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   Chapter 52 No.52

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5612

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02

"Don't stink up the fancy chair. I gotcha, " Lex said, carefully sitting down on the antique. Chances were very good that if he broke it, he would have to sell everything he owned to pay for the replacement.

No sooner had he taken a seat than a second door opened to allow the young woman from the front desk to enter bearing a tray. The pleasing way that her immodest business suit had traced her shape while she was seated had been noticeable. Seeing what it did for her while she was in motion was downright impossible to ignore. At some point, a voice in his head pointed out that it was not nice to stare. A louder voice from further south overruled it. It was downright criminal to give something with a sway like that anything less than his full attention.

It wasn't until his host spoke that he was jolted out of the decidedly primitive state of mind.

"Thank you, Preethy, " he said. "This is Mr. Trevor Alexander."

"We met--briefly, " she said simply.

"Just long enough for me to make an ass out of myself, " Lex remarked.

"Yes. He was very efficient in that regard, " she said, her precise, professional tone never wavering. "Will there be anything else, Mr. Patel?"

"Nothing at the moment."

"Yes, sir."

She placed the tray down and departed. Lex watched her go. Very intently.

"It may interest you to know that the young lady you are so eagerly observing is my niece, " said a bemused Mr. Patel.

"Yes. . . yes, that is very useful information, " Lex said, picking up his drink and downing half of it in order to muster up the courage to make eye contact again.

"I thought it might be. Now then. Before we begin, let me --"

A tone drew

the door. Just look at those names. Francis Green, Malcolm Vincenzo, Little Carl Rodrigo. . ."

Lex's ears perked up.

"Little Carl. Carlito? Carlito Rodrigo?"

"Indeed. Heard of him, have you?"

"The name came up recently."

"Mmm. Small time gun runner. In your neighborhood, as I recall. Shame what happened to him."

"What happened?"

"They locked him up on some obscure regional law tucked away in the constitution of one of the third world nations he helped sell weapons to. It allowed them to charge him with the murders of anyone who was killed using weapons he was involved in delivering. Even after plea bargaining and helping the prosecution, the sentence was measured in centuries. Gun running tends to cause one to accumulate enemies, as does turning informant, and that case locked him in the same facility with more than a few of them. The witness protection kept him away from the new enemies. It didn't do anything for the old. He died after a few months. Sharpened screw driver, which in that jail may as well be listed as natural causes. He left a wife and children behind, I believe."

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