Harley stood in front of the Carmel Academy for Performance Arts, scanned the Carmel Pine Cone, keeping one eye on the iron gate into Heather Glenn Court’s subterranean garage. He didn’t mind waiting. His spiritual studies convinced him of the power of intention. He was aligned with that intention. Everything was exactly as it should be.
Indeed, it was. Two minutes later the gate slid open and a new Tesla rolled silently out the dark cavern and up the ramp.
Harley folded the newspaper under his arm, crossed the street, and walked down the ramp into the garage.
Jerry paced Abby’s office. “We go way back. Before Laura. A very nice girl… woman.”
“You don’t have to apologize. None of my business.”
“I’m not apologizing. I—” Then it hit him. “You know her, don’t you? Serena told you!”
“Serena. Ah. Murphy didn’t tell me her name. He’s not that good.”
“So, this is how you do it. Take off for a couple of days. Get the guy to doggy sit. Set him up with an old girlfriend…” Jerry eyed Murphy, “And have your henchman spy on him!”
“Well, if I was going to go to that much trouble – including the girl – I wouldn’t need my henchman! WOULD I?”
Jerry knew he was in trouble.
“Well?” Time to lower the boom. “But you’re right, Jerry. You got me. Murphy’s my spy. Saved me a lot of pain and heartbreak from really great guys – who turned out to be not quite so great. If you know what I mean.”
“All I know is—”
“You know shit. So, shut up! And sit down.”
“Why should I?”
“Because you’re going to need to. Sit!”
Murphy and Winifred immediately sat.
Jerry remained nailed to the floor.
Abby held Winifred in her gaze… then turned back to Jerry. “Max’s travel crate. In the car. You left the door open…”
Jerry went white.
The garage was not well lit but Harley had no trouble finding the parking stall with Abby Purcell’s name on the wall. A new Jaguar convertible was in the space. Not what he expected. Figured her for something more like the car in Dr. Fassbinder’s space two stalls down, a dirty Subaru Outback with two travel crates in the back and a bumper sticker that read: If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise!
Trusting his new found intuitive spirit, Harley moved to the Subaru, made sure the garage was empty, and spread the Pine Cone paper on the ground under the hood.
Jerry sat rigid on the office couch, Winifred on the floor in front of him.
“That car ran the intersection. It wasn’t your fault,” Abby said. “You must know that.”
Jerry stared at the wall with all the drawings of animals.
“Why can’t you accept the truth?”
Winifred jumped into Jerry’s lap, tried for a lick on the chin. Jerry grabbed her muzzle, looked hard into her eyes. Betrayed by his little Sweets, he pushed her off his lap and headed for the door.
“I’m sorry,” Abby said. “I didn’t want to.”
At the door, Jerry turned back, eyes cold and questioning.
“I needed you to believe…”
Jerry shook his head and was out the door.
~ ~ ~