Back in her office, Jimmy flopped down in a chair, chuckling. The meeting had only lasted 17 minutes, so Bethany’s assistance hadn’t been necessary. Gavin smiled his slanted Hawaiian eyes at Madigan.
‘Congratulations, looks like a done deal.’
His voice was full of recognition. Madigan knew how deep his recognition ran. At the Christmas party two years ago, Gavin had proclaimed his feelings for her among tinsels, cheesy carols, and way too much egg nog. Madigan had been inebriated enough to get caught up in the moment. It had taken months to rebuild their easy professional relationship and Madigan knew better than to challenge the equilibrium.
‘It isn’t over until Balducci accepts or the offer expires.’
Madigan was well aware that this was the kind of deal that solidified her position at Allister Consolidated and ensured her a Christmas bonus.
‘Let’s see what happens in the next 30 hours, fellas,’ she said, giving Gavin and Jimmy sly smiles in turn.
At home that night, Madigan did her own little happy dance around her living room with the habitual glass of Chardonnay in hand. Allister Consolidated was a good firm in the cut-throat world of corporate finance and even as nice as Mr. Ollivers and Ms. Jimenez seemed over lunch, they were ruthless at business. They wouldn’t shy away from dropping an employee, who didn’t perform. Madigan gleefully considered whether Balducci was down on his luck after this negotiation and found she wouldn’t mind seeing him in headwind.
Her phone rang, and Madigan ended her dance to answer it.
‘You home?’ Mike asked, ‘Good, I’ll be there in ten.’
That was strange. Normally, Mike would send her a dossier by email or leave an envelope for her. Madigan couldn’t remember the last time she was in the same room with Mike.
Ten minutes later on the dot, the doorbell rang. Madigan wondered for a second how Mike had bypassed the locked front door and locked elevator, but this was Mike. He was allusive and ingenious in a MacGyver-ish way. Madigan opened the door and he strode in without a greeting.
Madigan followed him into the kitchen where he opened the fridge and grabbed a beer.
‘Please Mike, help yourself. To what do I owe this rare honor?’ Madigan asked, sarcasm thick in her voice.
Mike shot her a glance from under the heavy, grey eyebrows that were evidence of his Italian ancestry.
‘Forget the biker,’ Mike said and put the beer bottle to his lips.
‘No.’ No one was going to come into Madigan’s home, drink her beer, and try to boss her around.
‘He’s bad news, Madigan. He’s Lost Legion MC. That is the epitome of bad news.’
Madigan found a beer for herself.
‘He’s a biker and scarier than the boogey man. I get it, Mike.’
‘You don’t get shit,’ Mike said, ‘he is the boogey man and he is so good that all I can find on him is rumor and lore.’
Madigan set her beer on the countertop. Mike’s statements made her tremble in fear and in truth, Mike was only confirming her immediate impression of the biker guy.
‘Tell me what you have.’
‘He’s called Heavy, I haven’t been able to get his real name, which is uncommon, when the rumor is that he is ex-army. He should be in the system. When he isn’t, I’m guessing someone made sure he isn’t in the system. He is known member of the Lost Legion MC. A 1 % club. Do you know what that means? 99 % of motorcycle clubs are on the up and up, sort of. It is the last percent that really give MCs a bad name. Lost Legion is involved in weapon sales, drug dealing, murder, you name it. Heavy is known as Lost Legion’s enforcer. Do you know what I mean? He’s their resident hitman. Now, Madigan, what kind of shit are you in?’
Mike crossed his arm and gave Madigan as stern stare.
Madigan hesitated, feeling hallow where her voice box should be. She needed to get her head on straight, think through whatever she was going to use this information for. Perhaps the intimidation game wasn’t the best approach. Now it was even more concerning that Heavy knew who she was.
Madigan met Mike’s glare.
‘I’m not in anything. I just crossed paths with him by coincidence and wanted to know who he was. Now I know.’
Madigan gave Mike her most convincing smile. Mike didn’t look like he was completely convinced. He gave her a grave glare extraordinaire and left it at that. On his way out of the door, he looked at Madigan over his shoulder.
‘If it hits the fan, you have my number.’