Sweat was a typical 'Gentlemen's Club'. Pretty young women dancing for older men whose sex lives have passed them by but they are not ready to admit it. Young, upward mobile professionals slumming for an evening. Married men with fantasies that their wives can not or would not fulfill for them. All these men spending their nights watching what they could not have and paying for it. For the select few that got to live out their fantasies with one of the dancers; the price was way more than they ever thought they would pay. Everyone of the dancers selling the fantasy and emptying the wallets with the precision of a plastic surgeon repairing a scar; nothing left afterwards but a fleeting memory.
I told Keane to stay in the car while I checked the place out. They knew him at the club and we needed surprise on our side when we made our move.
Inside the club, the usual suspects of men wandered from dance stand to dance stand throwing their money away. I sat at the bar, ordered a drink, and watched the scene unfold. Forty five minutes to closing. Plenty of time to decide what to do.
There were 7 bouncers, counting the one on door duty. All big men who had to be gym rats when not working. All muscle, little brains and controlled by a guy who seemed to be pulling their strings. A quick conversation with the bartender told me his name was Erik. 'Yeah, uptown Erik!' Not Eric like most people with that name. My loose lipped bartender told me Erik lived in Manhattan and that he was always the last one out of the club. a plan started to form.
Back at the car; I told Keane that we would wait for the head bouncer to close up and have our talk with him on his way out of the club. It took another hour for Erik to come out. Plenty of time for Keane to catch me up on family news.
Erik walked out headed for his car; parked in a lot next to the club. We were waiting for him in the lot. His car the only one there,
"Erik, lets talk", I yelled.
"Who are you?"
"I want to ask you some questions about Franny?'
"Fuck Off!" Erik turned toward me. The first punch hit him in his chest about mid sternum. I could feel the air rush out of his lungs and he was bent over at his waist grasping his chest. "Wrong answer jerk off!"
As he started to straighten up; the second punch caught him above the left ear and he went down to his knees.
"Now that I have you attention!" "Where is she?"
"I don't know."
"A slow learner." Keane said. Then he kicked Erik in the stomach.
I said, "This can go on all night or you can tell what we want to know and we will disappear. Your choice," I set up to hit him again.
"Wait, Wait! OK! I'll talk."
"Where is she?" My face so close to his I am sure he could read the rage in my eyes.
He told us that the club owner, Johnny Martin, was upset because Franny would not date him. One night Johnny grabbed her and tried to pull her into his office. Franny kicked him in the nuts and Johnny went crazy. Had a couple of the bouncers put her in his car and take her to his house.
"I have not seen her since that night but Johnny has bragged that he has her locked away until she cooperates", Erik said.
He gave up Johnny's address. Keane took his cell phone and smashed it. Then cut a couple of his cars tires. To make sure he was not going anywhere. A quick call to an old friend, Pete Flannery, got Erik a babysitter so he could not warn Johnny that we were coming for a visit. I told Pete that I would call when we got to Johnny's house and let him know when he could let Erik go. If the information was bad; Erik was in for another beating.
We got back in the car and headed for Hartford.
Have a great day!!