The Cadillac Diaries Episode 43

As Ray and Tommy listened, John Blackwell told them his daughter’s history with Damien Pena. Madelyn had entered a contest at work and won two tickets to the opening of a club called The Spotlight. Word was, the club promised to be a real hot spot in town, so Madelyn invited her best friend to go with her. Madelyn later told her dad that Pena had been eying the two of them all night and that they both really wanted to meet him. But when her friend got sick from some bad seafood and had to leave, she insisted that Madelyn stay.

“Madelyn knew she should have left with her friend, but she was, as she said, ‘dying to meet Pena.’ Well she met him all right, and for a while, she went to the club just about every night. Then when she found out she was pregnant, she told him and he had her barred from the club. She kept trying to contact him until a week later when she was slapped with a restraining order,” Blackwell said, a scowl on his face.

“Did she stay away after that?” Ray asked

“Except to tell him he had a daughter,” Blackwell answered.

Ray thought for a moment then said,

“I hate to ask this, but does your daughter have an alibi for the night Pena was murdered?”

Ray saw Blackwell’s face grow dark.

“Sorry. I have to ask. I don’t think you or your daughter are responsible, but you need to know that the police will ask the same questions.”

“And getting angry makes you look guilty, mate,” Tommy added.

Blackwell paused to consider Tommy’s comment then slowly settled down.

“Yes. My daughter has an alibi. . .me!”
Ray sighed, “Mr. Blackwell, you can’t give your daughter an alibi if you don’t know—”

“No,” Blackwell said, cutting him off. “I’m not covering for her. She was called in to work suddenly and didn’t have time to spin by here after class like she always does. She wanted to see the baby, so I headed over to the diner and kept her company. Her boss and I got into a disagreement about the best lure for fly fishing, so he’ll remember my being there. He’ll testify that both Madelyn and I were at the diner most of her shift.”

“Thanks. I’m sorry to have bothered you,” Ray apologized.

As Ray and Tommy stood up to leave, Blackwell nodded his understanding.

Blackwell walked them to the door and when they stepped out onto the porch, they heard sirens in the distance.

“We should go, Ray,” Tommy warned.

“Is something wrong?” Blackwell asked.

“Nothing serious. My son-in-law is a police detective. Probably going to arrest me,” Ray said over his shoulder as he hurried to the Cadillac.

He started up the Cadillac and quickly pulled out, turning the corner just as a patrol car came down the street toward Blackwell’s house. As they drove safely away, Tommy melted into his seat.

“That was closer than I care for, Ray.”

Pete hopped up from the backseat and barked.

“Some lookout you are,” Tommy grumbled.

“Where to now?” Ray asked.

Tommy dug into his pocket and pulled out a crumbled piece of paper. After consulting it, he said,

“Clarence Boyd, a song writer who’s suing Pena. Claims Pena stole his songs, changed them up a little, then released them as his own.”

“So we have an angry songwriter and a pending lawsuit,” Ray said.

“Not much of a lawsuit. Wasn’t going well for Boyd,” Tommy said.

“Oh really. Not enough proof?” Ray asked.

“Nope. Boyd’s a security guard at the record company carrying Pena’s music. He can’t afford a decent attorney,” Tommy said.

“Well we should go introduce ourselves,” Ray suggested.

“Speaking of introducing ourselves, back at Blackwell’s, you said my name was Tommy Howell. Who the heck is Howell?”

 

 

*          *            *

Rosalie Cruz lay back against the pillow in the hospital bed, a look of worry on her face. Pena’s stabbing at The Spotlight club had sent her into premature labor. At the hospital, they had collected her medical history, checked her vitals, and slapped a monitor on her stomach. The doctor was able to stop her labor but had kept her in the hospital. His soothing voice and reassuring words had done little to calm Rosalie. Now she waited for whatever came next. The nurse smiled as she scribbled something on her clipboard.

“It shouldn’t be much longer. You’re not quite dilated enough. I’ll check back in a bit,” she said as she slipped from the room, closing the door behind her.

Rosalie breathed a sigh of relief.

After the club was blown up, the police had moved her to a secure wing of the hospital in case whoever was responsible came looking for her. She turned her head and stared out the window at the west parking lot. Not much of a view.

“We have a problem,” a man suddenly said.

Rosalie raised her head from the pillow and turned to see whom the voice belonged to.

Just inside the room, a man stood by the door, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. She didn’t know his name but knew she had seen him before. He worked for the owner of The Spotlight, the boss. Rosalie tried to remind herself that he protected his boss’s interest and as long as she was part of that, she must not think about how cold and terrifying he was.

“Pena. I know. I told him he was attracting too much attention. I did everything I could, but he wouldn’t listen. He loved the spotlight too much.”

“Raymond Slats is looking into the murder of Pena.”

Rosalie panicked.

“Why would he do that? My husband has already confessed to the murder. He wouldn’t hire a detective.”

“Slats isn’t a professional detective. Someone brought this case to his attention,” the man explained.

“I assure you David would never get a detective involved,” Rosalie repeated. “If he didn’t, then who. . .”

Rosalie trailed off when the answer suddenly occurred to her.

“Who?” the man asked, moving off the wall.

Rosalie knew that if this man ‘The King’s Horseman,’ as Damien used to call him, found out that Sabella was the one, her life would be in danger.

“Who?” he pressed.

Rosalie thought quickly then finally said,

“I think I know who got the detective involved, but they’re innocent. Let me talk to Mr. Slats. I’ll take care of it.”

The man seemed to consider her proposal and finally said,

“Deal with this and quickly. King isn’t pleased with the direction this thing has taken. Clean it up.”

“I will, I will,” Rosalie said, squirming under his glare.

“When I come back to check on you, have this fixed.”

“I will,” Rosalie promised.

When King’s man left the room, closing the door behind him, Rosalie slowly exhaled.

“Damien, if I could kill you for this, I would.”

Rosalie and Pena hadn’t worked long for King, but she had known it was a bad idea from the start. She’d heard a story about what happened to one man who crossed King. He was forced to listen while his family was being murdered, and then King’s men killed him.

She let her head fall back against the pillow and closed her eyes. She was so tired from this fear that never seemed to end.

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Published in: on November 30, 2013 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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