Old Towne Albuquerque was a historic hidden jewel in the desert, an architectural relic from the old west with its small adobe buildings, cobblestone passageways and folklorico dancers.
It was a Mecca for tourists in the know; never too busy, or too crowded. It seemed to bustle with just enough energy to keep the outdoor ambiance as colorful as the costumes that the dancers wore, and the tourists coming back and wanting more.
Bill Baxter’s favorite spot was the Main Plaza, with its striking gazebo. He had chosen to use it as a backdrop for his press conference. He had second thoughts about whether his choice of location would turn out to be awkward for him. Old Towne Albuquerque was where he got his start as an attorney.
There were certain parts of his past that remained in Old Towne, and he wanted to keep it that way. He had envisioned that coming back to the place where it all began, trekking back full circle as it were, would be a dramatic way to kick off his new beginning. He had certainly outgrown the area, but coming back had only evoked memories he fought to suppress. The vibes he was getting shook his tender memories, and made him feel as if the past was reaching through the currents of time to reacquaint him with it. In a moment of weakness he started to wish that Liz had come with him. There was no better person for him to lean on during stressful times. She had a way of keeping him grounded in the present. Then he recalled the phone call she had that morning, when similar vibes had surfaced.
“I’ll be right with you in a few minutes after I park the car.
Good luck sir,” Charles said.
"Don’t rush and thank you," Bill said.
As he exited the vehicle Bill donned a pair of sunglasses. He wore khaki slacks, and a light blue dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up a couple of inches above his wrists. He surveyed the curious crowd, such as it was. The mere presence of the news crew from the University, and the local public television network with a few reporters mixed in would help generate more interest. Any publicity is good publicity, he thought. He just hoped that maxim turned out to be true. To aid the process, he had called in some markers, and executed a few under the table exchanges to ensure the coverage he wanted for this event. A good sound bite or two for replay on the evening news would allow him to mark the event as a win in his book.
Bill Baxter walked around the grandstand searching through the small crowd. There were a few pedestrians mingling about on the edges along with shoppers, sight seekers, and locals milling about, but he soon found the man that he was looking for. He maneuvered so as to make eye contact, and waited as Quane approached.
“This is your big day boss. You’ve come a long way.”
Bill smiled, and the two men separated themselves from the crowd.
“It’s time to take care of BP," Bill said. "Charles just paid him a visit, and BP’s been talking I'm sure of it. It's time to shut him up for good.”
Quane grinned and nodded at folks passing by as he listened.
“It’s done boss. Just leave it to me.”
“One more thing,” Bill said before he popped another antacid into his mouth. He took off his sunglasses, and looked directly into Quane's eyes. “Put a tail on my wife tomorrow morning first thing. She’s going to meet someone, and I have a feeling it’s Elton. Take care of him too, but don’t be sloppy about it.”
The two men separated, without another word being said, and Bill's confidence returned. If Liz helped to keep him grounded, Quane who was both a link and a barrier to his past, was the alter ego that kept him moving forward. If there was a competition for patron saint of the dark side, Quane would win it. Though they had gone their separate ways since their days together in Old Towne, they still maintained a close relationship, and only got together on special occasions, or out of necessity. How convenient that both reasons would occur on this day.
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