Just then Madrigal, dressed in apple green, flounced through the emergency room cubicle curtain. She read Belinda’s mind. “Well, you’ve got no choice now but to come home with me.”
Belinda didn’t want to live in a
like a bag lady. “No. I’m going to hire
a body guard around the clock. Then I’m
going to move to a new house.” Lincoln
“So you have bottomless pockets of money?”
“Not really. But my insurance agent called me. I’ll have some left from the insurance money.”
“Let me put this another way. You’re coming home with me. If you don’t cooperate, I’ll grab your shoulder till you squeal.”
“Oh forevermore.” Drugged on pain pills, the
didn’t sound so bad. Lincoln
On wy to Maddie’s Belinda texted Sam. Did u find blue car drvr?
Pain stabbed her shoulder. The hospital sling didn’t help the broken collar bone at all.
Of course, he texted back. U didnt luk so gud last time I saw u.
Well, who dz the blu car belong to? She replied.
A guy name of Sears.
Texting set her arm on fire.
“Sears? That’s Phillip’s last name.” Her stomach knotted, which made her shoulder hurt more.
“Do you think your stepfather is a killer?” Maddie said.
“Heck no. He didn’t even stand up to my mother when she was on a tear.”
Sears my stpfther, she texted back. U call me at Maddie’s OK? 2 much pain.
‘K he finished and ended the call.
“There are probably a couple thousand Searses, you know.”
“I don’t understand any of this. Where are we going? Do you actually have a house?”
“Sort of. We’ll be there real soon. Just sit back and try not to move.”
rode like it was on a
cloud. Must be the pills. Too bad they didn’t work on the shoulder... Lincoln
Maddie pulled into a parking garage attached to the newest Spokane Casino. “Here we are, home sweet home.”
“Nope, come on. Do you want me to get you a wheel chair?”
“Over my dead body.” Belinda regretted that crack with every step to the apartment on the seventh floor which had its own private elevator.
Maddie opened the door to a room done in beige and fifty shades of blue. It was a suite actually, two bedrooms, with a view to
She waved Belinda into the suite with a huge smile. There are advantages to being Native American.
“All the Native Americans have their own casino apartments?”
“Only the ones who own the casino.”
Belinda’s mouth dropped open. She gaped at every part of the apartment. Everything upscale and brand new.
“I was thinking you need to paint a picture for me, to go right there.” She pointed to a recessed place on the wall.
“Absolutely. She managed a grin for her friend. But I may be out of business soon. The destroyed painting I was working on was valued at $3200, and that was before it was finished!. Now I can’t use my arm. I may starve to death before the shoulder repairs itself.”
Maddie walked to change the thermostat and tossed her serape over her head onto a soft lamb sofa. “I don’t think so. One of the largest stockholders of the original building conceptualization board was....well, sit down, we need to talk.”
“Yes. I didn’t get a chance to tell you that your father was one of the originators and contributors to the casino. Which is probably why all this is happening to you. I just thought maybe I was imagining things.” Madrigal stood and started to pace the room, her eyes on some horizon known only to her.
“But my father wasn’t Native American.”
“Right. But previous to 1988 when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed, the tribal councils didn’t have enough money to build a real casino and it was critical to the well being of all our tribes.
“Your father made the initial loan in 1986 to open the Child of the Sun Casino. He was making gaming machines all over the country and had the only company that knew how to make the Cadillac of machines. He knew that Indian Gaming actually was in action long before 1988. The U.S. Congress made a mess of regulation, since their goal was obviously skimming.
“Your father explained to the tribal conference that they could buy his machines because the Supreme Court would allow the Gaming Act soon. Meanwhile, his machines were sold all over the
first to states that allowed gambling and next to the tribes in anticipation of
the regulatory act.” United States
Belinda interrupted. “Wait a minute... I’m beginning to see why Chris was adamant about marrying me. Somehow he must have found out about an inheritance I didn’t know I had.” Was it Chris who had killed her ex and her mother? So he could marry her, then kill her as well and inherit a possible fortune? Or was it Reedy who ran his mouth about an inheritance he could claim until somebody (Chris?) stepped in.
“No, not puppy-eyed Chris.” He was adamant a bout marriage, but he wasn’t mean.