The adrenaline kicked in. I opened my jacket so that I could reach the pistol hanging upside down under my left arm. The shoulder holster was fairly new and made by the last shoe maker in Tryon. I could clear the small hammerless.38 about as fast as either of them could get to a hip holstered weapon. I was absolutely sure it would be at least a draw, on the draw, I thought with a smile.
“You armed?” the man a few years younger than me asked.
“Are you?” I asked in return. I wasn’t closing on them as I might have, had they been some gang bangers. The men standing in front of me held themselves like cops, but they had not identified themselves and the chatter, according to Eve, was that there were dirty cops in the mix. Cops knew how to shoot at any distance, but most didn’t do it often.
“Just so you know, there are cameras recording this, and they are being monitored. The cops will get copies showing exactly who did what and when.” I said.
“What are you worried about Stone?” the one who appeared to be in charge asked.
“Oh about cops, who don’t act like cops anymore,” I said smiling.
“Who said we were cops?” he asked.
“If you aren’t cops, then you should get back in your car and get the hell off my property?” I demanded.
“Or what?” the younger one asked.
“Or this I said,” holding up my cell phone. “We have been on 911 for the last few minutes. So if you aren’t cops, you are about to meet some real ones,” I smiled at them.
The older one used his cell phone. “This is detective sergeant Wilson, cancel that 911 call on N. Main and send me a squad car here instead for transport.”
Just as soon as he said that, I speed dialed Jennifer. “I’m about to be arrested for no reason at all. Come on down and spring me.” I said it laughing. I was also damn sure Eve had send an emergency signal. The CIA did not want her in custody for sure. Wilson and his partner were about to get fucked, and I doubted that they were going to enjoy it.
The squad car came and put cuffs on me and Eve. I had to smile knowing there would soon be fan blown defecation all over town.
It took almost an hour for them to get me into an interrogation room. Wilson was with me and his partner was no doubt watching. “So Stone, what are you into now?” he asked.
“Soft bondage and a little S&M.” I replied.
“What are you investigating?” he asked.
“You really need to wait till Jennifer gets here,” I suggested.
“Will you tell me everything when she does?” he asked.
“Probably not,” I replied.
“Definitely not,” Jennifer said from the doorway. “Is my client under arrest?”
“We are holding her while we run some tests on her pistol.” he said.
“Do you know what a writ of habeas corpus is?” Jennifer asked
“Yes I do counselor,” Wilson said.
“And do you know what a civil suit for false imprisonment is worth these days,” she asked smiling.
“Just hold on a minute,” a new man standing in the door said. “What is this about a suit?”
“Wilson here jerked up my associate for no reason, then he tried to interrogate her after she invoked. What she knows, she learned as part of my work product on a case involving cops. It looks kind of bad. Plus your men didn’t follow procedure about identifying themselves. It is my guess we are going to own a good size chunk of this town, and of course everything Wilson here owns, or expects to receive from Estavante.” Jennifer said. She had decided that it was time to let the cat out of the bag.
“Who the hell is this Estavante,” Wilson asked.
“My guess is the gentlemen from the DEA, who are waiting outside, will be more than happy to explore that with you.” Jennifer said. “Did you really think, we were going to let some grease ball drug cartel take over our town. You forgot to ask around about who lived here, before you tried that.”
“What the hell is she talking about?” the DA asked Wilson.
“She is talking about your man Wilson is up to his ass in Mexican Cartel’s business. I was looking at them and he was supposed to use his office to stop me.” I said smiling.
“It gets better, you have been having some real bad press lately. Senor Estavante is up to his ass in that as well. He is planning to move to Aster and take over the town. He has a lot more cops on his payroll. He is using the border area model to expand into the southeast.”
“She can’t prove any of that,” Wilson said.
“The DEA is in the waiting room and they have all these boxes of audio and video tapes. Not to mention your banking statements.” Jennifer said. Jennifer was the very best poker player in the whole world. Wilson looked at her, while she smiled back at him.
“I want to cut a deal,” Wilson said to the local DA.
“He can’t make you a deal. The Feds are going to deal with you, but trust me, you need to get away and stay far away. People who threaten Maxine, are not good life insurance risks.” Jennifer said.
“You heard her threaten me,” Wilson said to the mirror.
“Wilson, you were willing to have those officers framed for crimes and/or murdered. Just so Estavante could take over the police department and make you rich. I would bet my first born kid, that nobody heard anything. Hell I would almost bet someone would bring my pistol and leave me alone with you for about a week.” I said quietly.
“Jennifer they have Eve as well. I want her back right fucking now,” I added.
“You heard the lady, bring her friend this very minute, or I’m going to call for an FBI raid. You still have the number for that FBI ageny you screwed don’t you?” Jennifer asked.
“No need for all the heroics, “I’m from the US Attorneys office. Both these ladies have been transfered to my custody and are under the protection of the United States Justice Department pending a full investigation.” he said.
“It is getting so you can’t tell the good guys from the bad ones without a program,” I admitted.
“What the fuck is going on?” Jen asked me quietly. “Did you pass the intercepted message?”
“Hell I thought you did,” I said. Actually I knew that the us Attorney was trying to save Eve’s. ass. He sure as hell didn’t want her processed into the system. I imagined that I had seen the end of eve. It would be too risky to have her tag along with me.
“It looks to me like the DEA has a handle on this thing.” Jennifer said.
“Truthfully I have no idea. I was making up all that shit I was spouting off.” I said with a laugh.
“Don’t be surprised, if it comes back to bite you in the ass,” Jen said.
“I promise, I won’t be.” I replied.
We were standing outside the police station when the U.S. Attorney said to me. “Ms. Stone we are going to take you to a safe house for a few days.”
“How about Eve?” I asked.
“She is going to be fine. We are turning her over to the DEA.” he said. “That was when it really started to smell. Jennifer, Eve and I were standing with the Deputy U.S. Attorney and what he told us was a U.S. Marshal.
“Jen, can they force either of us to go with them without an arrest warrant.” I asked.
“Not if we state that we refuse and are willing to take our chances.” she replied.
“Well I don’t agree. I think I can look after Eve better than they can,” I said.
“I don’t think you can,” the man, who was supposed to be the U.S. Marshal said.
“Jen take out your cell phone and call Swamp Thing. Tell the Admiral I have a job that needs doing, right this fucking minute.” I only said it to get the reaction of the two men who thought they had custody of us.
“Jennifer, you really don’t want to do that,” the Attorney said quietly.
The man most likely was an attorney on Estavante’s payroll. He sure as hell was no killer. He was most likely hired because he could pass as a class act. I took a shot at him with my elbow. I could have done some real damage, had I been a bit taller. Best I could do was split his lip. He didn’t like that. Instead of calmly kicking my ass, he drew back to bitch slap me. Men who don’t understand that a woman can fight, just like any man, tend to want to slap us around.
In his case, he opened himself for a knee in the balls, and then an elbow where it should have been in the first place. He was down, but probably not out of the fight.
The fake U.S. Marshal pulled his weapon and I was too busy with the fake U. S. Attorney to do anything about it. Jennifer slapped him across the face with the briefcase. Somewhere in the middle of all that girl power shit, Eve figured out who the bad guys were. She kicked the fake Marshal with what amounted to a steel toed boot. First in the groin, which seemed to be very painful, then she calmly kicked him in the head. She held back on the head shot, or his head would have rolled down the street I was sure.
Within seconds cops were running around trying to figure out who to arrest. “First of all,” Jennifer said, “These two are frauds. Check on those DEA guys who happened to show up out of the blue.”
“Are you ladies alright,” a young woman asked as she looked at the carnage we had wrought.
“Yeah, no thanks to the Aster PD. You guys allowed these people to almost kidnap and probably murder me and my two friends. Now me and my friends are getting the hell out of here.”
“Where are you going,” the watch commander asked.
“To a place we can be protected. Call me on my cell phone, when you want us to come in again. But captain,. there will be press with us, lots of press.” Jennifer said.
Once we were in her Cadillac Escalade she asked me, “Where the fuck are we going to be safe.”
“If these guys want to kill us, there is no place we will be safe for more than a couple of days, unless we just disappear. Are you ready to do that?” I asked.
“Fuck no,” Jennifer said.
“How about you Eve?” I asked.
“They tried to kill us. I don’t know about safe, but I know we can’t let that go unanswered.” she said. Her programming had kicked in.
“You are absolutely right,” I agreed.
There were tears in her eyes when Jennifer said, “ I want to go home.”
“You can never go home again honey. at least not as long Estavante is alive.” I informed her calmly.
“So what are we going to do?” Jennifer asked. “I am not going to run and hide the rest of my life.”
“My guess is we are going to go to war. Let’s see what we can do for an army,” I said.
“What can I do?” Jennifer asked.
“We are going to need lots of PR and cover stories. Not to mention some great press coverage. You know you will have to whitewash our soldiers. I don’t think the boy scouts will do for this.” I said.
“When I get through with them, the devils 13 disciples well be choir boys,” Jennifer said.
“Can she do that?” Eve asked me quietly.
“Oh yes, she can do that.” I replied.
“So who you going to get?” Eve asked.
“Tell you what, when you report in tonight, tell the controller that I am going to recruit a Russian I have worked with before. Tell him the guys name is Vlad something or other. I’m sure they are familiar with him, if they have studied my dossier.” I said
“Why am I doing this?” she asked.
“If I tell you that, won’t you have to tell the controller?” I countered.
“Yes,” She admitted.
“Then I’m not telling you.” I replied.
“Cool,” she said.