Two Down (The Second Casualty)

Sunday, September 15, 1997

In retrospect, it was probably stupid for me to go back to Coral Key Place – alone. Especially went I thought that’s where Dani’s kidnapper lived. I had followed Sean here – between Under Grounds and his apartment, he had stopped her to drop off Kevin Jones.

In all fairness, I went back in the daytime. I’ve heard those types of places only get real bad at night. And I made sure to check in with Brant before. I covered my bases. In the event that Kevin Jones had tried to do me in, Brant would have been there in minutes.

Well, except I left him a voicemail. So hopefully he would have checked it by the time that Kevin Jones decided to bloody me. Parking across the street from Coral Key Place, I was short a quarter. I stared at the pay phone for a good ten minutes hoping to find a way to make it work for free. From there, I could see the guy walking towards me. He was young. Preppy. Way too put together for this place. It’d be safe to talk to him.

“Hey,” I said, nodding at him. “You got a quarter?”

“Why yes I do, miss,” he said. “Got two actually.” He waited patiently while I called Brant and dropped a message on his answering machine. When I hung up he looked at me with a question mark on his face.

“Yes?” I asked.

“Do you by any chance know where I can find a gas station near here. I’m heading up North and was hoping to not have to loop back into town.”

“Yeah just go up 17 a couple more blocks. There’ll be a 7-11 on your right.”

“Thanks ma’am,” he shined his dimples at me and started to walk away.

“Miss was better,” I said. As I watched him depart, I thought about the third business card in my pocket. “Excuse me…sir? Are you using that other quarter for anything?”

It took us all of 90 seconds. He called the handwritten mystery number from the back of the last card and left a simple message – I know everything. Meet me at Under Grounds tomorrow at noon. And then he got in his car and headed out of town while I walked towards Kevin Jones’ trailer.

Except there was no Kevin Jones. Was barely a trailer either.




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