Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thriller Thursday - Excerpt from the next Kelli Storm Novel - No title yet

Tuesday August 27th – 11:18 A.M. – Brooklyn
West 12th Street – Foxy Lady Gentlemen’s Club

Kelli found a spot down the street from the club entrance and parked. Chris and Paul pulled in behind her. On the sidewalk, they looked the place over. “You sure about this information, Chris?”
“The guy is reliable. If he says Rozhkov is here, then he is.”
“Okay, let’s hope he’s right. Paul, you and I will take the front door. It looks like the main part of this club is on the second floor, but I’m not sure about the rear exit. Chris, check the back for any exits.”
“You think he’ll run? I thought your guy said he wanted out.”
“Yeah, well, let’s just cover the back anyway,” she said as she turned and headed toward the club.
As they neared the entrance, Chris stopped and looked at the back of the building. “Looks like three doors on the ground level, dead end,” he said and turned back toward Kelli and Paul. “If our guy does run, this is the only way out.”
“Okay, you stay here while Paul and I see if we can’t flush him out.”
Chris nodded and stepped through the gate. “I’ll be ready.”
Paul reached the entrance, pulled the door open and waited for Kelli. “You really think this guy is going to roll on his boss?”
She looked up at him as she stepped inside. “We’ll know when we get in here.”
Inside, they were greeted by a petite brunette behind a small counter. The woman stood as they entered and smiled. “Hi, welcome to Foxy Lady. If you’re here for our lunch special, we don’t start serving until twelve.”
Kelli looked up at Paul, shook her head and turned back to the young woman. “Actually we’re on Police business,” she said and flashed her badge. “We’re looking for someone and it’s possible that he could be here.”
The woman looked at them, her eyes flicking from one to the other. “There’s not going to be any trouble, is there? We don’t want trouble,” she said and swallowed hard.
“No, there won’t be any trouble. We’re not here to arrest anyone; we just want to ask this man some questions.”
The woman slowly nodded, the color returning to her face. “Well, okay, as long as there’s no trouble,” she said and waved them in.
Kelli pushed through the beaded curtain and headed up the flight of stairs. As they topped the stairs, Kelli stopped and bunched her nose at the smell. Cheap booze and stale perfume. Three men waving dollar bills sat at the main stage as a well-endowed young blonde in a G-string spun around a silver pole. Kelli shook her head and continued searching for Rozhkov. “Do you see him?”
“No, but this is a big place. Looks like there are more stages on the other side of this one,” he said as he weaved between tables.
Kelli nodded and followed him past the main stage and into the rear of the club. As she came around the main stage, she spotted Rozhkov sitting next to a smaller stage watching a particularly voluptuous red head gyrate her hips. She walked up to him and stopped a few feet away. “Nikolay Rozhkov, NYPD, we need to talk to you,” she said as she stepped up behind him.
Rozhkov leaned his head back slowly, looked up at Kelli, turned and looked at Paul. “I am thinking I am not having choice,” he said and stood. He turned and faced Kelli, towering over her. “What is it you are wanting?”
Kelli took two quick steps back and looked up at him. “Why don’t we go outside and talk, it’s a little noisy in here.”
“I am being comfortable here. If you are wanting to talk, we talk here,” he said and plopped back into his chair.
Kelli looked at him, then looked at Paul. “Okay, Rozhkov,” she said and sat next to him, “we talk here.”
“What is it you are wanting to know? You are after boss, no? If I am talking to you, then I am wanting protection.”
“You tell me what you know about Irina Senkin and then we’ll talk about protection. Do you know who killed her?”
Rozhkov lowered his head, closed his eyes and nodded. “Yes, I am knowing. She was such pretty girl, sweet. It is shame she is killed like that,” he said and looked at Kelli, tears forming in his eyes. “Before I am saying more, you are giving me protection from these people.”
“Fine,” she said and nodded as she turned toward Paul. “Paul, call the lieutenant, see what we can do about putting Mister Rozhkov up for a few days,” she said and looked back at Rozhkov. “This had better be worth it, Rozhkov. Come on,” she said and stood, “time to say goodbye.”
“If I must, but I am really wanting to stay here,” he said as he pulled a dollar bill out of his pocket and stuffed it into the G-string of a passing dancer. “Such pretty girls, they always remind me of Irina.”
“Wait, did she work here?”
Da, this is where I am first meeting her, long time ago. She was new to country and trying to get sister out of Russia, so a man brought her here and she is put to work. At first she is being afraid, but then she is meeting me and I am treating her like little sister, making sure no one is giving her trouble.”
“So you protected her. Your friend Vasily said you were a good man.”
 “Not good enough, I could not keep her from being killed,” he said and hung his head.