About 2/3 of the way into the story.
I busted straight for the jail, where they wouldn’t even tell me if Tone was there or transferred to the county facility in Yuba. And let me tell you, they were pretty obnoxious about it, too.
“You ain’t married, and you ain’t blood, so you got no night to know a damn thing,” is how this one skinny, stringy-haired bitch put it. Laced in a twang nastier than Texas.
I think they wanted me to start screaming and kicking things so they’d have an excuse to have me arrested, and truth is, I considered it for a second because that’d at least get me in to see him and make sure he’s okay. Instead, I got ice-cold and gave the bitch a tight smile and said, “Fine, I’ll have my lawyer contact you.” Then I walked out, very calmly.
And put in a call to Gregory. Guess whose number slammed straight into voicemail? Must be out on the golf course, making up for his missed session.
I looked across the parking lot at the cells. They were done in this fake Pueblo style that looked stupid on new buildings, and the only windows they had around the sides were little more than mailbox-sized slots a good eight feet up. Then I remembered Enrique, from that jail in Texas, glanced at my watch, and I smiled. There’s more’n one way to crack a detention file.
I was parked in the side lot so just waited by my car for about half an hour, and people in uniforms started rolling in, then a few minutes later, others like ‘em started rolling out. And finally I saw Sandoval, that medic who’d treated me the week before, this time wearing a ratty t-shirt and holey jeans, but no mistaking his walk. He was headed for a beat up pickup truck, his silver hair dancing in the hint of a breeze. I bolted over to him, waving and calling, “Yo, doc!”
He looked around, startled, then saw me. It took him a moment to remember me, and I let him take it. No sense spooking the rabbit if don’t have to.
“Oh, hey,” he said, almost smiling. “How’s your ribs?”
“Still ache,” I said, smiling. “But Advil helps. Can I ask you a question?”
“A guy was brought in, this morning. A little taller’n me. Slimmer. Brown hair. He’s my cousin and a little on the un-sharp side, and my aunt’s not gonna be here till tomorrow and she’s buggin’ me to find out how he is, but that bitch at the front desk won’t even confirm he’s here. Have you seen him?”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “You know how many people we got in lock-up?”
“More’n should be there, I’m sure.”
He huffed. “No shit about that.”
“C’mon, doc, all I wanna know is if he’s in there and he’s okay. Okay?”
“I need a better description.”
“You follow tennis?”
“You seen pictures of that player the LA team brought in from Scotland?”
“No – wait, yeah. Yeah. Jordy something.”
“Antony looks like him, only slimmer.”
“Wait – An-tony? Oh, shit -- I know exactly who you’re talking about, now.”
Oh, shit? Oh, shit. “What d’you mean?”
“Little shit damn near bit my head off when I called him Anthony.”
Well...that was a good sign. “Yeah, he’s a real dick about his name, like it matters.” And I gave him a what-you-gonna-do kind of smile.
Doc nodded and sighed, “He got a lawyer in California?”
“I can get him one.”
“Do it, and fast.”
Fuckin’ shit. “C’mon, doc, what’re you talking about?”
“I dunno what those fuckin’ cops did to that kid, but if they think it’s gonna get swept under the rug, this time -- .”
I grabbed him. “Doc, what the fuck happened?”
“Eleven stitches to his face. And I reset his nose. I think he’s got a concussion, but the motherfuckers won’t transfer him to County for evaluation. A couple Rangers’re en route to take him back to Texas, and the city don’t want him on their hands a second longer than need be.”
“They fuckin’ BEAT him?”
“Oh, those idiots swear he slammed his own head against the table while they were questioning him. Like anybody’s gonna believe that. Especially since there’s tape of it. Idiots.”
That stopped me. I let go of the doc and took in a deep breath. He had no idea what’d happened in that room. But all of a sudden, I could see it, clear as day. And I was gonna rip someone a new asshole.