Wednesday, April 11, 2007

John Visits Regina's Place

Sliding onto a barstool, Regina told Dave, “I’ll have some water.”

“Sure thing.” Dave poured her a glass of bottled water and then looked at her with concern. “I wish you would tell me what’s wrong. I might be able to help.”

“Not yet. Just pray for me, okay?” Changing the subject with barely a pause, Regina said, “Did you see the ad in the paper about the auditions?”

“Yeah, I did. It looked good. What type of entertainment are you looking for?”

“I’m not sure yet — a band, a singer, a piano player? Whatever.”

Regina turned around in time to see Detective John Nelson walking through the front door. Her heart stopped. “Oh, no,” she said as she quickly turned back around.

“What’s the matter, Mrs. Cavelli?”

Panicking, she asked, “Where’s Vinny?”

“He left about fifteen minutes ago. He said he had an errand to run and he’d be back in an hour. Why?”

That made Regina feel a bit more at ease, but her mind started to race. She had to find a way to arrange a less-public meeting. What am I thinking? That’s not going to work. Lord, what am I going to do? He’s heading my way. Help me find the right words to say to him.

John walked over and sat down two stools away from Regina without looking at her. To Dave he said, “I’ll have a club soda with lemon please.”

Dave poured the drink and dropped a healthy slice of lemon in the glass. “Will that be all, sir?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“That’ll be two bucks.”

John reached for his wallet, but then Regina suddenly said, “The drink’s on the house, Dave.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s very nice of you, Mrs. Cavelli,” John said, without looking her direction.

Dave walked down to the other end of the bar to serve another customer. Regina glanced around to make sure no one was watching. Aware that her heart was still pounding like mad, she looked down at her water, trying not to draw attention to the fact they were about to start a conversation.

“Detective Nelson, what are you doing here? I thought I made myself quite clear when you were here earlier that I have nothing to say to you.”

“Yes, ma’am, you did. I thought that maybe you’d be more willing to talk to me if we were alone.” He took a drink from his glass. “I’ve been reading about you.”

“You’ve been investigating me?”

“No, I just wanted to learn more about you. It seems that you’re a kind woman with a good heart, and you help people.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So what puzzles me is how someone like you is married to a monster like Anthony Cavelli.”

“Look, this conversation is dangerous for both of us. Maybe you should leave.”

“I need your help. You can trust me.”

“I can’t trust anyone. Trust is expensive.” She paused then continued, “If I decide to help you, you need to understand that no one must know. I would be risking everything.”

“I promise. Does that mean you’ll help me?” John glanced at her. The possibility sent butterflies through his stomach.

“Look, I’m deadly serious. I need your word that you will keep this just between us, or else no deal. You can’t even tell your partner, understand?”

Without showing any of the emotions he was feeling, John responded simply, “Yeah, I understand. And I promise.”

“Now please leave before someone notices that I’m talking to you.”

“Thanks for the drink, Mrs. Cavelli.” John got up and started toward the door. As he stepped through it, he passed Vinny coming in. He tried to keep his head down, but he knew that Vinny had seen him. I hope this doesn’t cause her any trouble.

Vinny walked over to the bar and sat down next to Regina. She was startled to see him but tried to disguise that by saying, “Oh, it’s you. Thank God. You wouldn’t believe who had the nerve to drop by again.” She made certain she emphasized that word.

“You mean Detective Nelson.”

“Yes, how did you know?” she asked, as if surprised. “Did you see him?”

“Yes, I did. Is everything okay?”

“He came in for a drink. He sat over there. I think he just wants me to know that he’s watching me, to keep me on my toes.”

“Mrs. Cavelli, I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention this to the boss.”

“Why would you want me to keep something from him, Vinny?” Regina knew how to play this game. Now it seemed she had an advantage, and she was about to take it.

“Well, he told me to watch out for you, and if he finds out I left, even though it was just for a little while, I could get in a lot of trouble. I would appreciate it, ma’am, if we kept Detective Nelson’s little visit between us. Okay? I mean, nothing happened, right? You’re okay and all — no harm done.”

“I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble, Vinny. I don’t think this will be a problem. Besides, you’re right; it’s no big deal, anyway. This is a public place and anyone can come in for a drink. Right?”

“Yes, ma’am. Thank you.”

Vinny seemed appreciative that Regina had agreed, and Regina was so grateful it was Vinny’s idea that she didn’t even stop to think about his motives.

Driving home, John started to smile to himself. He turned on the radio to relax.

He was so excited. This could be the break he’d been waiting for, and he wanted to make sure everything went smoothly. Seeing Anthony Cavelli in jail would bring this chapter of his life to a rather satisfying conclusion.

© Nadine Z. 2007


Shionge said...

Great...a break true and hope Vinny is slowly warming to Regina and that at least that'll be someone she could turn to.


Theresa said...

I love the way you write.

Christie said...

This is great Nadine! I can't wait to buy the book's hard to stop reading part way :)
Well done

Only in the storm said...

OH MY GOODNESS! nadine, this book is AMAZING!! you have no idea, i loved it so much, i am totally gonna buy your book the second it comes out :0)

U.Lee said...

Very interesting, love your style. Here's wishing you every success and best regards, Lee.

Debz said...

OK Now that was totally just a tease....
I read the first 2 blog entries a while back so I started back at the first and read to the last one.
You really caught me in your imagination Nadine. I was even playing the "gansta" voices in me head! Poppy's sounds like the Godfather.
OK I really think that you should add a 5th chance to win your book by telling them they have to read the teaser!
I hope I win!