Chapter Three (Part One)
“Ms. Wire, I’m going to get straight to the fucking point.” The short, balding, sweaty man leans over his desk, planting his fists firmly on the papers slopping around on top of it. A picture of the man with a pretty, anemic woman cringing under his arm and three equally washed-out children teeters precariously on the edge of the desk before tumbling to the ground. The man ignores the picture and glares at Trip as if the difficult situation is her fault. She stares back at him, not dropping her eyes deferentially as he expects. She doesn’t let punks like him get to her because she knows he needs her and not vice-versa, especially since she just deposited the last of the money Harrington gave her. It is quite a thrill to look at her bank statement and see that many zeroes. Per usual, Trip doesn’t answer as the short man postures but waits impatiently for him to get straight to the fucking point. She glances around his office as he blunders about. It’s dark and masculine with his chair ratcheted up so he could lord over his minions beneath him. A Napoleon complex, indeed.
“This is what you might call a delicate situation.” The man, who still hasn’t introduced himself, spits out the cliché with a straight face. Trip doesn’t bother telling him it always is. “Name’s DiCalvo, by the way.” She can’t tell if it’s his first or last name, then decides it doesn’t really matter. “It involves a girl and some indiscretion.” Of course it does. Trip sighs loudly to convey her boredom, but DiCalvo ignores her as he continues talking in his rapid-fire manner. “Some bitch who thinks she can get away with something. You know the kind of bitch I mean?” Trip gazes at him, but doesn’t answer. “I hate nothing more than an uppity woman who thinks she can jack me around by the balls.” He pauses to wipe his forehead with a handkerchief, then starts to rant again. “That’s why I don’t fuck around on my wife. With her, I know what I’m getting. With those girls out there these days, well, who knows what kind of crazy stunts they’ll pull?”
“I don’t do injury,” Trip informs him, watching his anger with a jaundice eye. There’s a studied quality to his ranting, as if he’s practiced the lines. She has the feeling that he is doing it for her benefit, not because he really means it. “If that’s what you want, I’m out of here.”
“Shit, no, that’s not what I want. I want that, I got boys who can do that. I wouldn’t use an amateur like you.” The scorn in his voice is obvious. “I mean, shit, sending a broad to do that to another broad is some sick shit, you know? No way is that what I’m going to have you do. See, this bitch, she’s a real ballbuster. She thinks she’s got a gold-plated one, you know what I mean? God, I hate bitches like that.”
“What’s your problem?” Trip breaks in, no longer willing to play his game. She has already decided to turn him down, so it’s just a matter of hearing him out.
“My boss, you don’t need to know his name, got entangled with this bitch. Angelica Sylvian. Shit!” DiCalvo stops, an upset look on his face. “Forget her name. it’s not important. What’s important is she’s trying to blackmail him. Letters. Pictures. You know the drill. We want them back.” DiCalvo is dripping sweat by this time, despite the air conditioning.
“Where?” Trip asks laconically. Might as well get all the details before having the pleasure of telling this dick to fuck off.