I wondered why I hadn't gotten any pages in all the time I was with the 'Andre the Giant.' I began looking for my pager. Shit! I couldn't find it. What the fuck! Where the hell is it? I needed to find a phone. I drove to the gas station I remembered passing while driving to the Marina.  When I got there, I spotted a phone booth. It smelled more like the gas station bathroom than a phone booth. I had to keep the door open. I even tried to stretch that short-ass phone cord to enable me to stand outside or at least allow me to stick my head out to escape the heavy urine fumes, but no luck.  I dialed my office. Emma answered. "Where in the hell have you been?"  she barked. 

She sounded pissed, or was that concern for my well-being? It would be valid if she knew who I had been with for the last hour. "The phone has been ringing off the hook, and I kept trying to page you!" Emma said. I tried to interject multiple times, but she was on a roll. "That damn bitch, Nikki was buggin' the shit outta me. Calling me time and time again. I almost took the phone off the hook!" I let Emma rant on until she ran out of gas. "Uh, are you finished reaming my ass out, woman?" I asked. There was dead silence. "Ok, beautiful. I was being detained by a big fucker with a big fucking gun." "What?" she asked. "Yeah, I was taken for a ride, even though I was driving." That struck me as funny, and I started laughing only to be scolded by my secretary. "Ok, ok," I said, I'll tell you all about it when I get back to the office." 

"Oh, and I lost my pager! Not sure where the fuck it is. Maybe I dropped it at Scoma's. I'm going to go back there and see if I can find it. In the meantime, could you call…Nik…I mean Detective Santos, and tell her I lost my pager, and I'll call her as soon as I can." "I don't want to talk to that bitch any more than I have to!" said Emma. "My, my, such strong language," I said jokingly. "What? Any more?" said Emma. We both began to giggle, er, I chuckled - she giggled. "Why can't you call her from where you're calling from?" Emma asked. "I'm in a phone booth, and if I stand in here one goddamned more second, I'm gonna pass out from the fuckin' piss fumes!"   

"Ok, ok! One more thing, Sam. Someone by the name of Carmela called. I could hardly understand her. I think she's Italian, or something, I'm not sure." "Did you get her number?" I asked. "Yes, I wrote it down." Ok, good. I'll see ya in a few." When I got to Scoma's, the valet spotted me, trotted up to my car, held out the pager. I slipped him a sawbuck and drove back toward the office. I threw the pager onto the passenger seat. I looked forward to talking to this Carmela person. The same couldn’t be said for Nikki Santos. 



To be continued…

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