Friday, December 14, 2007

Jayne & the Satanists --Chapter 9

Bed was forgotten. I spent the next couple of hours pacing. Who had been in my apartment? I checked my hidey-holes and none of my secrets had been disturbed. Sombody just wanted to throw a sweat on me. It was an action that implied contempt, saying, “Look here, we’ve been in your place. We don’t think you are significant enough to bash around, but look here, we messed up this other guy pretty good, keep your nose clean or it could happen to you.”

What was my connection to Boyer? News competitor, big deal. Competitor for Jayne, that could inspire something like this. Maybe some other guy in the equation. Mickey? That was a strong possibility. How about my mentioning of Boyer to Scream regarding the investigation of baby murders? That one held potential as well.

I checked the lock on my door and put the derringer on my bedside table before I finally followed Lex to my bed. He sniffed the sheets and gave me an inquiring meow. I told him I didn’t know.

I stripped the bed and put on fresh sheets and pillow slips. Then I lay down and he slipped into the crook of my arm and began that wonderful throaty purr. I listened to its rise and fall and appreciated it as if it were the song of angels.

* * *

Kennedy was on the blower. “I can’t start my day without thinking about you, Holcomb. Pay us a visit down here at the station on your way into work, will you?”

I was too dopey to argue. Confused, I wondered about telling him about Boyer’s licence, but decided it could wait.

I opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed my toothbrush. Something fell into the sink. It was a bloody tooth. I could guess from whom. I hadn’t brushed my teeth last night. I threw the brush into the trash. I folded some notepaper around the tooth and put it in my jacket.

I hadn’t had enough sleep and the tooth made me more apprehensive than my previous discovery. If somebody could easily access my apartment, I had no security. Fortunately, I didn’t have any real valuables, but I worried for Lex’s safety. Hell, how did I become a mother?

I got a heavy ceramic dish and put some Dinty Moore in it and took it out to my car and put it in the trunk. Then I took the tire iron and held it in the passenger side rear corner of the trunk and slammed it as hard as I could. The trunk lid buckled slightly when it closed: air hole. Then I got in the back seat and pulled up the backing section of the seat until there was a nice gap about four inches high where the backing had formerly met the benchseat. The backing was held in place by the pressure from the sides and it would be secure unless I hit a hell of a bump. It would do until I could figure out something better.

Then I went back inside the apartment and got myself ready for the day. I explained the back-seat system to Lex, who looked back intelligently. Then, I took him in my arms, locked my door and went to the car. I put him in the back seat and he immediately smelled the food and popped through into the trunk. A nice little refuge for him that would be cooler than the passenger area of the car. I would check on him if I was gone more than an hour or so.

On the way to work, I stopped and got a block of ice in a plastic bag and put it in the trunk. It would keep things cooler and he could lick the condensation for water. If things got real bad, I felt assured that he could claw through the plastic to get water. The trunk had carpet on its floor and it might mildew, but I would have to worry about that later.

On the drive to the police station, Lex amused himself by going in and out of his new hideaway.

* * *

“Eric Boyer told us you don’t like him,” said Kennedy. I sat across his desk from him.

“He’s a hack and a leech. He gets all his ideas from me and most of his facts, too. He holds down a job by rewriting my stories.”

“I thought there might be something more to it, like a woman.”

“I’m single. I don’t know about Boyer.”

“You don’t know about ‘T-Bone’ Boyer?”

T-Bone was a nickname reserved for those who were particularly well endowed. My stomach rolled as I thought of Jayne comparing notes. “Quite a swordsman is he?” I said, as uninterestedly as possible.

“Yeah, seems Miss Jayne Mansfield enjoys his kielbasa injections quite often.”


“Rumor has it that you’ve plowed that turf on occasion, as well.”

“Comes with the job, I guess. But if you think jealousy over some doxie, who’s married anyhow, would inspire me to stomp the hell out of some guy, you’re way off. As a matter of fact, I was visited by whoever did Boyer.” I pulled out the licence and the tooth and dropped them on his desk. Told him where I’d found them. “Seems like whoever stomped Boyer had some idea we were connected somehow, too. I don’t think you should suspect me. What you should be doing is offering me protection.”

Kennedy was nonplussed by the keepsakes. “Boyer told us he thinks you had something to do with it.”

“Well, apparently I do, but I’m not the instigator. I’m as mystified as you are.”

“What about Hargitay?”

“Possible, but I think he and Jayne have an understanding. I think it turns him on. I’ve seen her leave with guys right in front of him. I’m casting a wider net in my suspicions. Jayne swaps spit with other guys than us. Maybe it’s someone else who dislikes both Boyer and me and figured beating up one of us would be enough of a warning for the other. I’d be interested if any of her other gentlemen friends got any little Boyer mementos stuffed under their pillows.”

“Not that I’ve heard about, though a couple more of his teeth are missing.”

“That might be worth following up. What did Boyer say about his assailants?”

“He was sapped from behind while entering his apartment. Doesn’t have much of a recollection, least not that he’s telling us. Big guys, a couple of them. Claims he heard your name mentioned. That’s all he’s saying. I get the feel that he’s hiding something more. But, he’s definitely pissed at you.” Kennedy fiddled with his coffee cup. “I don’t figure you for a bruiser, so you’re free to go, but keep in touch if you hear anything.”

“What about Bianca Hughes?”

“Some of my men are on the case. Stay out of their way.”

“I have to follow the story for the paper.”

“Then you’ll probably run into my guys. Don’t impede their investigation and let us know if you turn up anything relevant.”

I nodded and headed out the door.


I turned and looked at him. I could see the curiosity in his eyes, the embarrassment that he had to ask. “Is it good?”

“She’s unbelievable, Pat.”

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