17:1 Hiding In Plain Sight

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA  | 1969

A heavy drizzle spattered the Lincoln as it rolled through the damp San Francisco night. Karoline Rosenda was silent and still except for periodically twisting around in her seat to check on their charge. The question, Are you sure he is going to be OK? clanged in her head like a fire alarm, but she wisely kept it to herself.

Bear, of course, said nothing. Rosenda knew him to adopt the platitudinous “silent type” affect whenever things got tense, and she had to admit; this was bad. Really fucking bad. If Z found out that she had let her star get dosed with PCP and subsequently lobotomized by their driver, both of them were going to be looking for jobs. That’s if the dumb son-of-a-bitch lived through this. If he died on them, they were really fucked.

 It was bad enough that they were cruising around town with a naked and hogtied British national trussed upon the backseat. God forbid if they got pulled over for something. Rosenda breathed a small sigh of relief that they had the Lincoln. This was San Francisco; nobody was going to mess with a Lincoln Continental with an Irish driver. They might as well have diplomatic plates on the car from the borderless nation of Privilege.

“Wash going on?” A slurred voice from the backseat made Bear and Rosenda jump. “I can’t moove.”

“Devon, listen to me,” Rosenda tried to explain. “It was for your own good, you were going to hurt yourself.” She climbed around to face the beleaguered rock star and searched his swelling face for a sign that he understood. Bentley, for his part seemed to be taking in this new information and weighing its merit.

“Oh, OK,” he ultimately conceded. “Can you untie me now?”

“Sure … ”

“No,” Bear interjected, “not until we get to our safe house. There you can run around like a chicken with your head cut off all you want. In my car, you stay tied.”

“Oh, OK.”

The Lincoln moved with the stealth and purpose of a panther north along Scott past Alta Plaza Park toward the Marina.

“Are we going to hide him at some millionaire’s house?” Rosenda asked as she watched the buildings get fancier and fancier as they got closer to the Bay.

“Just keep an eye on him and don’t worry about where we’re going,” Bear growled. The Lincoln caught the green light and swung left on Lombard, following the traffic along the curve toward the bridge, before suddenly swerving right onto Lyon. It wasn’t until Bear turned past the newly restored Palace of Fine Arts rotunda and parked behind the empty exhibit hall that Rosenda realized what his plan was.

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