Anna shook her head. “We haven’t got around to it. Busy and all,” she replied. “Is BG around?”
Arnie looked at his watch and waved them to the recreation area. “Go see for yourself, he’s probably kicking ass in the gym now.”
BG was having a short break, towelling off and sipping spring water when Jake and Anna arrived. He glanced up and took a deep breath. “I’m not in the mood for socializing, none,” he said. “My focus is on Saturday’s game.”
Jake was about to say something, but Anna cut in. “BG, it’s really important. It’s about Emmy, she’s dead. Please give us five minutes. That’s all we ask.”
BG looked shocked. “Emmy dead?”
“Yeah, and it weren’t Sammy that killed her,” interrupted Jake. “He’s dead too.”
BG gave Jake a ‘you gotta be kidding me look’ but Jake was staying serious. BG glanced around. “Okay, it’s quieter upstairs. Let’s talk on the balcony.”
They all moved upstairs and huddled together around a small table at the far end. Jake nodded to Anna, and she brought BG up to date.
“First, we know Emmy set up a meeting with you at Wal-Mart. Second, we know you gave her quarter million bucks for the laptop and flash drive. Third, we know Sammy was on her case, too. But when Jake called at her apartment, both her and Sammy were dead.” She paused to let it sink in and waited.
From the look on his face, BG was clearly surprised. “How you know all this?”
Anna and Jake had discussed their cover story. No way were they going to tell BG they had his money. “Emmy told us you had threatened her with Sammy. But we got there too late. She was dead and the money was gone.”
BG shook his head, as if he couldn’t quite believe it. “I don’t understand.”
“Nor us. BG it’s important. Tell us what arrangements you made with Sammy.”
BG hesitated and scratched the stubble on his chin. “I just told Sammy where I was meeting Emmy, in case she never came up with the goods,” he replied. “I haven’t heard from him since. That’s the God’s own truth.”
“BG -- Sammy’s a mobster,” said Jake. “He isn’t doing it for nothing. How much you give him?” He saw BG hesitate, as if to deny everything, “BG it stays between us three. All we want is to find out who killed Emmy.”
BG looked deflated. Held his hands up, surrendering. “Okay, I gave him quarter of a million to get Emmy off my back. But I never told him to kill her. Just run her out of town.” Eyes to the right. Untrue.
Jake composed himself. Another quarter million. Did Mason have that? “Well that backfired, didn’t it?” he said, becoming angry at the lying asshole just throwing his money around to save his neck. “What the hell were you thinking about?”
BG sighed. “Listen real good, you two. Like it or not, I’m big business. I’ve got a multi- million sponsorship deal in the can, and another on the table. Providing I keep clean, that is. I can’t afford a scandal, especially having my indiscretions published on the net. You with me?”
“BG, two women and a mobster dead and you call it ‘indiscretions’. I think you need to take a long hard look at yourself,” said Jake.
BG held up a hand. “I wish I never set eyes on Emmy, that’s a fact. Now, you guys finished with beating me up over it, or is there something else?”
“You still got the gun?” asked Anna.
BG blinked. “Why do you ask?”
“We need protection, just in case.”
“So you can blackmail me, you mean. Isn’t that right?”
“No it isn’t right,” said Jake. “We’re not interested in you or your indiscretions. That’s something you have to live with. We’re going to track down Emmy’s killer and hand him over to the police.”
BG looked puzzled. “How you going to do that?” he asked. The big question.
Well it was crunch time. Jake nodded to Anna. “You want to tell BG?”
Anna looked around the balcony. Still empty. “BG, let’s just say Emmy let slip a name. She thought someone was following her and told us to be careful. Looked like Coach Mason, she said.”
BG didn’t dismiss it. “Interesting,” he said. “Coach Mason, huh?”
“Do you know where he is?” asked Anna.
“Yeah well, you picked the wrong man. He left a message to tell us he had family business up Canada way. Would miss the game. Must be important, he never missed a game the last six years.”
Anna exchanged glances with Jake. “BG, whether or not we’re right or wrong, we still need protection. You got the gun or not?”
“No,” said BG. “I trashed it in a dump truck.” Eyes to the left. True. He added, “But Sammy was carrying.”
Jake shifted his mind back to the apartment. The pictures clicked over. ‘Sammy’s jacket flung across a chair in the living room.’ “Okay BG, we’re out of here,” he said, getting up and motioning to Anna.
“You want tickets for the game,” asked BG. “I got some extras.”
Jake looked at him pitifully. Trying to make amends. He didn’t answer. Just took Anna’s hand and walked away, down the steps and out of BG’s life.
They reviewed their options. Mason could have taken Sammy’s money and left. Quarter of a million bucks could buy refuge in Canada. That was plausible. Or he was lying. Maybe planning something else. He more or less had told Anna that he was into something big. ‘I’m going to be famous,’ he had said. ‘Never missed a game the last six years,’ BG had said. That option was just as plausible.
If he was lying, they had to take risks if they wanted to trap him. Jake parked his motorbike in the Wal-Mart stand and locked it. The ‘boy-guard’ would take care of it and their crash helmets for a few bucks. They walked the blocks to Emmy’s apartment building and took the elevator up to the fourth floor. They then walked back down the fire escape to the third and peered through the fire door. Empty corridor. No sign of any activity.
Jake knocked on Emmy’s door. No sound of footsteps moving inside. He fiddled in his pockets and took out the door key. Inserted it into the lock and opened the door. No one inside. Telling Anna to come inside and close the door. He moved over to Sammy’s jacket and searched it. No gun. “Maybe I missed it in the bedroom,” he said. “Trouble is, I don’t want to contaminate the scene.”
“Just open the door,” Anna said. “See if you can see it on the floor or something.”
Jake nodded and took off his T-shirt, using it to open the door handle. As it swung open, he came face to face with the Beretta.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” asked Coach Mason.