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False Colors by Marc Jablon

False Colors by Marc Jablon

Author:Marc Jablon [Jablon, Marc]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2019-12-14T22:00:00+00:00


29

The elevator opened into a small alcove that faced only Marlene’s door. Guillermo, like Brian, had appropriated an entire floor, but the building had originally been constructed with six dwellings on each level. Since it was not possible to build a private elevator for Guillermo’s residence, the architect had created this holding pen for guests. The hallway was about twenty feet square and paneled in dark oak. The carpeting was a matching brown Berber with tiny yellow pin dots. It was like being wrapped in a cocoon of soundproofed luxury. I was about to push the intercom button in front of the oak double doors when I heard a male voice shout, “You can’t do this to me! I’ll kill you, you bitch!”

I heard Marlene’s shout back, “I own you now, asshole! You want to play rough, go ahead. But you’ve fucked me for the last time.”

The door cracked open. I moved just to the right of the opening so that I’d be out of sight for the moment.

He laughed bitterly and responded in a far lower tone. “But you’ll continue to fuck me financially for as long as possible now that you’re in control.”

The door opened wider, and the gentleman in question stepped through the doorway. His eyes were still on Marlene, who was inside the apartment. “I am the most talented and famous artist of my generation. We’re not done yet.”

With that, he slammed the door and headed across the hall to the narrow elevator. Suddenly noticing me out of his peripheral vision, he turned his hostility on me. “And who are you? One of Marlene’s new sycophants? Here to pledge your eternal love?”

I stared at him, wondering how long he’d go on. He was a burly guy, maybe three inches taller than me and thirty pounds heavier. He looked like he worked out. But hey, he was an artist, and I’m a trained professional. If he came at me with a paintbrush and I pulled out my gun, I could take probably take him.

“I’m here to find out who killed Guillermo,” I answered evenly. “Maybe you have some ideas.”

“So you’re the detective,” he sneered. “Marlene told me about you.” He drew his head back slightly and narrowed his eyes. Then he nodded as if he had made a decision. “Yes, you’re the one. She said you had a certain dangerous quality about your eyes. I could paint you, make you famous.”

“Thanks, but I prefer anonymity,” I said. “We haven’t been introduced formally. I’m Jeff Shott.” I put out my hand to shake his.

He bowed briefly, a nod of the head. “I am Damien Harmony. Perhaps you have heard of me?”

I indicated that I had. “Brian speaks very highly of you.”

“Ah, yes, my other master. To him and that one,” he said, looking briefly at the door, “I am nothing but dollars and cents. They don’t appreciate my talent.”

“On the contrary,” I said. “Brian thinks you’re a veritable genius. He told me that you’re a tremendous draw for his gallery.



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