And the Memorial Day Weekend Mammon blow-out continues. Everything must go! Here’s Chapter 29. Need to catch up? You can download the whole shebang right here.
“Fenn?” said Hardin. He shook his head. “Over a punch in the nose?”
Corsco nodded. Hardin had told the driver to head east, pick up Lake Shore Drive, and head south. Told Corsco, he didn’t have what he came for by the time that got down to South Shore, then he was going to get the same treatment Garbanzo got.
Corsco turned his palms up. “Can any of us really know another man’s mind?”
“He tell you he was gonna toss your ass in a blender, do the whole Oprah thing?”
Corsco shook his head. “No. That he did not.”
“He’s a pussy, you know,” Hardin said. “He comes out of his coma, he’s gonna roll on you.”
“I have been assured that, with the drugs he took, even if he emerges from his coma, his mental faculties will be . . . well, will be impaired to the point where he is not a concern.”
“I’ve been told a lot of shit over the years,” Hardin said. “Sometimes it’s even right. How would you know what he took?”
Corsco just smiled. Wilson was in the front, watching the driver, but she caught Corsco’s face in the mirror. She turned, reached back across the seat, and planted the business end of her S&W firmly against Corsco’s forehead.
“Smile again, mother fucker,” she said.
Corsco dropped the smile, his face a little ashen. They drove for a while.
“Which leaves us with you and me,” Hardin says. “My usual policy is you only try to get to kill me once. You got any reason I should reconsider that?”
“Usually a wise policy,” Corsco said. “Except that perhaps you already have enough trouble. There are gentlemen in my sphere who would take exception to my murder. Gentlemen with considerable reach and long memories.”
“Uh huh,” Hardin said.
“Also, I would be in your debt.”
“What do you think, Wilson?” Hardin asked. “He look like a guy that honors his debts?”
“Looks like slimy piece of Mob shit,” said Wilson.
“She’s unimpressed with your offer,” Hardin said.
“Um, excuse me?” The driver.
“What?” asked Hardin.
“Them guys tailing us, they yours?”
“So what do you think?” Starshak handing out coffee, catching up with Lynch and Bernstein.
“Waste of time,” said Lynch. “Unless we get something better out of Lee’s backups.”
“Yeah,” Starshak said. “Although the stuff we got will be nice at trial, if we get there, cooborate things.”
“Sure,” said Lynch.
“Anyway, rattled his cage some,” said Starshak. “I’ll tell the organized crime guys, they can tighten up on him a little. Maybe he does something stupid.”
“There’s one other thing,” said Bernstein. “Got a call from Northwestern on Fenn. Starting to show some brain activity. Doc thinks he may come out of it in the next few days.”
“How many cylinders the guy gonna be running on if he does?” asked Starshak.
“No way to know,” said Bernstein.
“They still agree to keep it quiet?” Lynch asked.
Bernstein nodded. “Yeah. Still handing out the daily update to the celebrity press that’s hanging around. No change, no reason to expect any change. But you gotta figure it will leak eventually, nurse, orderly, somebody.”
“OK,” said Starshak. “I’ll make sure our security’s good. For now, we keep it under wraps.”
“And if it leaks, we watch and see what Corsco does,” said Lynch.
Husam al Din’s leg was hurting him badly. The pain killers he was able to obtain without prescription were not sufficient, and he had been walking much of the day. He stopped in a men’s room, unwrapped the bandage, and inspected the wound. The skin was not puffy, the wound was not leaking. No sign of infection. Good. Then it was just pain. He could ignore pain.
He had seen the Honda on the third day, gotten in his car quickly and drove enough over the speed limit to match the flow of traffic on the Interstate. He assumed that Hardin would not be speeding, as he would not want to risk the attention of the police. After fifteen miles, al Din could see the Honda a few cars ahead. He slowed and drifted to the right land, settling in behind a truck. Every few minutes, he would drift out, confirm that Hardin was still there, then fall back into his hide.
He had followed Hardin back in to the city. It was dark when they turned off the expressway and toward the lake, and there was heavy traffic, so al Din could take risks to stay close to them. It would be harder to identify him in the dark. They continued east until they hit Michigan Avenue. It was, al Din knew, among Chicago’s most elite areas. Al Din drifted back, the old Honda easier to track in the stream of Mercedes and Lexus and BMWs. Hardin turned up Walton street and into a parking garage. Al Din pulled down the block, found an empty space where parking clearly was prohibited, but wedged his car in there and ran back toward the garage. As he ran, he felt the wound open on his leg. The bandage should contain the blood. At least for a while.
He may not get a better chance. When they emerged from the garage, he would be only a couple feet away. Hardin would never leave the diamonds in the car, so he would have them with him. Shoot them both, take the bag, the car is only a few yards away.
Al Din waited. But they never came. Finally, the attendant in the booth near the door stepped out.
“Help you buddy?”
Al Din smiled. “My friends pulled in to park. I’m just waiting for them to come out. We’re meeting for dinner.”
“This place ties into a couple of buildings,” said the man. “They probably went out a different way.”
“Thanks,” said al Din. “I’ll call them.”
Al Din knew he was close. A few hours later, he’d walked through the garage. He found the Honda on the fourth level. So they were still in the area. The valve of the right rear tire was pointing straight down. He made a note of that. In the morning, he’d gone from hotel to hotel. He knew how to ask discretely. But he found no leads. He checked the garage again at lunch. The Honda was still there, the valve still pointed down. The car had not moved.
Eventually, they would return.