Carynne was on the house phone in the kitchen. “Why aren’t you answering your line?” she asked.
“Turned it off to work on a song,” I said, sitting in a cracked vinyl chair. “What’s up? Why don’t you come over? The gang’s all here.”
“Daron, it’s almost midnight.”
“Does that matter? I mean, really?”
“Someone ought to at least be awake some of business hours, you know.” I could hear her pursing her lips, I swear. “But anyway, I’ve got a feeling something big is cooking.”
“The phone’s been ringing a lot lately. Well, I mean, yeah, I’ve been taking a ton of calls about things. I’m talking a lot of the time it’s been ringing, but when I get there too late, there’s no message.”
“How do you know it isn’t just some guy thinks you’re cute but is afraid to sound dumb on your machine?”
“Well, first off, it’s the phone line that’s for M3 business, and second, I got a Caller ID thing, and they’re not all from the same number.”
“It’s this new thing. Fink swears by it. Shows you the phone numbers of who called. A couple of them were from Digger, no big deal, but there were two from what look like BNC numbers, and a couple from New Jersey, too. Could be someone’s home number, I suppose.”
“And did you talk to Digger?”
“I did. He says he doesn’t know anything about it, but he hasn’t had a call from BNC all week. I left a voice mail message for Mills saying, hey, if you’re trying to get in touch, I’m here.”
“If you’re there, why haven’t you been getting the calls?”
“Just unlucky, on a few. I was in the shower, that sort of thing. What a pain, right? But then there have been at least two where I picked up and no one was there. Just silence.”
“Couldn’t that just be someone else’s phone not working right?”
“Hm, maybe. Anyway, I figured I’d call you and see if you knew anything, and if you didn’t, to say, I think something’s brewing. You don’t have this much activity and have it be nothing. You’re not getting calls like this?”
“Not that I’ve noticed. But only like four people in the world have this phone number besides you. If I have any stalkers they’ll have to show up in person.”
“I’m sure it’s something good, aren’t you?”
“Well, maybe. Especially on a business line. But then why not leave a message? Usually hang-ups mean they only want to talk to me directly, which usually means either bad news or they’re trying to sell me something.”
“I see. So, should I do anything?”
“No. I just wanted you to know. And, you know, if I turn up dead in a ditch somewhere we’ll know it was actually a crazed stalker or something.” She laughed weakly.
“You don’t actually think there’s a stalker, do you? You could always come stay here if you want, you know.” She was living in a nice apartment in the Back Bay, but alone, as far as I knew. “There’s that one chair that folds out into a bed in the junk room.” Which wasn’t the junk room anymore, but we still called it that.
“No, I don’t think there’s a stalker,” she said with a sigh. “I’ll come hang out tomorrow, after rehearsal, if you guys are hanging out, that is,” she added.
“I’m sure we will be,” I said.
When I got off the phone, Ziggy and Bart were getting ready to leave. “Carynne says she wants to come hang out tomorrow,” I told them. “If you guys are in a hanging out mood.”
“Can’t,” Christian said from the couch. “I have an actual date. But the rest of you have fun and leave some pizza for me.”
“Why, you think you’ll be hungry?” Bart asked.
“Yeah. I’m going out to dinner with that supermodel I met doing that photo shoot. And you know, they all eat like nothing but air and wheat grass or something.”
“Good luck with that,” Ziggy said with a grin. “Sure, I’ll come over.”
“Me, too,” Bart said. “Hey, why don’t we carpool? No need to take three cars. Zig, I’ll pick you up at two?”
They went out together, still talking about that. I sat down next to Chris. “Supermodel?”
“Yeah. Dunno what she sees in me, but there you have it. At least I can afford to take her somewhere nice.” He looked around. “Definitely not bringing her back here, though.”
“What’s she in town for?”
“Some something. I don’t know exactly. I’m picking her up at the Ritz Carlton.”
“Which is presumably where she’s staying. Seems likely if you hit it off, she’s going to want to bring you back there.”
“True. No idea if girls like that put out on the first date or what.”
“Probably it matters more if the particular girl in question does,” I said, “which you’ll just have to find out.”
“True.” He looked nervous.
I patted him on the shoulder as I got up to go back to my room. “Have a good time. We won’t wait up for ya.”
(Couldn’t embed the original video without permission, but if you want to watch it at youtube directly: http://youtu.be/XhOZL21g2aE)