"What the hell, you again!" The same man at the apartment peered through the crack in the doorway.
"Look, what's the deal here?" Reed had been over before in his search for Mitzi, a close friend of Lindy's.
And today, the man slammed the door, but not before Reed got his foot inside and pushed it open. Stepping into the foyer, he grabbed the guy's shirt and inches from his face, growled, "Now, where's Mitzi?'
"She's not here, get out!"
Reed shoved him aside and walked in. "Watch me," he growled again and charged through the house. He didn't say a word to the guy as he went out and slammed the door. Later he stopped at the Flower Mound Police Department.
"I'm Reed Conners out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I'm an investigator for an insurance company and I'd like to speak to one of your detectives about two missing people."
"You'd want to see Manny down the hall then."
Reed walked into a cubicle that was small and airless like those found in police departments all over the country. Manny, a small wiry guy with long hair and a drooping mustache looked up from a of mountain files.
Reed held out his hand. "Manny, I'm told you're the man I need to see."
And after an hour Reed left with an APB out for Lindy and her black BMW. State wide. He also told of his frustration not finding Mitzi. And he spent the next days watching her place. Just waiting for something to break. Nothing happened.
But now both Lindy and Mitzi were missing!
Later, as Reed sat at Tony's Steakhouse, the velvet voice of Elvis came on and he sang a song called "Born to Lose." Then a new flash came over the TV about a huge blizzard in the north, causing hundreds
of accidents and damage to countless buildings because of the weight of the snow. It was hard to imagine that going on while it was eighty-six degrees and sunny there in Dallas.
The bartender and manager were standing at the end of the bar talking in low voices and suddenly Reed's hand stopped in mid-air. His Crown Royal spilled over the edge of his glass and splashed on the bar. He turned to the men as they went on, and heard, "Goddamn, Jack at the motel said Lindy's left and the room is cleaned out! She didn't even pay her bill."
Apprehension shot through Reed. Could they be talking about Lindy Lewis? Could she be here right under his nose? Betty, the waitress slid up on the stool next to him at the bar then.
"Hello handsome," she smiled.
"Evening Betty, you're done work early. Want your usual?"
"Lord, I need it. I've been both hostess and waitress tonight!"
"I just heard the guys talking, about the hostess not showing up." Reed took a drink and asked carefully, "Her name was Lindy?"
"Lindy Lewis," Betty replied unaware of Reed's face as his eyes widened.
Be cool, he warned himself. "She disappeared?"
Betty sipped at her drink. "She never came back after her week-end with this guy. You know, she came in here months ago, broke and needing work. The boss put her up in the motel next door and gave her a job."
"Well,what happened? It sounds like she had it made." Reed lifted his glass carefully and drank. Intent and anxious.
"She seeemed to be getting on her feet, but then she met this asshole standing right over there." Betty nodded toward a man standing on the other side of the room.
"Well, who is that man?"
Betty smirked, "he's a bad-ass from way back and he's as queer as a three dollar bill!"