C A I N
I was on edge. I was convinced I'd just seen that guy from Sal's mooching around outside, a string of strippers hanging around him. I sipped on my beer, vaguely paying attention to the woman by my side. Mary, or something. I'd picked her up at the bar without even trying, and now I couldn't get rid of her.
My eyes were fixed on the entrance, the chance of me getting drunk now slim to none. I was in work mode, and this didn't ever happen to me. My adrenaline was pumping, the blood rushing through my ears, my fingers drumming on the beer bottle repeatedly. The guys I'd come here with had fucked off once they saw me with Mary, but they were of no use anyway.
"Come on, you bastard," I whispered. "Give me a sign."
"Are you going to buy me a drink?" Mary asked, and I glanced at her with annoyance. Ordinarily, I'd be bending her over in the toilets, but my detective senses were tingling. I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but that guy piqued my interest. "Because you haven't listened to a damn word I've said."
Mary was still going, bless her. Time to get rid.
"Sorry, Mary, I've got to go."
"Asshole," Mary snaps. "My name was Merri."
I frown at her for a moment before smiling apologetically.
"I'll owe you a drink the next time I see you," I promised, earning myself a cold glare.
"I won't be here next time."
With that, Merry turns on her heel and walks away, leaving me to do whatever I pleased. I stood there for ten minutes or so, before I struck gold. The guy walked in, spoke harshly into a woman's ear who was standing near the bar. She looked old enough, so it didn't strike me as sex trafficking immediately. But it was the way she behaved, her body recoiling in fear when he spoke, the way her legs trembled when she stood up. But the interesting part was when the bloke she had been sat with prior to my suspect walking in, drew his wallet out. My suspect's eyes dart around them, and he mutters something through gritted teeth.
I drag my phone out, calling Harry. He answers immediately, his tired voice greeting me.
"I think I've found him," I say calmly, keeping my eyes on my suspect. I gave Harry my location, and he told me he would be there within half an hour. I didn't have that long, because my man was looking pissed. Two other women walked over, again looking to be old enough to do whatever they wanted. I was looking for signs of abuse, and the first woman had displayed that perfectly. I hate seeing women afraid of men, and I wanted to boil his bones just for that.
I didn't need to wait long, because they all moved towards the exit- including the punter at the bar. It was shady as fuck, but I had to be careful. The last thing I needed was a suspension. I follow them loosely, smiling as I go. The cold air hits me like a slap in the face, and I glance up and down the street out of habit. It's quiet, apart from the crowd that just left. I can see the punter arguing with the suspect, and before long a knife is against the punters throat.
Immediately I'm up in his grill, twisting his arm so he drops the knife. The punter legs it, not bothering to look back. Three pairs of terrified eyes are locked onto me, silently pleading for me to leave. It was then that I noticed the heavy make up disguising the youthful skin, the cheap clothes covering their thin bodies.
"Get off me you prick," barks the suspect, his dark eyes narrowing menacingly. "Who the fuck are you, interfering in my business?"
I relax my hold on him, stepping back to hold my hands up.
"I didn't want you knifing that poor guy, that's all," I say carefully as he examines me with disgust.
"This has nothing to do with your punk ass, pretty boy. Now fuck off."
He grabs two of the women by their arms, dragging them towards a beat up old car. The other hesitates, glancing at me as though she wants to say something.
"Do you need help, Miss?" I ask her, her lips quivering as she opens her mouth to reply.
The voice from the car means business, and the woman scurries away, her head down. Her frail arms are wrapped around herself in a futile effort to keep herself warm, before joining the others in the car.
"It's that him?" I hear Harry's voice demand from my shoulder, and I nod silently. We watch as the car peels away, before turning back to the bar.
"You're sure?" Harry continues.
"Yes, I'm sure," I say, filling Harry in on what had happened. "Couldn't get the plate of the car, but I looked that bastard in the eyes. I'd know him anywhere."
Harry stares into the darkness, his eyes trying to see what wasn't there. I knew he would be rewinding that scene in his head, desperately trying to see more detail.
"You came alone?" I ask with confusion.
Harry nods, folding his arms over his chest. Detective work was taking its toll on him, his posture was deflated, his eyes tormented and tired. I felt the pain, but Harry didn't have an off button.
"I work better alone."
"Charmed, I'm sure, " I laugh, before following Harry to his car. "So now what? We sit and search through the cctv-"
"You go home. I'm being paid to be sat here. Go find a girl and give her the best night of her life," Harry chuckles, shaking his head at me.
"Hey, I'm more than a sex machine. I'm interesting. I've got...qualities," I argue as Harry snorts.
"Yeah? Other than hitting the town on your free nights, fucking random women, what do you do with your life?"
"I train!" I yell, lifting my arm up to prove it. "You don't get muscles like that from doing fuck all."
"You need a woman, Cain. Settle down-"
"Harry," I groan, determined not to fall out with him tonight. "Just forget me. Focus on the Rolex dude."
"You know what you need to do? If you've got so much depth?" Harry teases, wiping imaginary dust from my shoulder. "Online dating."
I'm not sure I've heard him right.
"Why would I do that?" I ask calmly, as Harry gives me that look. The knowing one that makes you feel about a foot high.
"Because everyone needs someone, Cain. Everyone."
I shake my head, wondering who I would go on a date with out of all my recent women. Mentally I tick then off- no, no, no, fuck no.
"It's not something I want. I like having my own space-"
Harry had lost interest, and was now texting in his phone.
"That car has been spotted not far from here a few weeks back. He's local."
The conversation died there, and part of me was happy. Online dating was for people who wanted to fall in love, not for those of us who wanted empty balls. I head back to the station with Harry, feeling annoyed that I'd not arrested the Rolex man earlier. Honestly, rules and regulations existed just to make our job more difficult, I'm sure.
"How much have you drank tonight?' Begins Harry, as I shrug.
"No idea. Why?"
"You're not driving."
"Jesus, I know I'm not driving!" I cry out, pissed that at times, Harry still spoke to me like I was his little brother.
"Well, before you ask."
Fucks sake. What sort of detective would I be?!