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Chapter 9

A photo album was on display. A handsome male teen was flashing pearly whites. The picture was

being admired by an elderly man shaking his head. G. was observing his eldest child’s photo. He sat

somber in his chair clothed in a robe and pajamas which seemed to be his attire lately. Reggie had a full

scholarship both academic and athletic to any school he wanted. He was going to have a legit career

and live far away from this part of life. G. had plans for all his children, but for Reggie, those plans

were over. The memory lane was interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Come in,” said G.

Brown entered the home office. A miniature library with wall to wall books. The old man wasn’t

educated, but loved books. His street smarts were what got him where he is now, which intrigued him

about Brown. He saw a little of himself in Brown, which convinced him to take Brown under his wing

and Brown admired him for that, Brown didn’t cringed thinking about G. doing his grandmother

because everyone had someone to fancy once. G. never mentioned his grandmother, which showed he

had class.

Brown saw the pictures of Reggie; he would not have followed in his father’s foot-steps. G. would

have made sure of that and Brown would have helped to keep the young man on the right path. Brown

smiled thinking how talented Reggie was on the hard-wood. He had a bright future. The kid was a

wizard on the court and watching him play was magical. A five-star recruit and a can’t miss prospect.

Brown thought about making plans for court-side seats in NBA cities. He also admired Reggie for

conquering the class-room and earned academic scholarships as well. Yeah, the kid was like Halley’s

Comet, true once in a lifetime phenom. Brown didn’t have any brothers or sisters, so he made Reggie

his adopted brother and G’s other children became his adopted family. He pondered over that he should

have been there to protect Reggie, he should have assigned him a detail to watch his back, the two

youths knew how to ditch and sneak around and always came back home safe and sound except for the

night they lost their lives. Brown remembered his grandmother telling him how

funny life can be and what happened to Reggie and the Macone girl was so true. Both dying at a young

age, innocent and pure, but flawed by sins only of their fathers, Brown frowned thinking if Pone didn’t

find who did this horrific crime then he sure as hell would search for and make them pay. He cleared his

throat to get G’s attention.

“What’s the deal?” asked G.

“Pone’s working for the mayor. He’ll be handling things,”

G. nodded. “He’s still under the royal family.”

Brown took a seat in front of G’s desk. “He wanted to make sure nobody interfered with the investigation.”

G. closed the family album. “Make sure the boys know that.”

“Already talked to the crew. They know how important this is . . . Pone admitted to the house

cleaning. Said they tried to kill him and instead offed a little boy.”

G. clenched his fist. “He knows we didn’t have any-thing to do with that?”

Brown nodded.

“Make sure the families don’t touch Pone or they’ll deal with me. I want to know who killed my boy.”

“He mentioned that those boys might have had some-body in our crew pulling their strings.” said Brown.

“You lookin’ into that?”asked G.

“Already on it.” Brown stood and left G. to his thoughts.

An average height grief-stricken late middle-aged man stood over the fire-place. He was staring

at pictures of family members on the mantel. Relatives old and young decorated the solid mahogany

stained wood support. The star in Macone’s teary eyes was a picture of a young girl who was on the

verge of blossoming into a beautiful young woman. Helen, his eldest whose golden hair felt like

velvet every time she gave him a hug and her smile lit up a room. All gone in a senseless unexplained

death. He personally swore that once he found the culprit, he would make him beg for death.

Rudenbaugh stayed silent in the background letting Macone have his moment of grief. Rudenbaugh

took his own moment to remember the golden hair, porcelain skin rosy-cheeked lass whose smile

reminded him of the Swiss Miss girl. Helen had a bright future; engineering, and law school awaited

her, she had a knack for problem solving and her pick of what-ever she wanted to do. Rudenbaugh

used to tease her by giving her Trigonometry problems to solve. It became child’s play, and she

pleaded with him to be more challenging. Helen loved life and it seemed to love her. Rudenbaugh

missed the natural pearly white smile and harmony voice. Being her father’s, lieutenant, he felt

it was his responsibility to protect her and he failed because now she was dead. So young to end

up in the bone yard. Rudenbaugh felt selfish; over the years and past times young people had met

unexpected deaths, and always heard that some-times things happen for a reason. He shook his head

thinking what a load of crap. He couldn’t think or see any reason or good behind her death. Macone

glanced over his shoulder.

“How did it go?” Macone asked.

Rudenbaugh strolled toward his boss. “Pone in his role as a troubleshooter on behalf of the

mayor will handle the investigation. I told him he would have immunity from us.”

Macone nodded. “As long as he finds out who did this, I take it the rug heads also agree?”

Macone had his back to Rudenbaugh. He was still focused on Helen’s picture. He didn’t

noticed Rudenbaugh’s raised eye-brow. Macone usually referred to the blacks as spades. But

when he found out that his beloved daughter was involved with his rival’s son, he actually

approved. Any black that was on the verge of something good was not a regular black in his

eye. He even smiled thinking about having a grandson with athletic ability if the two had

gotten real serious down the road. He would not mind having grands with a permanent tan,

especially with athletic ability. Macone was a sports fanatic, he had three boys and he

could tell none of them had a lick of athleticism in their bones which they inherit from

him, but he knew all about the exploits of G’s boy Reggie. He wouldn’t have minded it a bit

to have the young man as part of his family.

Rudenbaugh knew that the old man was coming around to the changing of times at a

snail pace. He even allowed a few minorities; blacks and Latinos to the fold saying it was good

for business.

“The hip-hoppers are on the same page as us. Find the rat who did this.”

Macone turned and nodded. “Stay in touch with Pone. Let him know I want to ice

the piece of shit when he finds him.”

Heard from Brown, he’s lookin to see if this was an inside job. Suggest we might want

to do the same.”

“What do you mean?” Macone asked.

“Think about it? Some-body knew they were dating before we did.”

Macone collapsed in his brown leather lazy-boy. He gripped the arm of the chair and

pointed at Rudenbaugh.

“You sayin’ one of my own put my kid in the bone yard?” Macone gave a stern look. “Some-body

on my pay-roll is the reason my daughter is taking the big sleep?”

Rudenbaugh shrugged. “Something we might want to look into. “ Rudenbaugh read the old man’s

body language when he leaned back in his recliner. He left to start his own investigation.

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