Jack felt something poke him. He batted at it and turned over. When he opened his eyes, Dani stood beside the sofa, an amused grin on her face. Jack grumbled and sat upright.
“What’s the big idea, Dani?”
“Sorry, Jack. It’s nearly 10 am. Bobby is here to check in.” Dani laughed as she walked out of Jack’s office and back into the reception room.
Jack rubbed his chin and then shook his head. He didn’t even remember falling asleep, but as he looked over at his desk, he understood why. There was a half-empty bourbon bottle sitting on it. He only remembered having the one drink. He stumbled from the sofa to his desk and nearly fell as he sat down. His head ached and his stomach felt like lead.
Dani returned with a bottle of aspirin and a cup of coffee. She sat them on the desk in front of Jack and poured him a glass of water.
“Rough night?” she asked as she handed him the glass.
Jack swiped the glass out of her hand. “You could say that.” He opened the aspirin bottle, poured several aspirin out into his hand and tossed them into his mouth. He followed them with a big gulp of water.
“You look like hell, boss,” Bobby said as he strolled into the office and sat down in a chair across from Jack.
“Italian women have that effect on him, Bobby,” Dani said with a grin on her face.
“Are you two done yet?” Jack asked as he placed a hand on his head and leaned his elbow on the desk. “My head is splitting and you two are cracking jokes.”
Dani smirked at Jack and walked out of the office, closing the door behind her. Bobby flashed Jack a sheepish grin. “Sorry, boss. Dani said you wanted to see me.”
Jack nodded. He took a sip of the coffee and then lit a cigarette. He sat upright and rolled his neck around, raised his shoulders and then stretched his neck upward. He knew better than to sleep on that sofa. He always felt stiff the next day. He took a drag of the cigarette, inhaled deeply and then exhaled. “I need you to go to New York, Bobby. Check out the Roosevelt Lounge and see if you can dig up any information on Ella D’Amore.”
“Anything in particular I should be looking for?”
“I’m not sure. Something isn’t sitting right with me about that dame. All I know about her is that before she came to The Wild card, she worked at the Roosevelt. She claims that Victor got her out of a jam. See if you can find out what trouble she was in and ask around about her.”
Bobby stood up and walked toward the door. “Okay, boss. I will check back in as soon as I find something.”
Jack waved the kid off. “Keep Dani in the loop,” he replied and took another drink of his coffee. He glanced at the bottle of bourbon, picked it up and tossed it into his desk drawer. “Damn bourbon!”
The phone rang and Jack cursed again as he picked it up. “What is it, Dani?”
“Millie White is on the line.”
“Shit. Okay, put her through,” he replied. Just what he needed. Another screwy dame to mess with his head. “Mrs. White, what can I do for you?” he asked when the line switched over.
There was a moment of silence and then Millie’s soft voice came over the line. “Mr. Diamond, I owe you an apology.”
“I’d say you do. You hire me and then run out on me. What gives, Mrs. White?” Jack allowed his temper to get the best of him. He was tired of being jerked around.
“I am terribly sorry, Mr. Diamond. I…I need to talk to you and explain why I took off so suddenly.”
“I’m all ears,” Jack replied.
There was a moment of silence again and then Mrs. White sighed heavily into the phone. “I… I cannot explain on the phone. I am staying at the Radley Motel. Do you know it, Mr. Diamond? Just outside the City?”
“Yes, yes, I know it. I can be there in an hour.”
“Thank you, Mr. Diamond. I will see you then.”
The phone went dead and Jack slammed it down on the receiver. His head throbbed. He grabbed the aspirin bottle and took out a couple more pills. This has better be good, he thought as he swallowed them.
The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which will appear as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another exciting part of this story!
This serial is copyrighted ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
Click the link to catch up on the other parts of this story:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12
Jump forward to Part 14