Part 013


Jenny looked at the face of the man leaning on her car and the badge he displayed.  She gave a slight smile to him, which he didn’t return.

“Detective Johnson,” she said with a casual nod of her head.

“Miss DiNapoli,” he replied, returning the nod.  “Care to take a walk?” he motioned before him.

She slowly strode down the sidewalk where he pointed, and he walked along side her.  “And how’s Mrs. Fronczak?” he asked.

“Nana’s OK.  If I’d known you were coming and I told her, she’d ask you to come in.”

“Sorry, strictly business.”

“I can tell you where I was when it happened.”

“You’re not even going to ask me before you go for that, are you?”

“Sorry, missed my cue.”

Detective Johnson took a moment before resuming with, “So where were you today?  Anyone can vouch for you?”

“I was with Shaun O’Connell all day.”

“Black Shaun, the Terror of Lake Erie?  Got yourself a hell of a character witness, girl.”

“He’s been clean for months, you know that.”

“Yeah, after ‘Big Bobby’ Russell hacked off his hand and foot.  Makes it tough to man a boat out there after getting a ‘warning’ like that.”

Jenny blew whiffs of hair from over her eyes through her bottom lip.  “So I’m seeing a pirate; happy?  Jealous?  What?”

“How about the West Seneca Crew he ran?  Still see them together?”

“You only showed me a badge, not a warrant.”

“Which I could get later after a trip downtown.”

“And here I thought you were one of the better cops.”

“Yeah, well.”

They walked to the end of the block in silence and took a turn to the right.

Jenny finally spoke up, “And if being around pirates were getting me in trouble right now, this wouldn’t be happening.”

“Not today.  The main focus of the force now is truck hijackers.”

“Pirates who drive cars.  Doesn’t seem right somehow.”

“You’re not hijacking trucks, then?”

Jenny gave him an incredulous look.  “So what do you really want, Russell?”

“Word is you went to Broadway Market, Jenny.  The other one, before you say anything.”

“You ask me to talk about it, you’d know what I’d say.”

“I do know that when you and the crew go there, you usually get rounds down on Genesee Street.”

“And that’s a problem these days?”

Russell pulled out his cell and called up a picture.  “Most of the places you and your crew hit are visited by this guy, DeWayne Parker.”

Jenny took his hand to get a better look at the picture.  “Why’s he a person of interest?”

“Suspected in three rapes.  Two were targets of opportunity after hours downtown, one as part of a breaking and entering in Kenmore.”

“Kenmore?  Must be brave or stupid, and I’m guessing number two.”

“If he was that stupid, we’d have him by now.  I’m hoping he gets thirsty and decides to have a drink where you guys are going.”

“And you want me to call you in if I see him?”

“I know you’d never turn another pirate or a fence, or anyone else working the underground trade.  This guy’s a rapist, and just because he hit someone on the West Side doesn’t mean he won’t go for anyone else.”

They kept walking in silence, turning the corner and going half a block before Jenny spoke.  “So you ever thought you’d end up a cop, Russell?”

“Hell, Jenny, I thought I’d have become a pro baseball player by now.  And did you think you’d be doing what you do?”

She smiled.  “I don’t think there was a single priest or nun at Saint Andrew’s who thought I’d be doing any of this.”

“Yeah.  Too bad the diocese closed down all their schools when we were teens; who knows where we’d have been if they didn’t shove everyone into what were left of the public schools?”

“I know a lot of folk who didn’t go to public school and ended up in the Sweet Trade.  One of Abe Harker’s enforcers is called ‘the Doctor,’ because he actually got a PhD in something before he started breaking knees for Cleveland.”

“Cleveland crews, you’d rat out to us on, right?”

“Civic pride, Russell, civic pride.”

They turned the corner, heading back towards Jenny’s car.

Jenny asked, “What’d it take to spend some more time together, like we used to?”

“I’m guessing a warrant or a protective custody order.”

“Or you could quit the force.”

“Girl, you do not give up a job in this economy.”

“So I guess this is it until you need a snitch again, huh?”

“You take care yourself, Jenny.”

“You too,” she said as he broke off and left her to get her crew together to go drinking…
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All content Copyright © 2011 James Ryan


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