“Okay Margaret, I’ll be there around ten on Saturday. Listen, if there’s anything that you need, just let me know,” I say hanging up the phone.
The intercom from the reception beeps. “Yes?”
“Mr. Morrows, there’s a Detective Langston here to see you.” “Ok. I’ll be right out.”
As I reach the reception area, John and Michelle are so deep in conversation that they barely notice me.
“Oh, I’ve been doing this for the past two years. It’s just temporary while I’m in school,” Michelle tells John.
“Really, what school are you attending?” John asks. “NYU. I’m studying criminal law.”
“Well, that’s fantastic. You know, that’s my alma mater.” “Wow, what a coincidence.”
“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt.” I say smiling.
“What’s up Trevor? I was just getting to know Michelle here. Did you know she’s attending NYU, our alma mater?” John says, obviously trying to flirt with her.
“Yes, I heard. Say John, how’s Yolanda?” I ask slyly. “Who?” He asks still smiling at Michelle.
“Oh, you know, your wife.”
John quickly looks at me laughing. “Sh-she’s doing fine. Well, it was nice to meet you, Michelle. And good luck with your studies. Trevor, let’s go,” he says as he grabs my arm.
“It was nice meeting you too, detective,” Michelle answers back smiling. “Call me John.”
As we walk into my office, I look at John and say, “You know you ought to quit.” “What? All I was doing was making conversation.”
“Hm-mm, that was some conversation. What would Yolanda say if she saw you ‘making conversation’ with that girl?”
“Trevor, I’m married not buried. I can always check out the menu, so long as I eat at home.”
“Give me a break John. You were so wrapped up in Michelle that I could have sworn there was Saran Wrap around you two.”
“Trevor, I can’t help that the girl is fine and she finds me interesting.”
“Whatever! Can we get down to business, please?”
“How old is she anyway?”
“John I don’t know. But what I do know is you better leave it alone.” “Okay, okay.”
“You know John, Matthew said something very peculiar to me this morning. Not that the boy isn’t strange as it is, but this was something that was weird even for him.”
“Well, he said you took him off my case. Now, why would he say that?” I ask. “Because it’s true.”
“Why did you take him off the case? Do you think that was very smart? I mean the DA’s office already suspects me, wouldn’t that make the them even more so especially since you and I used to be partners and everything?”
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. First off, it was not Matthew’s place to tell you that the DA suspected that you were involved in the disappearance of the evidence. I also overheard him talking to one of the beat cops in the lockeroom. You know just talking bullshit, but Matthew was very verbal about his feelings towards gays. Making nasty remarks and went on and on about how he hated faggots and you know the usual bigotry. What pissed me off though was the fact that he felt it necessary to share the details about this specific case.”
“Well, what did he say?”
“Trevor, there’s no need to go into it. Let’s just say, I let him know that there was no room on the force for prejudice, no matter what kind. And I took him off the case, simple as that?”
“I bet he wasn’t too thrilled about that.”
“No he wasn’t, but that’s not my concern. It’s that type of narrow-mindedness that gives us good cops a bad name.”
“Anyway,” I butt in trying to change the subject. “I made a few calls before you got here and I found out where our old friend Raymond is hanging out these days.”
“Oh yeah, where?”
“Now John, if I told you that, it would be involving you. Didn’t you tell me you wanted to keep my investigation hush-hush?”
“Trevor, don’t fuck with me.”
“Alright, damn. I was just joking. Anyway, I found out that he’s shacked up with some
Hoochie in Brooklyn.”
“So, when are you going over there?”
“Right after we’re through. And by the way, the reason why you were coming over was to give me the results of the autopsy?”
“Oh yeah I almost forgot.” John says as he tosses a folder across the desk. I look through the contents quickly.
“I hope you’re going to be careful when you go see Raymond. You know how nasty he can be.”
I am so engrossed in the report that I didn’t hear what John said. “Trevor, are you listening to me?”
I look up, “What?”
“I said, ‘I hope you’re going to be extra careful when you pay Raymond a visit’.” “Oh yeah. You know I don’t go anywhere without my mate.”
I pulled out my.3 8 revolver from the drawer and placed it on the desktop.
“C’mon John, you know I always pack my.38 with me. As a matter of fact, Raymond had a run-in with “Honey” a couple of times.”
John chuckles. “That’s right. How could I forget? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you slept with that thing.”
“Shit, just about. My baby has saved my ass on quite a few occasions. No, Raymond doesn’t want to cross me.”
“You know he’s not gonna talk.”
“Oh don’t worry, he’ll talk. If my charm and savior-fare doesn’t work, I’m sure I have something in my bag of tricks that will.”
“Alright, Trevor, don’t hurt him too badly.”
“Look at this, John,” I say pointing to the autopsy report. “What?”
“It says here that, although there was strong traces of crack in Mitchell’s blood stream, the cause of death has not yet been determined.”
“Well, I was with Mitchell for the rest of the evening. For that amount of crack to have been in his system, he would have had to be using for most of the night. And I swear to you, I didn’t see him take so much as an aspirin.”
“Trevor, he could’ve been shooting for hours before he saw you.”
“John, I know that. But remember I spent over four years with the man, when he was sober and when he was high. I know the difference. He didn’t look like he was high, especially not high enough for what this report seems to depict.”
“So what are you saying?”
I sit back in the chair thinking a bit, “You know this doesn’t make any sense. He must’ve gotten that shit in his system while he was with me that night. But when? I’m sure I would’ve seen him.”
“Well, think back. Was there a time when you two were apart for any duration?”
I think back to that night. I begin to remember that while talking over coffee at this diner, I hear a tap from the window we were sitting by. The taps came from this white guy wearing a black jogging suit. I couldn’t make out his face, because he had a hood covering his head.
“Trevor, let me talk with this guy for a minute, “Mitchell says getting up from the booth. “Mitchell, what’s going on?” I asked, feeling agitated.
“Baby, it’s no big deal. He’s working on this painting for my mother.” He says getting up from the booth.
Mitchell walks towards the door and smiles back at me. “Damn, this man is fine,” I whisper softly to myself”
He comes back with a huge smile on his face. “I take it everything is okay.” I reply as he sits down.
“Better than okay. Things are great.” Mitchell answers. He slowly reaches across the table and grabs my hand. “Listen, baby, I know this may be asking a lot, but I would love to spend the night with you. I know I fucked shit up, but if there’s even an ounce of what we had before I would really like you to give me another chance.”
“Aww shit, here it comes,” I say under my breath, “Mitchell, c’mon let’s not do this. You know !forgive you, but /just can’t go back to the way things were.”
“Baby, I’m not asking for you to forget what happened. All I’m asking is that you give me the chance to spend some time with you and show to you just how much I’ve changed. A lot of things have happened. I just want to hold you at least one more time.”
I give his words a once over and look him in the eye. “Well first off, don’t think for one moment that /feel the only thing you want to do is just hold me. Secondly, it has been a long time since I had someone in my bed. I guess I could stand for my wheels to be oiled. But, understand this Mitchell, this is happening on my terms and my terms alone. Nothing else can or will become of this. Just like you’ve changed, so have I I’ve finally came to the level where I can be your friend, and that’s it.”
Mitchell stands up smiling. “Well, if that’s all I can get, then I’ll take it.” Hel pays the bill and we head to my condo.
I shutter with the memory of what took place.
“Trevor, are you okay? You know I notice something about you; you always seem to lapse into another consciousness when something is on your mind.” John says.
“It took you all this time to figure that out? John, I do that all the time. How do think I stay so focused? Anyway, I was just playing over in my mind the scene of events. And I do remember him talking with someone for about fifteen or twenty minutes when we were at the diner. But he said that the guy was some sort of artist”
“Well, keep at it. Any little detail could help. Look T, I gotta go.” John says as he stands to head for the door.
“Well alright, I’ll inform you of my meeting with Raymond.”
“Like I said, Trevor, just be careful and don’t do anything that may jeopardize this investigation.”
“John, you act like this is the first time I’ve done this. C’mon give me some credit, will you?”
“Trevor, I’m not saying that you don’t know what you’re doing, all I’m saying is this situation involves you personally and I just don’t want anything to put you on the other side of the law.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll be as careful as I can be.”
“Call me later.” he says on his way out the door
“Hey, John,” I yell after him. “leave the girl alone on your way out.” “What?” John asks innocently. “I promise I won’t do anything to her.” “Alright, just keep it that way.”
“Damn T, you’re just as bad as my mother,” John replies as he leave my office.
I sit back with my index fingers resting on my lips wondering what to do next. There were too many avenues to take and I’m not sure which one to go down. I decide to take out my note pad and right down everything that is associated with both cases, when the phone rings.
“It’s a Mrs. Lyons on line two.” “Thank YOU.”
I pick up the line. “Mrs. Lyons, good morning. How are you today?”
“I’m doing well, Mr. Morrows. I really don’t have much time to chit-chat. I’m on my way to a charity luncheon. I just wanted to find out if you’ve had any progress on my case.”
“Well, I really haven’t had the chance to begin any legwork. It has only been a week, Mrs. Lyons. But rest assured that I have every intention to give you weekly updates.”
“I see, you must forgive my impatience, Mr. Morrows. It’s just that the son-of-a-bitch is driving me to drink, and the sooner I get his head on the chopping block the better.”
“I totally understand, Mrs. Lyons. You have my guarantee, you will have proof, one way or another by the end of this month.”
“Are you quite certain that you can have what I need in three weeks?”
“If there is something to be found, I will find it.” “Fantastic, this makes me feel a little more at ease.”
“Well, I’m glad I can help. You have a good day, Mrs. Lyons.” “And you do the same, Mr. Morrows.”
Shit, It looks like I’ve wasted enough time. The first thing I need to do is get organized. I pull out the pad I started to write on before Mrs. Lyons called. I start out by writing down all the information on both cases. I write down two sets of Who, What, When, Where Why and How. I always start any new cases this way. I begin by writing Mitchell’s name at the top of the first set. I sit back. What exactly did I know about the situation? First, who was involved. Well, of course, I was. So I put my name down and then Raymond. Then I really couldn’t think of anyone else to add to this list. At that point I remember the guy he went to talk to at the diner. Yeah, like that’s going to help. I couldn’t remember much about him except, he was white, was about 6, had dark brown hair, wore a black sweat shirt with a hood, had a mole on the right side of his upper lip. Hmm, I guess I remembered more than I thought.
I completed the rest of the preliminary organization for both cases and then decided to head out to Brooklyn later this evening to pay Raymond a visit. Before I do that I need to start my investigation for Mrs. Lyons; I mean, the woman did pay me.
As I walk towards the revolving doors of the office building, I’m immediately greeted by two undercover detectives. These two gentlemen (and I use the term gentlemen quite loosely) were on the force before I left.
“Mr. Morrows?” The heavier-set one asks. “Yes, how may I help you two officers?”
By the look on their pink faces, I can tell they were baffled as to how I recognized them as being cops.
“Well, uh, Mr. Morrows, we’re from the Internal Affairs Bureau and we just need to ask you a few questions regarding the death of Mitchell Urbans.”
“I see. I would really like to help you, but unfortunately, gentlemen, I’m on my way out to an appointment.”
The other undercover pipes in trying to play Mr. Big Bad Cop.
“Well sir, your appointment can wait. We’re talking about a murder here. A murder in which you are the prime suspect. Now we can either do this in your office or we can get a warrant and take it to the station. The choice is up to you sir.”
Very coolly and quite evenly I replied, looking them both in the eye.
“I guess that was supposed to intimidate me. I’m sorry that it didn’t work. But, listen guys, as I said I have a very important appointment to attend. Now if you must get a warrant, feel free, but you will find that everything that I gave in my statement earlier will be all I will give later. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go.”
Before I reach the revolving doors I tum around and say with a smile. “You two have a lovely day.”
I really need to behave myself. These guys could cause me some major trouble if I don’t watch it. It just eats my shorts when these over-paid jack-asses act as if they can just come in and try to make my life miserable. Then it hits me that they’ve pinned me as being the prime suspect. Well I;ll be damned. I pick up the car phone to call John.
“John, what the hell is going on? I just got a little visit from the I.A.B. Now why would the I.A.B. get involved in this. I need some answers, John.”
“Trevor, I know, I know. I just got a call thirty minutes ago from the DA’s office informing me that I was off the case and that it was in the hands of I.AB. I know about as much as you do now.”
“Well, did you know that they’ve named me as the prime suspect?”
“Oh, I know, Trevor. But don’t feel left out. They’re trying to get me on being an accomplice.”
“What? Something doesn’t smell right here.” “I know and I don’t like it.”
“Don’t you find it a little too convenient at how this case is rolling? I mean, think about it, John. These guys are moving way too fast for just a routine suspected murder case. You know how the system works better than anyone. The DA’ s office usually drags their feet, especially when the victim is black.”
“Well, let’s not forget the real reason why Internal Affairs is involved. The missing money and drugs when we did that bust in Queens.”
“Shit, I almost forgot about that. Well, buddy you better get a good lawyer, because I’m definitely calling mine.”
“I’m already on it. Where are you off to now anyway?”
“I’m working. I can’t let this stop me from paying my bills. I told you about the case that I’ve taken: well, the wife told me her husband works downtown near Wall Street. I have an appointment with him in about fifteen minutes.”
“I thought you were going to see Raymond.”
“Oh, believe me, I am. But, I figured it’s best that I catch him around dinner time. You know how our boy loves to eat.”
“Alright, Trevor, keep me posted.”
I try piecing the facts together as I make my way down to the business district of the world. Evidently, there must be some corruption at that police station. But, how far up does it go?. The only way that I’m going to clear my name is to find out. Somebody must be getting really nervous to push this case. I’m going have to put in some major overtime.
I pull into a parking spot near the water and start walking towards the address Mr. Lyons gave me after I set up the appointment with him. I needed to know more about this guy. My game plan was to pose as a reporter for an up an coming financial magazine.
I had called his office earlier and requested an interview. Mr. Lyons made it quite clear that he was a very busy man and the only time he had for me was early this afternoon, directly after lunch.
He was quite hesitant but I used my charm and flattered him a little and barn he reluctantly agreed to an interview.
“You’re lucky to even get that.” He replied.
With such short notice, I was glad I had on one of my Brook Brothers suits. This guy was such an ass. I’m really going to enjoy bringing him down.
“I have an appointment with Mr. Lyons.” I told the guard at the reception desk. “And your name sir?”
“T. Evans Morrows”
The guard picked up the phone and spoke to whom I assumed was Mr. Lyons’ secretary. “I have a Mr. Morrows to see Mr. Lyons.”
“Please sign here sir then take the elevator to the eleventh floor.”
With briefcase in hand, I made it to the eleventh floor and was greeted by a very tall white lady who wore an impeccably tailored suit.
“Mr. Morrows? Good afternoon, I’m Jainie, Mr. Lyons’ assistant.” “Nice to meet you, Jainie,” I return, shaking her hand.
“Mr. Lyons is actually on a conference call at the moment; but if you would like, you may sit in the waiting area and I’ll inform him that you’re here.” “Thank you, that would be great.”
“May I get you anything?”
“I glass of water would be terrific.” “Fine, I’ll be right back.”
Thirty minutes passed after Jainie returned with the glass of water, I started to get a little antsy. I hate waiting.
“Mr. Morrows, I’m Edward Lyons,” came a booming voice.
I stood up immediately to shake his hand. And a handshake it was. I suppose he was trying to intimidate me with the strength in his handshake, because he was just about crushing the bones in my hands.
“Mr. Lyons, thank you so much for seeing me on such short notice. This will definitely boost my career by getting an interview from a highly esteemed business man such as yourself.”
Damn, do I know how to shovel the shit or what?
“Well, Mr. Morrows...” he begins as he leads me into his office. “Please, call me Evans.”
“Evans, as I said to you on the phone I am a very busy man, but I will give you thirty minutes.”
“Oh, that will be plenty of time to get what I need,” I said meaning more than what he thought.
Actually the thirty minutes ended up being an hour. The man was basically in love with himself. The picture he portrayed of himself was quite arrogant. He went on and on about how he built his company on nothing more than his dream and sweat, not once mentioning his wife. Though I kept my questions about his business, he proved to me that he was the type of man that would step on anyone that got in his way.
“I understand that you’re married. How does your wife deal with the rigorous life of a business tycoon?” His answer was what I was waiting for. I can always tell if a married man is capable of sleeping around, by the way he talks about his wife.
“I really don’t like talking about my personal life.” He replied quickly. He swivels his chair away from me to gaze out the window.
“I understand that Mr. Lyons. It’s just that the article would be more interesting if I can introduce something more about the man behind the man. You know what keeps a man of your stature going besides his business.”
“Well, my wife and I have been married for twenty-five years and are extremely happy.” “What, that’s it?” I say to myself. Yeah this bastard is hiding something.
“Well, Mr. Lyons I really appreciate this. This is going to make one hell of an article.”
Just then Jainie pops her head in the door. “Mr. Lyons, you have a phone call on line 3.”
“Take a message Jainie.”
“Well, uh, sir, it’s Pamela and she says she needs to speak with you right away.”
The look on his face already told me who Pamela was. And it sure as hell wasn’t his daughter.
He immediately stands and says, “Well, Evans if that will be all then I’ll let Jainie walk you to the elevators.”
I reluctantly stood up and shook his hand. I would give anything to hear this conversation.
Mr. Lyons quickly jerked the phone up as Jainie walked me out of the office. “Pamela, couldn’t this have waited until later?”
Jainie and I were at the elevator bank when her phone began to ring.
“I need to get that. It was great meeting you, Mr. Morrows. I can’t wait to read the article,” she said as she picked up the phone.
As an afterthought, I had left my tape recorder on Mr. Lyon’s desk and it just so happens that it was still recording, giving me the ear I needed and, hopefully an excuse to go back in. And the opportunity had arisen. Since Jainie was preoccupied with her telephone call, she couldn’t stop me from walking back in.
“Jainie, I left my recorder in his office, I’ll just sneak in and get it,” I whisper to her. “No, Mr. Morrows, I’ll get it,” she said trying to stop me.
But it was too late, I was already passed the doors. Fortunately for me his back was turned away from the door, so he had no idea I was sneaking in.
“Fine, Pam. I’m sorry. Okay, okay I promise I’ll make it up to you...
When? How about tomorrow night after work? It’ll be something special... I can’t tonight. Mildred has some dinner thing she’s been bitching about...
So, tomorrow night at eight o’clock. Okay, bye, yeah, yeah I love you too.”
Just as he turned around in his chair to hang up the phone, I grabbed the recorder and quietly closed the door on my way out. Jainie gives me a nasty look as she stands up with the phone still to her ear.
“Don’t worry. I can see my way out.” I whisper to her and gave her a wink and a smile. Alright, I got a little something to work with here.
It was about six o’clock when I finally made it to the 81st Street Projects in Brooklyn. I knew Raymond was bound to be surprised to see me. None of our encounters were ever pleasant, at least not for him. Raymond was a low-life drug dealer who just never knew when to quit dealing. I must have busted him over a million times and each time he would get out in less than three weeks. Sometimes the law frustrated the hell out of me. But what could I do, but do my job. If the fool kept breaking the law, it was my duty to keep busting his ass.
I knocked on the door of Raymond’s apartment. Two shots ring out. I reached Honey from the back my pants and tried turning the knob of the door. Of course it was locked. I stepped back two paces and kicked the door down off the hinges. Crouched in the doorway, I immediately press up against the wall. As the dust settles from the impact of the door, I notice a figure trying to escape through an open window down the fire escape.
I run towards the bedroom and trip on something and fall flat on my face while my gun scatters across the room. As I get up, I realize that I tripped over a bloody corpse. I jump up so quickly that I hit the wall. After catching my breath I look over the body and with my foot I turn the corpse over. It was Raymond. He had half of his brains on the carpet.
I then quickly pick up my gun and run towards the fire escape, but when I get to the window and look out, whoever killed Raymond was gone.
I told Raymond that if he continued to fuck around with drugs he was gonna end up with a bullet in his head and now here he was with two.