Episode Sixteen "The Samaritan"
Tommy's night never got any better. His team came out flat and got trounced in game 5 of their second-round playoff series. Everyone knew they would be heading to the finals with just one more win but instead of closing it out and taking the series, they were now heading back to Houston for game 6. Tommy wasn't taking it well.
"Damnit Red, what the hell happened out there?"
"Well, Sebastian went out last night to celebrate. He is acting like we have won it all already."
"Get a damn chaperone for him, then. This guy is the star of the show and he is just drinking the moment away. We have got to do something."
"Calm down, Tommy, calm down. As a matter of fact, sit down because you like you are getting ready to kick something and quite frankly, I don't need you hobbling around here in a cast and with crutches."
"Thanks. You're right. So what are we going to do?"
"What we are going to do is nothing. Nothing obvious that is. We will sit back and let this trip continue. We have game seven here anyway. These things happen. It's just basketball. Maybe we would have lost anyway. Who knows?"
"Yup. Well, at least until — or if — we lose game 6. Then, we put the fucker under house arrest if we have to."
"I hope you're right."
"Of course I am. I'm always right."
"Ha. Like the No. 3 overall selection five years ago?"
"Now, I was right there too and you know it. I said he would either be one of the all-time greats or a journeyman. I bet on the the former and that might have been a bad bet but I was still right. He is still playing."
"Yea and he is averaging six points a game and four rebounds. If he would have been the man you said he was, we wouldn't be stuck with Sebastian right now. 'Sledge' is a teetotaler."
"I never said he was going to be great, I said he could be great. You never can tell if a man is going to quit and become soft after making more money than they will ever need — if they are smart — before they are 23-years-old. That is the biggest factor these days and why even I can't call them for certain every time. I never gave up on him until the day I traded him."
"I know. And thanks for that."
"It's my job."
"And thanks for everything else, too, Red. This has been so much fun here over the past eight years or so with you. One hell of a ride."
"I'd be a liar if I said anything but that it has been the pleasure of my basketball life to be here with you, too, Tommy. But since I try to not be overly sentimental, let's just say, your welcome. Want to get a bite to eat on the way home?"
"Susie's waiting for me. Ryan is leaving for Italy tomorrow and I want to have a little talk with him before he heads off to bed."
"That's right. The nest is officially empty as of tomorrow."
"And Susie is going to the Hamptons tomorrow afternoon for the rest of the playoffs. She said she never sees me during he playoffs so she'll just go visit her family until I realize she is gone."
"You two have really grown something over these years."
"Well, the more she has to spend, the happier she is. It was tough there in the beginning, but as we have grown older and rasied kids together and then when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, things really became much better."
"Well, I'm happy for you, you know that, but I have got to get some barbecue. Nothing makes a loss go away faster than some cornbread."
"Yea, well keep Sebastian away from it, too. We don't need him drunk and fat."
Tommy headed out of Red's office but didn't get far before spotting Chief Barrick in the hall.
"I have got to see you for a minute, Tommy."
"Sure, Ron, but just for a minute. Susie is waiting. Can we walk and talk?"
"Oh crap. Alright. In here."
They walked into a service hall in the bowels of the arena and into a storage closet filled with racks of basketballs, towels, old nets and shoes.
"So I think we might have found your people."
"Already? It was like a few hours ago."
"We got totally lucky. After Paul called me, I ran Miranda's record and she was wanted for overdue child-support payments. But then the funniest thing happened. In more than 25 years in law enforcement, I never before found someone I was looking for in holding already. She had been sitting in a Border Patrol lockup waiting for transfer back to Phoenix. I guess she got picked up trying to cross the border. Border Patrol ran her and it came up. Most Americans don't travel on a fishing boat dropping off illegals near San Diego."
"That is great. Will you let me help her out?"
"Sure. She is going to be on her way back first thing in the morning. But she isn't going to be travelling alone. Shaun Bianco is with her."
"Shaun Bianco is with her?"
"I had Keenan call down there to expedite the thing and they told him that two Americans were on the boat and that the other one was named Shaun Bianco. The Border Patrol guy mentioned it because he knew they were up to something or they would have taken a plane or just walked across a checkpoint. They are holding him but he has to be released by 7 a.m. tomorrow morning if they don't have anything on him by then. Keenan is driving down there right now and the Border Patrol guys said they would wait until he got there to release Shaun. Keenan will pick him up, too. They should all be back in the Valley by high noon."