That Freelance Kid

Chapter 9

Once he was back inside, he practically shoved the card into Klavier's face.

"You see? Mr. Wright gave me his card." Apollo said. "Why would a reporter go out of his way to get a card from someone like him? And you know Mr. Wright wouldn't give his card or information to a reporter, anyway."

Klavier stared at the card, then took it from Apollo's hand. He looked at the front of it, the back, then the front again. For a long time, he said nothing, seemingly checking the authenticity of the card, though Apollo had no idea why anyone would want to forge a business card for an anything agency.

Finally, Klavier placed the card on the table, and slid it back over to Apollo.

"That certainly is Mr. Wright's card." Klavier mused.

"So, do you believe me now?" Apollo asked. He grabbed the wrinkled card, and slid it into his pocket.

"Well, I know for a fact that that card is Herr Wright's. And, I do know that he certainly would never give his card to a reporter. So, I guess I have no choice to believe you, ja?"

Apollo couldn't help sighing in relief.

Klavier chugged down the rest of his drink, then set the empty glass down on the table.

"Why does he want to know about me and Ema, anyway? I thought he would have better things to do than worry about us."

"Well, to him, I guess, it's not that simple. Ema is his friend, and I'm sure he's your friend too."

"Nein, he is not really my friend. He is my brother's friend. You could say him and I are more than acquaintances, but less than friends. What's the right word for that? Associates?" Before Apollo could respond, Klavier called over a woman in one of the skimpiest police officer uniforms Apollo had ever seen. The rock star ordered a drink, and the woman promised she'd be back in no time with his order.

"Associates or not," Apollo started when Klavier's attention focused back to him, "Mr. Wright is really concerned, and that's why he wants to know what's going on."

"But what does he want to know? Ema and I are having a fight right now. That's about it."

"He wants to know the details, Mr. Gavin. Why are you two fighting in the first place?"

Klavier reached for his glass, before remembering it was empty. "She thinks I am cheating on her."

"Big surprise." Apollo thought. He noticed Klavier was staring at him, and realized that he had spoken his thoughts aloud.

"Uh, what I meant was-"

"I assure you, April May means nothing to me. I have my reasons for having her around, but it's not for pleasure, to be sure."

"So why-?" Before he could finish, the "police officer" arrived again, placing a martini on the table in front of Klavier. He thanked her, then took out the olives placed in the glass. He lifted the glass to his lips and took a huge swallow.

"Um, anyway, Mr. Gavin. Why are you in a strip club then, if you're as faithful as you claim to be?"

"I was having a meeting with the man that left not too long ago." Klavier replied.

"Here?"

"He likes to come to these places. I'm actually not to fond of them. But," Klavier took another sip of his drink, "it is not easy to make suggestions to one like Herr White."

Apollo sighed. "So, did you tell Ema you weren't cheating on her, then?"

"Of course! But she refused to believe me."

"So if you told her , why didn't she believe you?"

"It is because she saw me with April May, that woman with the hässlich pink hair. We were out a party, and I happened to run into her. We started talking about Herr White, but after a few drinks we started dancing.." Klavier trailed off, then took another swallow.

"I thought your relationship with April was platonic?"

"It is. To me, anyway." Klavier paused, then sighed. "She's been trying to get with me even before Ema and I were married, but I was never interested in women like her."

"So why are you still hanging around with her now?"

Klavier reached for his drink again, but decided otherwise. "It is because...she is good friends with Herr White. She curries favor with him for me, ja? Any friend of his April will surely bring out his more rare, kinder side. Otherwise, she is unbearable company."

"Why didn't you just tell Ema that? And what's so special about this Mr. White, anyway?"

"Herr Justice." Klavier replied. "You must believe what I am about to tell you right now."

Apollo nodded, wondering why Klavier's gaze was suddenly so intense. The rock star leaned across the table, and spoke in a hushed whisper.

"I cannot tell Ema anything. I cannot tell her about why I am with April, why I meet with Herr White, and where I am going. And this has nothing to with her thinking I am cheating. Nein, it is for a completely different reason. You must believe me when I say it is only to protect her." He paused for a moment, just staring into Apollo's eyes. Suddenly he leaned even closer, and Apollo leaned back away from him. "And when you do tell Mr. Wright about this, you have to make him promise not to mention this to Ema. Not one word. This is now just between you, me, and Herr Wright, understand?"

"I-I got it." Apollo could smell the alcohol on his breath, and hoped that Klavier was done with the drinks. As if he heard his thoughts (and wanted to spite him for it) , Klavier drank the rest of his martini and was already pulling another girl over to order another.

"Mr. Gavin," Apollo asked uneasily "Haven't you had enough to drink tonight?"

"Just one more.

"You really shouldn't be driving, then."

"I will be fine, Herr Justice. I will have one drink, and we can each go our separate ways for now, ja? Besides, I feel fine."

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