Page 137 of The Dancer

What the fuck? I didn’t answer but the look I gave him said it all. “You need to leave the city or be somewhere people can see you at all times. Your girl has her opening tomorrow right?”

“How do you know this shit?” Now it was his turn to give me a look. I know this asshole to be a shady fuck that likes to fuck with the women who work for him, but the man looking back at me now had some shit else going on.

“You’re new around here, technically, and you and I have our own shit going on, but no motherfucker gets to play in our pool. Is this him?” He pulled his phone and showed me a picture of Ray.

“What’s this about?”

“It’s about nothing. You don’t know nothing, you ain’t seen nothing college boy. Tell your girl I’m sorry.”

He turned and walked away leaving me standing there wondering if this was what I think it was. I’m pretty sure he just hinted that he was going to take him out.

By the time I got downstairs he was gone and I called Tony to the office to tell him what happened. “You always knew he was into that shit.”

“Yeah, but why the fuck would he want to do me any favors?”

“You know how fucked up these people are. They have codes and shit. What do you want to do?”

“What can I do? He didn’t ask my permission.”

“Stay out of it.”

“What the fuck, I don’t want to owe him no favors.”

“You won’t.”

“Tony, did you do this?”

“No.” Lying fuck why don’t I believe you?

For the rest of the morning I was on pins and needles trying to figure out what the hell was going on. And then the phone rang. I saw it was her detail and my heart started pounding before I answered.

“If you tell me some fuck happened to her you’re gonna come up missing.”

“Sorry boss, but we got a situation.”

“What kind of situation?”

“We’re at Bergdorf’s, something happened…you need to get down here.”

“Is she hurt?”

“No, nothing like that.” Why the fuck is this fool talking to me in riddles?

I grabbed Tony and we headed back uptown with me wondering who the fuck opened the gates of hell? As soon as I walked through the door some asshole in a suit approached me calling me by name.

“Mr. Carrington sir, thank you for coming. The young ladies insisted that we call you.” He looked like he was surprised to see me and I still didn’t know who the hell he was.

“And you are?” He held out his hand with a smile. which I looked at and ignored.

“Dan Stephens, general manager.”

“What’s going on? Where’s my woman and my sister?”

“Right this way.” He led me to the back of the store to his office.

Sherrie jumped up as soon as she saw Tony and I but my eyes went right to the chair where Anna was sitting looking shocked. “What happened?”

“These assholes think we were stealing.”

“What? What the fuck are you talking about?” I went to Anna and knelt down in front of her. Her hands were shaking and she looked like she’d been crying. Tony calmed Sherrie down enough to get the story out of her.

They were on their way out when the alarm went off and upon checking their bags an unpaid for eight thousand dollar tee shirt was found in one of Anna’s bags.

“Are you fucking kidding me? She can afford six of those things all day everyday. Did you cuff her?”

“No sir, we didn’t get that far.”

“So why the fuck is she shaking like a leaf, the fuck did you say to her?”

“Sir, we didn’t know that you two were associates, we…”

“Tell me why I shouldn’t call my lawyer and sue your ass?”

“This was all a misunderstanding sir. If you’ll just calm down we’re pulling the tape now sir. The young lady insists she did not take the item. We held off calling the police because those gentlemen out there said they work for you and that she’s your fiancée?”

“Where’s this tape?” I had nothing else to say for now. I can’t believe that in a matter of days this shit was happening. A few deep breaths didn’t do much to calm me down, and the look of terror on her face wasn’t helping matters.

“It’s going to be okay Anna.” I’m tired of saying that shit to her. Some other asshole in a suit came into the room and said they were ready. Now we all left and followed him down to their security room.

The room was silent as they ran the tape. The two women came on the screen entering the door with her detail trailing them with bags in hand. She looked happy and I finally got why Sherrie had taken her to get that makeup shit done the day before. You could hardly see the bruises and scratches on her face and neck.