Indigo Slam: An Elvis Cole Novel

Indigo Slam: An Elvis Cole Novel by Robert Crais Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Indigo Slam: An Elvis Cole Novel by Robert Crais Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robert Crais
Tags: Fiction, thriller, Suspense, Mystery & Detective, Retail
again.”
    “Sure.” He kept looking around. He kept licking his lips and looking at Arnold, but Arnold wasn’t coming to help.
    “Clark’s missing and I’m trying to find him.”
    “I don’t know where he is.”
    “Don’t lie to me, Tre. I’m betting if I push down your socks or check your arms, I’ll find needle tracks. I’ll bet if I check your apartment, I’ll find dope. If I think you’re lying to me, I can call a couple of cops I know. Violation is only a phone call away.”
    “I’m not lying. I swear to Christ I don’t know where he is.”
    “He buy from you often?”
    Head shaking. “A couple of times. Maybe three, four.”
    “What did he buy?”
    “Dime bags of heroin.” Jesus Christ.
    “When’s the last time you saw him?”
    He shook his head and made a kind of shrug, as if it was tough to remember. “A couple of weeks ago he calls me. He says he’s going away for a few days and he wants to buy enough to get’m through.”
    “He say where he was going?”
    Michaels shook his head again. An older guy I took to be the floor manager was watching us now. Michaels saw him and didn’t like it.
    I said, “Think hard, Tre. Did Clark mention a name or a place? A girlfriend, maybe?”
    More shaking. “Look, that was, what, two weeks ago? I haven’t heard from him since, okay? I swear to Christ I haven’t.”
    The floor manager sidled closer, trying to listen. Michaels leaned toward me. “These guys beef me out of the job, it’s going to go like a bitch with my parole officer.
Please
.”
    I left Tre Michaels in the sea of flickering Arnolds and slowly drove north to my office. The day was warm and clear, but the air felt dirty and the weight of the sun seemed heavy as if the light was a burden. I thought about Teresa and Charles and Winona, and how the daddy I was trying to find wasn’t the same daddy that Teri was searching for, and I thought how sad it was that we often never really know the people around us, even the people we love.

5
    It was after two that afternoon when I took the winding drive up Laurel Canyon to the A-frame I keep just off Woodrow Wilson Drive in the mountains above Hollywood. It’s a long drive up Laurel, but I’ve found that as you climb through the trees and cut rock to the top of the mountain and leave the city behind, you’re often able to leave the clutter and stress of modern life with it. Often, but not always. Less often still when you’re thinking about three kids with a missing father who turns out to be a drug addict.
    I parked in the carport, turned off the alarm, and let myself in through the kitchen. The home was cool and still and smelled of Lucy’s presence, but I probably just imagined it. Wishful thinking. I said, “Anybody home?”
    No answer.
    I share the house with a large black cat who has shredded ears and a fine flat head that he carries cocked to the side from when he was shot with a twenty-two. I think it soured him. He is not the world’s friendliest cat, and he’d hissed twice when Lucy arrived, then scrambled through his cat door and disappeared. He had watched us drive away that morning, so I thought he’d be inside waiting for me by now, but there you go. He sulks.
    I took an Evian from the fridge, had some, then put Clark Haines’s phone bills on my kitchen counter and looked at them. Tre Michaels had said that Clark was going on a trip, and the phone bills showed calls both to Tucson and Seattle, but the dope changed things. People died from drug overdoses, and people were often murdered when they were trying to buy drugs, so there was a very real possibility that the only trip Clark Haines had taken was to the morgue. I spent the next thirty-two minutes on the phone with hospital emergency rooms and the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office asking if anyone named Clark Haines or fitting his description had been admitted, living or dead, but no one had. Whew. Dodged that bullet.
    I went through the bills, noting

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