LA Observed: Los Angeles media, politics and sense of place since 2003
Right of Way 31
NAPOLITANO
A pleasure, Patrick.

Still inscrutable, Duvane watches Napolitano leave. Then he places a phone call.

INT. NAPOLITANO'S LEXUS - NIGHT
Napolitano turns onto Hollywood Blvd. He punches a button.

RECORDED VOICE (SPEAKER-PHONE)
You have seven new messag--
(punches it again)
You have--
(punches another button)
First saved message. Sent yesterday, at 9:23 AM.
LARRY (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Hey, Napoleon Dynamite. Just want to let you know, you clobbered me for the last time... I'm getting those shiiiny new Tiger irons and I'm gonna kick your scrawny ass right off of Brentwood next week. Oh, gotta hustle. Catch ya at the party tonight, bud. Go! Fight! Win!

Napolitano smiles wistfully. Fights a twinge in his eye, showing a hint of vulnerability for the first time. He takes a breath, dials another number. After it rings --

CELESTE (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Russ.
NAPOLITANO
How you holding up?
CELESTE (SPEAKER-PHONE)
I need you over here.
NAPOLITANO
Is everything okay?
CELESTE (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Godammit, I need you here now!

Her voice is edgy, covering something. As he listens, he notices a car run the light and veer into traffic behind him. Its high-beams are unusually bright.

CELESTE (SPEAKER-PHONE)
Russ? Talk to me!

He swerves left onto La Brea. The other car follows.

NAPOLITANO
Im gonna have to call you back.

He clicks off before she can respond and guns his Lexus into the passing lane.


 
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Eric Estrin