True to the game iii, p.11
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       True to the Game III, p.11

           Teri Woods
 
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  “You want me to have narcotics put a tail on her?”

  Ellington shook her head. “Those guys are idiots. They all think they’re on Miami Vice or something. She’ll spot them a million miles away. We’ll all just have to take turns tailing her.”

  Davis nodded and lifted the telephone. Ellington strutted down the hall to see her boss, Lieutenant Mark Ratzinger.

  “In!” Ratzinger shouted.

  Ellington strutted into his office and plopped down in the chair opposite his desk.

  “What’s up, Toya?”

  “We got her.”

  Ratzinger lifted his head from his paperwork.

  “Her? As in her?”

  Ellington nodded. “Ms. Money Bags. She’s trying to skip town.”

  Ratzinger lifted his telephone without saying another word to Ellington. “Hey, Sammy, this is Mark over in vice. I need you to put a tail on a suspect for me.” Ratzinger lifted a paper from his desk. “Gena Scott. License plate Sierra, Charlie, Alpha, six, five, six. Keep the tail loose; this is a priority suspect. And if you can, give me details of all her stops. Thanks, Sammy.”

  “You really want those guys in on this?” Ellington asked.

  Ratzinger shrugged. “They’re just going to follow her. Every time she stops, they’ll call me, and I’ll call you. Get out in the streets and be ready for my call.”

  Ellington nodded.

  “Anybody call Cleaver yet?”

  “Dickie’s doing it now.”

  Ratzinger shook his head. “I don’t trust that guy. I know he’s your ex-partner, but it’s something about him . . .”

  Ellington nodded. “He is one to be watched closely.”

  “I want this one controlled. No coming back on us.”

  Ellington nodded.

  “I want you to handle it. Handle everything, you understand?” Ratzinger asked, wondering if Ellington had gotten his point.

  “I’ll put a hole in the little cunt’s forehead myself.”

  Ratzinger nodded. “Good.” She got my point, he thought.

  Ellington rose and hurried out of the room.

  Ratzinger sipped from his cup of warm coffee, then rubbed his tired eyes. He couldn’t believe that things were finally coming together. He shifted through the papers on his desk until he found his boating magazine. He turned to the classified pages in the back and stared at the boat he had been dreaming about since the current issue came out. He could see himself retired, sailing off the shores of Cape Cod in the four-hundred-thousand-dollar beauty. He was one or two days away from having the money to leave this shit behind, one or two days away from having the money for his dream boat. He couldn’t wait.

  Ellington stormed out of the police station and climbed into her car. Davis was right on her heels. As soon as he hopped inside, they were on their way. Neither paid any attention to the gray van parked in the corner of the police station parking lot.

  “I can’t believe you!” Agent Phil Covington shouted, tossing his headset onto the console. “We’re dead! We are so dead! Galvani is going to fire us, and then kill us!”

  “He’s not going to fire us,” Agent Josh Harbinger replied. “Lavon, tell him.”

  “He’s not going to fire you,” Agent Lavon Stokes said flatly, without peering up from her computer.

  “Yeah, right! He’s going to fire us all, and then he’s going to shoot us, and then he’s going to throw us in jail!”

  “He’s not going to throw us in jail,” Josh told him with a smile.

  “He didn’t authorize this! There’s no way you can get me to believe that Galvani authorized this!” Phil said hysterically.

  “Authorized what?” Josh smiled.

  “Josh! You bugged a police station! Jesus! You bugged a lieutenant’s office! A lieutenant who just happens to be in charge of the vice squad!”

  “A dirty lieutenant, I remind you.” Josh retorted.

  “We wouldn’t have known that unless we bugged him!” Phil threw himself back in his chair. “Josh, we are in so much trouble. We have broken so many statutes that it isn’t funny! And you brought me along! How could you have done this to me!”

  Josh patted Phil on the shoulder. “Relax, Phil. You’re going to be a hero. Tell him, Lavon.”

  “You’re going to be a hero,” Lavon said flatly, without peering up from her computer.

  “See, Lavon sees the big picture,” Josh told him. “We’ve got them on conspiracy to commit extortion, murder, robbery, and about a half dozen other criminal statutes.”

  “Oh, God, what am I going to tell my mother when I get fired?” Phil lamented.

  “You’re not getting fired,” Josh told him, then he added, “Lavon.”

  “You’re not getting fired,” she said just as flatly as she had before, still focused on the screen of her computer.

  “Do you think they get care packages in Terre Haute federal prison?” Phil asked.

  “Yes, but you’re not going to Terre Haute,” Josh told him. “We’re sending those assholes to federal prison. We need backup. Lavon, you got that license plate number?”

  “Sure did.”

  “Call Rich and tell him to tail her. No, change that. Tell him to tail them. We want to catch them when they’re making their move. If they see a tail on her, they may back off. Let him know that it’s cops he’s tailing, so hang back and be on his Ps and Qs.”

  “I can’t believe you bugged the police department,” Phil whined.

  “Phil, we’re going to save this girl and put away a bunch of crooked cops. See, I told you that bastard Cleaver was dirty!”

  Lavon nodded. “You did say that.”

  “Did you at least get a judge to sign off on the wiretaps?” Phil asked.

  Josh smiled deviously, looking like Brad Pitt’s twin. “I did.”

  Phil shook his head. “No, no you didn’t. Josh, please tell me you didn’t.”

  Josh nodded. “I did.”

  “You got my father to sign off on the warrant?” Phil asked incredulously.

  Josh nodded and smiled. “I did. Your father is a federal magistrate.”

  “This whole thing is bordering on illegal. Christ, I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a federal penitentiary,” Phil whined.

  “Improper, not illegal,” Josh corrected. “Lavon, we need to get this tape in front of a grand jury pronto. Who’s the best deputy United States district attorney to get this to?”

  “Watts, I’d say, seeing as how this thing was so fast and loose.”

  “Can you get this over to Watts for me?”

  Lavon exhaled. “Why did I know you were going to say that?”

  Josh kissed her on her cheek. “I got to go and smooth things out with Galvani. Get him on board.”

  Phil shook his head. “Galvani’s going to kill you.”

  “We’re heroes, Phil. Relax.”

  “What am I supposed to do in the meantime?”

  “Check with the guys in the van over at Philly PD’s headquarters.”

  “Another van? You got another van? You brought more guys in on this thing? Who’d you bug over there, the chief of police?”

  Josh smiled. “Cleaver’s office.”

  “You bugged Internal Affairs?” Phil exhaled. “We’re dead.”

  “We’re FBI agents, and we’re going to put those crooked sons-a-bitches away for good!” Josh reassured him. He fixed his collar and climbed out of the surveillance van. “Phil.”

  “What?”

  “Smile.”

  Hold Me Down

  Hello?”

  “Hey, Gena, this is Rik. What’s up?”

  “Hey, Rik! How ya doing?”

  “Trying to make it, but it’s hard, lil’ mamma.”

  “Shit, you telling me. My whole life has been turned upside down this last month. Really, since Qua . . .”

  “I know. I miss that nigga too. You know, Qua was my boy.”

  Silence fell for several moments as Gena thought of yesteryears and Rik th
ought of what to say next.

  “Hey, Gena. I need to talk to you about something.”

  “What’s up?”

  “When I was locked up, you offered to hook your boy up with a little something-something.”

  “Yeah . . .”

  “When I got knocked, they found everything. And everything wasn’t mine. I owed some people. And the people I owed aren’t a very understanding bunch. They came to see me, and they let me know what was going to happen if they didn’t get they bread.”

  “Damn. I’m sorry to hear that. Rik, you know I’m here for you.”

  “I was hoping that you would say that. I need to get these guys off of my back, and then come up. You know me, Gena, it won’t take long for me to get back on my feet.”

  “I know you a hustler, boy.”

  “Can you do me something?”

  “What you talking?”

  “A half a ticket, no more. I can get it all back to you in a couple months. Say four months at the latest.”

  “That’s a lot of bread, Rik. Besides, I wasn’t planning on being around here four months from now.”

  Damn, bitch, a month ago you had two mil to get me out of jail, now a half is a problem? Rik couldn’t help his greed, but he didn’t want it to show. “Gena, this is your boy. I’m good for it. And even if you ain’t around here, planes fly. I’ll take it to wherever you at.”

  “Damn, why now?” How the hell am I going to get the money and get it to him, and do everything else I need to do before I fly the chicken coop?

  “Gena, you’re the only person I can turn to. They gonna kill me, and my whole family, if I don’t pay them.”

  “All right. I’ll get it to you. But you gonna have to meet me today.”

  “No, problem; just tell me when and where.”

  “Um, let me think.” Gena thought of all she had to do and the places she had to go. “Okay, I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

  “Cool. Thanks, baby.”

  “Talk to you later.”

  “Bye.”

  “Later.”

  Quadir strolled across the lanai and seated himself on a recliner near the pool. The maid had set him a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade out by the pool, and he wanted to take in the sunset and relax. He had a lot on his mind, a lot of things that he had to make sense of.

  He couldn’t help replaying his last conversation with Gena before she snuck out to only God knew where. In a way, it was his fault. Maybe if he had stopped her when he first had the chance at the apartment building that night, she would never have gotten onto the highway, never have stopped at that gas station, and never have met Jerrell. Damn, he was really going to kill her. She had gotten caught up in something that was completely beyond her control. He thought back to New Year’s Eve and the night he was gunned down, the night he almost died. He remembered how scared she looked, how broken she was, how her tears and screams for him flew freely out of her. He could hear her voice begging him not to leave her, begging him to hold on, begging him not to die. She hadn’t asked for him to be shot, and she hadn’t asked for him to die before her eyes. It wasn’t her fault that she was forced out onto the street, forced to survive without him, without anything, and forced to make something out of nothing. She was just playing the cards she was dealt. And now, it seemed as if she had been dealt the losing hand.

  “Hey, you okay? You always seem like you’re miles away,” said Amelia as she bent and kissed Quadir on the side of his face.

  “Yeah, I’m fine. What are you doing here? Aren’t you suppose to be at the hospital?”

  “Would you believe I have the afternoon off? I know, go figure. There was a mixup with the schedules. So I have an entire day to play house with you,” she said, unable to control her smile as she sat on his lap, straddling him like a pony.

  “Wow,” said Quadir, never once taking his mind off Gena’s situation. He pulled Amelia closer to him and kissed her lips.

  “Oh, and did you hear what happened?”

  “No, what?”

  “Haven’t you heard the news?”

  “Yeah?”

  “I overheard my colleagues talking about an elderly woman who had been beaten and raped. She underwent surgery and was placed in ICU. They asked me to look at her chart and check on her. Which I did. I looked in on her, and it turned out the elderly woman is Gena’s grandmother.”

  “Really?” Quadir gave her his full attention. He had had absolutely no idea that the family on the news was Gena’s.

  Amelia shrugged. “She suffered some pretty traumatic injuries. She’s having a lot of complications.”

  “What type of injuries?”

  Amelia shook her head and looked down. “She was raped, Quadir, brutally raped and brutally beaten. She has all kinds of injuries, from internal bleeding to a concussion.”

  “I didn’t hear all that on the news. She was raped?”

  “Yes, and beaten.”

  “Damn, I can’t believe it,” he said as he began to pace up and down the lanai.

  “I thought you heard the news.”

  “Yeah, but I wasn’t paying attention, you know?”

  How can you pay attention to anything when all you do is daydream about Gena and your hidden treasure?

  “Do the police know anything? Did they get the bastard who did it?”

  Amelia shook her head. “No suspects, from what I hear.”

  “Raped. That’s crazy, right?”

  “Sick, really sick,” Amelia agreed.

  Quadir shook his head. “She’s an old woman. Who in the fuck would do that to an old woman?”

  “A sick and crazy man,” Amelia whispered. “There was also the grandson, Gary Scott. He’s the one that tried to protect her, but the rapist shot him in the stomach. So I checked in on him also.”

  “How’s he doing?”

  “He’ll live, but he’s going to need multiple surgeries. He was shot in the stomach, you know, his lower intestine is useless for now. He’ll probably wear a bag for the rest of his life unless surgery can correct it.”

  “A shit bag?”

  “Um, yeah, if that’s what you want to call it. Then there’s another granddaughter, Bria Scott, who was assaulted by this same guy. The police brought the girl into the ER. I saw her, but I didn’t treat her.”

  “Well, what happened?”

  “Apparently this rapist guy felt her up and kissed her on the mouth after shooting her date, who was also brought into the ER, but died on the operating table. I think his name was Kevin Coffield. Police had the medics swab the girlfriend’s tongue for DNA at the crime scene. I guess they checked it against the DNA taken from the grandmother and got a match.”

  “Damn, that’s crazy,” said Quadir, thinking things over. “No wonder I can’t find Gena. I bet she’s scared to death.”

  “Yeah, she probably thinks it’s you coming after your money. I’m sure she’s avoiding you like the plague.”

  “Why would you say something like that?” Quadir asked, taking offense.

  “Gosh, I’m just saying, she was here, realized you were alive, and not only have you moved on, but you want your money back. She leaves, out the window, and never returns. She’s not come back and she’s not made any contact. She knows she has your money; she knows that you want it, I’m sure. Meanwhile, someone attacks her grandmother and her cousins, allegedly looking for her. In her mind, who else would be looking for her, except you, for your money? Which technically is correct because that’s exactly what you do every day with your life.”

  “So, it’s not random?” asked Quadir, completely ignoring her sarcasm.

  Amelia shook her head. “Some fucking animal is fucking with them.” Amelia nodded solemnly. “And he’s after Gena.”

  “Maybe he’s not after Gena, maybe you just think that,” said Quadir, really hoping Amelia didn’t know what she was talking about.

  “Well, after I heard my colleagues talking about the family of patients they had treated, I spoke
to a friend of mine who is a detective at the Thirty-first Precinct. She told me that in both incidents, the rapist was looking for Gena.”

  “Somebody’s after Gena? What the fuck for?”

  Amelia lifted an eyebrow as if stating the obvious. Quadir nodded, once his mind caught up.

  “They want my money!”

  “Bingo!”

  “Jesus, that fucking money! Talk about more money more problems. Somebody’s after my money!”

  “Your money and God only knows what else,” Amelia said as she rubbed Quadir’s arm. “She’s in danger,” said Amelia as she rose and lifted her shirt over the top of her head to reveal a stunning two-piece.

  “And the police are probably trailing her ass four cars deep trying to catch this guy.”

  “They don’t know where she is, Qua. She’s disappeared, gone underground.”

  Quadir leaned back on the sofa. His mind was trying to process all of the information.

  “The police can’t find her, but I bet if there’s one person who could find her, it’s you,” Amelia said softly before kissing his cheek, then jumping into the swimming pool for a couple of laps.

  I can’t believe someone hurt her grandmother. That’s some sick shit. Not only was her grandmother attacked, but her cousin, Gary, had also been shot, not to mention the attack on Bria’s boyfriend, and the police said they were all related. They didn’t release the motive and claimed they had no clues as to who the assailant was. Quadir remembered that the reporter also indicated that the family had refused to cooperate with the police, giving them very little information to go on. There was a lot going on, too much going on. I wonder if Gah Git is going to be okay. Quadir knew how much Gena loved her grandmother. Gah Git was all that Gena had for most of her life. Their recent conversation had been a good one at first; he had learned so much about what she felt, about what she went through. She still loved him and that gave him an added comfort despite the fact that they weren’t together.

  “Why are you still sitting here? It’s getting dark, you know.” Amelia emerged from the pool. She tied a towel around her narrow waist and ventured toward him. Quadir watched her the entire way.

 
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