A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2017 Karen Lockhart
We got up early on Monday; I trotted into the shower first, just beating Ellen to it. She grumbled a bit, but headed for the kitchen and the coffee maker.
When I headed for my room, Ellen shouted, “Dress warm, we're going to check the Lynn site.”
I put on jeans, dug around in the closet and found a pair of insulated L.L.Bean boots, topping this off with a warm sweater.
Ellen showed up dressed similarly, except she wore her work boots.
After a light breakfast, we headed for the construction site in my Explorer. As expected, the site was the way we left it in December. We opened the field office to check things out, making sure no-one had made it their apartment in our absence.
Ellen checked the thermostat, setting it at fifty-five degrees, up a little from the original fifty degrees.
She made us coffee with the Kurig.
“I hope you like it with powdered milk,” Ellen said. ”I'm afraid the milk in the refrigerator is all curds by now.”
“Black is fine with me,” I said as I fished out cups and covers from the file cabinet.
“Oh good, you found the covers, we can take the coffee with us on the way to Steve's main office.”
I replaced the trailer's locks while Ellen started the Explorer to get the heat going. During the ride to the Saugus office, we chatted about our dates on Sunday. I asked if she and Peter hit it off, or were they just being friendly.
Ellen blushed a little and said she really liked him, and thought he felt the same about her.
“Oh goodie, when are we going out again, or do you want him for yourself?” I asked.
Ellen looked at me. “'Oh goodie'? Have you had your hormone levels checked lately? Only teenagers say 'Oh goodie' kiddo. Are you becoming too much of a girl these days?”
“Ah, you're just jealous of the fact I don't need birth control, and you do.”
“Hey, how is the 'I'm dilated to meet you' coming along? Are you getting close to using the real thing?”
“I'm still working on it, if it's any business of yours, you big snoop. The doctor will tell me when I can have real sex. And Kevin will know before you do.”
She found a parking space at a meter in front of Steve's office. Before getting out of the car she looked sideways at me and said, “I'll know, I'll hear you squealing through the walls in the condo.”
Now it was my face's turn to redden. “I'll have a word with Pete about some of your quirks. Maybe he'll wear his gun on the next date.”
Ellen stuck her tongue out, “Shows what you know, he always wears his gun.”
We went inside and stopped at Steve's wife's desk. We chatted with her for a while until Steve came out of his office. Seeing us, he stopped and gave both of us a big hug, kissed his wife, and said over his shoulder ”I'm heading for the new indoor driving range on Route 1; do you know where my golf clubs are?”
Jeanie gave a big sigh, “In the closet, where they always are, honey.”
Ellen looked at me, “Well, we might as well go home, it's obvious Steve doesn't want to talk to us today.”
After exchanging hugs with Jean, we returned to the car. Now what should we do?
“Shopping!” We said in unison, so off to the Square One Mall we went.
After exhausting our shopping bug, we got back to the condo at about 2pm.
Ellen had a nice surprise, Pete's unmarked cruiser was parked out front, with steam rising from both exhaust pipes.
He rushed over and grabbed our shopping bags and carried them up the stairs and into our living room.
“Don't you women have any hobbies other than shopping?” He asked.
Ellen and I fell into a giggle fit, “Hobby? Shopping is a full time occupation, and we're pros at it.”
I asked Pete what brought him all the way out here from Boston.
He said he wanted to ask me about the use of gravel trucks to deliver drugs around the Boston area,
I told him I heard talk among the other truck drivers how they were told to leave the truck unlocked while they went for lunch, and to be gone at least an hour. My truck was the only one where I saw bags of cocaine behind the passenger seat.
“I never touched the drugs, I left them in the compartment purposely made for them, but I was told each truck now had a secret compartment, either under the seat, or behind it. They were after me because I overheard Morales and McDonald talking about distribution and collecting money for each shipment.”
I still kept the 50,000 dollars in cash secret from Pete. He thought for a moment.
“We've got MacDonald, would you testify against him when his case comes to trial?”
“Pete, look at me; I'm a girl, no one would believe I was a truck driver. I would have to tell everything about me, how I got here from being a man.”
This made him to pause.
Not giving Pete time for another argument, I also said, “Then everyone would know what I look like. My life would be ruined; I'd have to move to another part of the country.”
“I'd make sure you were safe”, he said.
“For how long? The mob would know what I look like.”
Ellen, quiet up to now, spoke up, “Pete, Ginny's life would be over. She would constantly have to keep moving from one place to another. A new name each time she moved.”
We both stared at the floor, slowly raising our eyes to Pete's.
He returned our glances, shrugged, and said, “I see what you mean, I couldn't put Ginny through that. Ellen, you wouldn't be safe either, People would think you knew where Ginny was, no matter how hard you protested.”
Ellen laughed, “Ginny could always pretend to be a man. Who would look for a woman who used to be a man, disguised as a man, who fooled Vincent Morales into thinking she was a woman, while she was still a man.”
I started to giggle, but Pete moaned, “You are starting to give me a headache with that one!”
“What would Tina be doing while all this masquerading was going on?” I asked.
“Tina, I forgot all about her! What would she think of all this. She's only met Ginny, never saw or knew Gene.”
Pete Smith just sat there looking back and forth between us, as if we were a tennis match during a long volley.
He finally spoke, “Ginny, you don't know enough to risk your life and the way you live, to testify against MacDonald. We have him dead to rights. Now, if Morales were alive, and in custody, that might be a different thing.”
Suddenly the doorbell rang, startling us. Ellen got up to see who it was, looked outside and paled.
“OMG, speak of the Devil, it's Tina! What do I do?”
“Ellen let her in, don't make her stand out there like a Jehovah's Witness.” I said.
She came in, saw Pete, and was at a loss for words. Just looking from Ellen to me and back again.
Ever the wise guy, I cracked, “He's selling Girl Scout cookies, how many boxes of Thin Mints do you want?”
Ellen started to choke, Pete looked like a goldfish, gasping for air, and Tina looked bewildered!
Suddenly there was knocking at the door again.
To be continued.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.