Authors Note: I can't believe i'm continuing this thing. I have an empty head...full of ideas i'd like to call "Nothing"..
Spence: Actually, An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.
A/N: Whatever, man. It's all about brains with you. Anyway, Thanks for the people who read and reviewed those crappy little story idea thingys I did. Glad ya liked it. Please Review or I will have my scary, sharp-tounged character go after you! lol, Sorry, I'm being dopey because I'm high on coke. Plus, i'm watching Viva La Bam with my friends, so that's no good. Anyway, Once again, I say:
"Read, review 'cos i'm spending a year dead for tax reasons."
The steak he had ordered came with an egg and fries and a complicated mixture of some sort of vegetable he didn't want to know about. That was soon followed by two cups of strong black coffee and a wink from the lovely young waitress.
The diner was small, but bright, clean and cozy. Brand-new, narrow, with a long lunch counter on one side and a kitchen bumped out back. Booths lining up on the opposite wall and a doorway where the center booth would be. Angelo sat in a booth at a window, reading a newspaper as he ate his food. It was dead-on three o'clock in the afternoon and he was he eating his breakfast. Not lunch. Late Breakfast, as he would call it.
The bell on top of the front door rang and a man stepped in through the door. Angelo knew exactly who was in the diner. A cook in the back. Two waitresses, one sleeping in the booth behind him, her head leaning back onto his, making him incredibly uncomfortable. Two old men playing chess, five girls. And then, it was him and the man who had entered.
Angelo folded the newspaper and put it aside. He picked at his food with the fork for a brief moment before cramming egg into his mouth. He waited. The man was looking around the diner. Without much interest, Angelo looked up. Their eyes locked for a brief second before he looked back down to his breakfast. The man walked towards the lunch counter.
All eyes were on the man for just a minute, before everyone resumed doing whatever it was they did. Whether it was about chess, food orders, or about hot guys. Laura, the lovely waitress who had served Angelo earlier, walked towards the man who went into his jacket and pulled out a wallet. The guy looked somewhere around his fifties, medium height, definitely bulky.
Angelo saw the man open it with a practiced flick and show the waitress. Laura came up with a beer from a chest of ice. The man admired the bottle for a moment then took a long pull. The next time Angelo looked up, the man was scanning the room. Oddly enough, he smiled warmly at Angelo as if he had just seen an old college friend.
"May I sit?" the man asked him as he walked over. Angelo shrugged, "Sure." he said simply, looking at the seat opposite to him before continuing to eat his very late breakfast. The guy sat heavily, sighing with satisfaction as he overwhelmed the chair. "Are you Mr. D'Angelo Spencer?" he asked across the table. Angelo merely flinched at the name, as if it was very unfamiliar.
Angelo matched the man's earlier pull with a long drink of steaming hot coffee. He paused and realized how hot it was before spitting it back in there. The man watched him with intent eyes. Out of all the people looking for him, half of them were guys who want him dead and the other half were girls, either offended, or turned on. Angelo wondered if he knew anyone he has recently pissed off. Nothing came up. Who was this guy? "D'Angelo Spencer?" the old man repeated. Angelo put the mug down and then reached behind him, grabbing the plastic bottle of water from the sleeping waitress who snored in reply.
He drank some water, the coolness of it rushing down his throat, making him feel much better. He glanced across at the man through the clear water in his bottle. His eyes said so much and yet, so less. For one thing, Angelo had easily figured that this man was here for business…that he wouldn't let emotions go in the way of it. Much like the man he used to be.
Not long ago, he was in a group of vampire hunters. The Nightstalkers. This has all started that one little night on his son's birthday. That one little night he didn't attend, which led to that one little morning at the morgue with his wife. His dead wife. The vampires wasted no time and came after him. Which led to the meeting with Caulder and his merry little gang. Ever since Sommerfield, Hedges and Dex died, he had worked with Hannibal, Abigail and Kasumi. And that old, black, American woman who kept assuming he was her son.
"Are you D'Angelo Spencer?" the man asked for the third time, there was no sign of irritation. Only determination. Angelo set the plastic water back on the waitress' hand and shook his head at the man. "No." he lied. "I'm not." The man's shoulders slumped a fraction in disappointment. "Oh."
"Who wants to know?" Angelo pressed on, blowing on the hot coffee while trying not to making any eye-contact. The man smiled and nodded, his hand just about to reach out for a handshake. "Jean-Claude Hardway." he said. Angelo was oblivious to the hand and raised his mug a fraction in response before sipping. Hardway slowly lowered his hand and cleared his throat to ease the tension. "Well, it's very nice to meet you missstterrr….?"
"Raymond…" Angelo said, telling him the name everyone referred to him as. "…Hunter." The man nodded, also raising his beer bottle a fraction. "Nice to meet you Ray-ray." he chuckled at his own little 'joke', which was very pathetic. Angelo watched the man with a weird look on his face. Taking the hint, Hardway slowly stopped laughing and cleared his throat. "So, Ray-ray…"
"Ray." Angelo said. "Just call me Ray. I mean, it's very nice and nicknamey but it takes time to get used to." Hardway nodded, "So, Ray. You know a D'Angelo Spencer around here?" he asked. Angelo shrugged, looking at the window into the shimmering heat. "Nope." he finally answered, looking back. "Not that I remember, no. You have a description"
Hardway set down the bottle of beer and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. "Not really. They say he comes down here every 3 o'clock to eat." he said. "Big guy, foul mouth, attractive."
"Should I feel flattered that you came to me?" Angelo said, he jerked a thumb over his shoulder at the old men playing chess. One of them fast asleep snoring while the other one stared down at the board, pondering about his next move. "I mean. These are very close candidates to who your looking for." Hardway barked out a laugh, "I like you. You're a good kid."
Angelo shrugged again. "I try not to masturbate in public"
Hardway continued laughing, he drank more beer to drain out the laughter before it got too freaky that it would actually scare away customers. "Only five minutes and it feels like I know you too much." "Yeah. Me too." Angelo replied grimly. "So, why are you looking for this guy? Is he a relative of yours?" He paused as if not interested. Trying not to sound 'suspicious'.
"Nope. I'm a private detective." Hardway said. "I got asked to find him"
"Oh yeah? What'd he do?" Angelo asked. Hardway thought for a moment then shook his head, shrugging as he looked out the window. He seemed interested in a particular black truck. "Nothin'. He's clear." he turned back to Angelo, smiling. "I asked everyone who he was but nobody knew…they say he drives around this big black truck."
They lapsed into silence, Hardway looked hard at Angelo, like he was issuing a direct challenge. Angelo drank a gulp of warm coffee and set it down on the table. "Lots of big black trucks. Half the people here have those. He mighta rented it or something." "A rent?" Hardway asked, confused. "They say it's too old and dangerous to be a rent"
"Things people will do for money." Angelo murmured behind his sleeve as he wiped his mouth. Hardway nodded as if he understood. "Yeah." The plate that had steak, eggs, and ugly-looking vegetable mixture was now empty, declaring that he had finished his breakfast. He pulled the plate of fries toward him while glancing at his watch.
"But I'll let you know if I find anything out." Angelo lied. Hardway nodded. "I'd appreciate it," he said ambiguously. Angelo dipped a fry into some ketchup and ate it, looking down at the table, thinking. "Who wants him?" "A client of mine." Hardway paused, searching every nook and cranny of his brain for one name. "This lady called Mrs. Skyler."
Hardway searched for some sort of reaction but none came. The name meant nothing but just a name to Angelo. Skyler? Never heard of a woman by the name. "Anyway." Hardway said, "What do you do for a job?" immediately, he continued before Angelo could say anything. "I mean, not to be nosy or anything. It's just that…you know…" Hardway looked around the room, the girls were giggling, glancing over their shoulders at Angelo who was looking down as he ate. "Well…"
Hardway looked around again, this time to the two old men, both asleep. Laura walked over to them, lifted their heads, wiped the table then let their heads crash onto the table. Still asleep. Hardway turned back to Angelo, "…I'm scared to talk to anyone else"
Spence nodded in an understanding way but he showed no hint of interest in this conversation. "I drive a tow-truck."
Hardway seemed to laugh. "Well, I bet you my life that women will be glad you towed away their cars!" Angelo laughed along with him, but not as enthusiastic. "…I guess so"
"Yeah, well. No way in hell your really Spencer. I heard he was a doctor. No doctor would have a job as Hardway continued to smile at Angelo, in a way that made him uncomfortable. The fact is, by now he would have at least shouted or said one witty comment but no…he did that back when he cared.
Now, he didn't . He is living in the crowd like a normal person. A very invisible person. And it was great…just great. "I have to go…" Angelo finally said, he eased his body up out from his seat and pulled a crumpled roll from his pants pocket. He dropped some on the table and looked at Hardway, "I'll see you around Mr. Hardway"
"Please." Hardway replied. "Call me Jean"
"Jean." Angelo nodded. "Nice meeting you, Jean." he said before heading out the door.
Jean-Claude Hardway drained the last of his beer and watched him go, smiling. "I'll see you around… Mr. Spencer."