In the event, Al arrived, somewhat harried, and looking over his shoulder, on Angela’s doorstep. Without so much as a word, he barged past her, whispering savagely, “close the door quickly”
Angela didn’t know what annoyed her the most about his arrival, that he had totally ignored the usual meeting place, which was in an open area where no one could overhear them, or the fact he looked like he was being followed.
“What part of the usual place didn’t you understand?” She said as she watched him go from door to door checking to see if anyone else was in her apartment.
“Just who the hell are you looking for?”
A last check and then he came back, not to sit, but to stand by the kitchen bench. “That pesky private detective you’ve been cozying up to, what’s his name, Wally?”
“Walthenson. It was your idea to set him up in the bank. I told you that could go very wrong, and I think it has. I think he suspects you’re still alive.”
“Then he’s not as dumb as he looks.”
“No. Did you get some of your old thug mates from your prison days to work him over?”
Clearly, though, she could see that was not what was worrying him. He looked surprised when she asked.
“What do you mean. I haven’t seen him since the bank. I told you then I had to go away for a while and sort out another problem that my precious brother landed me in. Good thing someone else killed him or would have done it myself.”
“You didn’t kill him?”
“No. I can tell you that sent a shiver down my spine. He didn’t make nearly as many enemies as I did, but that was only back when we were running the loan shark business. I suppose Walthenson was investigating that murder too?”
“He was there and witnessed it. Said the killer drove off in a car he later discovered belonged to the Outtel company.”
“The bitch,” he muttered under his breath.
“Miriam. She was creaming a percentage for herself, but it wasn’t beyond Joe getting someone else to pull a stunt like that for himself. That’s why I was trying to get on her good side, to find out what she was up to. Hard as nails, that one, and a consummate liar. I reckon she had Joe killed to cut him out of her scheme. She’s next on my list to visit after I leave here. I need the money now to pay off a few debts, and to get out of here. Jennifer can have Brightwater for all I care. They deserve each other.”
“You do know Joe killed Cathy, don’t you?”
“Now I do, but then there’s that little problem of Cathy not being my daughter, but Brightwater’s. That was a bombshell I didn’t need. Everyone seems to be screwing around with everyone else. Me, all I get is platitudes from Joe, a cheating wife, and a jail sentence I didn’t deserve.”
“At least you kept up your part of the bargain, and took care of Joe for me.”
“For us, Angela, not just you. It’s now one more body on my conscience.”
“Did you kill Brightwater?”
“What the hell, him too. No, of course not, even if he was the father of my child. But the good thing about it is that the police with think someone’s targeting all of the owners of Outtel. I think I’m lucky everyone thinks I’m dead.
“And the money you promised me?”
“After I see Miriam. All you’ve got to do is lie a little longer, and I’ll be gone, and you’ll be much richer for it. All you’ve got to do is keep that Wally character out of my hair for another 24 hours, and everything will be fine. As far as everyone is concerned I’ll be dead and gone, and you’ll have everything you asked for.”
He started walking towards the door, still acting very nervous.
Just to add a little extra to fuel his nervousness already stretched to breaking point by coming out into the open, there was a resounding knock on her door that stopped him dead in his tracks.
“Don’t answer it.”
“Don’t be a fool. Get in the bedroom, close the door and don’t make a sound. I’ll get rid of whoever it is.”
When he’d gone, she took a deep breath and opened the door.
“What a surprise, Aunt Jennifer. What on earth are you doing here?”
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