I threw Michael out at 2AM, then forced Jane into my bedroom with a chair tilted against the door. I explained that if she opened the door, it would set off a ruckus and I would immediately call the cops to come get her. She didn’t like it, but she seemed to understand. I opened the sofa for myself and tried to sleep.
I was up and showered by 7AM the next morning. There is nothing like sleeping with a .38 revolver under your pillow to make for a uneasy night’s sleep. Since I had no desire to show up in public with Jane in tow, I fixed breakfast. I had planned for Jane, since I had some advance warning that she was coming. I had two kinds of cereal and dried fruit in three varieties from which she could choose.
She chose a bran cereal known for it’s healthy fiber content. Who would have expected a burned out junky to be a nuts and twigs kind of girl. I guess that fell under life is filled contradictions, I told myself.
Michael showed up right on time, so we arrived just a couple of minutes before Sam. When he entered, I had already installed Jane at the empty desk, which would be occupied by Royce when he finally got out of prison. “Sam, this is Jane,” I said it smiling.
“Hello Jane, sweetie I have heard so much about you,” Sam said sweetly. To be honest it was far too sweet, I saw through it and could not believe that Jane didn’t. If she did, she planned to go toe to toe with him.
“Hello Sam, I am so glad to meet someone who seems normal,” she said scowling at me. Sam normal I thought. I wondered where the hell she had gotten that morning fix. She hadn’t of course, and I was just being unkind, I told myself.
“So Sam did that chick at the cheap-o car rental and dealership call after we left yesterday,” I asked.
“Yes the message is on your desk. It on that post it thingie,” he said smiling not as sweetly as he did for Jane.
The note read the salesman from the car dealer called. She said to tell you $7500 and it was yours I wadded up the paper then picked up the phone. I dialed the number.
“Seven thousand cash, when I get to the bank after a meeting this morning. I need a car now, so make up your mind,” I demanded.
“I’ll drop it off in fifteen minutes and get the papers ready for you. There will be tax and transfer fees,” the salesman insisted.
“Make the car appear in my parking lot in thirty minutes maximum and we are dealing. Otherwise I am moving to someone else.”
“It will be there,” the salesman said breaking the connection.
“You are more of a hard ass than I remember,” Sam commented.
“You just worked for Jeff, you were never divorced by him.” I replied with a laugh. “It changes one.”
“I also never rode a toy all the way to California, nor shot man man in Texas, just to watch him die,” Sam said laughing. I noticed Jane was paying very close attention.
“Sam, I shot the man in Texas, so he wouldn’t shoot me. The Tomas was a toy for sure, but I also had a debit card as well, so it isn’t quite so adventuresome that way.
I spent some time making calls to bail bondsmen I knew. It was just to kill time waiting for the cruiser to arrive. It was almost 9:30 when the car arrived. I gave the delivery man a nasty look as I said, “Ten more minutes and I would have been looking for another car.”
“Sorry, I got tied up,” he said not a bit sorry.
“Can you drop me back at the shop?” he asked.
“Nope, I got things to do. If you had gotten here fifteen minutes earlier, I could have but not now.” I pointed Jane toward the door.
“Is she always like this,” I heard the delivery man ask Sam.
“She is usually worse, you are lucky that you still have your balls,” he said laughing. “I can’t help you, she would fire me if I closed the office to give you a ride back to your shop.” I wouldn’t have fired him, and he knew it. It was just his way of joining in the national, ‘I’m a Bitch’ Movement.
When we walked into the interview room at the DA’s office, there was Marco and Max Hammond. “How the hell did I get so lucky,” Max asked Marco.
“How are you lucky,” I asked because it was obvious that the comment was for me.
“If I had to meet with an Avery first thing in the morning, I would rather it be the smartest one,” he said.
“Bullshit, you just prefer the one with the better tits,” I said.
“I don’t know that. I never seen you or Jeff topless,” he replied.
“That’s a fair point,” I replied. “So Max, how you been?”
“To be honest councilor I have missed you,” he lied.
“And I have missed the shingles, but I expect we both can survive. Now I need you to sign off on the deal with Jane, so that I can get her out of the system.” I explained.
Max turned his attention to Jane, “So Miss Sutton, what is your version of the events of that day?” Max smiled at me showing me that he was trying to be civil. It wasn’t really going to play, but I decided to let him try.
“I went to Lowball’s flop to score some product,” Jane said.
“By product you mean Heroine?” Marco asked.
“Yes Lowball always had product,” she answered. “Even when the others are having trouble connecting, Lowball always had the stuff.”
“So what happened when you got there?” Max asked.
“I’m standing on the porch ready to knock on the door when I hear two shots. I wanted to run, but before I could the door busted open and the dude ran by me,” she said.
“What did this dude look like?” Max asked.
Jane looked at me and I nodded. “He was white not too old but not a kid either.”
“What color was his hair?” Max asked.
“Nasty stringy brown, he looked like he needed a bath. He was wearing one of those hoodies, but the hood was down. It had something written on it like a sports team or something. I didn’t get much time to see him. He was booking it hard,” she said.
“So what did you do next?” Marco asked.
“Whoa, before she answers that, are we dealing here or is this all bullshit?” I asked.
“Could you pick him out of a lineup?” Max asked.
“Do I have to?” she asked.
“Yes you have to,” I admitted.
“Then yeah, but I seen him around on the streets some,” she said.
“What’s his name then,” Max asked.
“He was with one of my tricks once. The trick called him Ansel or something like that,” she said.
“Yeah, we can deal,” Max said with a really shaken look. I didn’t care for his reaction at all.
“So what did you do after this Ansel booked?” Marco asked.
“I went inside and took Lowball’s stash. I don’t understand why ya’ll are acting like I done something wrong. Lowball didn’t need it no more. It ain’t like I sold it or nothin’,” She said.
It was at that point that I expected Max to take custody of Jane. Not to put her back inside, but to put her into a motel and protective custody while they picked up Ansel. Max knew exactly what I expected.
“Lucy could you and I have a talk. Jane can sit here while we talk outside,” he suggested.
“What the fuck is the problem. She had given you everything except what your perp has for breakfast,” I said.
“I expect he has donuts most of the time,” he said. It was code, but I didn’t know what he meant.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked.
“Ansel is an under cover cop, who dropped off the radar. He was working Lowball. We were afraid someone had iced him It looks like he might be in the wind instead of in the river. Problem is I have no idea what the fuck is going on and who else is involved.”
“Max that falls under, not my problem,” I suggested.
“It will be, if someone ices your client and decides to take you out for good measure,” he said.
“Now you aren’t going to let that happen,” I said to both Max and Marco.
“Look what we need to do here is to find a way to keep her safe until we pick up our wayward cop.” Max said.
“And if You can’t, it will look a hell of a lot better, if someone else was in charge of her. No thanks Max, I’m not going to be your fall guy here,” I said.
“Keeping her alive is the most important thing,” Marco said. “But we can’t just shove her off on an attorney, to get them both killed. I heard you were going to hire Royce Marshall, when he gets out in a week. What if I get him sprung today? Would that do it for you?” he asked me.
“Well Royce could probably do a bitter job of keeping her safe than me and Sam,” I agreed.
“I wouldn’t trust Royce Marshal as far as I can throw him. He is a fucking junkie,” Max said.
“But you want to throw an eye witness to a killing by a cop, into the lap of a female lawyer. Whose side are you on anyway?” Marco asked. It appeared that he had lost his patience.
“You can not trust a junkie,” he said. Looking at me as if I was the dumbest thing on earth.
“You are going to give Jane a chance to help you, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” I replied.
“You are trusting him because your fucking daddy sent him to you,” Max said. “The cons aren’t the only ones who know what is going on inside.”
“You know Max, I don’t think I ever heard of a con planting evidence. Or putting someone inside just to cover his own ass. I’m sure they would given the chance. See cons are no better than cops, given the right set of circumstances. It might just be that the same trolley runs both ways.” Yeah I was pissed. One thing I could tell him for sure, Royce would not want to disappoint me. The same can’t be said for some retired cop, who worked as an investigator.
“So are you agreeable?” Marco asked.
“Get me Royce and I’ll try to keep her alive and cooperating,” I said. There was one other thing that convinced me that they would bust their ass to bring in Ansel. If anything happened to Jane. they would be answering why they felt they needed to bring her to an outsider. That tells everyone they don’t have a lot of trust in the department.
“Okay Jane let’s go. we are through for now. I’m taking you back with me for a while. Everything is the same as before,” I said to try to ease her mind.
The drive back to the office kept my mind racing. I had no idea how or when they would get Royce to me, but I knew I had to keep Jane safe till then. I was not a trained policeman or military person, so it was going to be play it by ear till the pro arrived.
“Sam, call Jarvis lock and key for me,” I said just as soon as I entered the office. I wished I had the time and money to completely bullet proof the place. but I didn’t. The best I could do was to make it harder for the bad guys to get inside.