sixties movements started there. They must still have some sympathizers in the ranks. Maybe someone there helped Liz Gorman.”

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