I watched Mrs. Lomack leave and stood in my inner office a long time. Her scent hung in the air, cloying, but I kept breathing it in. I could feel my gut roiling in displeasure and my brain sounding a warning louder than a prison break, but I stood there. The wad of bills she had passed to me was rolled in my hand and I dumped it into my coat pocket. I tried to shake it off, I had a job to do, two jobs if I meant to get Annie back, and thinking about this dame certainly wasn't going to get me anywhere. As I headed down the stairs I could still smell that scent, like it was following me.
Job or no job, I had to meet Annie first. Had to explain what happened last night. Or at least tell her about this morning. Paying work may go along way into getting me back into her good graces because that stunt this morning was just the tip of the iceberg if she was really pissed. I hailed a cab and made my way over to Annie's place. It was still the early afternoon and she wouldn't be leaving for work for a couple of hours yet, still time to make this right.
As I rode over, I tried to turn my thoughts away from Mrs. Lomack and towards the case. It wasn't the lack of leads or the 7 year old cold trail that bothered me, I'd had harder cases before, it was why Lomack had chosen me. I can understand my name coming up in some circles, but with the kind of money that Lomack had access to, even without the fortune she stood to inherit, she could hire a million guys like me. Something was nagging at me about this case, why she was keeping it low key, or even if she really was. I'd put my finger on it one way or another.
The cab pulled up to Annie's place and I tossed him one of the bills crumpled in my pocket. I told him to keep the change and headed up to the landing. As I went to press the intercom, the door slid open and Annie's landlady came out with a huge bag of trash. I slipped in behind her before the door closed and bounded up the two flights of stairs to Annie's apartment. i knocked on the door a couple of times and I knew that Annie was staring at me through the peephole. I tried to put a smile on and knocked again. Finally the door opened wide and before I could even say her name, Annie slapped me hard across the cheek and slammed the door. Dammit, loves really a bitch.
End of Line.