Excerpt from Alexander Steele and the Case of the Missing Men
Coming this fall
Several uneventful days had passed. During that time, Steele had been wrestling with his conscience as to whether he should make yet another enemy by pursuing Alejandro and his slave theory. It was Sunday afternoon; those fortunate souls who could afford to have spent the weekend at the shore would be headed back to the city while everyone who stayed at home baked in the sweltering heat.
Steele guided his Jag around the turn into Stan’s street. There was a dark gray sedan blocking traffic in front of Stan’s place. As Steele drove up the street he caught a glimpse of a black SUV pulling up behind him from his rear view mirror. Within seconds, he was boxed in. Steele watched as two men from each car got out and stood staring at him. If this had been an ambush he would have already been dead. Steele showed little reaction as he slid from behind the wheel. He walked to the back of his car and leaned against the trunk waiting for the man behind the tinted glass to show himself. As expected Steele’s nemesis and local pain in the ass slowly emerged from the vehicle. Steele crossed his arms, “Trench, now why am I not surprised?” Trench reeked of marijuana. His eyes were glassy and he looked tired. Under normal circumstances, Steele would have been more than a little concerned about facing the man he had put a bullet in especially since he was heavily outnumbered. Trench flicked the ashes off of the joint he was smoking.
“Hello Steele, you forced me into meeting you this way since I am not welcomed in your club.” He slowly waved his hand, ” it’s cool. I’m not holding a grudge, but we need to talk. This time, you gonna listen.” Trench looked at his crew to make sure Steele got the point. Steele’s cell phone began ringing. Steele held up his index finger, “hold that thought, I gotta take this.” Steele answered the phone and handed it to Trench, “it’s for you. A surprised Trench answered the phone and listened to the voice on the other end.
“Look up at the second-floor windows dumb ass.” Trench and his men looked up at Stan’s second floor where Stan, Johnny, Sugar Bear, and Roger were all pointing guns down on Trench and his men in the street. Steele smiled at Trench, “half the people in this city know I come here on Sunday’s including you. If you want to talk tell you minions to take a walk.” Trench sent his men away and continued his conversation. “The last time we talked you said you won’t help me not that you couldn’t. Well you know I ain’t one to beg but I’m asking you for old time sake to help me out.” Trench took a toke on his joint and stared at Steele. “Being the super sleuth that you are you probably figured out that I’m the guy who told Half Dead that you’re the one who did in his baby brother. When he finds out it was me I’m a dead man. Most of my crew got wiped out at the massacre. I’m toxic man, can’t you see that.”
Trench’s plea was interrupted by a young guy blowing his horn. He wanted Steele to move his car so that he could pass. Trench walked over and pulled up his shirt to show the driver the gun tucked down inside his pants. The man quickly put the car in reverse and backed out of the street. Steele looked up at Stan’s windows and waved his friends off before turning back to Trench. “You have ruined a lot of lives man. I don’t know.” Trench flicked the joint into the street, for the first time in all the years they have known each other Steele saw a look he thought he never would see. It was a look of fear. “Listen, man, I’m not a miracle worker. I’m not making any promises but I’ll see what I can do.”