Secrets and Eyes

August 26, 2010


Detective Walsaw sipped at his now-cold coffee, lowering his eye to the telescope again as one of the subjects of his surveillance bounced into view. Through the shotgun microphone trained on the Waterfront apartment, he could hear nearly everything that occurred, but he relied on the broad, short-barreled telescope and the convenience of windows to put it all in context.

Of course, he wasn’t really a detective any more. Or even a police officer at all. He was just Chris. The CSA had changed all that, with their bounty payments and brutality removing the need for salaries, pensions, evidence and trials, but the case continued to fascinate him… and he had nothing better to do.

“Hellohhh!” Subject Phorbes, alias Dolly, Dee, DeeDee or Double-D, sounded breathless and slightly hoarse as she answered the phone. She listened for a moment, shoving back the tangled mane of long, blonde hair that was clinging to her face. Her blue eyes looked wide and innocent but having listened to the apartment for most of the night, he knew that was a lie.

His other subject stepped into view, pressing a mug of coffee into the girl’s free hand. Ian Carlyle, a man with a string of outstanding arrest warrants as long as your arm, for everything from petty theft to a series of bombings… and a reputation for being a hard man to catch, despite his penchant for being a flash bastard. Phorbes took the phone from her ear for a moment, kissing him gratefully on the lips in a way that made Walsaw loosen his tie. “It’s Del.”

Carlyle looked away from the soft bundle in his arms for a moment (“Fuck knows how,” Walsaw muttered.) and said something the microphone didn’t quite catch, but from his expression, the old detective could easily guess. The guy strutted his girl dressed in… well, what would best be described as “highlights”… and then went insane at every man who so much as looked at her. It was easy to imagine what he thought about the ones who had her phone number.

His pencil scratched softly at his notebook as he wrote down the name “Del.”

His eyes snapped back to the telescope. She was back on the phone again, her expression a mix of deep worry and alarm. “Oh god, of course! I’ll tell Ian – we’ll be there as soon as we can…” If the ex-cop hadn’t known what he did, he would have thought her a truly caring person just from her face right then, but that could change like the snap of a match, and had in the past. She put down the phone and looked at her partner. Chris would have paid money (and a couple of times, had) to have a woman look at him like that. “Something awful’s happened! I’ve got to help Del… Will you come with me?”

In the seedy apartment across the street, Walsaw snorted to himself. “Thought he just did… Bastard.”

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