The Cadillac Diaries Episode 40

Dazed from the explosion, Ray slowly tried to sit up. Pete’s warm, wet tongue furiously bathed his master’s face.

“I’m okay, boy,” Ray said patting Pete’s head and gently pushing him back a bit.

“You all right, mate?” Tommy said, tossing Ray a neatly folded handkerchief. “Give your face a wipe. It’s covered in black smoke.”

Ray looked back at the burning nightclub and coughed into the handkerchief.

“You know, Tommy, I’m beginning to think that somebody doesn’t want this crime solved.”

“Right. And with your other cases, everyone wanted to help out,” Tommy added with a smirk.

“Well they were never this aggressive about it,” Ray said.

“Ray, the last three tried to kill you,” Tommy reminded him.

Ray grumbled as he ran the handkerchief over his sooty face.

“Maybe you should let this one go, mate,” Tommy suggested.

“What about David Delgado, Sabella’s father?” Ray asked.

“I’ll find him a good attorney,” Tommy offered.

“That’ won’t work. He’ll plead guilty. He’s protecting someone,” Ray said.

“Who?” Tommy asked.

“First guess would be his wife, but that doesn’t add up. Why would she kill Pena he was her main attraction?” Ray asked.

“Maybe he was leaving her for a better club,” Tommy said.

“Not likely. From what I understand, he was co-owner of the club. The headliner leaving would definitely cut into the profits. Be a dumb move. The club was his land of glory,” Ray said.

“Well then who did him in?” Tommy asked.

“Don’t know yet, but I’ll get there,” Ray answered.

In the distance, they heard approaching sirens.

“I’m going to be busy for a little bit, Tommy,” Ray sighed. “You’d better split before they get here. See what you can find out. Somebody had a grudge against Damien Pena. This feels like a spurned lover.”

“No worries,” Tommy said.

Ray watched as Tommy grabbed Sabella and hurried off down the street then lay back and rested his head on the concrete just as two police cars pulled up. The officers jumped out of the squad cars, drew their weapons, and cautiously approached Ray.

“Show me your hands!” one ordered.

Ray shook his head exasperated.

“Now!” the officer barked.

Still lying on his back, Ray raised both hands into the air.

Just then a third car pulled up, and as its door opened, Ray heard Richard Clay bark,

“Relax. He’s with us.”

“Daddy!” Deborah screamed, running over to Ray.

Still on his back with hands in the air, Ray gave Deborah a thumbs up.

“Are you okay?” Richard asked as he approached.

“Never better,” Ray answered.

A fire truck and ambulance positioned themselves at the scene and went right to work. While the firefighters hosed the building, the EMT rushed over to Ray and knelt down beside him.

Ray pointed a finger at the EMT and warned,

“Not now, Ponch. I’m not in the mood. Touch me and you die.”

“Daddy!” Deborah snapped.

She helped Ray sit up and made him stay still while the EMT checked for injuries.

After the EMT gave Ray the okay, Richard extended his hand to help him up.

“What happened?” Richard asked.

Ray motioned toward the burning club and answered, “It exploded. You don’t see that?”

Richard rolled his eyes in exasperation.

“Obviously. But what lead up to it exploding?”

Ray nodded his understanding and said,

“Well, I’d guess something explosive was ignited.”

Richard let his head drop.

“Probably by a spark or flame of some kind,” Ray added.

“Stop it, Daddy!” Deborah snapped.

“Fine,” Ray grumbled.

He recounted the events just before the club’s detonation.

“You didn’t see who did it?” Richard asked.

“Nope,” Ray responded.

“Can you tell me anything?” Richard asked.

“Yes,” Ray said, thinking. “He was male and he had fire.”

“Oh Daddy,” Deborah groaned.

“Well what do you expect? I was just blown up,” Ray grumbled.

“Ray,” Richard said, “I’ve got a solid reason to believe that David Delgado didn’t kill Pena. Based on initial autopsy reports, whoever killed Pena was six feet tall. Delgado couldn’t have murdered him. We should be able to get the DA to drop the charges.”

“Won’t do much good,” Ray said.

“What do you mean?” Deborah asked.

“I talked to Delgado,” Ray said. “He insists he’s guilty.”

“You think his wife did it?” Richard asked.

“No I don’t. Doesn’t make sense. She didn’t have any reason to kill Pena. He was her headliner,” Ray added.

“Maybe she wanted to get rid of him for someone better,” Deborah suggested.

“Possibly,” Ray said, turning to look at the smoldering ruins.

“Even if she did do it, someone else is committed to this case,” Ray said. “Somebody takes shots at me outside the police station and now the club blows up almost taking me with it.”

“About that. I’m requesting you stay off this case and go into protective custody,” Richard said sternly.

“But—” Ray began.

“No argument. I won’t have you getting yourself shot and blown to pieces because you can’t let this go,” Richard ordered.

Ray paused for a long moment then looking at Richard said,

“Fine.”

“Good. That’s settled,” Richard said. “Keep an eye on him, Deborah, while I check with the fire chief.”

“Okay,” Deborah nodded.

“You told him to do that,” Ray snarled.

“I’m only following Mom’s orders,” Deborah said. “She told me to keep you safe.”

Angrily, Ray reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rubber ball. Pete’s eyes lit up at the sight of it, and his tongue lolled out. He began barking and jumping in excited anticipation of the game.

Ray tossed the ball up and Pete jumped, biting at it. The ball flew free from his mouth and bounced across the street.

“Oh Pete,” Ray grumbled.

“I’ll get it,” Deborah offered and hurried across the street to retrieve the rubber ball. Before she had gone twenty feet, she suddenly stopped, realization hitting her.

“Oh no,” she moaned as she turned around to confirm her suspicion.

Ray, Pete, and the Cadillac were gone.

When she returned to the club’s parking lot, Richard came over to her and asked,

“Where’s Ray?”

Deborah shook her head in disbelief.

“I’ve known that man all my life and he still manages to trick me,” she said.

“Where’d he go?” Richard asked.

Deborah shrugged her shoulders.

“You know he won’t let this go now that they’ve shot at him and almost blown him up. To Daddy, they’re just egging him on.”

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Published in: on July 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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