CURVE BALL

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Chapter Sixteen

Billy Dee parked his Chrysler 200 in the police lot of Area North at Belmont and Western. Riverview, a large amusement park had been there for decades until the City took over the land and built a police station. The memories of fresh popped corn and the taste of cotton candy always brought a smile. The roller coaster filled with people screaming and laughing as it gathered speed was probably where the back of the station ended. The spirit of the carnival remained. It just moved inside. Billy Dee grabbed his battered leather satchel from the front seat and climbed out. The air seemed colder closer to Lake Michigan than at his home on the South Side. He saw his breath and put on gloves as he walked toward the entrance. His hand was on the door when he heard his name. He turned and saw someone in a parka. The hood covered the face.

“Officer Jackson?”

The voice was female. How the hell did she know his name?

“I’m Melissa Stone.”

His eyes narrowed. He didn’t recognize the name or from what he could tell, the person.

She took off her hood and shook out her long dirty blond hair. “Damn, it’s cold out here.”

“I guess so.”

“I heard earlier today that Jack Rakow had been arrested.”

He took a step back and eyed her with suspicion. “Who did you say you were?”

“Oh, sorry, I’m a reporter from Sports Magazine the online side. I’ve been waiting out here hoping that you could give me a scoop.”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about or why you’d think I would know.”

“You’re the lock-up keeper.”

How the hell she know that? “Look Miss. I can’t talk. I don’t know where you got your information but--.

“You’re Billy Dee Jackson. I know you’ve seen and spoken to Mr. Rakow.”

“What?”

“So you’re not denying it,” she asked.

“This is bullshit. Lady, I don’t know who you are or where you came from. I don’t have nothing to say to you.” He started toward the door.

“He’s missing.”

Billy Dee stopped. “Say that again?”

“Jack Rakow. He’s missing. You have a leak inside that building.”

“Is that so?” He left her outside and went into the building. The hallway was deserted. Shit. He rubbed his face. This aint go’n to be good, but this missy knows something. “Sorry Janine,” he said silently to his wife, but I got a missing prisoner and… He went back outside.

He took her arm and guided her toward the parking lot. “Jesus, Lord have mercy, Lady, Ms. Stone, whatever, let’s talk.”

“That’s what I wanted all along. Where can we go? The police station may not be the best. Like I said you have a leak.”

He looked at his watch. Shit, the Captain was waiting. He considered what she said and swore to himself. Hell of a fix. “Okay, I’ll meet you at Tracy’s.”

“Where’s that?”

“About six or seven blocks west on Belmont.”

She blinked. “I’m not familiar with the city.”

“Take this street,” and pointed the direction. “If you pass the river, you’ve gone too far.”

“Okay. It will take me awhile.”

“Why?”

“I don’t have a car.”

“You…what? For God’s sake.” He took a deep breath. This was going from bad to worse. “

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