I clicked the safety off my revolver and kicked in the door. I rolled in quickly, taking cover behind the wreckage of a sofa, and glanced quickly around the room. No one was there. Vaulting over the table, I checked the bedroom. It was a mess, but no one was there.
"You know, I could have just used the key."
Alice had decided to show me the apartment so that I could look for clues. I guess she wasn't used to the operation of a no-holds-barred, loose-cannon cop like myself. I would never open a door with a key. I would break it down and let the insurance cover the damage.
I poked around with my gun for a little bit while sharing a bit of witty, romantic banter with my client.
The clue finally presented itself when I opened the cupboard in the kitchen. There, sitting on a plate, was a small bag about a fourth of the way full of a white powder. I knew it instantly from my police work: crack cocaine.
"What do you have there," she asked, entering the room.
"I know where to go next," I answered quietly.
"My drug dealer."
I walked into the back alley I so frequently used to walk when I was a druggie and looked to an unusually large man leaning against the wall. When he glanced my way his hand immediately dove into the folds of his trench-coat.
My magnum was out first and I fired four of the six bullets in the gun in a well-placed spread. Two hit his gun, shooting it back into the corner of the alley, and two hit the wall to his right, sending him diving behind a garbage can for cover.
The silence that followed was deafening, the only thing breaking it was the occasional rustle of a rat in the corner.
"Peter," I said, moving around to point the gun at the man, "I think it's time we had a little talk."
He looked up at me with fear.
"What do you want to know?"
I threw the crack in his face, "Who did you sell this to?"
"I don't reveal my clients"
With a deafening bang, I shot a bullet into the wall above him.
"WHO DID YOU SELL IT TO?!"
He looked at me with anguish, and then spoke. "A guy by the name John Michaelson. He lives on the street, so I can't give you a location. Sorry."
"You have a picture?"
"I make it a point to take pictures of all of my clients, but-"
"Give it to me," I said, cocking the gun.
Pete looked angry, but took out a bag, leafed through it, and finally handed me a picture. I left without a word, studying the picture closely.
I had seen this guy before. I didn't remember where, but I remember I had.
I met Alice for dinner that night and showed her the picture. She looked at it in suprise, and then sat back in her chair, sighing.
"You know this guy?"
"Yeah. He's an ex."
"And let me guess. You didn't exactly part on good terms."
She smiled sadly. "Not really".
"Do you know where I can find him?"
"Yeah. He usually hangs out at the corner of second and chestnut, sitting on the bench panhandling."
"I'll have a talk with him."
After dinner, I walked into my apartment, hung up my coat, and poured myself a drink, sitting on the couch.
And then I heard a noise. I turned around to see where it was coming from, and I saw two very large men behind me, both armed.
"Anything I can do for you two gentlemen?"
With that witty remark I sprang up and leaped over the chair, using it as cover. Shots rang out all around me, but the chair soaked them all up. Turning, I shot two bullets from my revolver, sending one of the men scrambling for cover as the other fell down, hit in the chest.
In the silence that followed, I reloaded my gun and began stalking quietly around the apartment, looking for the other man.
I stepped over the body of his fallen comrade, looking behind the couch.
And then I felt the one thing that no one in the world ever wants to feel. That feeling that makes you know that there is no way in hell you are ever going to get out of this one. The one that every lno-holds-barred, loose-cannon cop like myself dreads.
It was the cold ring of metal pressing on the back of my neck that indicated there was a gun there.
"I think it's time you knew how things worked," the man said quietly, "You don't threaten drug dealers, you don't find pictures of their clients, and you don't kill my partner."
"But I believe I just did all of those things," I said.
The man ignored me, "And now, I'm afraid to say that you die. Goodbye, detective."
He cocked the gun, and I heard the deafening bang of it going off.
But I didn't feel anything.
The cold metal left my neck as the man crashed to the floor, completely dead.
I looked around and saw Alice smiling in satisfaction, standing in my fire escape, peering through the broken window.
She stepped in and set down her gun, wrapping her arms around my neck.
"Just thought I'd drop by".