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Excerpt #4 of 5
“Pretty cool.”Crevis twirled the implement of war, mesmerized by the shiny dagger in a way that should cause concern to any person with even a rudimentary understanding of psychology. “Wanna hold it?”
Crevis held it out to me. I glared back at him.
“Okay, okay.” He slid it back into its sheath and stood tall, his PR-24 police baton dangling on his web belt. The guy had every security gadget known to man on that thing—pepper spray, handcuffs, an expandable baton, plastic Flexicuffs, a flashlight, a Leatherman tool, and a Velcro pouch containing who-knows-what, and I didn’t dare ask him.
“Wanna hear what happened at the flea market?”
“When I was looking at the knife case, these three guys were behind me. One of them started gettin’ mouthy because he said I was standing in front of him.They all got in my face, so I stepped back, ready to go at it with them.”
Crevis raised his hands and took a feeble karate stance. “I told them to bring it on. They just backed up and walked away. They were scared.” Crevis planted his hands on his hips and puffed his chest out like it should have a large S on it.
“Lucky for them.” They could have damaged their fists on his face.
“You know it.” Crevis worked a quick series of jabs and hooks in the air, a triumphant smirk sliding across his uneven teeth. “They had no idea who they were dealing with. I’m a weapon of death and destruction.”
This conversation needed to end. I glanced at the garage monitor and rolled my chair closer, seemingly fixated on the screen.
“You see something?” Crevis hurried around the front desk and went shoulder to shoulder with me, eyes locked on the monitor.
“I’m not sure. I thought I saw a shadow or something move in the garage area by one of the vans there.” I tapped the screen with my finger. Pausing a second for effect, I waved a dismissive hand in the air and leaned back in my chair. “It was probably nothing. I wouldn’t worry about it.”
“You never know. I’m on it.” Crevis scampered down the hall toward the stairs, his gear rattling. “I’ll call you if I see something.”
Worked every time. One night I must have sent him to a dozen different shadows and movements.The kid had been lacquered in a healthy sweat before that shift ended. I almost felt sorry for him…almost.
After just a few minutes, Crevis crept past the garage camera, gazed back, and gave me a thumbs-up, as if I cared. Flashlight in hand, he slipped out of view. That should be good for a half hour, maybe forty-five minutes. His parents must have been hippies who ingested large quantities of narcotics in their day. There’s no other rational reason why someone would name their child Crevis.
I positioned my chair so I could keep an eye on the monitors and the front door, then I returned my attention to my puzzle. Didn’t want my back to the door; old cop habits were hard to break. One of the benefits of this job was lots of time for my Sudoku. I checked the puzzle pattern to this point and added two more numbers when the buzzer drew me to the front door.
An attractive blonde in her late twenties knocked on the glass and waved. She wore blue jeans and a white shirt, and her hair was in a ponytail. I’d never seen her before. Then again, I hadn’t been working here all that long.
“May I help you?” I said through the intercom, resting my unchallenged puzzle on the desk.
“I’m here to see my brother.”
“Did you ring his unit?”
“He won’t answer. Please let me in.” She rested a hand on the glass. “I’m worried about him.”
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