Chapter 29: Inside Knowledge
Giselle lounged on Martin’s sofa like a cat. She was leaning her head on the arm and letting her hair cascade over the side, watching it with a tilt of her head as it brushed the floor.
“I can’t fucking believe it.” Martin slammed the folder onto his desk across the room from where she lounged. “These fucking scientists are useless.”
“I told you.” Giselle chided, smiling to herself.
Martin had sent out the sample of the man’s blood to six different labs in Cellar City and each of them had come back the same: Contaminated sample. Unidentifiable.
Except for Dr. McKeeney’s office, of course. But Martin didn’t know that.
“What do I pay these idiots for?” Martin sighed. The leather of his arm chair sighed with him.
When Martin was banished from the upper levels for his ‘tasteless’ behavior, any reliable contacts up above had been severed from him. Therefore, he was stuck with these Cellar City scumbags to do all of his work.
That suited Giselle just fine – Mid Level hustlers and doctors alike were still partial to a pretty face. She had no trouble getting what she wanted.
“What the hell is wrong with this fucker?” Martin slammed something else into his desk, and Giselle rolled her eyes. His anger was tiresome, although she supposed he deserved to have his little outbursts now and again.
She had them all the time.
“He’s only human.” Giselle soothed him from her position on the sofa, not even bothering to look at him. “He just doesn’t bleed very often, or very much.”
“…And when he does he bleeds ‘contaminated.’” Martin opened and shut a drawer, and Giselle could hear him pour a drink and then down it in one swallow.
Poor baby, Giselle thought. Can’t get what you want?
“What is the deal with this guy? I mean he harasses me for months, gets shot and then disappears for a month then comes back good as new. Giselle, this fucker could move, I am telling you there is something not right about him. Not... natural.”
Sighing dramatically, Giselle rolled onto her back so she could cast her eyes in his direction. “Did you call them yet?”
Martin shot her a look. “Of course I did.”
Martin snorted. “They haven’t called me back. Had an answering service. Something about Dr. Ahren on vacation in the country and the offices would be open sometime next week, that sort of bull shit.”
Martin shook his head and poured himself another drink.
Giselle could see his hand trembling.
This creature attacking his clubs – the stranger with the black coat and the sandy hair – was really getting to him. Since they fished him out of the alley yesterday he had been nothing but a bundle of chaffing nerve endings, snapping at everyone. Even Useless, that ridiculous body guard had gotten a sizeable earful for still being alive when the others turned out to be bloody lumps on the floor.
“Goddamnit.” Martin hissed, slamming the empty glass back down on the desk. “This fuck is going to put me out of business, Giselle. How does he know where all my shit is? He’s picking me apart, club by club.”
Giselle shrugged her shoulders. “He has Paul’s notebook.”
“What?” Martin snapped. “What fucking notebook?”
Giselle fixed him with a casual stare. “Paul had a notebook, didn’t you know? He wrote down all the clubs you had so he could be sure he was only going to your places. He had a horrible memory, poor Paul.”
Martin groaned. “I am so fucked. We have to fucking stop this guy.”
Giselle was about to say something when her phone started to vibrate.
“I have to go, sweet cheeks.” Giselle lifted herself back onto the spike heels and rose, brushing her mahogany locks out behind her. “Good luck.”
“What, you’re just going to fuck off somewhere?” Martin stared at her in disbelief.
“Why not?” Giselle shrugged. “I’m free-lance, remember?” She smiled cruelly at him. “Call me when you want a good screw, Martin.”
Martin slowly curled his eyes to the side, drawing his lips into a tight, agitated line.
Giselle ignored the expression and found her way out of Martin’s office, and into the hall.
The building that Martin called Home Base, was without a doubt one of the more run-down parts of Cellar City. It was by the wharfs in sector 6 close to her place, so the smell permeated indoors, and everything was cement or cement-with-throw-rugs. All in all it was a dry, humorless place with poor lighting and poor air-flow.
Giselle felt the creeping smile spread across her face as she donned her dark sunglasses and heard her heels clicking officially on the cement.
Those doctors were idiots, sure. But Giselle had been able to find out some rather choice information about their mysterious assailant through Dr. McKeeney’s file. She wasn’t about to share any of it with Martin Jones, though.
Giselle was done being used. Now it was her doing the using, and if M. Jones thought he could pawn her off on some scientists fantasizing about exotic pussy, he could forget about it. Not only was she independent of pimps and mob-bosses alike, she was a spiteful bitch.
Unfortunately, her vengeance came a bit late. She had not expected their crazy vigilante friend to stop his shenanigans just because of some poor excuse for a bullet wound. The last raid had been the first in a month on M. Jones’ properties, and Giselle wanted him to sweat.
She would hold on to the information for a little longer. In the meanwhile, Giselle recalled the more interesting tid-bits.
He was part of experimental batch, number ten. His individual numbered listing was thirteen. He was athletic and military, rank corporal. Giselle smiled, rolling the name along her tongue to test its flavor.
She had been a very busy girl. Her mid-level contacts were more then happy to point her in the direction of people in-the-know.
Imagine her surprise when all of her little friends (willing friends or not) had pointed her in the direction of the private faction owned and operated ‘Arrowhead.’ This name surprised her in the best way possible because it was a name she recognized.
About the organization she knew next to nothing, except for one personal instance. Her contacts (including a mid-level senator’s assistant, a pricey hooker and a ritzy hotel bartender,) were delighted to talk about the mysterious company’s failures, but were mum on the actual purpose or significance of the company itself.
However, almost a year ago now she had offered M. Jones her assistance in another matter, a dead end hunt for the culprit of a break in. She had visited the ‘offices’ briefly to get the run-down on the incident, but all she had seen that was worth anything were the bulky pieces of scientific equipment and the coffee maker, both of which were charred and unmoved yet expensive. At the time she had assumed more sensitive items had been taken that they wouldn’t reveal to her – but the more she chewed on the information these past weeks, the more it seemed like it may have been a break out.
Even then, with her own past of questionable activities, she could tell that the broken latches and smashed glass were all leading out rather than in. Far be it for her to suggest such a thing at the time, she had only been muscle with tits at the time.
She remembered thinking what a shit-hole it was, and wondering who would bother stealing from them. This ‘company,’ Arrowhead, looked like they were working with a budget less fruitful than Useless’ wages to date.
Giselle got to the street and clicked along to the nearest cab stop.
Thoughts of Useless brought up images of his height and build – the almost tanned color of his skin and his puppy-dog eyes. She thought about those strong arms, and imagined that he must have some amazing stamina. It really was too bad that he didn’t have half a brain.
Then again, she mused on the idea of having someone big and cuddly to boss around in the bedroom. She would make him a trained circus bear by the end of one night. He would be all whimpers and pleas and she would love that kind of dominance.
As she itched for a chance to seduce someone new, another thought crossed her mind.
Useless had been there. Martin said Useless had helped him into the ventilation shaft when things started going to hell. Had Useless seen Lucas Bainbridge, the mysterious party crasher?
Useless was alive, so logic dictated that Lucas simply hadn’t checked the men’s restroom.
Then again, Useless had been left alive a month ago, too. Granted he had a set of nasty bumps on the back of his coconut-skull, but he wasn’t a pile of bloody gore like all the others. Not to mention Useless’ confession that he had shot Lucas Bainbridge, which coincided with the number of bullets left in his gun…
Giselle felt the warm realization wash her face with a broad smile.
Her eyes fluttered shut as a cab pulled up to the curb and stopped to let her in.
Of course. Lucas Bainbridge wasn’t working alone.
It was a long shot to believe that Useless could have been involved, at least on purpose, but it was a delicious place to start.
Giselle slid into the back seat of the cab, and immediately dialed a number from heart on the ad-screen in the back seat. As she waited for James in Personnel to pick up, (a pimp and a loser, but very good with names and faces,) Giselle held up one slender finger and let her smile drift into the suggestive for the driver.
Giselle was quick as soon as James picked up.
“Hello there, handsome. You owe me. Let’s start with the address for a guy named Useless on the bouncer payroll.”
James was quick to gather and respond, and when he did she disconnected the call and turned her half lidded eyes on the driver half drooling at her.
“128 Park street, apartment 3B, sector 7 please.”