recognition flickers across their faces -- Oh, the loud American
Chinese, the other guy already cleared him -- and they let him
pass without a word. Other clubbers who have had their IDs inspected
remain at their seats, giving their cell phones longing gazes. Like
children in school, he muses.
His own cell phone goes off. "Angel." Fortunately at this point he
has made it around the corner and is in the men's room, which is deserted,
the window still open. Multi-tasking, he grabs hold of the side of
the windowsill with one hand as he answers the phone with the other.
His back is definitely hurt - there is a dull pain there, like an
antiseptic needle jammed in and left there.
C.J., where the hell have you been? Allen blares. I've called
you at least five times.
Sorry, wasn't in a position to answer. His knuckles go white as
he pulls hard and lifts himself onto the window ledge, one foot squarely
on the edge, the other dangling just off the floor.
What's going on? I called Mrs. Chen at home half an hour ago and
no response. Has she left the house? Are you following her?
No, the mother! Where is she? Are you on her?