Rock Con Roll (Chapter 7, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 7

That night, Bea and I sat in an upscale restaurant, pretending to finish our dinner. She was dressed in conservative clothes, a brown wool pantsuit over a black turtleneck sweater. Demure and elderly, she even wore a gray wig so she’d look older.

I was playing the part of her daughter, which wasn’t a complete lie. But today, I was a dutiful, doting daughter, looking after the welfare of her helpless mother. That was definitely a stretch.

To appear more proper, I wore a vintage black fitted suit over a sky blue scoop-neck blouse, with dark stockings and black pumps. The modest pencil skirt went below my knees. I even added a stylish blue hat, to cover my wild mop of hair.

One of Bea’s rules for a con was to know the mark—to study the person ahead of time. But I didn’t need to study Alejandro at all: I’d been doing that for ten years. Of course, Bea was not a fan, so she’d had to do her homework. And her research told her that George Rawson, Alejandro’s manager, would be the man to approach. He arranged all of Alejandro’s rare guitar purchases, and he knew quite a bit about the instruments. If Uncle Carl’s rumors were true, he even had his own collection of guitars, separate from Alejandro’s. Bea’s sources also told her that Rawson would be dining at this restaurant today, so he’d be our point of entry. That was good—I could more easily deal with him than his famous rocker boss.

Bea faced the door, one eye on the restaurant entrance. I just picked at the remains of my meal, moving food around and occasionally taking a bite. It might have tasted like something, but I was on stage, about to do a con, so flavor was irrelevant. I just chewed and swallowed, then I continued to play with my food.

I was about to fork up another mouthful when Bea nodded at me. Rawson was in the restaurant. According to her research, he always sat at the same table. The unoccupied table next to ours. He’d be sitting there soon.

We started to focus more on our meal, and our conversation became more animated. We spoke about the good old days and those crazy aunts and uncles who mooched off of us. My fictitious mother didn’t want to sell her house, but it was getting to be too much work. So she would soon be moving to a residential care facility, with easy access to a dining room and people to keep her life running smoothly.

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