From Chapter 2
The morning air was cool and brisk but the house was warm and cozy. Joe, Nick, Vito, Gator, Blackjack and Mike were all totally wired on the cocaine. Throughout the night they had snorted several grams and Nick had quite a bit left. The Chief's jaws were sore from talking so much, but he thought they had accomplished a lot. He hoped it would all go as planned.
The Chief didn't know if he was mad or worried that Little Bear never made it home, but he figured the boy was due for a butt whipping. It had been a couple years since he had spanked his son. The Chief figured that's probably why he didn't come home. The kid should have known better. Doing cocaine made the Chief worry that something bad had happened to his son. As light began to shine through the windows the Chief became madder. He heard footsteps from his mother's room and then heard the toilet flush. Joe looked to Nick and said, "Ma's up. Put that shit away."
Jenny came downstairs and saw the men sitting at the breakfast table. "You guys been up all night?" she asked.
"Yeah. Little Bear never made it home," Joe replied.
"You don't think he got caught driving without a license, do ya?"
"I don't know. He should have called."
Jenny scooped coffee from the can saying, "You shouldn't have let him take the van."
Around eight o'clock the phone rang. The Chief answered it hoping it was Little Bear.
"Is this Joe Blackbear?"
Joe didn't recognize the voice and hesitantly replied, "Yeah."
"This is Frank Faulkenstein."
The Chief couldn't believe he was calling. The coke had made him real paranoid. "So, what the hell do you want?"
"I'm looking for my daughter."
"What's that got to do with me?"
"She was with your son last night."
"How do you know that?"
"Because one of my men caught them smoking pot last night and let them go. She hasn't been heard from since. Is your boy there?"
"I don't know."
"You don't even know whether or not your kid came home last night?" Faulkenstein hollered
The Chief didn't like being yelled at. He replied, "I ain't got nothing to say," before hanging up the phone.
A half-hour later Faulkenstein called back. "Have you seen your kid yet?" He asked with a nasty edge to his voice.
"You seen yours?"
"No, but your punk ass son better not of fucked her." Though the Chief was ready to kick Little Bear's ass, he didn't like Faulkenstein calling him names. He shouted, "Don't go callin' my son a punk."
"I'll tell ya right now, if he fucked her, you and him are both goin' down."
That scared the Chief. They didn't need this. Nick's offer was looking better by the second. "How old is she?" Joe asked.
Joe swallowed a big lump in his throat. With their records they could both go to jail. All of the sudden Florida wasn't far enough. Joe was thinking about bailin' down to Costa Rica. He replied, "Well maybe they didn't do anything. Hell, they might not even be together."
Faulkenstein was losing his cool and shouted, "He better not of fucked her," before hanging up the phone.
Jenny could see that things weren't going very well. "Don't worry son. At least he didn't get hurt in an accident."
Wait till he gets home, the Chief thought to himself. "Out of all the girls in this town, why'd he have to pick that one."
"Who knows? Maybe she's cute."
"I can't believe this shit. We got enough problems without Little Bear fuckin' Faulkenstein's goddamn daughter."
An hour or so later there was still no word from Little Bear. Everyone had showered and was ready to go out looking for him when Faulkenstein called. "Have you heard from your kid?"
"Ya know I'm about gettin' tired of you calling here lookin' for your daughter."
"All right Blackbear, that's it. If they're together when my guys find her, my men are gonna lock him up. That's all I got to say," Faulkenstein threatened, as he hung up the phone.
Joe stood there like a vegetable. He wasn't sure how serious the situation was. He gazed toward the handcrafted wine cabinet with the phone still at his ear as he slowly analyzed the situation and then decided, "I gotta find him." He called Laura. When she answered the phone he said, "Little Bear never came home last night. I need you to take me to Louie's tree-house."
"Sure, no prob."
"I'll be right over."
Joe looked to Nick and said, "Hopefully this won't take very long. When I get back I'll be ready to book down to Florida if ya wanna ride down there together."
"Sounds like a plan," Nick replied.
"Get your things ready and we'll book as soon as I get back."
About a mile up the river from the Hideaway a dirt road led through the woods to the water. Laura didn't know exactly where it was but had a pretty good idea.
The top was down in the black convertible as the Chief and Laura pulled onto the dirt road. "Whata ya know. There's the van up there," the Chief said, slightly relieved.
It was parked off to the side of the dirt road along with several other cars. Joe pulled up to it and got out to see if Little Bear was inside it. The doors were locked. He stood on the front bumper and looked in through the windshield. They were crashed out together in the back.
Joe banged on the windshield shouting, "Little Bear."
Little Bear sat up and looked around.
Joe tapped on the window again. "Little Bear. Up here," he shouted.
Christina awakened as Little Bear said, "Dad," and climbed toward the driver's seat. He wasn't sure whether or not he was in trouble. He figured he was and knew he had to play things cool. He definitely didn't want to piss off his father.
"Let's get it together. It's time to move out."
Little Bear could tell by the tone of the Chief's voice that there was some heavy crap going down. He grabbed his boots and climbed out of the van. "What's going on?" he asked after opening the door.
"Don't give me any of that shit. You know what the hell's goin' on. Put your boots on. I gotta talk to you."
Little Bear slid on the boots and hopped out closing the door behind him. "What's up?"
"Whata ya mean what's up? Is that Faulkenstein's daughter?"
In a low tone the kid answered, "Yes."
The Chief slapped him in the face and yelled, "Her fuckin' Dad's got the whole goddamn police force lookin' for y'all. What the hell's the matter with you, son?"
Little Bear stood strong. He knew it was best to remain silent.
"Get fuckin' rid of her. Right now!"
"What? You want me to kick her out of the van?"
"Goddamn straight. Right fuckin' now. I'm driving home the van. I'm going to talk Laura for minute. When I get back the bitch better be gone."
Christina was in the back brushing her hair. "I heard your father. He sounds pretty mad."
"Yeah, your ol' man's been calling up, pissing him off."
"Oh my God. If he knows I've been with you he's gonna kill me," she cried."
Little Bear hugged her and said, "I don't know what to tell you. My ol' man's gonna be back any second. If you're not out of here he's gonna kick my ass."
Christina started to whimper in the boy's arms. "Listen Sweetheart, I hate doing this, but I gotta leave you here. C'mon, we gotta get out," he said, sliding the side door open.
As they climbed out, the Chief came back and said, "Gimme the keys."
"They're under the seat."
"All right, you ride home with Laura, I'll see you there."
Joe started the engine, turned around and drove off. The kids stood there in astonishment, not having any idea how intense the situation really was.
"Wait here. I'll see if Laura will give you a ride."
"That's okay Little Bear, I'd rather walk."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm in no hurry."
"Maybe I'll stop by the school Monday and we can have lunch."
She smiled and asked, "Will you?"
"I'll try, but I really gotta go."
"Okay, catch ya later." They hugged each other and Little Bear took off running toward the car.
Laura was disappointed in the kid. As he got into the car she said, "I thought you had better sense than to be bonin' a pig's daughter."
"Don't talk about her like that. I love her."
"Oh bullshit. You don't know nothin' about love. You think 'cause you got yourself a piece of pussy that you're in love."
"C'mon Laura, lighten up. It was my birthday. Okay?"
"Yeah, you keep it up and it'll be your last birthday."
By the time they got back to the house Joe had everyone ready to cruise down to Florida. He had dealt with enough bullshit and wasn't about to put up with any more of Faulkenstein's crap. Joe was worried about leaving his mother alone in Atlanta so he took her and Little Bear along with Nick and Vito down to Florida in his black Cadillac; he had Gator, Blackjack and Mike take the van. On the way down Joe thought about how much trouble he was in, and wondered how he was going to stay out of jail. He knew he had to be smart. One stupid move could get him arrested, and leaving town was pretty stupid. He learned years ago to follow his gut instincts, even if they did not make sense. Though leaving Atlanta violated his bond agreement, he felt it was the right thing to do. He wished Angela were with him. If she were there she could help him stay focused. He drove his black Cadillac with the top down and his hat pulled low enough not to fly off is head. As he discussed business with Nick who was riding shotgun, he wished he could get back together with his wife. There wasn't going to be much time left. If things went the way they were looking he would have enough money to leave the country before his court date.
He and Little Bear still had their Joseph E. Duffy and Joseph E. Duffy Jr. passports. Angela was married under that name. The Chief figured he could get a Jennifer Duffy passport for his mother from the Sergeant if she'd be willing to go. The boat was registered to Joe Duffy so he knew he just had to play things cool for a couple months and he would be able to save enough cash to last the rest of their lives. He missed the tropical life and looked forward to revisiting Costa Rica. He and Little Bear had it good down there and never should have left. Life was laid back and easy. A few hundred thousand dollars could last them a lifetime. A couple million could go further than the Chief could imagine. His only concern was that he could stay out of jail long enough to pull things off.
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