“She’s gone!” Michael Matthews shouted into the phone as he drove on the Audubon Parkway toward Owensboro.
“Yeah, a man and a woman, who looked like they could have been her parents, showed up, and the four of them left,” Ruby said and took another drag off her cigarette.
“The four of them? Who was the other person?” Matthews asked.
“One of the feds that have been watching over her,” Ruby said.
“You should have called me when she first got there,” Matthews said.
“I didn’t know you’d beat the hell out of your kid and she’d went missing until I talked to you last night,” Ruby said.
“Damn. Why are the feds involved in this?” Matthews asked, mostly to himself.
“According to those people, it was because the girl’s supposed boyfriend took her across state lines,” Ruby said.
That would be true, Matthews reasoned. But it was too much of a coincidence that a girl who matched the description of Jenna was in a hospital with a broken jaw just an hour away. “Do you think there’s any blood evidence left that I can use to see if it was Jenna?”
“I don’t know. It didn’t look like they left any of her clothes or anything behind,” Ruby said. “I might be able to get to the catheter I took out of her this morning. You might be able to use any fluids left in that.”
“See what you can do and let me know,” Matthews said.
“Sure,” Ruby replied and stubbed her cigarette out. “And don’t forget about the package you’re supposed to pick up tonight. C1 wants it taken care of.”
“C1 needs to learn how to control his temper,” Matthews said. “If that girl is Jenna, she knows too much, and the feds will be snooping around for sure.”
“I know what you mean, but he’s the boss. He wacks ’em. I slab ’em, and you ditch ’em. Just the way it is,” Ruby said. “I’ll text you if I find the catheter.”
“I’m going to be there in less than an hour. I’m going to meet C4 at the dock and pick up the package. I’ll swing by your place after,” Matthews said.
“Sounds good. Maybe you’ll have time for some recreation,” Ruby purred.
“Humph,” Matthews grunted. “We’ll see. I’m going to have to do something different with this package.”
“I’ve never understood why they don’t just flush them down the river,” Ruby said.
“Too much of their business is done on the river,” Matthews said. “Too close to home as they say.”
It was Ruby’s turn to snort. “Home is over nine hundred miles long. Surely they could find somewhere to dump the trash.”
“But then you and I would be out of a lot of money, wouldn’t we?” Matthews reasoned.
“True,” Ruby agreed. “See you later, Sugar.”
Matthews put his phone down on the seat next to him. He couldn’t be gone too long. Someone was watching his house, he could feel it. Probably that damn Terry Howard. He should have shot that son-of-a-bitch when they were out hunting. Too late now. He would have to make quick work of this job and get back to Evansville before anyone realized he was gone. Fortunately, the air conditioning in this SUV was good. He could put the package in here, get the vehicle as cold as he could get it, and then have a visit with Ruby.
C4, or Cobra 4, was a squat, ugly man. Matthews was sure that C1’s prostitutes were the only way this ugly mutt got any sex. Even though Matthews had been dealing with C4 for almost four years, he had no idea what the man’s real name was. He’d heard him referred to as Jay, so J might be the first letter of his first or last name, but in this business, everyone tried to keep as low of a profile as possible. Especially with the people who were in control of the business. C4 was a medium level dealer. He ran an escort service and provided drugs for the wealthy in Owensboro, Kentucky and Newburgh, Indiana. He was also part of the waste management team as C1 like to refer to them.
C1 was a judge from somewhere in Kentucky. Matthews knew him as Ray. Ray was the one who got Matthews involved in this business. They’d met through a mutual hunting buddy. The judge liked rough sex with young girls and had made some deals with some people in the business of getting such girls. Girls that weren’t going to go running home to their parents and telling about the dirty old man who touched them. Matthews liked the pretty young things himself. Not quite as young as the judge liked them, but definitely younger and more compliant than his uptight wife. They eventually formed a hunting group of like-minded men. They hooked up several times a year to either hunt or fish, and enjoy the company of hot young girls.
Unfortunately, the judge occasionally got too rough, and the young girls couldn’t handle it, or they fought back. The two girls he’d brought in from Evansville had done that, and because they were his recruits, he was responsible for disposing of the bodies. Matthews knew a lot about forensics, so he knew how to throw off investigators. He’d gone to college for a few years studying forensic anthropology, and then Darlene had gotten pregnant with Jenna, and he had to get a job. The police force had been a perfect fit. It was like the military without having to go into war zones. He’d thought about going into the Army until they started sending people to Afghanistan. He didn’t want any part of being in the desert, too fucking hot.
After Matthews had gotten rid of the first two girls and threw off the police in the areas where he’d buried them by freezing the bodies for a few weeks, the judge decided Matthews was going to be a part of the waste management team and get rid of any sex toy that met a bad end.
Ruby had been one of the best prostitutes the group had enjoyed until she’d messed her back up. She was still capable of getting kinky, but she just couldn’t service as many men as she used to. She decided to become a nurse after she figured out that she could get drugs from some of the doctors after she’d spent some time on her knees for them. She’d gotten him a body bag for the first girl he had to get rid of and then made special arrangements with a funeral director so she could get more for him. It had been a perfect racket until his damn daughter had to nose around that fucking freezer. Stupid fucking bitch. He was going to have to corner that hot little number that she’d apparently been fucking and find out what she knew. He’d had the hots for that little Cara for a long time, but he didn’t dare try to play with his daughter’s friend. Now, he was going to get what he wanted out of her. He just had to catch her alone.