Fade Away Page 76

“Can I come inside?”

“No. I’m busy right now.”

“I think it would be better in private.”

“This is private,” she said, her face unyielding. “What do you want?”

Myron shrugged, conjured up his most charming smile, saw it would take him nowhere. “I want to know about you and Greg Downing.”

Fiona White’s arms dropped to her sides. She suddenly looked horror-stricken. “What?”

“I know about your e-mail to him. Sepbabe. You were supposed to meet last Saturday for the”—Myron made quote marks with his fingers—“ ‘greatest night of ecstasy imaginable.’ Do you recall that?”

Fiona White went to close the door. Myron stuck his foot in the way.

“I’ve got nothing to say to you,” she said.

“I’m not trying to expose you.”

She pushed the door against his foot. “Get out.”

“I’m just trying to find Greg Downing.”

“I don’t know where he is.”

“Were you having an affair with him?”

“No. Now leave.”

“I saw the e-mail, Fiona.”

“Think what you want. I’m not talking to you.”

“Fine,” Myron said, moving back and throwing up his hands. “I’ll talk to Leon instead.”

Her cheeks flushed. “Do whatever you want,” she said. “I did not have an affair with him. I did not see him last Saturday night. I don’t know where he is.”

She slammed the door.

Gee, that went well.

Myron headed back to his car. As he reached the door, a black BMW with tinted windows rocketed up the street and screeched to a halt in the driveway. The driver’s door opened and Leon flew out like an escaped bird.

“What the fuck you doing here?” he snapped.

“Take it easy, Leon.”

“Fuck take it easy,” he shouted. Leon ran up and stuck his face within an inch of Myron’s. “What the fuck you doing around here, huh?”

“I came by to see you.”

“Bullshit.” The spittle hit Myron’s cheeks. “We’re supposed to be at the arena in twenty minutes.” He pushed Myron in the chest. Myron stumbled back. “Why you here, huh?” Leon pushed again. “What are you sniffing after?”


“You think you’d find my wife alone?”

“It’s nothing like that.”

Leon lined himself up for another push. Myron was ready. When Leon’s hand reached him, Myron’s right forearm shot across his body, pinning Leon’s hands helplessly against Myron’s chest. Myron bent at the waist, bending Leon’s wrists back the wrong way. The pressure forced Leon to drop to one knee. Myron’s right hand slid until it met Leon’s left. He grabbed it and quickly executed an elbow lock. Leon winced.

“You calm?” Myron asked.


“That doesn’t sound like calm, Leon.” Myron applied a little pressure to the elbow. Joint locks were about controlled pain. They worked by bending joints in ways they were never intended to bend. The more the bend, the more the pain. But go too far and the joint dislocated or a bone broke. Myron was careful.

“Greg is missing again,” Myron said. “That’s why I’m on the team. I’m supposed to find him.”

Leon was still on his knees, his arm locked and upright. “So what does that have to do with me?”

“You two have had a falling out,” Myron said. “I want to know why.”

Leon looked up at him. “Let go of me, Myron.”

“If you attack me again—”

“I won’t. Just let go already.”

Myron waited another second or two, then did as Leon asked. Leon rubbed his arm and stood. Myron eyed him.

Leon said, “You’re here because you think Greg and Fiona were getting it on.”

“Were they?”

He shook his head. “Not from a lack of trying though.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s supposed to be my best friend. But he’s not. He’s just another fucking superstar who takes what he wants.”

“Including Fiona.”

“He tried. Tried like hell. But she’s not like that.”

Myron said nothing. Not his place.

“Guys are always hitting on Fiona,” he went on. “Because of the way she looks. And the whole racial thing. So when I saw you here when you figured I wouldn’t be around …” He shrugged into silence.

“Did you ever confront Greg?” Myron asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago.”

“What did you say to him?”

Leon’s eyes narrowed, suddenly wary. “What does this have to do with finding him?” he asked, suspicious now. “You trying to pin this on me?”

“Pin what on you?”

“You said he’s disappeared. You trying to pin that on me?”

“I’m just trying to find out where he is.”

“I got nothing to do with it.”

“I didn’t say you did. I just want to know what happened when you confronted him.”

“What do you think happened?” Leon countered. “The motherfucker denied it. He made this big point of swearing he’d never sleep with any married woman—especially his best friend’s wife.”

Myron sort of gulped at that one. “But you didn’t believe him.”

“He’s a superstar, Myron.”

“That doesn’t make him a liar.”

“No, but it makes him something different. Guys like Greg and Michael Jordan and Shaq and TC … they ain’t like the rest of us. They got their own thing going. Everyone else is a fucking underling to them. The whole planet is set up to cater to their whims, you know what I’m saying?”

Myron nodded. In college he had been one of those who got to breathe the rarefied air of superstardom. He thought again about the bonds superstars shared. He and Greg had not exchanged more than five words before Greg visited him in the hospital, but there had been a bond. They both knew. Superstars share that rarefied air with very few. As TC had told him, it does indeed isolate in a very bizarre, often unhealthy way.

And with that thought came something of a revelation. Myron took a step back.

He’d always thought that if Greg was in trouble, he’d go to his closest friend for help. But that wasn’t the case. If Greg had indeed stumbled across the dead body and panicked, if he had seen all his problems—the gambling debts, the threat of exposure, the divorce, the child custody case, the blackmail, the probability of being a suspect in a murder—closing in on him, who would he go to for help?

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