The Last Thing I Saw

The Last Thing I Saw by Richard Stevenson Read Free Book Online

Book: The Last Thing I Saw by Richard Stevenson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard Stevenson
Tags: gay mystery
thousand dollars in a checking account. Susan Wenske had told me her daughter had arranged for a neighbor to pick up her son’s mail, and Marilyn retrieved it periodically and dealt with anything that needed attention. She lived in Waltham, one of the closer-in west-of-Boston suburbs, and my plan had been to meet her the next day, although now it seemed that maybe that would have to be postponed in the wake of Bryan Kim’s murder.
    I looked for any sign of the research Wenske had been doing for his media book but found nothing. I concluded that he probably had it all on the missing computer.
    It was a cool but pleasantly dry early spring night, so I hoofed it across the Public Garden and on over to Back Bay and the hotel. On Saturday night the diners and drinkers and theater-goers were out and about. Bryan Kim and I were to have been among the culinary fun-seekers—he had suggested a Hungarian place near the hotel—and despite my not really knowing the man at all, I felt a terrible loneliness without him.
    Back in the hotel room, I phoned Timmy. He didn’t answer his cell, and I remembered that he was dining with friends in Troy and then going to a performance by a blues group at the Music Hall. I left a message telling him not to call, that I’d be asleep. Then I lay awake for well over an hour going over it all again and again.
    § § §
    Marilyn Fogle, Wenske’s sister, called my cell just after eight Sunday morning. I was in a hotel coffee shop reading the Globe’s account of the death of the popular and well-respected local television news reporter. The story added nothing to what I had learned from Marsden Davis about the crime itself. There were no suspects, the paper said, and robbery was not believed to have been a motive, since Bryan Kim had let the killer enter his building and nothing valuable seemed to be missing. His colleagues at Channel Six were said to be shocked and saddened. His parents and siblings were flying in from Seattle. Gay-rights advocates were quoted as saying Bryan’s death was a terrible loss to that community. One spokesperson said there was no indication that this was a gay-bashing. No one was speculating—yet—that this might have been a sexual pick-up gone wrong. It hadn’t been, of course, what with Elvis Gummer expected at four o’clock for some gay-singles cheesecake palaver, if in fact that’s what it was.
    Marilyn Fogle and I cancelled our planned lunch in Waltham and made a tentative dinner date instead. She asked me if I thought Bryan Kim’s murder had anything to do with Eddie’s disappearance, and I said I had no idea.
    I walked over to the South End through the nearly deserted Sunday morning streets. Gummer buzzed me into his building, a stalwart, big-roomed five-story brick block on the neighborhood’s main drag, Tremont Street.
    “God, I am still freaked,” Gummer said, and he looked it. He was appealingly stocky and muscular in jeans, a tank top, and bare feet, but his pug nose was red and his big brown eyes were bloodshot. “I know it’s irrational—I’m sure the killer isn’t still here in the building somewhere, but after something like this you just feel so incredibly vulnerable. Poor Bryan, the poor guy, what he went through. It’s just so cruel and so totally ridiculous.”
    “It is.”
    “I’m like, I mean, is blood going to start dripping through the ceiling? I keep looking up, even though I’m two floors down from Bryan. I’ve never seen so much blood. I really did try not to panic, and I didn’t. I called nine-one-one on Bryan’s land line—thank God he still had one, although I guess a cell would work. But I didn’t have mine with me. I knew he must be dead. How could anybody have that much blood drain out and still be alive? His jeans were soaked and his t-shirt was all ripped up and soaked with blood that was turning black. I wanted to help him, and I’m not that squeamish, but what could I do ?”
    “It sounds as though you did

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