The Golden Trio
Getting the name of Erica’s mystery doctor was easy, but it was also ultimately disappointing. “Charles Dumont,” She whispered, “He said his name was Charles Dumont.” They were sitting in the hospital room, waiting for her tests to come back when Jimmy started asking for details. The name made him groan, it was the worse possible answer out of the infinite number of answers she could have given him.
Little known fact: if it sounds like a fake name, it is a fake name and if someone introduces himself as Doctor Charles Dumont, that person is either a character on a soap opera or they’re obviously using an alias.
“Is there anything else you remember about him? How did he approach you?”
She shrugged and shook her head, “He was a black guy, tall, kind of handsome. He was waiting for me in the gym one day.”
“That’s it?” Jimmy felt a migraine starting to split the middle of his forehead, this case was going to be the death of him.
“We had one or two meetings, he would take me into a closet and inject me with this…”Erica bit her lip and looked down at her shoes, “Look when you get beaten up for a living you meet a lot of doctors, he just...looked like another doctor.”
It took ten more minutes of pushing and mnemonic tricks to get another detail about Charles Dumont, but it was a little more helpful, “He had an accent.” She said finally.
Jimmy peppered her with questions after that what kind of an accent? How did it sound? But either Erica was just being Erica or the fear of her current situation had affected her memory. Whatever the reason she was stubbornly unhelpful and finally she snapped at him like a frightened dog, “Just an accent. I don’t know what kind.”
He sighed and decided not to argue with her about it. She was a client, rule number one of being a lawyer is that clients were almost never helpful. After 6:30, Jimmy just stopped asking questions and instead they sat in her hospital room and talked about the time she had suspected him of cheating on her with Natalie Portman. At 8 o’clock, visiting hours ended and he went home.
Driving across town in Los Angeles can be a nightmare if you don’t know the right surface streets but five years of this city and Jimmy had learned all the good short cuts, he turned off Santa Monica, up Laurel Canyon to Mulholland then Ventura until he got to Woodland Hills and up Topanga to the PCH, after that he was home. The 405 was a parking lot on Friday night but his backwoods route took a lot less time than the freeway.
He had driven for most of the route with a clear head but as he passed into Woodland Hills his mind began to run the facts of the case back and forth, like a dirty sneaker stuck in a washing machine. It made sense that the person who had deliberately afflicted Erica with this disease would be the most logical choice to cure the illness. So finding Dr. Dumont was her best chance for a cure. But the task was impossible. Right now Jimmy was looking for a tall handsome black man, that has an accent and a name that sounded so fake it might has well have been “John Q. Alias”.
With that kind of information, the numbers were not on his side. There were 19 million people in the greater Los Angeles area, 9 percent of that population was black, 50% of that number were men. The suspect list for “Charles Dumont” was as of that moment 855,000 names long. He decided not to speculate on how many of those men were also “handsome and tall”.
It was well past 9 when he got home to his house in Malibu, he was tired and frustrated and not in a great mood. This case was going to be a frustrating pain in the ass and if he wanted to find was going to need some help. So before he went to bed, he picked up the phone and made three very important calls.
The offices of Howard, Fine, Besser, and Associates were closed on Saturday, so Jimmy had the building to himself, which was good. For operation he was about to undertake, he needed privacy.
Starting at 10 o’clock the guests arrived in their usual order. Eric Rosaya, or “The Big E” as he liked to be called, burst through Jimmy’s office door and started shouting at the top of his lungs, “Gentleman, hide yo bitches cause God’s greatest gift to women has arrived.” There were neither bitches nor gentleman in the office, just Jimmy sitting at his desk eating an Egg McMuffin.
“Do you have to do that every time?” Jimmy muttered as he dropped his breakfast back into it’s wrapper, “You nearly gave me a heart attack!”
The Big E shrugged, “I have to warn the bitches.” Then he dropped his body on Jimmy’s handmade ostrich skin couch, “Bitches need to be aware of all this towering sexiness.”
Jimmy rolled his eyes. The Big E’s “towering sexiness” was barely five feet tall.
Eric Rosaya had started his career as an insurance investigator in Louisiana when he abruptly dropped out of the rat race so he could pursue his lifelong dream of owning a gym in Los Angeles. He and his cousin co-owned Big Evil Fitness in Beverly Hills, a swanky workout joint for hardbodies and wannabe bodybuilders. But LA can be a tough place to run a small business so Eric still did PI work on the side. Unfortunately most legitimate clients didn’t want to hire a muscular african american dwarf who only wears track suits and tank tops so Jimmy was Eric’s only regular client.
The two old friends settled into a conversation about the Dodgers game that Jimmy had missed yesterday and the Big E was insufferable. Eric had watched the game from the cheap seats and claimed it was the best ball game he’d seen all year. He kept saying stuff like: “Man you should have been there”, “Oh it was a nailbiter.” and “Torres had this big hit in the fifth”. Every word was like a knife to Jimmy’s stomach as he imagined his two overpaid security guards sitting behind home plate.
This painful nonsense went on for another ten minutes until Crystal Lynn finally bounced into the room.
Crystal had decided to dress up for the meeting: She was wearing a pink hoodie and a pair of bright pink sweat pants with the word “Juicy” printed on the derriere. Her bleached blond hair was held in a tight bun behind her ears and the t-shirt under her hoodie read “Daddy’s Little Monster” in big red letters. The whole outfit made her look like a bimbo but that was the price you paid for showing the goods in Southern California.
“Can we get this over with quickly?” Crystal said as she plopped down on the couch next to Eric, “Because I have a shoot for Penthouse at 1 o’clock.”
Jimmy shook his head, “Harry’s coming too, I want you all here before we get started.”
“Whatever.” She replied and started playing Candy Crush on her phone.
Crystal Lynn was born Betty Jo Smoot, her father had been a career criminal and her mother was an exotic dancer in Las Vegas. Her parents were not exactly big fans of the education system or reading or science, so it was kind of a surprise when it turned out that Betty was what some people called “gifted”. She had straight A’s for most of her academic career and half the STEM programs in America had beaten a path to her trailer park door.
During her senior year of high school she was awarded a partial scholarship to go to Cal-Tech but when she arrived at college the following fall, she discovered that her her good for nothing father had embezzled her college savings and she was trapped at a school she couldn’t afford in the world’s sixth most expensive city. Luckily in Los Angeles County there were a lot of ways that an attractive woman could make a little money on the side.
Betty just sort of fell into the porn industry after that, a few amateur videos here and a little nude modeling there, but eventually it just became her full time job. By 2010 she was making roughly $100,000 dollars a year and Betty Jo Smoot legally changed her name to Crystal Lynn.
But Crystal wasn’t stupid. She knew that sooner or later that she was going to hit 40 and her days in porno would be numbered. So she started a side business as a hacker and a digital skip tracer. Jimmy considered her the best in the business, nobody could track a fugitive quite like Crystal could.
Crystal didn’t go to the game, she had gone to a party at Leonardo DiCaprio’s house instead, but she had watched the game on Leo’s big screen tv and happily discussed it with Eric. “I honestly didn’t think it would go into extra innings.” She exclaimed excitedly, “God it was the best game of the year.”
Jimmy stifled a moan.
Harry Gallo arrived at 11 and then the party was complete. He stalked into the room and sat down in the red leather chair next to the couch, the same place he always sat when he came to Jimmy’s office.
He was dressed like the lead henchman in an 80s action movie: black suit, black shirt, no tie, and a pair of sunglasses. He was roughly the same age as Jimmy and had a touch of a Jersey Accent when he actually did use words. He often slicked back his dark hair and sometimes wore flesh colored makeup to hide the angry red scar that bisected his face from the left side of his forehead to the bottom right side of his chin.
These were all of the facts that Jimmy actually knew about Harry, everything else he had managed to dig up about the guy was totally unconfirmed. For instance, Harry may or may not have been a known associate of the Carcetti crime family in New Jersey, he may or may not have been in the army at some point, and a man matching Harry Gallo’s description had once robbed five banks in Texas and walked away with roughly four million dollars in cash.
Jimmy has no idea if any of these other things were true but he was more than certain that Harry was the best bounty hunter on the West Coast.
When he sat down, Harry did not talk about the game, didn’t say hello, and barely acknowledged the presence of his fellow human beings. Instead, he turned his head to Jimmy’s direction so he could ask: “What do you want?” Harry was in no mood for small talk.
Good, Jimmy thought, Neither am I. He rose from his chair and walked around the desk to face them. These three people were the sharpest weapons in Jimmy’s vast arsenal, they were the best chance he had of finding the mysterious Dr. Dumont before Erica’s condition turned fatal. These were his friends, his co-workers, his loyal compatriots.
Unfortunately all three of them hated Erica’s guts and the news that she was dying in a hospital was going to bring a round of applause to these people.
So obviously Jimmy was going to have to lie his ass off.
“It’s a medical malpractice case, with a possible criminal complaint.” Jimmy began, “So we’re looking for the doctor.” He reached behind him and pulled out three manila envelopes with everything Erica had told him Dumont. “All we have to work with is a physical description and a fake name.”
“Charles Dumont,” Eric read aloud, then he clucked his tongue, “That’s fakest name I’ve ever heard.”
“And this cat’s some kind of doctor?”
Jimmy nodded again. “There’s a time element involved too, so I want the three of you to start checking your usual sources while I make a call to the Network-”
Crystal’s narrowed into thin slits, “You’re going to use your informants...for a malpractice case?”
“Well, the client is a friend of mine and she’s very sick-”
All three of Jimmy’s friends were staring at him. Harry even took off his sunglasses. This meeting was about to hit a brick wall. “Which friend?” Harry’s voice was just an octave above a growl.
Jimmy winced, “Erica Brooks.”
As soon as his mouth had formed the “ooks” syllable in “Brooks”, Crystal threw up her hands and shouted, “I’m out!”
“Me too.” The Big E replied, “I don’t want nothing to do with that psycho bitch.”
Harry didn’t bother saying anything, he just started walking out of the room so Jimmy had to scramble to the doorway to physically block the trio from leaving. “Look, I understand your reluctance to help Erica-”
Crystal lifted up her hoodie to reveal a small scar above her hip, “That hoe stabbed me, remember?”
“-But obviously none of you want to see her die.”
“Yes we do.” Harry deadpanned.
They started trying to push their way through Jimmy and he had to grab the door frame to hold them back. Just as Eric had started to slip under his arm, Jimmy shouted at the top of his lungs: “Ten grand!”
All three of them stopped trying to leave. “Apiece?” The Big E asked.
Jimmy’s teeth locked together, he almost couldn’t bring himself to say it but he finally ground out the words “Ten grand. Apiece.”
The trio looked at one another for a moment, quietly mulling their options until they finally seemed to come to some sort of collective agreement. “Deal.” Crystal said.
Jimmy sighed and removed his checkbook from the pocket of his sport coat.