Revolving Doors Chapter 9

Republisher’s Note: Danny is no closer to finding Mick’s killer, but he’s investigating Millenium.

Revolving Doors – Chapter 9

Danny sat in his car outside Millennium.

He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and murmured to himself, “Where is he?…….OK, Dietz, I hope this guy is better at detective work than he is at keeping appointments.”

It had been a week since Mick’s attack and his mother was losing patience. As he waited, he thought about the progress of his investigation or lack thereof.

Progress had been slow. A special finesse was required when asking questions within his world. Stepping on the wrong toes, asking the wrong question or asking the wrong person could get you in deep shit faster than you could say, “cement overshoes.”

The smartest way to get answers was to have a trusted friend from another family make discrete inquiries of all their associates. For Danny, that was Bernard. He had been his father’s best friend and even though he headed another mob family, Danny would often go to him for advice and help in times of need. Bernard’s efforts had turned up nothing about Mick’s attack.

Dietz was now focusing on Mick’s drug customers. There was a possibility one of them had had a disagreement with him or that possibly someone else had stolen Mick’s latest shipment. Danny was still waiting for information in that part of the investigation. He wasn’t expecting a resolution quickly because Mick had never made a list of his customers.

Danny decided to focus on Mick’s activities just prior to his attack and anyone who might have had a run in with him. He knew Mick had been arrested for dealing drugs. Danny had been out of town when all of this transpired, but their lawyer had given him all the details. His number one suspect for the attack was now Drew Jacobs, owner of Millennium. Danny knew that if he showed up to investigate and someone identified him as a Santos, no one would talk.

Danny had decided to hire a private investigator to handle the grunt work. It would be easy enough to verify alibis, identify the major players without getting involved. When the facts were in, he would apply the kind of pressure only his name could provide.

The PI, Jack Kelly, was a former cop, who had been dismissed for what was termed excessive force. He was anxious to do a good job for the Santos family. He’d been given instructions to find out about Mick’s employment at Millennium, his subsequent troubles and anyone who might have had a grudge against him. Danny had indicated that Drew Jacob’s was of primary interest, of course, as well as Jesse Blue, Michelle’s boyfriend.

Michelle. Her name always made him think of the Beatles song. It had been his father’s favorite song. The lyrics echoed in his head:

♪♫♪”Michelle, ma belle. Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble” ♪♫♪*

Danny hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her. He remembered their conversation in the cafeteria at Cedars. He told himself that he hadn’t really lied to her. He told himself that he hadn’t wanted to deceive her.

He murmured to himself, “Come on Santos, you can lie to her, but be honest with yourself.”

He knew the real reason why he’d glossed over Mick and the family business. He wanted her to like him; he wanted her to think well of him. She was the primary reason he had hired the PI. He didn’t want to be the one putting pressure on her boyfriend, unless of course the boyfriend was somehow involved.

He had seen her at the hospital a couple of times since their lunch. She was always doing volunteer work, but she still managed to stop by and talk to him about Mick. He looked forward to the possibility of seeing her every time he visited his brother.

Mick’s condition had remained constant which the doctors took as a positive sign. At least that is what they were telling the family. The doctors had even said they would try removing Mick from his respirator next week.

Members of the family were taking shifts staying with him. Danny knew if Mick had been conscious for some of these visitors, his comments would have been less than kind. Danny would often joke with a comatose Mick about a particularly peculiar visitor who had come to call.

The passenger door opened and Jack Kelly plopped down next to Danny.

“How’s the investigation going, Jack?” Danny queried.

“Well, I’ve got some interesting things to tell you, Danny,” he answered.

Jack pulled out a notebook and some pictures and started going over point by point what he’d learned. He handed Danny a picture of Drew Jacobs and explained her basic history. Where she had come from. How she had started the club. Etc.

Danny’s ears perked up when he heard the detective say, “She has the hots for this Jesse Blue. She hangs all over him.”

Danny interrupted, “Wait a minute. I thought this Blue character had a girlfriend named Michelle Bauer?”

The detective answered, “Oh, yeah, well he does. Actually there’s quite an interesting history between those two.”

He handed Danny another picture and said, “Here’s a picture of Jesse Blue.”

Danny perused the picture and thought to himself, “I would have never pegged you to be Michelle’s boyfriend.”

The PI gave Danny the history of Jesse Blue and his trouble with the law. Once again Danny became focused when Michelle’s name came up in the detective’s conversation.

“The judge was about to throw the book at him when Michelle Bauer proposed a deal with the judge. It was agreed that if she taught Blue to read, the judge would drop the charges.”

Once again, Danny interrupted, “Why was Michelle so interested in this guy?”

Jack Kelly chuckled and said, “This’ll kill ya……He has her mother’s heart.”

“What?” Danny questioned.

The detective continued, “Yeah……Her mom died in a car accident and her organs were donated. Blue got her heart.”

Danny was speechless. He realized why Michelle would go to such great lengths to save this guy. It was her way of saving her mom.

Jack Kelly continued, “Anyway, back to this Jacobs dame. Supposedly, she’s in love with Blue. She isn’t shy about telling anyone who’ll listen how she feels about him and how she’s better for him than this Bauer broad.”

Danny interrupted, “Call her Michelle or Ms. Bauer, not a broad.” He knew the detective hadn’t meant anything derogatory by the term, but he didn’t like it.

This was the information Danny was waiting for. He turned to the detective and said, “Thanks for all the info, Jack. Here’s the rest of your money, plus a little extra. The Santos family always appreciates discretion.”

With that, the PI exited the car. Danny sat a few more minutes and then walked into Millennium. He perused the place, then ordered a drink at the bar and positioned himself at one of the back tables. His only intention today was to get a feel for the players.

The first person he recognized was Jesse Blue. For some reason, Danny sensed the man felt uncomfortable wearing a suit, trying too hard to play the part he was given. He was having a conversation with the bartender. Danny watched as a customer yelled, “Hey, Jesse. How’s it going?” Jesse smiled and flashed a thumbs-up before turning to walk into the back room of the club.

Danny could hear the beat of the dance music emanating from the other room. He left his drink on the table and walked over to the doorway and looked in at the dance floor. He watched as Jesse worked the crowd, checking out the customers in the room, making conversation.

Then he saw her. Drew Jacobs. She was on a balcony, overlooking the dance floor. Danny noticed she was smiling and watching Jesse as he made his way around the room. She was wearing an outfit which didn’t leave much to the imagination. Danny had seen more discreet outfits worn by the hookers down on 5th street. She descended the stairs to join Jesse. She snaked her arm around him and whispered in his ear. Jesse laughed at whatever she had said and they moved over to the dance floor.

As they started to dance, Danny noticed how comfortable they were with each other. The detective had been right, anyone looking at them would think they were a couple, not Jesse and Michelle. Danny turned away from the doorway and was about to return to his drink when he saw a familiar face.

It was Michelle.

* Lyrics from “Michelle” by Lennon and McCartney

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