So Much Going on Part Four
By Trish Hubschman
I was awakened the next morning by the persistent knocking at the front door. Catherine wasn’t answering it. I assumed she’d already left for work. I reached for my cell phone on the nightstand, where I thought it would be, to check the time, but it wasn’t there. Well, I was in a hurry here. I pulled back the covers and jumped out of bed. “I’m coming. I’m coming,” I called out, racing through the living room to the front doorway. With my hand on the knob, I halted. How was I going to do this in a safe manner? If Catherine was home, the outer storm door would be locked, but she wasn’t home. I had no choice. I eased the door open a crack. If the person knocking was a killer, I was in trouble.
“Vicki?” I asked. I couldn’t believe my eyes or luck.
She was standing there wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap pulled low. “Shh,” she whispered. “Don’t say my name so loud.’ It came out in a squeak. She pushed the front door in, throwing me backwards. “They’re following me.” Once inside, she pushed the front door closed and leaned back against it. She was breathing heavily.
I crossed my arms over my chest. I suddenly felt awkward standing there in a tank top, pajama bottoms and bare feet. ‘Who’s following you?” I asked.
Her head popped up. The expression on her face conveyed disgust. “How would I know? the good guys, the bag guys, both probably,” she replied, throwing her hands up in the air.
Making a snap decision, I grabbed Vicki’s wrist and started pulling her toward the kitchen. She didn’t resist. “Let’s have some coffee and talk,” I said. I plopped her down into a chair at the table and turned to the counter. Catherine had left the coffee pot on. I poured two cups and set one down in front of her, then went around the table and sat across from her. “The FBI are trying to touch base with you to find out about Carl,” I explained.
She nodded. “I know. I don’t want to talk to them. It’ll put Mom and the kids in danger.”
I nodded and took a sip of my coffee. I never took my eyes off her. “Then talk to me. Have you heard from Carl? Does he know he shot and killed Raymond Henderson?”
She shook her head. “He didn’t even know Ray,’ she squeaked. She was staring at the table, then looked up at me. Her voice was stronger when she spoke. “Carl thought Dominick was threatening me to try to get money from me that he owed him.”
“Who is Dominick and why was Carl coming to your apartment with a loaded weapon to begin with? Was he planning on taking you at gunpoint too?” I asked.
She sighed with exasperation. “Dominick is a sort of friend of Carl’s, Dominick Delvecchio,” she said. “he’s loaned Carl a lot of money and he, unfortunately, gambled it away. Dom wanted repayment.”
“That much makes sense,” I said. “Go on.”
“Carl came to my place hoping I’d lend him money to pay Dom back,’ she began. “He had the gun on him for protection, in case he ran into any bad guys, which he thought he did.”
“Okay, so where is Carl now?” I threw at her.
She shrugged. “I don’t’ know. He called me, I guess, because Dom contacted him.” She giggled. “He thought he’d shot Dom, so he was a bit confused when we spoke.”
That made sense too, I thought. “Why did he call you a second time?”
She sighed again. “When he found out Dom was still alive, he needed the money I was going to lend him to pay him back. Carl asked me to meet him at our old apartment.”
“Did you go?”
She nodded. “He wasn’t there. The apartment, the whole two-floor house, was completely empty. I walked around outside, peaked in all the windows, knocked on our old front door, then went up the outside steps and knocked on Dom’s mother’s door. It was too quiet. I was spooked out and left.”
That was smart of her. I had an uncomfortable feeling that the cops weren’t going to find anything good in that empty house. I had to contact Catherine. “Vicki, I have to take a quick shower and get dressed. Stay right here and do not move,” I stressed. “Please. We have to talk to the authorities.”
I know I was taking a chance, but what could I do? I raced into the bathroom, left the door open, hen I darted into the bedroom. I was back in the kitchen fifteen minutes later. Vicki was gone.
Think fast, I told myself. What to do now. I had to contact Catherine and fill her in on this. I also had to see Johnson. He was my sleuthing partner. I had to get his take on this. And just maybe, with Vicki living across the street in her mother’s converted garage apartment, she possibly went home after leaving here.
The first thing to do was round up my belongings. I darted into the spare room, grabbed my overnight bag off the chair, stuffed yesterday and last night’s clothes into it, pulled my .38 out and shoved it into my waistband. I bent down and picked my cell phone up off the floor where it had fallen. I didn’t take the time to ponder how it had landed up on the floor. I shoved that into my pants pocket. Throwing the bags strap onto my shoulder, I raced through the house to the front door, pulled it open, then let it slam shut behind me as I dashed down the steps.
When I was in the car, I punched in Catherine’s number at FBI headquarters and started the engine. “Dominick Delvecchio is the key to Carl Gibbons,” I blurted out. ‘I don’t know who he is, but Vicki definitely does.’ I brought Catherine up to speed on Vicki’s visit to her house only a little while ago.
We already know about Delvecchio,’ Catherine said easily. ‘He’s a bit-time loan shark. We’ve been doing surveillance on him for a few months now.”
“Did you check the apartment Vicki was sharing with Carl yet? Delvecchio owns the house.” I told her about Vicki’s expected meeting with Carl. “”You might find him there ,or at least, the weapon that killed Henderson.”
I heard her chair squeak as she sat up abruptly. “Tracy, you might have given us enough just cause to get our search warrant of the apartment. Thanks,” Catherine said, hen disconnected.
I called Danny next. he didn’t answer. I left a voicemail telling him I loved him and hoped to be home soon. After that , I made a right turn on Bayview Drive and headed to Johnson’s house.
Judy and Vicki Crenshaw and Vicki’s two young children were relocated to an FBI safe house for their own protection. they were being interviewed to find out what they knew about Carl Gibbons and Domini Delvecchio. Judy had no idea who the second man was. FVI attained a search warrant for the couple’s former apartment. Carl wasn’t there at that time, but it was apparent that he had been in residence at some point recently. The firearm used the night of the hostage situation at the Crenshaw home was uncovered. Ballistics showed that it was the weapon that shot and killed Raymond Henderson. FBI could successfully close that part of the case.
Three days after I’d returned to my new home in Pennsylvania and my rock star husband, I learned from Johnson that Carl Gibbons body was fished out of the East River. “So who’s case is this?” I asked. “FBI or police?”
Johnson chuckled. “Their drawing straws to see who gets it,” Johnson retorted. “Delvecchio’s a Person of Interest to the FVI and the NYPD’s number one suspect.”
I didn’t know if that was good or bad, but I could say for certain, I was glad I wasn’t involved in this. I weas safe and cozy where I was with Tidalwave music booming through the house, shaking the walls, windows and everything else.
`. . .
Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game, Uneasy Tides, and Gayle’s tales.
Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-writing. She is deaf-blind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Kevin and their dog, Henry.
Visit her website.
Email Trish at: email@example.com