"Morning. How many messages so far?" I asked as I strode across the waiting area to Chelsea's desk.
"Two." She handed them to me. "And there's someone here to talk to you. He said Mr Caiazzo sent him."
I turned, finally realizing she and I weren't the only ones in the room. It only took a moment to get that it wasn't one of Caiazzo's men, since my visitor did bear a passing resemblance to Al Pacino. "Mr Milano, I presume," I said, holding out my hand.
He shook it, saying, "I am. I understand you want to talk to me?"
"Oh yeah. If you would…" I nodded toward my open office door. I followed him in and when we were both seated I said, "From what I understand, you and a Ms Coleen Engel were friends when you lived in Shreveport, Mr Milano."
He nodded. "Please, call me Frank. We were, although you don't have to be so polite about it. We were living together. Did for almost a year."
"Until you left. May I ask why?"
He leaned back, looking at me. "I presume you know who I am, and more to the point, who my father is, since you were in contact with Nicolò Caiazzo." When I nodded, he continued. "During the time I was with Coleen, my father was having problems with his… boss. He decided it would be prudent to drop out of sight for a while until things calmed down."
Frank spread his hands. "More or less, eventually. My father's retired now, living out of the country. At the point when it happened however, he was in hiding. He made it a point to pay me a visit and let me know exactly what was going on."
"Ms Engel was present when this happened?"
"No, but I was foolish and in love, and I told her about it afterwards." He blew out an angry sounding breath. "Soon after that I found out just how much I really meant to her. She offered to keep my father's whereabouts a secret, for a price. I would marry her and provide for her every whim. She didn't put it exactly like that but it's what she meant."
"So you took off."
"According to the apartment building manager, she left soon afterwards, saying she'd come into some money. From you?"
"Yes. I talked to my father, told him what had happened. Through me, he made her an offer. She'd get one lump sum and that was it. In exchange she should forget about him and me and never try to get in touch with me."
"Did she stick to the agreement?"
Frank nodded. "As far as I know she never came looking for me. I moved around a bit and then got a good job offer with a firm in Gary, managing one of their outlets. I've been there ever since."