Kowalski stood in the foyer with his arms spread open – cheap suit, filthy raincoat and limp fedora clashing with the shiny white tiles and glittering brass fixtures – a big grin on his fat ugly face.
“Listen Devine, I just want you to know that whatever happens, I got your back see?”
“Yeah right, we’ll be as thin as thieves hiding out and stewing after a bank robbery.”
His smile collapsed into a pout as he let his arms fall back to his sides. “Aw come on Devine, what’s done is done. You know how it was back then right? I had to look after myself just the same as everybody else did. Anyway, I wasn’t charged with anything.”
“Damned right you weren’t; you ran out before Internal Affairs could get you.”
“Oh yeah? How’s that pension working out for you?”
Kowalski grimaced. “Whatever. What gives you the right to be so high and mighty anyway? You’re just the same as me; we’re both doing the same work for the same people. Hell, I even seen you drinking in some of the same holes.”
“Let’s just get this over with. What have you got on Fredrickson?”
“What, you think I’m into astral projection?”
“Not Mrs Fredrickson, Kowalski, you know who I mean – Peter Fredrickson!”
“Oh sure, I heard about him. Hits the bottle pretty hard just like you, liked spending his Aunt’s money in casinos until his Aunt cut him off. Now he’s a no good bum, just like you and he hangs around in the worst dives in town drinking himself into the gutter, just like you.”
I felt the blood rush to my face as I gritted my teeth to hold back the snarl I knew was coming. “Fine Kowalski. You know which dive he’s in now?”
Kowalski smiled, took half of a thick cigar from his raincoat pocket and put it between his teeth. “Sure Devine. Peter’s at your favourite place, the place where I said you’d end up, the place where you’d eat your last meal on Earth before you passed out for good. He’s at Clancy’s.”
Clancy’s. I used to sit there at my table in the corner every Friday night, darkness pooling at my feet while tobacco smoke swirled through the air like morning fog, listening as the saxophone slathered the room all over with honey.
Listening to Eva sing.
If Peter was there now then Eva already had a hold of him, and that didn’t bode well for the pockets of his Auntie’s lawyers if Peter was her sole beneficiary.
Or for Peter if Eva seduced him, the way she’d seduced me.