Friday, June 12, 2015

Body in the Trunk: Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Phil and Leron sat at the conference table waiting for the remaining brothers Tom and Ted. When they walked into the office, Phil noticed the quiet. A strange older woman with close-cropped, mannish-looking hair staffed the front desk. She seemed angry and not particularly friendly. Once Leron and Phil were alone, they were free to chat for a moment.
“Bitch at the desk was a dike,” Leron observed. “What’s up with the dude-look when you like chicks? I don’t get it.”
Phil frowned at him, “What do you care? You’re not fucking … it.”
Leron tapped the smooth, black table with his fist, stretched, and looked around. “I don’t give a shit, man. You want to feast on the yum-yum and forget the bang, bang, I get it; but sheesh, that beast makes no sense.”
Phil glanced over his partner and couldn’t help but laugh just as the door opened. Two blonde twins walked briskly into the room. They looked stern and serious. “Detectives, you here to tell us what happened to our brothers?” asked Tom who didn’t bother to introduce himself. Ted sat down while Tom elected to stand and not make it feel too cozy in the room.
“You must be Tom and Ted,” said Phil.
They nodded in unison but did not identify who was who.
“No man, we’re here to ask you what you think happened to your brothers. And what do you know about Mia. She’s gone, too?” asked Leron.
“Evan disappeared three months ago when he took a trip out to California to see Mia, who according to Evan was his lover,” Tom cleared his throat, “Or um, how shall I say this in polite society?”
Ted interrupted, “Fuck buddy! He called her his fuck buddy. He had a long-time girlfriend he lived with for what, Tom? Some two years would you say?”
“Yes, Fern,” he nodded in agreement. “After he fucked our stepmother Joanne, she divorced our father and stole his company Swedish Designs.”
“Wait! Is that the company that created the worldwide social network of international interior design traders?” asked Phil.
Tom nodded.
“Whoa! Bros you like got screwed. That company’s worth like what they say in Time Magazine, like zillions!” exclaimed Leron.
“Are we talking about the Joanne Garner?” asked Phil.
“Yes,” answered Ted who continued and explained, “Father revoked Evan’s trust fund after that little tryst and left him broke. Evan sulked over to Fern’s house. She had a thing for Evan almost her whole life. She gladly took in his sorry ass. But it was Joanne who got it over on all of us. She managed in the divorce to force Father into near bankruptcy. He had to give up his shares in the company to pay her out. Then our father, a proud but broken man died of a sudden heart attack.  And here we are now detectives – two missing brothers.”
“When was the last time you saw Evan?”
“He left about three months ago to go to California to see Mia. She was in a bad way after the divorce and begged him to come out. We haven’t seen him since.”
“What about Tim?”
“He’s been gone a little longer … hmm … maybe a week or two before Evan left,” offered Tom.
“You got any theories?” asked Ted.
Phil and Leron glanced at each other, and Phil replied, “Not yet, but we’re just getting started.”
“You ask me, this Mia chick was more trouble than she was worth, but you know Evan had a thing for beautiful women. Never could keep straight about them,” said Ted. “Always led by the wrong head.”
“His girlfriend, what? Fern, she okay with him fucking around?” asked Leron.
Tom laughed, “What woman ever is, detective?”
Leron laughed, “Yeah, my woman would cut my guy off for sure.”
Phil frowned at Leron and stood up. Leron followed suit. Neither Ted nor Tom seemed interested in shaking their hands. They remained where they were already respectively standing and seated and kept aloof.
“You have an address for Fern?”
“Yes, but she disappeared about the same time as Tim, but you might contact her mother, Ellen. You can get that address from the receptionist.”
“Right. We’ll let you know what we find out,” said Phil.
The twins nodded in an identical movement that for them seemed incomplete with Tim gone. The detectives glanced at them and then exited. As they left the room, Ted looked at his brother with a serious gaze. They both seemed sad.

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