“Chivas Regal it is.” The liveried waiter approached and Fatman handed over his glass. After they were alone, the PI gave the room a quick scan. He appeared pleased they had the place to themselves. “The woman you wanted me to check out? Birdie Kaminsky wasn’t easy to track. In cyberspace, she’s a ghost. But I got lucky.”
“Then you found something?” At minimum, Hugh wanted basic information.
He’d nearly convinced himself it was right to dig. They were still sharing the apartment, albeit in an increasingly tense standoff.
“I might have come up empty if I hadn’t checked with a colleague. Remember DeWayne Simpson?”
Hugh recalled the rude Jamaican from an interview with gang bangers he’d conducted nearly a decade ago. “Isn’t he doing five-to-ten for armed robbery?”
“He’s out. And you won’t believe this. DeWayne works at a Big Brother outfit in Toledo. Remember his dreadlocks? Gone, man. He got religion in the joint. I nearly shit when I met up with him.”
Trying to visualize the sullen Jamaican as pious was impossible. Thanking the waiter, who’d returned with their drinks, Hugh asked, “Has DeWayne met Birdie?”
“Not Birdie—her mother.”
“I didn’t know she had a mother.” A chat about their respective families never came up. Most of the time, they merely traded insults.
“Everyone has a mother, even a cynical bastard like yourself.” Fatman took a sip of his drink. “Turns out Wish Kaminsky is a real player, the type who’ll clean you out then skin you alive for fun.”
“Sounds like a real charmer. I’m beginning to feel sorry for Birdie.”
“You should. Wish doesn’t have a soul. And she rarely uses her legal name. The FBI’s recently put her up on their radar.”
“Is Birdie also wanted by the Feds?” God, he hoped not. For her sake, and his. If he was falling for a felon—
No. Birdie was simply a beautiful woman. He was a red-blooded male, which meant he was hardwired with the need to bed her. So his programming was infected with a bad case of lust. Emotionally, he was the Sahara Desert.
Until Fatman said, “Personally, I hope the Feds bag Wish. Any woman who’ll use her kid in scams deserves more than a visitor’s pass to Purgatory.”
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