âMy guess is that if sheâs heard the news on radio or TV, sheâs made the connection with FOB Pawn and is lying lowâno pun intended,â Nancy said, rolling her eyes.
âSometimes, if your life gets turned around, you go back to old habits,â Gordon said softly, staring across the room blankly.
Gina looked at Charlie, who shrugged. Gordon was like still waters sometimes.
âYeah, or maybe just old neighborhoods. You might want to try tomorrow afternoon, guys, and try to catch the clientele when theyâve stopped off for a beer after work,â Nancy added.
âYeah, by then, we might have a name on the boyfriend,â Charlie said, yawning.
Gina stood. âYou guys look beat, and Iâve got to meet with a client in the morning, so maybe weâd better take off.â
Hugs were exchanged, and a few minutes later Gordon was closing up the office while Charlie checked the locks. As he passed by the spot where heâd been standing when the shooting first started, he noticed a bullet hole in the shelf chest high. He stopped, turned around, then got back into the firing position heâd assumed and looked down. The bullet coming in his direction had passed under his arm, only a few inches from his side. That was close.
âAbout done up there?â Gordon called from the other end of the shop.
Charlie looked down, saw his hand was shaking, and jammed it into his pants pocket. âAlmost, Gordo. Almost.â
*Â Â Â *Â Â Â *
The next business day was hectic. The first people walking into the shop were local TV reporters with perfect makeup and beautiful, styled hairâand that was just the two young men from the networks. But the routine was pretty much the same for all the coverage. Once the reporters got a few sound bites from Charlie and Gordon, with references to Detective DuPree and the police department, they were allowed to film some of the bullet holes before being told to leave.
Hours went by before anyone wanting to do actual business stopped inâeveryone else was just curious. Fortunately, the physical damage still visible was limited to the bullet holes. The damaged and destroyed merchandise was in the Dumpster or the store room and the blood and gore had been cleaned up.
Jake took care of the front register and Ruth handled the insurance photos and paperwork on their losses and assisted customers and clients. Whenever anyone came to her with questions about yesterday, she referred them to Charlie or Gordon, who were doing all they could to stay focused on the job.
A half hour before quitting time, six oâclock on weekdays, Jake and Ruth clocked out and left. Charlie and Gordon locked up, filled the bullet holes with wood putty, then drove toward the interior of the city, looking for Lola.
âWe should have heard something by now. You think DuPree will be able to ID the alleged boyfriend?â Gordon asked, looking over at Charlie, who was behind the wheel of the Charger.
âWhen Nancy called she said APD officers were going through old area high school yearbooks. They tried a facial recognition program on DMV records but got so many hits itâll take awhile to run them down.â
âA dark-skinned Indian or Hispanic, black-haired, black-eyed guy about five nine, medium build, short hair, and about twenty-five fits a lot of locals,â Gordon added. âNot including a hoard of guys from Arizona, Texas, Coloradoâand Mexico. Utah, home of the blue-eyed blonde, Iâd probably put at the bottom of the list.â
âSupposedly theyâll be running the photo from our shop on the local news. That could also help,â Charlie added.
âWhatâs the plan tonight? Driving around looking for Lola, or tracking down Mike the pimp?â Gordon asked, placing his Beretta and holster beneath the seat. They were still illegal in bars, even with concealed carry.