The Final Detail Page 93

killed Clu?"

"Afraid not."

"Are you still following me, FJ?"

"No."

"Last night. You didn't have a man on me?"

"No. And truth be told, I didn't have a man on you when you came in here yesterday."

"The guy I spotted outside my office wasn't yours?"

"Sony, no."

Myron was missing something here.

FJ leaned forward again. His smile was so creepy that his teeth seemed to wiggle. "How far are you willing to go to save Esperanza?" he whispered.

"You know how far."

"The ends of the earth?"

"What are you getting at, FJ?"

"You're right, of course. I did learn about Esperanza and Bonnie. And I saw an opening. So I called Clu at the apartment in Fort Lee. But he wasn't there. I left a rather intriguing message on his machine. Something to the effect of? know who your wife is sleeping with.' He called me back on my private line within the hour."

"When was this?"

"What... three days before his death?"

"What did he say?"

"His reaction was the obvious. But the what is not nearly as important as the where."

"The where?"

"I have caller ID on my private line." FJ sat back. "Clu was out of town when he returned my call."

"Where?"

FJ took his time. He picked up the coffee, took a long sip, made an aaah noise as if he were filming a 7-Up commercial, put the cup back down. He looked at Myron. Then he shook his head. "Not so fast."

Myron waited.

"My specialty, as you've now seen, is gathering information. Information is power. It's currency. It's cash. I just don't give away cash."

"How much, FJ?"

"Not money, Myron. I don't want your money. I could buy you ten times over; we both know that."

"So what do you want?"

He took another long sip. Myron wanted so very much to reach across the table and throttle him. "Sure you don't want anything to drink?"

"Cut the crap, FJ."

"Temper, temper."

Myron made two fists and hid them under the table. He willed himself to stay calm. "What do you want, FJ?"

"You are familiar, are you not, with Dean Pashaian and Larry Vitale."

"They're two of my clients."

"Correction. They are seriously considering leaving MB Sports-Reps and joining TruPro. They are on the fence as we speak. So here is my deal. You stop pursuing them. You don't call them and hand them crap about TruPro being run by gangsters. You promise to do that"- he showed Myron the piece of paper he'd been writing on in the corner-"I give you the number Clu called from."

"Your agency will destroy their careers. It always does."

FJ smiled again. "I can guarantee you, Myron, that no one on my staff will have a lesbian affair with their wives."

"No deal."

"Good-bye then." FJ stood.

"Wait."

"Your promise or I walk."

"Let's talk about this," Myron said. "We can come up with something."

"Good-bye."

FJ started for the door.

"Okay," Myron said.

FJ put a hand to his ear. "I missed that."

Selling out two clients. What would he stoop to next, running political campaigns? "You have a deal. I won't talk to them."

FJ spread his hands. "You really are a master negotiator, Myron. I'm in awe of your skills."

"Where did he call from, FJ?"

"Here's the phone number." He handed Myron the piece of paper. Myron read it and sprinted back to the car.
Chapter 32
Myron was on the cell phone before he reached Win. He pressed in the number and heard three rings.

"Hamlet Motel," a man said.

"Where are you located?"

"In Wilston. On Route Nine off Ninety-one."

Myron thanked the man and hung up. Win looked at him. Myron dialed Bonnie's number. Bonnie's mother answered. Myron identified himself and asked to speak with Bonnie.

"She was very upset after you left yesterday," Bonnie's mother said.

"I'm sorry about that."

"Why do you want to talk to her?"

"Please. It's very important."

"She's in mourning. You realize that. Their marriage may have been in trouble-"

"I understand that, Mrs. Cohen. Please let me speak to her."

A deep sigh, but two minutes later Bonnie came on. "What is it, Myron?"

"What does the Hamlet Motel in Wilston, Massachusetts, mean to you?"

Myron thought he heard a short intake of air. "Nothing/ "

"You and Clu lived there, didn't you?"

"Not at the motel."

"I mean, in Wilston. When Clu was playing for the Bisons in the minor leagues."

"You know we did."

"And Billy Lee Palms. He lived there too. At the same time."

"Not Wilston. I think he was in Deerfield. It's the neighboring town."

"So what was Clu doing staying at the Hamlet Motel three days before he died?"

Silence.

"Bonnie?"

"I don't have the slightest idea."

"Think. Why would Clu need to go up there?"

"I don't know. Maybe he was visiting an

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