Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chapter Forty-Six

His private line rang as Jaffe was bracing himself to carry Bonnie’s drink up to her room. He wasn’t surprised when he picked up the receiver and heard Carl’s voice. It sounded like he was out of breath.

“I just left the hospital. I think they recognized me.”

“Who recognized you, Carl?”

“Only one of them was familiar. He’s the lawyer for the Britt woman. I don’t know who the other one was. He was the first one to identify me though.”

“Carl, you keep saying that. They can’t know who you are. You’re just being paranoid. Relax. Where are you now?”

“I’m at the 29 Diner. Can you meet me here? I don’t want to go to your house in case someone is watching.”

“Carl, you really need to get a grip on yourself. You’re getting all worked up for nothing. No one can tie you to anything. Just order yourself some breakfast and then go home and get some rest. Bonnie’s here for the fundraiser. I have to try and keep things on an even keel with her. I’ll give you a call in a couple of hours. In the meantime, just lay low, okay?”

“Yeah. That’s probably a good idea. I’ll talk to you later.” Carl hung up the phone and thought, not for the first time, that his boss was a bit naïve. He was nothing like his father. Lindsey Jaffe would have understood the significance of what had happened. He would have understood that it probably meant someone had already tied the Senator to the tattoo artist. Carl left the diner without ordering breakfast and he didn’t go home. It was time for damage control.

Jaffe continued upstairs to take care of his other problem – the jealous and vindictive wife. Bonnie took the drink without comment and closed the door in face. Jaffe couldn’t blame her, he supposed. He had treated her shoddily. He’d been able to hide the affairs at the beginning but as time went by he grew careless – or maybe he stopped caring. He made sure she and the kids wanted for nothing. That should count for something. He headed down to his office to try to work on the speech he was supposed to deliver at that evening’s event.

He threw all his energy into the speech, actually enjoying the distraction from a life that had become much too complicated in the past few days. It was past 1:00 when he looked at the clock and remembered his was supposed to call Carl. He tried him at his home first. Then he tried his cell. When he didn’t get an answer on either number he decided that Carl had taken his advice and was getting some rest. Carl was a good soldier. He’d always been devoted to his father and now he was proving to be reliable helper to him. Jaffe suddenly realized how he’d deluded himself. Carl wasn’t a loyal servant. He was a cold blooded killer. While Jaffe had killed in a moment of anger, Carl killed dispassionately, without emotion and, apparently, without regret.



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