The Rusty Pelican was nice, out on Biscayne Bay with a view of the Miami skyline, kind of lush and tropical on the way in and all wood and masculine once in its heart sipping on a cold beer and watching the sun go down on a hot city. Ricky and Alfredo were already there and though they’d met Liam before I’m sure Noonan was a surprise, all hard and spooky in his wrinkled seersucker with the sweat soaking through at the arm pits. We sat next to them and while the dining room was almost full, the bar had only two other customers, a middle aged couple having martinis before dinner seated at the further end, well out of earshot. The bartender was an older guy who, one way or another knew the score. He served our drinks and politely drifted down to the other end to make conversation with the geriatrics.
Ricky seemed nervous, sweating a lot and a little flush, "Man," he said, "if Blanco knew I was here, what I was doing, I’d be fucking dead."
I nodded toward his briefcase on the floor next to us, "It’s all there?"
He shook his head up and down quickly and dismissively, "Of course, I don’t break fucking deals. It’s just, you know I wouldn’t be making a deal on the outside at all, but I got a lot of demand for this shit and the guy can’t get it no more. I mean, I still get the other shit off him."
Noonan tipped his whisky glass back and snorted derisively, "Guy sounds like an ass hole. You know, America’s the land of opportunity, opportunity’s free for all, but it’s fucked up to get in the way of the next guys opportunity, especially if you ain’t American yourself."
I could tell Ricky didn’t know how to respond and I could tell he was annoyed, but also too nervous around Noonan to show it. His ears got flushed and he smiled a kind of awkward agreement. He had a pile of money on the wood in front of him and he pointed at it, "Anyway, have a drink on us, we got to go, I got this stuff promised to customers tonight so I gotta work the sled like Santa." There were handshakes all around and Ricky and Alfredo grabbed their end of the deal and tipped out.
"Wow, that guy was really wound up." Said Liam, motioning to the bartender for another round, "Are you sure he’s stable enough to do business with?"
I plopped a twenty onto the pile on the wood and the bartender dropped the round and moved away. Noonan snickered and said, "Guy was nervous, that Blanco guy must be pretty scary."
"LoneTree told me he’s known for cutting guys up while they’re still alive," I replied.
A quick look passed over Noonan’s face and it wasn’t one of disgust, "Sooner that guy checks out the better. I’m gonna talk to Johnny Angel about it tomorrow, first things first though, you say LoneTree knows the guy?"
Noonan knocked back his drink and stood up from his stool.
"Where are you off to?" Liam asked, staring morosely at his frozen Pina Colada.
"It’s where we are off to Brother, Bro."
"Okay where’s that?"
"Where gonna go have a chat with the Indian, I wanna find out as much about Blanco as I can sounds like he’s all that stands between us and the quiet enjoyment of our little market segment."