A Honeybun and Coffee(3)

By: Sam Cheever

“We need ta kill the guy,” said the one she recognized as Bones.

One last spurt from Mr. Grumpy and the sound of a zipper sliding back up. “We gotta find him before we can kill him.”

Angie heard the rustle of sleazy material that she figured was probably a dismissive shrug from the cowboy. “He works for one of them financial planning places, how hard could he be to find with a name like this?”

A crinkling sound told her the paper was changing hands and she risked a peek through the crack in the stall door. Mr. grumpy laughed as he glanced at the small sheet of yellow paper in his hand. “What a limp dick.”

Bones nodded. “The you-know-what’s gonna hit the fan tomorrow. We need to find this guy today. If he recognizes her face he’ll know who took her and it’ll be traced back to the boss. That don’t end well Louie, my friend.”

Angie leaned away from the crack and placed a fist in her mouth to keep from crying out. When one owned a small business selling coffee and baked goods one didn’t generally deal with things like murder and kidnapping. That stuff was so out of her league.

“You shoulda taken care of him that night.”

“The girl was makin’ too much noise, moanin’ and crap. People was starin’ at us.”

Angie heard the sound of paper being ripped, multiple times, and prayed harder that the two men would leave without needing to use the stall.

Mr. grumpy flung the paper into the trash can and opened the door. “Let’s go. The sooner we find this guy the sooner I can get to the gym. My pecs have shrunk an eighth of an inch since we been on this job.”

“You go on out, I need to use the john.”

Angle bit down on her fist and almost squealed in panic. Her poor heart was beating a frantic pulse against her ribs and she felt as if she was going to pass out.

He pushed on the door and it didn’t budge. “Damn thing’s stuck.”

The rustling of cloth told her he was probably bending down to look under the door. A big hand grasped the bottom of the door and she almost peed herself.

“Come on man, you can take a dump when we get to this guy’s place. We don’t have time to mess with a broken door.”

The hand disappeared from the bottom of the door and the two men left. Angie didn’t let herself move or breathe for a full five minutes. When she was sure they were gone, she left the stall and ran to the trash can. Fortunately the trash had been emptied recently and it was easy for her to grab the small pieces of paper at the bottom. Then she left the bathroom, peering carefully around the shop before allowing herself to drop into a chair at an empty table near the restrooms.

She wiped sweaty palms on her slacks and took deep breaths for a few minutes before turning to glare at Petey. He shrugged and mouthed, “Sorry,” before the press of customers made him turn his attention back to work.

Angie’s mind roiled. She knew she was the only person in the whole world who could save the man whose name was on that torn up piece of paper. Reaching into the pocket of her smock she fingered the jagged pieces of paper there. Not only did she have to warn this person, but she had to do it right away. Before those two thugs found him and did their worst.

Pushing out of the chair with a sudden feeling of determination, Angie walked rapidly around the counter and behind it to grab her purse. “I need to leave for a little bit, Petey. You’ll have to hold the fort until I get back.”

The young man, probably feeling guilty for letting the two men walk in on her, simply nodded without argument, even though it would mean overtime for him.

Angie grabbed her purse and headed out the door. Before she left she called out, “And call the plumber about the woman’s restroom.”

He gave her a little wave without looking up, his dark head bent over the cappuccino machine.

Angie jogged the two blocks to her apartment and flew up the stairs to the third level, where she had a small, tidy apartment in a historic, three story townhouse. She pulled her keys out of her purse as she jogged up the last flight of stairs, jammed the key ruthlessly into the door of her apartment, and flew through it to the apartment’s tiny kitchen.

The phone book was sitting on one of the bar stools at her kitchen counter. Her niece had used it for a booster seat a couple nights previous when Angie’s divorced sister and two kids had come over for dinner.

The heavy book had a medium sized splotch of something brown and very hard on the front cover. Probably chocolate sauce from the chocolate sundaes she’d served for dessert that night.

Angie yanked the phone book open and then realized she didn’t know the name. Reaching into her smock pocket, she pulled the pieces of yellow paper out and dumped them in an untidy pile on the countertop.

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