The Cadillac Diaries Episode 44

After they left Blackwell’s house, Ray and Tommy headed for CLN Music Publishing, the company that had been promoting Pena. When Ray pulled up into the parking lot, he cut the engine and leaned back against the leather seat.

“What is it, mate?” Tommy asked.

Ray thought back to the scene in the alley outside the hotel.

“That’ll have to wait,” he told himself.

“Come on, Tommy. Let’s get this over with.”

Ray slipped out of the Cadillac and held the door open while Pete hopped out.

When the three of them reached the front of the building, Ray stopped with his hand on the metal door pull and looked up at the overcast sky.

“What’s wrong?” Tommy asked.

“Just a bad feeling,” Ray answered then shook it off.

Once inside, they saw that the office lights were off except for a few in the hallway and a back room.

“Hello?” Ray called out. No answer.

He stood still and listened. The place was dead quiet. With Tommy and Pete at his heels, Ray slowly moved down the hallway leading deeper into the building.

After a few steps, he stopped, listened, and called, “Anyone?”

“Back here,” a man’s voice answered.

Ray started walking again, cautiously moving toward the sound of the voice.

“I got a bad feeling, mate,” Tommy warned.

Ray looked down at Pete. The little dog had closed his mouth and lowered his head and tail. As they drew closer to the end of the hall, the hair on Pete’s back stood up.

“Come on, boy,” Ray said, continuing down the hall.

“Where are you?” he called out.

“In the back,” the man answered.

The end of the hallway opened into a small recording studio where a young man dressed in sneakers, shredded jeans, and a wrinkled t-shirt sat on a wooden stool with a guitar resting in his lap. He played a few notes, pulled out a pencil from behind his ear then scribbled something down on a sheet of paper before he spoke.

“Hey, man. How’s it going?” the musician asked, briefly looking up.

Ray did a quick scan of the studio but saw no one else.

“I’m looking for Clarence Boyd,” Ray explained.

The young man stopped picking, looked up, and with a relaxed smile, said,

“Wow! You’re pretty good!”

Extending his hand, he said, “Clarence Boyd. And you are?”

“Raymond Slats,” Ray said.

“Cool,” Boyd said, turning his attention back to the guitar.

Tommy looked around the room and asked,

“Where is everyone?”

“Went home. Owner cleared them out,” Boyd answered.

“Then why are you still here?” Ray asked.

“I’m a songwriter, man. Music don’t stop coming just ’cause the boss man says to shut it down. Besides, working alone gives me focus,” Boyd replied.

“You know about Damien Pena?” Ray asked.

Boyd stopped playing and let out a long sigh.

“Yea, I know. He’s dead, and no, I didn’t kill him. I was working. Check the security tapes. I was here all night.”

“Why do you think I would suspect you?” Ray questioned.

“Come on, man. I was suing Pena. Now that he’s dead, the company is looking to me for more songs. I watch cop shows. That’s called motive. Anyway, I didn’t need to kill him.”

“What do you mean?” Ray asked.

“The record company came up with a way to settle the lawsuit and keep both Pena and me happy. I was going to get paid to write songs for Pena, and on top of that, they were going to give me my own recording contract. Pena’s death means money lost for me,” Boyd explained.

Ray considered Boyd’s statement for a moment then said,

“Well the good news is, somebody’s confessed to the murder,” Ray said, watching for Boyd’s reaction.

“Oh really?” Boyd responded then shrugged his shoulders.

“What?” Ray asked.

“Nothing I guess. It’s just that about a week before Pena was killed, this creepy dude kept coming around asking about him. Didn’t hold himself like anyone in this business.”

“Can you give me a description?” Ray asked.

“Sure,” Boyd said.

As he described the strange man, Ray took notes and interrupted a few times to ask for details.

“Would you mind talking to the police about this guy?” Ray asked.

“Sure, man. Anything to help,” Boyd offered.

“Great. Stay put. I’m going to run get something from my car. Tommy, call Richard. Be right back,” Ray said.

Tommy nodded and stepped out in the hall to make the call while Ray hurried out to the Cadillac with Pete at his heels.

 

 

*          *            *

 

With Ray outside and Tommy walking up and down the hall as he talked to Richard, Clarence Boyd once again turned his full attention to his guitar and the new song he had been working on. Something told him this was the one that would make him famous.

Suddenly, a man’s voice behind Boyd said, “I wish you hadn’t done that.”

Startled, Boyd jumped and spun around to see a thin man standing behind him, a little too close.

“Dude, you can’t sneak up like that. Not in an empty building,” Boyd said, trying to recover.

“I really wish you hadn’t told them,” the man said.

“What?” Boyd exclaimed.

“The guy hanging around. Should of kept quiet about that.”

“What’d I do wrong?” Boyd asked confused.

“Could I see your guitar for a moment,” the man politely asked.

Without a word, Boyd slowly placed the instrument into the waiting hands of the thin man.

“Thanks,” the man said as he grabbed the guitar by its neck. With his free hand, he pulled a silenced pistol from the folds of his coat and shot Boyd three times in the chest.

“Didn’t want to get any blood on this fine instrument,” the man smirked.

Slipping the gun back into his coat, the man turned and began whistling as he walked out the back door.

 

*          *            *

At the Cadillac, Ray reached into the glove compartment, grabbed his digital recorder, and headed back inside. Tommy was just hanging up when Ray and Pete entered the building.

“They’re on their way, Ray, and I’ve been given my instructions. I’m supposed to see that you don’t leave.”

Heading back to the studio and Clarence Boyd, Ray and Tommy were about halfway down the hall when Pete began to growl. Ray stopped and looked down at Pete. Suddenly, he knew.

“No!” Ray exclaimed as he ran down the hall.

When they reached the studio, they found Boyd on the floor with three bullet holes in his chest.

Ray bent down and felt his pulse, “He’s gone.”

“Safe to say he didn’t kill Pena,” Tommy concluded.

“Whoever did this can’t have gotten too far. C’mon!” Ray ordered.

He hurried to the back of the recording studio and jerked the door open just in time to see a thin man slipping out a back exit.

“Hey!” Ray snapped.

Without turning, the man lifted a small remote and pressed one of its buttons. Explosions tore through the hallway, stunning Ray and throwing him backwards. When he came to, his ears were ringing and the building was on fire. Nearby, Tommy lay unconscious, a bleeding wound on his head.

“Pete!” Ray screamed.

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Published in: on December 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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