“I… I can’t stay, Jack. I will take Bobby to lunch. Please don’t let her be here when we get back,” Dani had said as she walked out the door ten minutes prior.
Jack sat in his office, a cigarette burned in the ashtray and his mind focused on Dani’s words. He glanced at the wall clock. 12:50 pm. He had ten minutes to compose himself before Angelina arrived. It’d been nearly ten years since he’d seen her. Jack sighed. Don’t make a fool of yourself, Jack. She left you, remember that. Jack looked down at the ashtray. The cigarette was nearly burnt out, he took one last drag and snuffed it out. He stood up and paced back and forth. His mind reeled with questions. How was Angelia connected to all of this? What did she know about Ella? And why couldn’t she just tell Bobby instead of coming here? He went to the window, lifted the blind and stared out at the City below. Was she down there somewhere on her way here? Should he even care?
“Hello, Jack,” a soft female voice said behind him.
Jack turned around. He’d been so caught up in his thoughts that he hadn’t even heard her enter. Angelina. Her hair was shorter and her once-smooth face was now slightly wrinkled around the eyes and lips, but she was still beautiful, so damn beautiful. Jack walked over to his desk and sat down in the chair.
“Hello, Miss Favero,” he said coldly. “Come in and sit down,” he offered as he pointed to a chair across from him.
Angelina walked into the office. She removed her white gloves and placed them on the desk along with her purse. “I know it’s been a long time, Jack, but why so formal?” she asked as she sat down and crossed her long legs.
Jack watched her the entire time. He couldn’t help but notice the slit in her green dress, nor the thigh-high hose slightly exposed. She always did dress just slightly on the classy, yet slutty side. His eyes wandered upward where the dress met her breasts at a V-neck, a large emerald and diamond necklace rested between them. Jack coughed as he turned his gaze from her and reached for a cigarette. He offered one to her, but she declined. Jack lit it and took a long drag. As he exhaled, he sat the cigarette in the ashtray.
“I’d like to keep this strictly business, Miss Favero, if you don’t mind,” Jack finally replied.
Angelina turned her head and sighed. She slowly turned it back around and stared at Jack for a moment. “If you insist, Mr. Diamond,” she retorted.
“I do. Thank you. Now let’s get down to that business, Miss Favero. Mr. Weston said you had some information to share,” Jack inquired as he took another drag off of his cigarette.
“I do, Ja… Mr. Diamond, that is. Mr. Weston asked if I knew Ella D’Amore and I told him I did. I worked at the Roosevelt with her before she left several months back.”
Jack raised an eyebrow. “Were you also performing?” he asked as he leaned forward. Angelina was a singer at Victor’s club when he met her. He had no idea why he was curious about her current occupation, but he was.
Angelina shook her head. “No, I am a hostess. Miss D’Amore sang and danced.”
Jack nodded and leaned back. “Go on,” he said as he continued smoking his cigarette.
“Well, when I knew her, she was dating a sailor named Perkins. He turned up dead and Miss D’Amore was a suspect.”
Jack narrowed his eyes. “Why was she a suspect?”
“Because she was the last person to see him alive. They’d been at the club together after hours,” she said as she lowered her eyes. She smoothed out her dress and shifted in the seat. Finally, she looked back up at Jack and continued, “I saw them leave together. When the cops questioned me, I told them I had seen them get into a taxi together.”
“That doesn’t prove anything, Miss Favero. Why would the cops suspect her?”
Angelina cleared her throat and continued, “They’d been arguing. I was in the back changing and I heard them. It was a nasty fight, Mr. D…,” she said as she scooted to the edge of her seat. Her eyes teared up and she clutched the edge of the desk. “Oh Jack, can we please quit this pretense? Why must you be so cold?”
Jack stumped his cigarette out in the ashtray and slammed his fist on the desk. “You know why, Angelina! Why did you come here? You could have told all of this to Bobby. Hell, I suspect you did tell him. So why? Why come back here now?”
Angelina stared at him in disbelief and then turned her head. She lifted a hand to her face and wept.
Jack sighed heavily and stood up. He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and walked around to the opposite side of the desk. He leaned against it and pushed the handkerchief towards Angelina. She pushed his hand away and turned half way around in the seat, burying her head in both of her hands. She continued to cry.
“Damn it!” Jack yelled as he crouched down and gathered her close to his chest with his left arm. “Hush, hush,” he whispered as he rubbed her back.
Angelina buried her head in his chest. “I’m sorry, Jack. God knows I am so sorry,” she sobbed.
Jack released her and lifted her head with his hand. He gazed into her brown eyes as he leaned into her. Memories flooded his mind as he recalled all of the moments they’d spent together. He pressed his lips to hers and kissed her with all of the hunger of a starved man.
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!
The Stacked Deck 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, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24
Jump forward to Part 26