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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cold Ruby

The next two days I was back to the drawing board....I went to the Mermaid Club, Ciros, the Aqua Bar, Josies and several of Big Chicken and Rollos strip clubs, showing people photos of Ruby, talking to people about Ruby Johnson and stopping by all of her known addresses...

The address Gus had gave me was already a bust...Ruby Johnson had already left there by the time I re-visited it... Like most women, she had Credit cards and an ATM card... I saw activity at the King of Prussia Mall and on South Street in Philly...Which showed me, she was still in the city....I was specifically looking for centralized activity in a certain area....It took me a little while, but I saw it...a pattern of hits in one area..

She used her cards to pay for meals at Mabel Jenkins Soul Food Restaurant and three times  at Jake's Hot Dog joint...Ruby was somewhere right under my nose.  What I had going for me was that she didn't know me or where I lived...

A chance meeting with Ralph Scallion, the cook over at Bottom of The C. told me all I needed to know.I ran into him in Josies...one night and I showed him the photo and he said-


"Yeah....I know her...she just moved into my apartment complex a day or two ago... You know that uh neighbor I complain about?" he said.

"The one that bangs on the wall when you're uh entertaining...?" I laughed.... B-Flat had told me that he and Honey had stayed in Ralph's place while Ralph was away and that the neighbor had banged on the wall the entire time...

"Yeah, well she lives a few doors down...Has spent her entire time in his room....Now I'm the one banging on the walls.." He laughed.

"Thanks Ralph." I said.

I drove by the apartment complex... and sure enough, Ruby was there...She wore dark sunglasses and was driving a rental car....I watched her movemants....Once she was gone...I got Lockpick Johnson to get me into her apartment...

Once inside...We tossed her apartment....No sign of the Ruby...

''She might have fenced it by now Kev" said Lockpick...

"She could have...but I've been by every pawn shop and rousted every low level fence in the area...Nobody has seen that rock...I was in North Phiily yesterday and South Philly the day before...No...She's got it stashed somewhere.." I said as we left.

II-

I did some research on my employers...because it occurred to me that Ruby had stolen this Ruby for somebody and was waiting for them when Frank Gillette and Smiley arrived....I wondered who they were working for?

Karl Tanner was indeed the great grandson of the Roosevelt Tanner, one of the owners of the ruby..He was a lawyer as well as an official at the museum....No criminal record and from everyone I had talked to...A sterling character.

Lewis "Groovy Lou" Atkins was a jeweler as I stated...Ran a very tony jewelry store. He had no criminal record, but was known as a fence who sometimes dealt in stolen merchandise...

Lloyd Atkins, his younger brother on the other hand had a record..He had done ten years for grand theft...He had cracked a safe and had stolen close to one million dollars in jewels from someone on the main line...Since his release he had worked for his brother in the jewelry store...

Karl and Lewis wanted that ruby back for legitimate reasons...or at least that's how it looked...I wondered what Lloyd's reason was...and how did Frank Gillette , a stone cold gangster figure into this?

III-

"Girl, I can tell that you're related to Mabel.... (My wife is Mabel Jenkins first cousin..) Cause you put  your foot in this Fried Chicken." I said as Sepia and I ate dinner at our house for a change..We were in our bedroom and we both had small trays.

"Did you go to work at all today?" she asked laughing...

I used to have to make up reasons for my absences when I was working cases before I owned the company, which is what she was refering to.

''Actually I did...I did a lot of my research from my office computer, then I was out and about, talking to people and showing Ruby's photo to folks... I found her new spot...She lives in Ralph Scallion's apartment complex and is driving a rental." I said in between gulps of the good food...

"Oh yeah?" she asked.

"Yeah...Found the place, found the car, found the rental company too and I know how long she has the car for..." I said.

''Aren't you worried she might try and skip?"asked Sepia...

"I put a GPS tracking device on her rental....Anywhere she goes...the nose knows..." I said.


Sepia smiled....I looked at her as we sat and ate....I still can't believe that she was just a photo of a sexy woman in a bikini at the head of a blog...A blog I used to read everyday and leave a comment on...She'd comment back and eventually we became "internet friends" I never thought we'd actually meet...After all ,she lived in someplace I'd never been called West Orange ,New Jersey and I lived in Philadelphia....It was amazing that she came to visit me after much prodding and we wound up in one of my first cases....

I waited at 30th Street station for what seemed like forever that Saturday...Sepia's train was late...I walked over to Auntie Annie's and got myself a Pretzel and some lemonade...I browsed around in the Bookstore and looked at the latest magazines and newspapers. There was my Magazine- HYPE, with my cover story on Kanye West....I bought a copy...It would be something to talk about.

There she was... A vision of lovlinesss...She was about five foot three, built very well and wearing some jeans that looked like they had been painted on her...she filled those jeans up quite well. She was wearing a nice print top and I could see that she had just recently had her hair braided. She had on some black stilletto heels that made her appear a little taller than she actually was.

"So you're Kevin..." she said.

"And you must be Sepia?" I countered.

"JoAnne is my government name, but "Sepia" is the name I blog with."
she said in a dead pan way that didn't even resemble a smile.

I asked her if she was hungry and she said not particularly, but she could use a bit to eat..which meant to my way of thinking that she was hungry. Why do people always front on first dates?


I had my magazine's Visa card on me, So we walked a little ways to a new eatery called RAE's that was located near the train station.

Wow...That seems like it was so long ago...

"What are you thinking about?" she asked me...

"You... How we met...How I knew that I was always going to want you to be around.." I said...

"Awwww..." she said and leaned her head on to my shoulders...

We kissed slowly, passionately...

IV-

Kool Kat and I sat outside of a Meat Packing House the next day...

"Damn man, you sure pick some way out places to take me." he joked..

"I followed her car here...It's parked in the back...I've been following this broad all day.." I said

"And this is where she goes?" he asked.

"Yeah, how about that?" I asked.


"Maybe she's coming here to get a good cut of meat." he joked...I gave him the serious side eye...

"Yeah, that's got to be it." I said, smirking...Kool Kat looked at me and cracked up...

"Wait here....I'm goin in...If I'm not out in 15 minutes...Come in with gun blazing." I said.

"You don't have to tell me." said Kool Kat.

I walked inside...and crept around silently... It didn't take me long to discover Ruby Johnson with an ice pick, jabbing a piece of ice and cutting around and pulling out the beautiful red Bloodstone ruby....Now this was the genuine article...It had a brilliant red shine...

She looked at it and smiled...

"You know Ruby...Red becomes you." I said...

She spun around and went to kick me in my groin, but I grabbed her foot, twisted it and sent her falling to the ground... I grabbed the ruby....

She slowly got up...She was naturally not happy about this...



"Ohhhhhh youu.....Come on now...Give me that rock." she exclaimed...

"I'm being paid big bucks to return it to it's natural owners.." I said.

"Who? Tanner? Groovy Lou??...They stole it from a man in New York...." she said.

"Well that's between them and a man in New York...My job was to find it and return it to them..They can hash that out." I said.

"Awww come on sugar, can't we work somethin out..??" she cooed and opened her blouse allowing me to see her nice sized breasts and a lacy bra...

I looked at her and smiled...The offer was tempting...  She was an extremely shapely and attractive woman....but it wasn't going to happen today!

"Sorry sugar...I'm married." I said.

"So when has that stopped anybody?" she said.

Just then, Frank Gillette pointed his .45 at both of us...

"I'll take that rock..." he said... I couldn't argue with a .45 pointed that close to me...so I passed it to him. He looked at me and shook his head...

"Ohhh Mister Kevin...Mister Kevin Morris...You are becoming a problem...I send the best hitman after you that money can buy and he winds up in the river, nude, shot multiple times and beat to a pulp...You are reallly good..Shame we are on opposite sides...I could use a guy with your toughness and your persistance..and your intelligence.." he said.

Just then, Mr. Smiley walked up behind him and cocked his shotgun.....He aimed it directly at me and Ruby.

"I'm afraid...I'm going to have to cancel your contract myself. Sorry Ruby, but you've become a nuisance also...One like Mr. Morris here, that has to be eliminated!!" said Frank Gillette...

The sound of another shotgun being cocked was heard...It was Kool Kat and his riot pump was trained on Smiley and Frank Gillette... I pulled out my .38 smokeless and aimed it at Frank Gillette...

"Think so?" I said.

Ruby and I backed up a bit....Frank Gillette looked around...Kool Kat wasn't cracking a smile and the sight of him scared the piss out of both him and Smiley...He smiled nervously ....

"Looks like, uh...we got ourselves what they call a ...ruh...Mexican Standoff." he said.

(CONCLUSION NEXT!)




5 comments:

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Mannnnn, you left us hangin with this one.

Tate 2 said...

This is good! Can't wait to see how this one plays out!

Swaggie said...

Ish just got real! Lovin this!

James Perkins said...

My money is on Kool Kat wipin both of those suckers out with that shotty!

Brenda said...

The old Mexican Stand off!! Can't wait to see how this all plays out!