Bouncie reached across the darkness and lightly touched Eddie’s arm.
“I’m sorry, Eddie. She wasn’t supposed to be home. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
Eddie Forge glared back at him. “You mean to tell me, Bouncie, that I’ve taken you under my wing, put good money into you to train you to do this here job, and for this I get stuck in some broad’s closet?”
The closet in question was in an apartment on the fifteenth floor of the Wexler Building on Central Park West. A closet they’d had to run for when, in the process of removing several expensive bracelets from Mimi Del Sarte’s jewelry box, they heard her coming down the hallway calling, “Bijou? Where are you my big boy?”
Now, they could hear Mimi down the hall, still calling for Bijou. They spoke in whispers.
“Eddie, I swear. I folded a C-note into the doorman’s fist just this morning. He told me she went to the spa every afternoon at two and didn’t come back til four or so. I mean, he let us in for Chrissake.”
“Yeah? Well she’s here now. And it’s not four or so. What did she come back for? And who the hell is Bijou? I promise you, Bouncie, if there’s some big fucking Doberman in this apartment that tries to bite my nuts off, I am going to gouge your eyes out with my thumbs. This is just like high school again, Bouncie. You remember the time at the packie that never carded you ‘cause you was so big and you saw Judge Tallman and you just had to go over and say hello, you stupid shit?”
Bouncie peered at Eddie through the closet’s gloom. “Sorry Eddie.” Then, “Did you notice some of this stuff? Mimi’s got some nice duds here.”
“That’s ‘cause she’s rich. Her old man had a big life insurance policy and that’s why I put you on to casing this place. I was trying to help you out , see? And now, look at this mess we’re in. What the fuck are you looking at?”
Bouncie eyes were fixed on something just above and behind Eddie’s head.
“Eddie. I think I found Bijou.” Bouncie began to shake.
“Where-“ Eddie’s head was ripped from his neck. Blood spattered the clothes then dripped to the white Berber carpeting.
Bouncie didn’t know what Bijou was, had never seen anything like it. But it was devouring Eddie with frightening speed and making quite a bit of noise in the process.
Bouncie pushed himself back into a corner and pulled dresses and boxes in front of himself.
The closet door opened and there was Mimi Del Sarte. Bouncie could smell her perfume.
“Bijou, what are you playing with in there? Oh, look at this mess. Bad boy! You come out of there this instant. Oh, my Prada!”
Bijou slithered out of the closet, leaving a wide slick of blood on the floor.
Bouncie peeked out from behind a Hermes Birkin handbag. There was no sign of Mimi or Bijou. Eddie’s head was lying on the floor, eyes wide open, staring up at Bouncie.
Bouncie stifled a cry and whispered, “She wasn’t supposed to be home, Eddie.”
A shadow. “But I am home,” said Mimi, standing in silhouette in the doorway. “Bijou, take him to the bathroom. I don’t want my Versace ruined.”