“I’ve been doing some digging on Asterson,” Corey told me. I was leaning up against the wall, one foot planted on the ground and the other against the wall. I took a puff of my cigar and blew the smoke. The hazy cloud filled the room.
“Go on then,” I said, gesturing for him to continue.
“There isn’t much out there,” he said. He glanced up at me and back down at his feet.
“Seriously, Corey?” I snarled.
“Boss, he’s like a ghost. There isn’t anything about him anywhere on the internet except for the brief mention of his nomination. Aside from that, nothing,” Corey squeaked out, rubbing his sweaty hands together.
I stroked my chin. “A ghost wouldn’t be able to plan an intricate attack on me and my club, Corey.” Corey didn’t quite know what I really was, but he did know there was something different about me. He had asked questions before about what I was, but I had always brushed him off and left him with little to consider.
He nodded at me. “Right. The jet is being fueled and will be ready for take-off around sunset. We’ve let the staff at the Santa Cruz Delos know you will be there for a few weeks until things here are cleaned up. They should be fixing things to your liking as we speak.”
I pressed my thumb above my eye as I sighed. “Thank you. Are you coming with me?”
His body perked up at my offer. “I-I didn’t know that was an option.”
I sighed again and shook my head. “Corey, you’re the sidekick to my superhero. As much shit as I give you, I still need you by my side.”
Corey threw his arms open wide to hug me. I reached my arm out and held him at arm’s length. “Don’t make this weird, Corey. I said I valued you, not that I wanted to make love with you,” I said to him. He put his head down, and I let out a laugh. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him in.
Corey laughed with me and threw his arms around me. Corey had been by my side for the last few years, and I had grown quite fond of him. He was the first person I ever hired at the original Delos. He may frustrate the hell out of me, but honestly, I wouldn’t have survived the mortal realm without him.
“Now,” I started as I released the embrace and took a step back, “what is the word on Rebecca? How are her and her friends?”
A slight grin formed on his face. “They were all released from the hospital last night. Just a few cuts and scrapes from shrapnel.”
“Finally, some good news,” I said, my scowl replaced with a smile.“I need to talk to her before I leave.” Corey nodded and made his way out of my hotel room.
I picked up my phone and pulled up Rebecca’s contact. I dialed her number and brought the phone to my ear. “Pollo, I was beginning to wonder if you were just trying to get rid of me the other night.”
I chuckled. “I was on my way to see you when my clumsy manager bumped into me and spilled my drink. Perhaps it was a good thing I didn’t make it to the room.”
Static emitted from the other end of the phone before Rebecca spoke. “Yes, perhaps so. Any ideas what caused the explosion, Pollo?”
I puckered my lips and wrinkled my nose. “The detectives are working on it. Between you and me, I think it was an attack. Someone was trying to kill me.”
“Wait, are you serious? This could be a huge story! An assassination attempt on Pollo, New York City’s Most Eligible Bachelor, successful pop star, night club mogul.”
“Ahem,” I cleared my throat, “between you and me, Rebecca, I don’t have any hard evidence to back me up.”
“Right,” she said from the other end of the line. She took a deep breath and spoke again. “Why do you think you were targeted for an attack?”
“I’ve been followed for the last few weeks by a mysterious man. I can’t figure out who he is, but I saw him at Delos moments before the explosion. I tried to find him on my way to change shirts, but he just disappeared.” I rubbed my brow.
“You don’t have any suspicions? Enemies?” Rebecca asked.
I shook my head. “Oh, I have plenty of enemies. None stupid enough to make such a blatant attack on me. Even the people who hate me know I’m a god to them.”
“Then what’s your plan? Surely you can’t stay around here.”
“I’m leaving at sundown,” I fessed up.
Without hesitation, she asked, “Where are you going?”
I hesitated a moment. So far, the only person who knew where I was going was Corey. I couldn’t lie to her, though. “To another Delos in another city.” It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Rebecca. I just didn’t trust anybody.
There was a slight pause from Rebecca. I could tell she wanted to push the issue to figure out where I was going, but she didn’t want to push too hard. “Be safe, Pollo.”
I smiled softly at the kindness and worry that radiated from her voice. “I will do my best. I have a plane to catch, Rebecca. Call me if you need anything.”
“Take care, Pollo,” she replied before hanging up. As the phone call came to an end, Corey reentered the room.
“Boss,” he started, rubbing his sweaty hands together, “the car is out front, ready to take you to the airport. There will be a car at Bonny Doon to bring you to Delos when you get there.”
I checked my watch for the time and glanced back at Corey. “I want to make a stop before I go to Delos.”
Corey raised an eyebrow and scrunched his nose. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? Someone is trying to kill you. Wouldn’t it be safer to go straight to Delos until we can gather more information?”
“I want to go see a certain nymph.” I smiled as confusion filled Corey’s face. “Don’t worry, Corey, you can go straight to Delos.”
“No,” he stated. “I’ll go with you.”
I smiled. He was really coming around, becoming braver as time went on. He made me proud. “Then let’s get on with it, off to California!”