By H. Lee Barnes
Below to the east the lights of Las Vegas stretched out to the base of Sunrise Mountain. Brady, leaning against his Ford sedan, watched Axel set the kickstand and swing his leg over the saddle. The burly biker removed his helmet and set it on the seat, then unzipped an inside vest pocket. He took a folded paper from the pocket and stared at the distant lights. Brady stepped away from the car. Only then did Axel look at him.
“Quiet out here,” Brady said.
“Yeah. Time was,” Axel said, “you could bring a girl out here, sit in a car and . . . Well, that’s gone. No doubt they’ll build some mall here. Yuppieville, that’s what they’ve done to it.”
“It was better then.”
“Better ’an what? It’s just Vegas. More lights now. Here, I got what you wanted. Maybe not all but . . .” Axel extended the folded paper to Brady. “Phone numbers and addresses for a few of them.”
Brady slipped the paper in his shirt pocket. “How’s she doing?”
Axel rubbed his jowls with his free hand. He looked behind him at the shadows of the Spring Mountain Range where a new moon hung above the ridge. “The doctor said she took five units of blood. They stitched her arms. She doesn’t talk much. But at least she ain’t tried nothin’ stupid again.”
“Well, I wish you the best.”
“The best? I been prayin’. Funeral’s Saturday. She’ll be better after that. Least that’s the hope.”
“Yeah. Look, I’m still working on the money.”
“Okay. It ain’t so important right now. We made arrangements with the mortuary. Look, I gotta get back. Ilene’s half-sister’s gotta go to work. Can’t leave her alone for long after what she tried.” Axel faced Brady, who nodded. Then Axel pointed a finger toward the paper in Brady’s pocket. “It’s not about money. I mean, the money will help with the funeral. See, she loved that old woman. You make it work. Elsewise they get away with it. If I can find something else, I will.”