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  Posted: May 21, 2014      Views: 555
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Chapter 34 of the book The Bard of Bel Air
Winston's paranoia increase as Lucy and Ruby make their play
"Poppers Anyone?" by michaelcahill

A murder that isn't, treason, undercover women and a mentally ill homeless man that spouts poetry... And all that jazz!

Previously, All the pieces began to fall into place as the various factions made plans and processed information. Winston is beginning to suspect everyone as his drug addiction begins to send him out of control. We continue now as the final pieces are put in play.

Winston's fit would have to wait. The Chinese had arrived for further negotiations. "Okay, everyone out except the girls. Send Khin in." The room emptied until it was Winston, Lucy and Ruby. He addressed them, "Show no interest. You are here as eye candy. Look available and sexy. I want them to think that you two may be part of the deal. Don't react, especially when they speak Chinese. Just take out your hairbrush if they say something I need to know. I'll make up a reason to leave the room with you. Got it?"
They both nodded in the affirmative. They took a seat by the wall, close enough to hear, but not in the middle of things. The same Chinese businessmen filed into the room accompanied by Dr. Khin.
"Please". Winston waved his hand in front of his desk at the three chairs sitting there. He glanced at Dr. Khin who sat in a chair to the side of the desk. Lucy stood up and approached the men. Winston looked perplexed as though he wasn't sure what she was up to. "Can I get you boys something?" Ruby took the cue and joined her. "Something to drink? Something to eat?" Ruby made eye contact with the Chinese man in the middle. He always did the talking.
He smiled slightly, "No… Ah… Thank you. Perhaps after our little business."
The two women smiled and walked slowly back to their chairs. Everyone was at ease now.
"The sample was of high quality and the price is agreeable." He spoke to the man to his right in Chinese and the man answered with a short phrase.
Ruby heard the remark and didn't react. She knew exactly what he said. I hope the two hostesses or servers, she wasn't sure which, come along with the deal. The other man answered in the affirmative. She got her hairbrush out.
"The transfer is set for tomorrow at the docks as we planned." Winston noticed Ruby brushing her hair as he spoke. "If you'll excuse me for one moment." He nodded to Ruby.
While Ruby followed Winston to the door, Winston said, "Keep them entertained. I'll just be a moment."
Lucy nodded in agreement. She zeroed in on Dr. Khin who looked ready to follow Winston and Ruby out the door. "So you speak Chinese? I speak a little Spanish. Chinese seems so… complicated."
"Actually, English is more complex. So many rules. So many exceptions." He smiled and said something in Chinese that evoked a bit of laughter.
I wish you were here now, girl. I'd love to know what was so damn funny. "I suppose whatever one grows up with seems the most easy. Did your parents speak Chinese?"
"Oh, no. I took it in college. Language is a requirement for Doctors. My folks and their folks are born Americans. No one speaks a word of Chinese, except for me. A shame really. It is an interesting language and culture." Dr. Khin had a smooth bedside manner. He took readily to chitchat and had a soothing quality to his voice.
Winston looked perturbed. "What did they say?"
"He said you would look good in a hat." Ruby's expression was unreadable.
"What the hell does that mean? Look good in a hat? What is a Taylor? You brought me out here for that?" Winston's mind kicked in to overdrive. The speed made a nice catalyst.
"The Chinese mafia obliterate the face of their enemies. It is referring to a corpse in a casket with a hat covering the face. It is something I thought you should know." Ruby looked concerned when in reality she was delighted. Damn that sounds so good, I believe it.
"A hat huh? There's gonna be plenty of hats floating at the bottom of the harbor. I've got hats for every last one of the back stabbing bastards."
"Sir? I think you should calm down before you go back in. You don't want them to know you're on to them."
"Yes, thank you. Okay, there'll be plenty of time for anger later." Winston wasn't close to calm when he went back in.
"Sorry, a little business matter. So, we are set then. The money will be there then?"
"Yes, Mr. Blackwell. We will make the exchange there. It is all arranged. We set sail, so to speak, as soon as we have paid you and the product is on board. He stood up and extended his hand."
Winston grabbed it immediately and applied a little extra pressure as he shook it. "Let's hope everything goes as planned."
As soon as the men left the room, Winston addressed Dr. Khin. "So, what did they say to each other in Chinese?"
Dr. Khin smiled and said, "They said that they hoped the two ladies were part of the deal or something to that effect."
"Did they mention how the girls might look in hats?" Winston's eyes bore into Dr. Khin's as though he could see inside his cranium.
"Hats?" Khin felt ill at ease with Winston's scrutiny and strange behavior. "I know nothing about hats. They didn't mention anything about wardrobe. I'm guessing that they would prefer that there was no wardrobe to consider at all." Khin smiled expecting a little laugh.
Winston's expression didn't change. "I see. Hmm… nothing about hats. Very interesting."
Khin had a perplexed look on his face. He had no response. That Benzedrine seems to be frying his brain. Hmm. Hope he holds up until the deal is done. "Anything else? The product is packaged and ready for transport."
Winston didn't respond. He began talking to Ruby as though Khin had already left. Khin thought little of it and left.
Ruby spoke as soon as Khin left. "I thought he knew some Chinese. It doesn't sound like it".
"Oh. He knows Chinese. Enough to plot with Chinamen. Yep. He knows enough Chinese for that". Winston stared off into space. "Lopez! Get in here".
A large Hispanic man came into the room and stood at attention. "Yes, sir. Lopez".
Lucy and Ruby looked on as Winston spoke. "I want that shifty bastard Khin tailed. I want to know every move he makes. Here me, Lopez. I don't want anything interfering with my plans. If the cops try to arrest him or if aliens drop out of the sky in spaceships, you intervene. I don't want him talking to anybody. He knows too damn much".
Damn! Twenty-one hours to go and this rice eater is screwing me. Ha! Knew it all along… Well… take the money and run. Leave him there with his buddies… then blow them to hell… Yeah, to hell. Winston dug in his right pants pocket and found what he was looking for, Benzedrine. He popped the inhaler and then popped a couple more. There were many substitutes that Dr. Khin provided, but a Benzedrine inhaler or "popper" as they're known on the street remained his favorite. He had pills, Dexedrine, Adderall and the like, but "poppers" where his favorite. Yep, straight to hell… do not pass go… don't collect… just… Lucy… she is a challenging woman… that Ruby… whoa. Better bring her… translating what these back stabbers are conspiring about… yeah… come in handy.
"Tomorrow is the day. I need you there. Don't trust these bastards. Back stabbers. Be ready". He wasn't even looking at Ruby as he spoke. He just walked away nodding his head and gesturing with his hands.
"Looks like we may be in the middle of it. Just where I want to be". Lucy looked intimidating when she had a look of deadly determination. Ruby's eyes grew taking it in.

The book continues with The Harbor Cruz!. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Everyone getting into place. Trying to keep it moving. Who invited all these people to my story? Thanks for all the great input and advice. Trying to follow it!!


Johnathon Blackwell Senior-Harpster, presumed deceased former owner of a music conglomerate.

Johnathon Blackwell Junior- Senior's son and heir apparent to the family fortune.

Lilith Blackwell- Widow of Blackwell Senior and claimant to the estate.

The Bard-Stewart Slater, homeless, writer, musician, mentally ill. witness to the death of Harpster amongst other things.

Detective Tenaya Adrian- lead is there is a murder to investigate.

Detective Lucy Smaldino, Tenaya's partner

Lincoln- The Blackwell family butler.

Ruby Dancer- singer and Daughter of Harpster though she doesn't know anything about it.

Diamond Dancer- mother of Ruby and former mistress of Harpster. Refuses to tell Ruby anything about her father.

Dr. Khin- The Blackwell personal family physcian

"Q & A"-- Q Aubrey Langstan--"Q" The Blackwell family attorney.

Daniel- Blackwell Senior's Deaf brother.

Esmeralda "Emma" Blackwell- Blackwell Seniors Mother

Winston- Blackwell Senior's son. War hero turned mercenary. Kidnapped father and the Bard.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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