Private Investigator – Chapter 16
Frank Francis is a private detective. A private eye. A private dick.
Chapter 16 – This Love Of Mine
“Now remember, Jack Glenallen’s takin’ a dive in the second round. Just long enough to get everyone comfortable in their seats. Then pow! You win, we cash in and Olivia St. John’s headed for the hoosegow.”
“What do you mean ‘we win’?”
We were in the locker room in the basement underneath Madison Square Garden. I was taping up soon-to-be-heavyweight champion Albert Garaventa’s hands when he asked a tough question.
“Well, I figured since we already know who’s gonna win, I’d grab a little of that sweet green, too.”
“Boss, don’t you see? That makes you just as immoral as Olivia.”
“Hey, it’s been a tough year. I’ve been hemorrhaging money at the business and now I hear through the private investigator union that we may be going on strike. I need a nest egg, Al. You’re my nest egg. Now if you need some added motivation, I hear Ms. St. John is dating her new boxer Jack. So punch him extra hard. Funny, I always saw her ending up with me.”
Albert gave me a queer look.
“Or you. Definitely you.”
Jack & Albert were trading blows and my personal bodyguard was putting up quite an act against Olivia’s personal boyfriend. Really sellin’ it. We were sitting together so I could keep an eye on her. Make sure she didn’t make a run for it when the fuzz showed up. Slapsie Brown, now under contract with Olivia, had sung the National Anthem and was sitting with us up front.
“That boy boxin’!”
“Sure is, Slapsie.”
Olivia leaned over. I could smell her musk. Do ladies have musk? I could smell her lady-musk. Her lusk.
“Albert’s getting battered up there. He knows he’s supposed to win, right?”
“Yeah, I even told him you and Jack were dating for extra motivation.”
“What, arena nachos coming back up on you?”
“Frank, you know how jealous Al gets.”
“I do?” For a detective, I had begun to realize I wasn’t all that perceptive. So I fibbed it. “I do.”
Albert turned to Olivia as Jack was winding up with a devastating haymaker.
“I won’t let you go to jail, Olivia! I still love you!”
“Jail? What’s he talking about?”
“Uh, heh, probably just the concussions talking. Haven’t you read those studies? Boxing is actually really brutal on the human noggin.”
“Is this a set-up?”
Jack laid Albert out and he fell unconscious with a sweet smile on his big dumb face.
“Well not anymore, obviously.”
Later that week, Albert, Dolly and I watched as the repo men emptied my office. After betting everything on my now-ex-bodyguard, I was flat broke and with the private eye strike I was out of a gig.
Olivia got locked up for an unrelated racketeering charge. Albert visits her sometimes, but that punch knocked some sense into him. He retired from boxing and he’s dating Dolly now. So it didn’t knock that much sense into him.
The heart wants what the heart wants. As for me, all I really want is some damn meatloaf.
And a job.
Christ, I need a job.
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