Recap- “The Cartoonist and his girl go to Miami and find a dead person in their hotel room. The Identity of the murder victim…His own Sister, who has been going around town looking for him. The Cartoonist gets confirmation from his dad and tracks the orphanage she was in. He finds out that she was a troublemaker. She was Daddy’s Little Girl… though and though. After some research he finds an address in which he finds a surprising secret His own sister not dead at all, but she has a secret of her own. The identity of the victim is her own sister”
Sister?? Is there another sibling that don’t know about? Gina picks up on the confusion on my face and quickly dispels my fears. “Oh no I don’t mean by blood. I meant she was someone I was very close to at the orphanage. Like a sister. Sorry for the confusion” I nod my head to confirm that I understood. I have a few friends growing up that I considered like brothers. Most of them I haven’t spoken to in years. Gina asks me if I was interested in getting a coffee. I tell her sure, but I need to call my girlfriend to let her know that I will be delayed. She says Ok and after a quick call we head to a local cafe. A small Mom and Pop place in the area. She gets a small coffee black and get a tea with milk. Plus a few donuts. I’m starving. After getting our order we sit down at one of the empty tables. She was silent for a while, drinking her coffee and twiddling her thumbs. I wanted to start but wasn’t sure where to start.
She took a deep breath and then she started “As you know I was an orphan. I had a rough childhood. No mom. No dad. I only found out later about who they were. I didn’t know who you were until recently” I wonder how recently but I didn’t ask. She continued “Rita was the closest thing I had to family at the orphanage. We got into a lot of trouble when we were in our teens and then also in our twenties” I am guessing Rita is the deceased. “After a while I felt that I need a plan, so I went into business for myself. Clean myself up so to speak. Rita reluctantly joined me” I wonder what’s the business. I don’t have good feeling about this. Gina takes a deep breath and says “After a while I realized that she was using drugs. Not just Weed like we use to but the hard stuff. Coke. Ecstasy…and Heroin. Plus, she loved the fellas” She Paused for a minute. “There was one fella in particular that didn’t sit well with me. A real sleaze. I told her that he was bad news, but she wouldn’t listen” I asked her what his name was. She shook her head. “She gave me a name, but it sounded fake. Roberto Silencioso ” Yeah that sounded fake all right. Basically, it means Silent Bob.
After that we talked about my life. She mostly asked about my comic strip. Apparently, she’s a fan. I told her about Cidra and our relationship. After that I asked if she had anyone special. She was seeing no one in particular. A couple of casual relationships. Nothing that stuck. Then the kicker. I asked about her business. She was silent for a minute. Very reluctant to say. Then she took a deep breath and told me what she does. She really is Daddy’s Little Girl. “I run an underground casino in downtown Miami. Very hush hush. It’s been going strong of the last 5 years” Interesting. Very Interesting. I ask about Rita’s role in this business. She said “Not much of a role, just working behind the bar. Taking orders from the players. Stuff like that” I start to wonder if this got her killed and she picks up on my suspicions. “You think her involvement in the business got her killed. Don’t you?” It was a statement not an accusation. I told her I couldn’t be sure but it’s likely. She shifts in her seat like this idea bothers her. It’s understandable. You would hate to have a person you love killed by a dangerous lifestyle that you created.
She says that she needs to go. That she needs to get some rest before tonight. She has a business to run. She invites me and Cidra to come tonight. I told her that I am not much of a gambler. “Don’t worry about it. Have a few drinks and I will give you and your girlfriend some comp chips. It’s the least I can do…for family” I tell I’ll ask Cidra first, and she understands. We say our goodbyes and I tell her I will call her later. As I get in the cab, I am not sure what to think about all this. On one hand I am in the middle of another murder investigation that is messy and complicated. Then on the other hand I get to have a sister that I didn’t know I wanted. Beyond the fact that she succumbs to the impulses of our dear old dad, she seems to be a nice person who is seems to have her life together especially after life hitting her hard so early. After finishing this thought, I finally reach the hotel. I notice a new guy is at the desk. I go to my room and Cidra is at the bed reading a magazine.
She looks up at me with concern. “Everything ok, Sugar?” I tell her what happen. The real identity of the murder victim, my conversation with my sister and the invite. She smiles and says “You know we have to go, right? How many chances do you get to go to an underground casino? Is it like the movies with a secret password?” Her smile turns into a large grin. She’s loving this a little too much. The next morning, we shop for this evenings affair. That’s what Cidra calls it. I get a black suit, black shirt and simple black tie. Very sharp. A sharp dressed man. ZZ Top eat your heart out. Cidra gets a nice red cocktail dress with red stilettos. Very sexy. Hopefully later that night I will get tear that off. We leave the hotel and order a car about 9 and it takes us to an put of the way location in a warehouse district. That’s not too suspicious now, is it? The address is a simple warehouse. Nothing to make it seem like gambling will be happening here. I guess that’s the point.
I walk up to the door and knock. I am not really sure what to expect. A little window opens up like it does in Hollywood. This thrilled Cidra tremendously. All I seen was a pair of eyes. “What do you want?” I told him that Ms. Fox was expecting me. He seems to acknowledge the name. What’s your name? I told him and then he opened up. We went in and let’s just say that the inside doesn’t look like anything like it would from the outside. A very classy joint. Besides a bar set in the back, there’s Wall to Wall gambling. Everything you can think of. Craps, Roulette, Poker Tables, and Slot Machines. We receive our chips, and we go to town. Cidra goes to the slots while I hit the Blackjack tables. After a few hours we meet up at the bar. The final result? A won about $100 and she lost a $100. So basically, we break even. After a few drinks, Gina shows up to greet us. It’s the first time she is meeting Cidra and introductions are made but I can tell she is not in a good mood. After some chit chat I decide to ask if there is anything wrong.
She seems reluctant to say but then says, “Remember when I told you that Rita had a shifty boyfriend who I didn’t like?”
I Nod Yes.
“Well, there is he is.”
I look and it was then I realized who killed Rita.
To be Continued…