“I know,” Charles said.
“You know what,” Abernathy said.
“Yes,” Gayle said, “What on earth or you talking about.”
“I remember,” Charles said. “I remember it all.”
“Are you okay?” Abernathy said. “You are looking a little pale.”
“My coloring is fine,” Charles said, “it’s the lighting. It can even effect your aim.”
Gayle breathed deep as if she had difficulty, her eyes widened.
“Yep,” Charles said, “I remember that clearly.”
“Ted, ole pal,” Charles said. “Do tell me how stupid I was. I mean having an affair for several years with Gayle right under my nose.”
“Do you realize all you could do was sell cars?” Abernathy said. “If it wasn’t for me you would have folded years ago. I saw to it you were able to buy those other dealerships. You were inept.”
“How do you explain that I found all the money?” Charles said. “My only ineptness was trusting my wife and friend.”
“Your dealerships were running off a three to four percent profit,” Abernathy said. “I was keeping them going.”
“And the drugs?” Charles said.
“Under your nose,” Abernathy said. “It was fluke you found out.”
“How long have you been doing that to me, Ted?” Charles said. “Tell me how stupid I am.”
“Nine years,” Abernathy said.
“That’s impressive,” Ted said.
“How many of your people did you slip in to work for me that really worked for you?” Charles said.
“Remember when I suggested a leasing business?” Abernathy said.
“Yeah,” Charles said.
“Everyone of those guys,” Abernathy said.
“Besides making love to my wife under my nose,” Charles said. “What is her part in this?”
Gayle moved close to Abernathy.
“We’ve known each other since high school,” Gayle said. “We broke up and both of us married the wrong person.”
“How did your wife die?” Charles said.
Abernathy feigned to appear glum. “Skiing accident; she was familiar with the slopes. What she thought was a slope was a cliff. Perfect form.”
“I keep the books,” Gayle said proudly.
Abernathy reached inside the side pocket of his suit jacket. He pulled out a .45 automatic.
“Did you think for a moment you were going to confront us and walk out of here with the whole story?” Abernathy said.
Abernathy pointed the pistol and moved towards Charles.
“You’re on camera and being taped,” Charles said.
The gun clicked. Abernathy’s face flashed surprise.
“Drake knows the combination to your safe,” Charles said. “As a percussion he slipped into your office when you were dining with a client. He replaced all the bullets with duds.”
“Drake doesn’t know the combination,” Abernathy said.
“It’s your secretary’s measurements,” Charles said. “He’s a dog, Gayle. Don’t go on skiing trips with him.“
Abernathy and Gayle exuded confidence.
“You can’t prove anything without implicating yourself,” Abernathy said. “Everything is made to look like you’re involved.”
“I’m glad you said that,” Charles said. “You just got me off the hook.”
“How?” Abernathy said.
“Nothing has computed with you,” Charles said. “The planted duds and I told you this was all on being taped.”
“Where?” Abernathy smirked.
“I don’t know,” Charles said, “All I know is that they were planted when I took Gayle out to lunch.
A door off the barroom opened. It was Paul and four other plain clothed agents..
“Everything’s on tape,” Paul said as the agents rushed to handcuff Abernathy and Gayle. They were given their rights and escorted towards the steps.
“Gayle,” Charles said as he placed one foot on the step. She stopped and turned. “If you’d told me over lunch I had my plane waiting for you.”
“Where to,” Gayle said.
“A special place,” Charles said. “And one more thing, why?”
“My first love was full of passion,” Gayle said. “I loved you, but not like my first love.”