Strays

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“You have the right to remain silent,” Detective Caleb Greene recited his cliché speech with his gun drawn, as the perp was holding a knife. Greene slowly approached, preparing to cuff him. “Anything you say can-”

Without warning, the suspect turned and ran, causing Caleb to sigh. Why did they always run? The man made it around the house as Greene took off after him, hesitant to shoot due to the amount of paperwork that would follow if he did. He turned the corner and was caught off guard as a knife lunged at his throat. He swore under his breath, narrowly avoiding the blade and mentally adding “assaulting an officer” to the man’s list of crimes. Fortunately for Caleb, the suspect was clumsy, being more accustom to beating drugged women than trained officers. He grabbed the knife arm and twisted it behind the perp’s back, forcing him to drop the blade as the detective slammed him, face-first, into the building.

“As I was saying,” Caleb continued as he slipped out his handcuffs. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” He read the rights as he made the collar and led him to the waiting car. Other officers were escorting the women out of the house. Caleb could see a look on their faces he’d learned to recognize over the years. Women who sold themselves always seemed to have a specific look about them. It was a combination of despair and desperation. They all looked as if they were missing a piece of themselves. The ones who sold themselves for drugs, like the ones this criminal offered, were that much worse.

Caleb roughly shoved the dealer into the car. The man’s name was Drew Hendricks. It had taken them a month and the testimony of a cuffed hooker to catch him. Now, his prospects looked grim. Greene climbed into the front seat and headed towards the station. Drew remained in sullen silence the whole way there. Caleb knew his type. The criminal probably thought he might still get off. They often believed their girls wouldn’t turn on them, but once the drugs or money stopped coming in, prostitutes didn’t prove to be the most loyal bunch. Some might stay quiet, but most would be sent home to find another fix after providing a statement.

He booked the man and headed to his desk to file a report.

“Good job out there today, Greene,” Police Chief Gregson told him, coming over to his desk.

“Thank you, sir.” Caleb gave a smile. “It was a group effort, though.”

“So, did you give any thought to our earlier conversation?” the chief asked, leaning against his desk.

“Look, I get that most of the officers feel the need to have a partner but I just don’t, chief.”

“Well, that’s not really your choice. We have certain rules we have to follow.” Gregson sighed. “But I’ll put off forcing a partner on you as long as I can.”

“I appreciate that,” he replied. Caleb liked his chief. Gregson was never one to pry or push the officers too hard, but that didn’t mean they could get away with being lazy or difficult. Every officer knew that as long as you did your job and treated each other with some degree of respect, there was nothing to fear.

“We’ve got Hendricks in interrogation room one,” Sargent Donovan told Caleb, who nodded.

“I’ll be right there,” he assured the man, as he stood and looked to his chief. “If you’ll excuse me…”

Gregson nodded. “Don’t let me stand in your way.”

Detective Greene grabbed the Hendricks file and headed in to where the man sat, still remaining silent. Well, he had the right to do that, after all. Caleb sat down, looking through the file and refusing to acknowledge the other man in the room for a few minutes.

This made Drew Hendricks uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to show it. “Are you here to question me or what?”

“Question you?” Caleb still didn’t look at him. He was calm, collected and in control, which made the criminal more nervous. “There’s no real need for that. Your girls will give us all the information we need. If they don’t give you up, they’ll certainly give up your clients and they’re not bound to be happy with you. Even without that, we found five pounds of coke in your basement and you tried to kill a police officer. Things don’t look good. I don’t need to question you.” He looked up at Drew, who was looking less confident by the minute. “I just thought I’d do you the courtesy of offering you a chance to clear your conscience.”

Hendricks shifted a bit. “I want immunity.”

Caleb chuckled. “Nice try.” He closed the file. “Tell you what, give me your client list and I’ll put in a good word with the DA.”

Greene could practically see the gears turning in Drew’s head. “I want protection.”

“We can do that,” Caleb promised, pushing over a pen and some paper.

Drew took it, hesitantly, and began writing.



Jessica Wright

Edited: 22.06.2019

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