Do old mobsters EVER retire?
It was almost nine. I drove to the place I was supposed to go. (Don’t ask—I can’t tell you.) It was a little place behind a little place in a not-so-well-lit area. The guys at the chop shop stared as I emerged from the car. They had the good sense not to catcall.
Tony (my second cousin Tony—meaning I have more than one) nodded at me.
“Gina. How’s things?” He was wiping his greasy hands on an even greasier towel.
“Same ole, same ole,” I said. Except for the dead body in my trunk. “You?”
“Good. The twins are growing. You should come ’round.” Tony looks like a Tony. And his wife, Maria, is equally front-page Italian.
He nodded to the trunk. “The Wanker dude?”
I gestured with both arms. “Not my body. I had nothing to do with it.”
“Strange they dumped it there at the restaurant. But no worries. I’ll get it to the retirement home.”
“The retirement home? Too late for that,” I quipped. “You mean the funeral home.”
Tony stiffened. He tilted his head. “Sure, whatever.”
He looked like he was about to say more, then stopped.
Maybe “retirement home” was new slang for “funeral home”? Like you sort of retired from life there?
“No probs. I’ll call you when the car’s ready,” he said finally.
I wanted to get out of there, but it was really dark. And I had no wheels. And I didn’t want to be seen at this place, so that meant no taxi.
I called my fiancé Pete’s cell phone. “Hey, can you come pick me up?”
“Where’s your car?” Pete asked.
“What?” Pete’s voice always does something to me. I might have been a bit distracted.
“Where is your car?” Pete repeated precisely.
“Oh.” I thought fast. “It needed a little work, so I took it in to the mechanic.”
“Does this have anything to do with the take-out on James?”
I shrieked a bit. Or, at least, that’s what Tony said it sounded like.
“What do you know about a murder on James?” I hissed into the phone.
“I work for a newspaper, remember? I hear everything.”
“Well, un-hear it. And get the others to un-hear it too.” Jeesh. All I needed was reporters following me around, and cops following them.
I gave Pete the address.
“I’m still at work. Pick you up in twenty.”
Before I could put my cell back in my purse, it started singing “Shut Up and Drive.”
“Wally the Wanker got whacked?” It was Sammy the String Bean, Vince’s underboss.
I hesitated. “Looks like two plugs from a .38. You mean you didn’t do it?” I wasn’t going to say we. There is no we in my vocabulary when it comes to murder.
“No way, Sugar. This is interesting. Gotta go talk to Vince.” He hung up.