“Come on, Cynthia, that’s absolute bullshit.” Stepping from the bathroom, Desdemona Valdez pressed the wet washcloth against her bruised cheek. She looked over at the sleeping billionaire Mace Gilmore. “Huh,” she huffed, “motherfucker’s sleeping like he doesn’t have a care in the goddamn world.”
Kang said, “He does, Des, he’s dying.”
“Not soon enough, it would seem,” the plainclothes detective noted sharply.
“You’re so bloodthirsty,” her lover teased.
Valdez puckered a kiss at Kang. “So now what? Do a pre-emptive strike and totally discredit this chump before his book drops?” she suggested gleefully, nodding her head toward Gilmore, sound asleep thanks to the opiate he’d imbibed. Initially the concoction had made him compliant, but it eventually overtook his taxed system and sent him to slumber, as the one referred to as a bruja knew it would. But not before he told the Congresswoman why he’d been focusing on her.
Kang was standing with her arms folded next to the couch where Gilmore snored lightly, frowning. She then reached into the back pocket of her jeans and brought out her Razr cell phone. She punched in a number and looked over at Valdez, who took a seat as the witchy woman returned to the converted bedroom.
“Chet, how’re you feeling?” She asked her recuperating chief of staff. She listened and added, “Right on. Because I’ve got something that will help you get back at these bastards.” She exited the room, rehashing her recent conversation with Gilmore about the tell-all memoir he was preparing to have published–after he expired.
“Yeah,” she commiserated, “it’s pretty friggin’ weird, but what else is new about the ruling class?” The two chuckled dryly while Kimbrough expressed disgust and disbelief at hearing that Gilmore was seeing the witch. “I guess because he doesn’t like the answers he’s getting from his docs,” he’d said.
“More like trying to lay the path for the next world, it seems,” Kang said.
“Shit,” Kimbrough retorted. “Like he’s going to the Happy Hunting Grounds. Doesn’t he know you can’t take it with you?”
“Must be he figures the book will absolve him,” Kang observed. “Look, I’ve got some names and dates he shook loose before he went beddy-bye.”
“I’m more than ready, Cynthia.”
“You sure? It’s a hell of a thing you were put through.”
“At the risk of sounding like a one-note Steven Segal character in yet another of his direct-to-DVD epics, being beat, hogtied and left to shrivel like a prune only makes me stronger.”
“Okay, Friedrich,” she only half-joked, already feeling guilty for relying on him so soon after his kidnapping, but also glad to have him back on the job and not dwelling on the incident too much. Kimbrough wasn’t much for expressing emotion, but you didn’t have to be Dr. Phil to grasp the trauma he’d gone through. She gave him the names and information Gilmore had given her, consulting her notes.