This is the tenth scene in the serial“The Untitled Thing.” The previous installment is here. You can get up to date on the rest by checking out its index page.
The door of the hotel room was open by muscular, grey-faced man wearing a black wife beater and an annoyed look. He stared for a hard moment at Jerry then, seeming to reach a judgement, turned and walked away across the room to the balcony and stared out. Jerry followed him in part of the way before he was greeted by an all too familiar face.
“Hey there kiddo,” Davis smiled at him getting up from his chair, “you look a hell of a lot better than you did at breakfast a couple weeks ago. You’ve been damn hard to get a hold of, when I told you to get some rest I didn’t mean for you to go on damned two-week sabbatical. Good lookin’ suit by the way”
Jerry unconsciously ran his hand down the lapel of his jacket. “Thank’s, I’m going for the over achieving middle manager look. I’m thinking Maslow will relate, well to the middle manager part anyway.” he crossed the room and shook hands with the older man, “So any reason why you wanted to meet here? It’s a little more upscale than your office, roomier too, so I’m not really complaining.”
“Up yours Jerry. Let me introduce you to Ellis Durant,” Davis said indicating the man at the balcony. “Mr. Durant here is the gentleman in charge of our surveillance team on our boy Peter and company. He’s who got you everything in the files you’ve been studying so far. Ellis, this is Jerry, our inside man.”
“Nice to finally meet you Jerry. Mr. Davis expects a lot from you,” Durant shrugged. “Help yourself to the mini bar if you like.”
“Careful there Ellis,” smiled the old man, “he’s likely to bite your head off if you offer him a drink.”
“Jesus Davis, let it go. I already said I was sorry.” Jerry walked past the bar towards the man staring out into the city. “You’ve done some great work Mr.Durant, I feel like I almost know Maslow personally. Like Davis said though, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of weeks, anything new happening with him?”
“Peter Maslow is a very boring man lately.” Durant spoke without turning from the balcony, ” He rarely ventures far from home unless it is to go to his office. Except on Thursday. Thursdays he goes out to dinner. ”
“Where does he go? Who with?”
“Different restaurants. Different people. Sometimes there are drinks afterwards. There will be a pattern. There is always a pattern.” The gray man said in a hollow tone. “You should call me Ellis. We will be working very closely from this point.”
Jerry glanced at Davis.
“Ellis is going to be my eyes on you for the next leg of the job here kiddo. He’s very good at watching people, it’s what he lives for. He’s kinda strange that way.” Davis walked over to the bar and fixed a fresh drink.
“So what, you’re done with this?”
“Nope I’m still in part of your life for the foreseeable future sport, I’ll just be a little more behind the scenes. Our friend here will let me know how things are progressing. You’ll be using this hotel as home base.” Davis finished his drink and picked up his shoulder bag, “You have a room reserved on the next floor, right above this one.” He fished a piece of paper out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Jerry. “From now on, if you need me call this number. Leave a message on the voice mail if no one answers. Just don’t be dumb enough to call from your cellphone.”
With that he walked out the door.
“So Ellis, what’s next here?”
“In the morning I will bring you more information,” Ellis said. After a long silence he finally turned his gaze away from the balcony. “It is a beautiful night. You should spend it with Janice.”
Jerry felt something sink in his gut. “What do you know about her?”
“I would be surprised if there is something I don’t already know about your life Jerry.”
“I think I’ll have that drink now.”