Luigi sat in the metal folding chair, his curly silver locks trickling down between his shoulder blades. His goatee of the same color pointed to his folded hands set on the table in front of him, his eyes closed, almost as if in prayer. His image in the mirror was that of a martyr.
Dan, looking through the one way mirror thought he looked much more like the devil if Dan thought the devil existed. Bad people had a way of being calm that irked him to no end. Gary came in excitedly.
“Got the trainer’s testimony as well as a couple of other people to talk to,” Gary said. “This is going to be open and shut.” Gary watched Luigi for a second. “Luigi, even talking to your maker won’t get you out of here.”
Charles Hailey, a lifer in the uniform and currently serving as deputy chief of the precinct joined them at their version of the zoo. Charles was a small mixed breed that was an adopted kid so he never knew what box to check on the census. He carried himself like a man that had seen it all and somehow it never phased him. He expected the worst from humanity and unfortunately always found it. His deep bass voice was somber. “But his lawyer sure as hell did.”
Dan pounded the mirror with his fist, startling Luigi in the next room.
Gary couldn’t believe it. “Really? You’ve got to be joking.”
In the other room Luigi let a smile creep to his lips.
Charlie kept up the somber bit. “Nope. Seems Luigi is going to go states evidence on an extortion ring put together by a group at the track, including the trainer you brought in.”
“What?” asked Gary in disbelief mixing with anger. “Who’s prosecuting the case?”
“Laverne,” answered Charlie.
“Pops gets him elected and the Laverne rolls over whenever Pops wants to.” Gary was almost in pain. “Damn it! I told Bob, the trainer, that this was an easy slam dunk.”
“Yeah, well I was the one who made us go see Pops,” Dan chimed in.
Charlie looked at the two of them critically. “You went to see Pops about this?”
Dan nodded. “Look I can explain.”
Charlie stopped him dead with his stare. He turned to Gary. “And you let him?”
Gary looked down at his feet. “It seemed to make sense. I didn’t feel like having my ass dragged through the press.”
Charlie didn’t let up. “Well instead your shit trail went across my desk.”
“But how did he setup all this?” Dan asked. “We went straight over to the track after getting Pops to agree. It can’t happen that fast.”
Charlie’s body language screamed steamed, but his voice never broke stride. “That’s not your problem right now.” Charlie pointed at Luigi. “Kick him loose and then do something police like. Don’t make me talk to you again today.” With that Charlie walked out of the room, head held high, but eyes down low.
“I’ve got this one,” Dan said.
“Really, after the ups and downs you’ve been having? I’m not sure that’s wise,” Gary rebutted.
Dan gave a slight bow. “Okay, you’re probably right. You handle it.”
“That’s it?” Gary asked. “You’re giving up that easily?”
“What you said made sense.”
Gary left muttering to himself. Dan watched as Gary opened the door and waved his hand for Luigi to follow him. Luigi asked, “Does this mean I’m going back to the tank?”
“You’re playing a get out of jail free card,” Gary answered.
Luigi gave a wry smile. “I don’t understand.”
“Get your ass out of the chair and on your way home,” Gary said politely.
“But I thought you and Officer Cunningham wanted to talk to me. That’s why your thugs dragged me out of bed this morning.” Luigi was having way too much fun with this.
Gary kept on the Mr. Polite persona. “The police department expresses it’s sincerest apologies for any problems you had getting your ass out of bed.”
“I wonder if this constitutes harassment?” asked Luigi.
Gary smiled took on a much more sinister bent and his eyes almost glowed. “If you think you’re going to go after harassment charges please let me know. I will make sure they will be appropriately handled.”
Luigi realized he might be pushing it a bit to far. “No, that’s quite all right mistakes happen all the time.”
Dan muttered to himself in the other room, “Like when your mother said yes to your father?”
Gary pulled back in the sinister. “Yes, mistakes do happen. Thank you for being understanding. Do you wish me to walk you out?”
Luigi got up and walked past Gary. “No thanks. I know the way,” said Luigi
“I’m sure you do,” said Gary.
Luigi paused after Gary’s comment. Gary decided not to press his luck further. “Have a nice day,” Gary said. With that Gary walked into the other room where Dan was sitting now staring at the empty interrogation room.
“This is becoming a real crappy day, you know that?” Dan asked.
Gary sat down next to his partner. “You think? I hate letting that twerp go.”
“Don’t let that piece of junk get to you,” Dan said.
“I can hear you guys,” came Luigi’s voice from the hallway.
“If your still there in ten seconds I’ll be able to bring you up on conspiracy to interfere in an investigation.” Dan replied.
Luigi poked his head inside the door. “We both know that’s bull.”
Luigi looked to Gary. “You know that’s bull.”
“Sounds plausible to me,” Gary replied.
Luigi left the room. Gary smiled and punched Gary in the arm. Unfortunately it was the arm here the shoulder was bit.
“Ouch! Seven. Eight.”
Luigi called out from the hallway. “Okay, I give up.”
Luigi’s footsteps could be heard almost running down the hallway.
“So, what do we do now?” asked Gary.
“We do police like work, just like the boss said,” Dan said.
Gary nodded, then shook his head. “What police like work should we do?”
Dan smiled. “Maybe we look into what Pops is trying to pull.”
“That’s not going to be popular,” remarked Gary.
“As long as I don’t hear about it before you have something.”
Both men whipped around to see Charlie standing there, a ghost of a smile on his lips, which for Charlie was a full body guffaw. “If I do, it will be the first time I hear about it and will be pissed. Understood?”
“Yes sir!” Gary and Dan exclaimed at the same time.
Charlie just stood there looking at his two officers. “What else sir?” asked Dan.
The ghost smile faded into the ether. “One. Two.”
Dan was perplexed. “What?”
Gary got it. “Let’s get to work Dan.”
Dan hesitated, but Gary dragged him from his chair.
Dan finally got it
The two of them pushed past Charlie and ran down the hallway.