A Hard Way to Heaven

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Chapter 10

New York, NY

Syn woke early and had breakfast with Henry and Mary in the basement kitchen. They didn't want her to leave so soon but she had to get to Port Lewis. Henry had gassed up the Toyota Highlander, brought her bags down to street level, and packed the back. He touched several bags he had not seen in a long time, ones that contained materials from her days as an NYPD Detective. He looked up at Syn as she descended the stairs with Mary, saying a prayer to keep her safe. They hugged tightly, wishing her a safe trip, and hoped that she would return soon.

First stop for Syn was Ed Stone's Gun range to re-qualify. She wove her way through the crowded, tight NYC streets, avoiding pedestrians, and glimpsed a black Taurus in the rearview mirror. The car stayed well back, but she knew they were following her Highlander, clearly in an unmarked cop car. It did not escape her that a similar car had been sitting outside Reggie's the day before. She knew that once she cleared customs, someone had known she was in town; her name flagged in the system. The boys in blue were never happy with her after implicating one of their own in her mother's death. Her investigation had been sound, using her technological skills to catch the man and put him away for life. She had crossed that sacred blue line, and had been paying the price ever since.

Ed was already expecting her and she knew that Reggie had been busy contacting the people she needed. That was what she had tapped out on his shoulder yesterday before leaving his office, scrawled in a note. Ed's chubby jowls smiled at her as she stepped to the counter. He pulled up a silver gun case, and she held up her hand as she lifted her own black gun case up that held the Glock 17. Ed inclined his head, "That old thing, come on Syn, you're a gadget girl. Would think you want the latest. Besides, I have missed four of your birthdays. Consider this a present."

"Ed, you know I can't take this." Her mouth was already watering before he opened the case. If she had to qualify on a new weapon, it would mean she'd have to spend half a day here, going over procedures and safety issues. She was itching to get on the road and get home.

"Just take a look at this beauty. Modified it myself with you in mind." He opened the case to reveal a 32-357 Sig Sauer; a beautiful silver and black model with high-capacity clip. It had a laser guide and tactical light; its lines perfection. She cursed and looking up at him, "Ed I can't take this."

"Yes you can, my gift." He closed the case and shoved it across the desk. "Ammos inside for you, and you are ready to test on it. Shouldn't be too much of a difficulty for you."

Her little intuition was starting to tingle. Something was up. "What are you up to?"

Ed grinned, "Nothing." Syn narrowed her eyes at him and took the case. They spent the next two hours huddled in a room going over paperwork and testing. Another two hours on the range and she was qualified. "I don't know why I bother with you, you are a natural with that weapon, with any weapon."

She grinned, putting her new gun and old one away. He rubbed his cheek, "It's just a shame you gave up your shield."

"We are not having this conversation."

"Then perhaps you might have it with the Captain." A familiar flat toned voice snarled behind her.

Syn closed her eyes and turned around slowly to see Detectives Randy Lynne and Sean Moore standing there, arms crossed. Eddie had been stalling for time and in one of those moments had excused himself, had called in the brass. Reggie and Eddie had been busy. "Sorry fellas, I would love to sit and chat, but I am just here visiting an old friend and off home."

"Don't give us that line of bullshit Macdonald. It isn't a request, but an order." She had to love Lynne always using force to get what he wanted. She pulled her gun cases off the table and started pass them. Sean grabbed her arm. "Remember guys, I'm not part of the family anymore."

Sean smiled. "Cap wants to see you. You know old bear there never had much call for manners."

She laughed. "You both should get an Oscar with that shite BCGC. I have a long drive ahead. Quinn can call me."

Sean sighed, "Cars out front, won't take more than fifteen minutes. We'll escort you out of the city."

She shook her head grinning, "You two are a piece of work." But Sean was still holding her arm. She looked down at his hold and back to his eyes. There was something there that made her give in. "Fine. Fifteen tops, escort." They both agreed.

Detectives Lynne and Moore escorted her not to the precinct, but to a coffee shop not far from the gun range. This didn't bode well, and the hair on her neck was standing up in warning. Trust was always an issue with these guys, and she had broken that cardinal rule that bound cops together. Never turn on your own. She was expecting anything and everything.

Quinn was sitting at a booth scouring the Times. His hair was grayer, but still had that broad chest and constant feral look about him. A cup of coffee and muffin sat before him, hardly touched. She stood there for a moment, waiting for him to look up. He did and they looked at each other for several silent heart beats. Finally, she slid into the booth as Sean and Randy took the booth behind her. She was not in a mood to be cordial. "What?"

He finished reading several lines and then folded his newspaper. He looked at her over the top of his bifocals. "Macdonald, good to see you."

"Wish I could say the same. What do you want?"

"Don't take that attitude with me. Have a cup of joe and retract your claws."

Syn sneered at him. "I have some place to be."

"I know Reggie called me." He took a piece of muffin and plopped it into his mouth. He winced at the lack of flavor. "Ask me how I am, how Cheryl and the kids are."

She sighed, her eyes darting around, spying two suits several booths down. FBI great, just fucking great. She droned out, "How are you? How are Cheryl and the kids?"

"Now wasn't that a pleasant way to start a conversation. I am fine besides having to eat this rubbish bran muffin and now wearing bifocals. Cheryl and the kids are excellent, send their hellos. Brad is a senior at Rutgers."

"Good for him." The waitress came over and asked if Syn wanted anything. She shook her head, tapping her finger on the table. "Why am I here?" Though she had an inkling what was coming. True enough Quinn reached into his pocket, and pulled out an ID wallet, slid it over to her.

"Get your ass back to work. New York needs you."

She took a deep breath before answering, glaring at him, and pushing the badge right back, "I do not need New York. I quit remember."

"A more foolish act if ever I saw one."

She laughed and the sound echoed in the near empty coffee shop. The suits turned, looked. How convenient for them to forget the icy reception, the taunts, and harassment she endured at their hands. "Why are we meeting here and not down at the precinct? Is it because there is still such hatred of me because I turned one of my own in?"

Quinn lips pursed, clearly agitated. There was a slight wave to his hand, but not much, "Water under the bridge."

She leaned in, "There are two things elephants and cops have in common, long memories." She straightened and slid out of the booth. "I am not coming back." She stopped at the end, did not look back, "You failed me and I am just to forget that."

Quinn bristled. "Sit your ass back down. There is something you forget." His voice dropped, "When we are wrong, we are wrong."

Syn snorted, shook her head. Lynne and Moore stood there blocking her way. "But you will not admit it."

"You know the unspoken truth."

"Yeah it takes a chunk out of my ass every time I visit the city."

Quinn motioned for Syn to return to her seat. She remained on the edge of the booth. He cleared his throat. "I am going out on a limb here. You are one of the best cops I've worked with. Not THE best, but your ability with technology and analysis are far superior than most. You were born to do this job Syn. All I am asking is that you consider it." The next phrase was bit out, "Please."

Her head whipped around and looked at him taken aback by the 'please' and made sure her mouth stayed shut. Quinn to say please was a rare act. He pushed her old gold badge towards her. She looked at it without taking it. Quinn sighed exasperated, shifting in his seat, "Full reinstatement, two pay grades higher. Full pension and benefits. You can also keep doing your private consulting."

"I'm not here for a social call you know that."

Quinn visibly relaxed, lifting his arm across the back of the booth, "Reggie and I figured as much. You coming back to the States, back to Port Lewis. I've read the clippings Reggie sent me."

Syn reached and toyed with the badge, turning it around. She couldn't believe she was actually considering taking it back. She had to admit, she missed the force, even with all the cruelty in the world. She retracted her hand, leaving the badge on the tabletop, "I do not have jurisdiction in Port Lewis if I take the badge. My private detective license does. You and Reggie are interfering."

"We just want you safe." Quinn had genuine concern written all over his face, in his blue eyes. She felt a pang of sorrow for being such a hard ass.

She looked at the badge again. If she took it, she would not be able to do what she wanted. "I'll consider it but not taking the shield."

"Take the shield Macdonald and save your own ass for once. I'll put you on temporary leave, reassign you to Port Lewis. At least this would give you some sway if the Feds get involve."

She gritted her teeth, looking past his shoulder. Her eyes narrowed at the two suits, thinking that they looked vaguely familiar. She toyed with the edge of the badge. He was right, if he pulled some strings she could have more access to information with reinstatement, even temporarily. "You have the papers?" He nodded. "I'm not saying I'm coming back permanently."

"I know. Just let me watch your back."

"Yeah you owe me as much." She took the pen, signed the papers after reading them real quick and took the badge. "You're a real piece of work Captain and I'm a right fool."

"No you are one smart cookie."

Syn laughed halfheartedly and got up, walked out of the shop with Lynne and Moore on her six. True to their word they escorted her out of the city. She hoped she didn't regret taking back her shield.

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