In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories

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Chapter Four

I nodded politely as I listened to Delvecchio’s description. I’m supposed to find a man who has white hair cut military style, about six foot two, and 300 pounds. His name is Luther Janetti.

“What the hell should I do with him once I find him?” I thought to myself as the waitress delivered drinks to the table.

Delvecchio went on to describe the kind of car he drove, the house he had stayed at and the type of work the guy had done. I looked across the table at the man. The handkerchief in his hand was soaked with sweat from wiping his brow so many times. I waited for him to stop talking and then I put my hands on my face, hoping he would disappear.

“What exactly do you want with him?” I asked.

“That’s not really important,” he said, waving his hand dismissively.

“Well, actually it is,” I said.

“I knew you wouldn’t get it,” Delvecchio said with disgust, “Look, you don’t need to know why I am looking for him, you just need to find him.”

“Listen, Mr. Delvecchio I’m entitled to know what I’m dealing with,” I said flatly, “I’m the one whose ass is on the line.”

“There isn’t anything for you to be worried about,” he said, “He doesn’t know you and he won’t realize there is any reason for him to be concerned until after you’ve given me his location.”

“Who says I am going to give you anything?” I said, lifting my glass for a drink. I took a hearty gulp of my drink and set the tumbler on the table. He smiled for the first time as he realized that I was merely testing him.

“Well, sweetheart, I’m sure we can come to some agreement,” he picked up his glass and swirled the ice around the bottom before taking a drink. “I heard you might be pretty flexible on things.” “I’m as flexible as I feel like being,” I said, “and right now, I’m still trying to decide how much shit I’ll be getting into if I help you.” “You’re already in the shit, whether you know it or not,” he said, looking around the bar. “I’m sure they saw you come in and they won’t mind following you home to find out what we discussed.”

“Who the hell is ‘they’?” I asked. I was getting irritated and he was losing any sex appeal he might have had on the outset.

“The guy over there is Jan Gofski’s best guy,” he said with a slight nod towards the bar. “The guy by the door is his driver.”

“Gofski? What the hell does he have to do with this?” I asked, trying to hide my dismay. Janus Gofski was a crime boss on the lower East End of town. He ran a series of businesses that were all fronts for his illegal dealings. He was not a big-time boss, but he was well known in the city as the ever-present gum on the bottom of society’s shoe. I had never met him, but I had dealt with several people who were trying to avoid him. If Delvecchio was another one, I was going to shoot myself in the foot.

“Gofski is Janetti’s uncle. He gave the guy a dry-cleaning business to run a few years back and now he wants it back.” Delvecchio said.

I shook my head. I was beginning to wish I’d stayed home. “Okay then, what does this have to do with you?” I asked, mentally smacking Delvecchio in the back of the head.

He seemed to take a moment to frame his answer. “It’s complicated,” he said, wiping at his forehead again. He lowered his voice and motioned for me to move in a little closer. In a near whisper, he said, “Luther is my wife.”

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