“What’s so important about Miles Stratford?” I asked.
Lori leaned forward on the step beside me. “We have to find him and settle things,” she said.
“You mean kill him.”
“He killed one of ours.”
“How can you be sure it really wasn’t an accident? He could have just been driving that fast,” I said.
“There was no accident,” said Lori. “There was a battle. Miles and Phyllis were in the same nightclub when things became uncomfortable. She left, he followed and then he forced her car into a spin. When she stopped he and another man jumped out and went after her.”
“Two on one, not very gentlemanly,” I said.
“It was two on two,” said Lori. “But the other was pinned for too long. Phyllis was dead and the sirens were sounding so Miles and his friend ran.”
“And the pinned friend?”
“She freed herself and made it home. But some witnesses had seen Miles speeding away and it was assumed that it was a hit and run,” said Lori.
I looked at Monika. She was staring at the ground and her fists were clenched. She was holding anger inside, she was shaking that much.
“We can handle this, Lori,” said Martin.
“No we cannot, not the way Trevor can,” said Lori. “This is what he does. We are simply fighters. He is as a detective who avoids fighting. He will think our way out of this and if not he can fight it out.”
“He needs her to protect him,” said Martin. “Look at him, he is broken already. A man that does not fight is not a man.”
Monika was in Martin’s face before any of us blinked. “He took down Marcos Li in a matter of seconds, could have killed him. He had a pistol shoved down the throat of Stratford. What have you done?”
“Not be trapped in a car,” said Martin. His eyes betrayed his regret at the words before his lips closed over the last syllable. It was as I thought. Monika was the trapped friend who had watched as her sister had been decapitated.
“Well, either Carl Stratford was lying or he really doesn’t know where his son is. Either way it’s time to get started,” I said. I stretched slightly to disguise the need to get rid of the numbness in my butt from sitting on the steps so long.
“Where to start?” Lori asked.
I smiled. “Miles is a child of this generation. Kid can’t go without a cell phone and I imagine he has a high priced one. I’m going to see if I can track it down.”
They all looked at me with blank looks. “What?” I asked.
Monika shook her head. “That is the simplest thing I have ever heard of. Why we did not think of it is beyond me.”
Lori smiled. “Because we were not thinking like a detective. Why do you think I sent you to him?”
“Because you still think he’s cute,” said Monika.
Martin stood taller. “She’s a married woman, little one. Be mindful.”
It was my turn for a facial reaction.
Lori frowned slightly and turned away.
The memories of the pressure from the greeting burned away.