Bridgeport Blues - Chapter Five
Published Nov 3, 2011

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At the main offices of Plumbob Studios, the receptionist informs me that Ms. Wolfe is "on set" and points me towards the back of the lot. I've already had to deal with the security goons so crossing the parking lot to the back goes smoothly. I can see a small group of people standing around a table covered with monitors, watching a recently filmed scene. One of the group is a tall, dark haired woman who steps away from the table as I approach. "Ms. Wolfe?" I ask.
"You must be T. J." she says, "I can see the family resemblance."
I nod, knowing she's worked closely with my sister Lulu for several years.
"What can I do for you?" she asks.
"Honestly, I'm not really sure. Maybe it would be best if I tell you the whole story..."
I fill her in on the details; the folder, the note, the picture of the missing but not really missing and now dead woman, the now missing folder and everything in between.

"It sounds like you are in quite a fix," she says.
"That's putting it mildly," I respond.
"But I'm still not sure what I can do for you..."
"I want to poke around," I interrupt. "Talk to some of your people, and I think it would be best if they know that I have your permission to be here."
She nods, "That can be arranged. Your sister is one of our greatest assets, so I'll do favors for her or her family anytime."
She leads me to the table and introduces me to the team working around the monitors and explains that I may have some questions.

"I've got to run, I have another meeting," she says, "You should be fine, but call me if you have any trouble." She vanishes through a side door, leaving me to my own devices.

I watch the techs on the set for a few minutes, gathering my thoughts, and then move towards the section of the studio where the "talent" go to unwind between takes. This is what I really came here for.
Steve Robert's trailer is easy to find, being the largest. I knock and hear a muffled "yeah?" which I assume means that I can enter.

I open the door and step in, somewhat surprised at how simply the place is furnished. I expected this super-star wannabe to surround himself with all of the finer things in life, but this place is stark.

Steve looks up as I enter and asks, "Can I help you?"
"I'm sorry to bother you," I start...
He interrupts, "Dude if you want an autograph or something, come back later, I'm trying to memorize my lines."
"You don't understand," I reply. "I have some questions about your wife."

Steve looks at me curiously.
"Mr. Roberts, my name is T.J. Larson." I pause for a moment to see if he recognizes the name but he just stares at me blankly.

"I don't know if the police told you, but I was hired, supposedly by you, to find your wife after she went missing..." I trail off as he continues to stare at me as if I am speaking Greek. "I take it the police didn't tell you?"
"Look, I have no idea who you are, or what you want, but I don't have time for this," he says.
Apparently the police never bothered to mention me or the folder to Steve, which I find unusual since I was pretty sure they told me that he denied knowing anything about it.

Why does everyone seem determined to stop me from finding out what the hell is going on? But just as I am about to push the issue, the door swings open and a pile of shopping bags comes through and says in a very feminine voice, "Honey, I'm home!"

The shopping bags fall to the floor and Steve's new leading lady looks at me, startled, "Oh! I didn't realize you had company."
Perfect timing, I think. I want to talk to her too.
"Let me get those," I say, and start to pick up the bags to place them on the table, but I stop when Steve says, "Sue, this is Mr. Larson. He knew Elena."
"Oh, isn't it just so terrible about Elena," Sue gushes. "She was so pretty and smart; a teacher! And little Julio misses her so much."

She can't be as empty-headed as she sounds...
Is she for real? I can't help but ask myself, as I watch her sashay across the small room and sit on the bench next to Steve. Elena's only been dead a matter of days but Sue's made herself quite at home.

"Actually," I say, "I didn't know Elena. I was hired to look for her after she went missing. I'm a private investigator. The funny thing is..."

"Oh! A private investigator!" Sue interrupts, "That must be so exciting!"
"Not as much as you might expect," I respond, "The funny thing is, the person who hired me to look for Elena said he was her husband."

"Well that's just silly," Sue says. "Steve didn't even know she was missing until the police told him. Isn't that right?"

Steve nods but doesn't say anything. I've got the impression that he has given up trying to get a word in edgewise.
"Let me start from the beginning," I say, and I go on to explain about the folder on my desk, the note, the picture (I'm starting to feel like a broken record. A rather pathetic one too.) and I even admit that I broke into Elena's house on the outskirts of the city. "That was you!" Steve exclaims, "I remember now, the police did tell me someone tried to break in but I thought... well, I don't know what I thought."

I wait for him to continue but he seems to be finished, and has gone back to staring at Sue like a lovesick puppy. Obviously I'm not going to get anything coherent out of this guy, and Sue doesn't seem to be much better.
"Just to be clear, then," I try one last time. "You did not leave the picture and note on my desk and ask me to find Elena?"

"Dude, I'm telling you, I don't know anything about that," Steve says.

I sigh and shake my head. I'm getting nowhere, fast. But just as I start to turn to leave, I catch a look on Sue's face. A smirk.

"Do you know anything about it, Sue?" I ask, suddenly suspicious...

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RennaraJul 27, 2012

the plot thickens\:\)

maurieMar 27, 2012

And the mystery continues... Love your story!

urm0mNov 21, 2011

I wonder what Sue knows!

bintobox1Nov 19, 2011

Great \:rah\: can't wait for the next part!

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