Authors: Michel Prince
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Genre Fiction, #Holidays, #Multicultural & Interracial, #cop, #valentines day romance, #red hot valentine, #holiday romance, #interracial
“Fine, but if we spend half the shift 10-7 because you’re dropping loads around the East Side, it’ll be suspect.”
“Noonan. Peterson,” O’Leary barked. “We know you two love whispering sweet nothings to each other, but save it for when you’re alone in your car together.”
“It’s not the same since you stopped providing the script,” Noonan’s deep baritone voice seemed to echo off the walls. “Your erotic poetry gets Peterson so damn hot it’s all I can do to keep him off me.”
“One day Noonan you’ll be as deep as I am.”
“That’s what he said.”
The room, that had been stifling a laugh since Sarg called them out, erupted in laughter.
“Get all your perverted asses out there and relieve the day shift coffee drinkers.”
“Yes, Sir,” the room said as they all took their leave.
O’Leary came up to Les and Marcus and pulled them aside.
“Noonan, show some respect. Someday you may be stuck up there with a group of assholes not payin’ attention.”
“That’d never happen to me O’Leary.”
“Oh yeah, why’s that?”
“On account of I can read and write so they said I was overqualified to be a Sergeant.”
With that Marcus and Les took off to their car.
“Why are you always giving O’Leary shit?” Marcus asked as they reached the auto pool. Not that Marcus minded. He’d back Noonan in any situation, but O’Leary wasn’t that bad.
“He’s lazy and belongs where he is, behind a desk. The three times a year his potbelly waddles out on the street I fear for the safety of all involved. I don’t know how he got through the academy. I just can’t respect an officer that didn’t perform where it counts. Out there, under fire, with only a jacket covering one third of his body and not the most important part, his damn brain.”
“You can drive today,” Marcus offered and Les raised an eyebrow.
“I assume you got your license when you were sixteen. You did grow up in the boonies though. Did you get a farm permit instead, Opie?”
“Got shot and I missed it?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
Les climbed into the patrol car and pulled his seatbelt on while Marcus powered on their laptop.
“In seven years you’ve never willingly given me the keys.”
“You drive all the time.”
“And you pout in the passenger seat.”
“I never pout.”
Right then Marcus’ phone vibrated and his instant reaction to reach for it had Les busting out in laughter.
“McMillan’s cousin must have been some piece of ass to have you whipped that bad.”
“For the third day in a row, I’m not dating, sleeping with, or talking to McMillan’s cousin.”
“Then who has you reaching like they have a weapon at the ready.”
“Dispatch to Car 74, are you in service?” dispatch crackled over the radio.
“Car 74 to dispatch, beginning tour,” Marcus replied and pointed to the garage door to which Les ground his teeth in irritation.
When Les turned left Marcus glanced at his phone.
You aren’t the only one looking forward to Sunday, if I had time to dream I know you’d consume them.
“I saw that,” Les said even though his head was turned away from Marcus.
“Good, now watch this.” Marcus held his phone up and took a picture of Les growling at him to text to Jenna.
Makes me miss your beautiful brown eyes more and more.
“That was stupid,” Les said with a smug look.
“Just don’t cry when she begs for my number.”
“I’ll control myself. Just make her scream my name during sex.”
“They all do, Peterson, they all do.”
“What do you think an architect makes in a year?”
“Salary?” Les shook his head. “I don’t know I guess it depends on what they’re building.”
“If they we’re designing say…a casino.”
“For a reservation or Vegas?”
“Jesus, Les, I don’t have a full dossier.”
“Why you so testy?”
“The woman I’ve been texting—”
“The one whose next text will be ‘give me the sexy white guy’s number’.”
“Sure, she’s up for partner. I just thought in the vast cavern that is your brain you’d have an idea what that means.”
“They pay me triple to be your partner,” Les joked. “What does it matter? Are you a cop because it’s in your blood or because we have good bennies?”
“I win the lottery—”
“And you’d still be putting your name in when a detective job is open. You’re a cop. It’s what you love. As long as you have the three Ps you’re happy.”
“What three Ps?” Marcus glared at Les.
“Police work, puzzles, and pussy. If you cared about money you’d be bouncing, providing private security, or one of the other side hustles other guys do. She makes more money than you? Guess what, you’ll never have to do more than what you love to provide for your family.”
“More? Or more, more?”
“You have a phone, look it up. Geez, and you want to be a detective.”
Dispatch contacted them before Marcus could complete his search, and the night got away from him. They handled a few calls, but for the most part it was a quiet night. Although Marcus liked the freedom of texting Jenna while Les investigated bathrooms in multiple gas stations, slow nights tended to be more nerve racking as they waited for the dam to break.
You gonna teach me all your little codes.
You know, 10-4 good buddy.
Ha! They’re not that exciting.
Hey, I might need your assistance someday
A cat burglar, peeping Tom, stuck zipper.
LOL, I’ll remember that.
And just let me in and I’ll stop peeping.
I don’t know if I’ll make it until Sunday.
I’m off at 11, I’m always up for a late night snack before bed.
Before or in?
Marcus dropped the phone when Les yanked his door open. Damn, if Jenna delivered on what she’d been promising he might need to take sick leave to recover.
“Dispatch to Car 74,” the radio crackled as if they knew Les was back in the car. “Are you available?”
“Car 74 to dispatch 10-4.”
“Car 74, meet with Car 43 and Car 27 for a civil disturbance beginning on Maria and Maryland.”
“10-4, en-route to location.”
Les flipped on the lights and sirens as they screeched down Minnehaha Ave to Maryland. McMillian in Car 27 was already on scene, but waiting for backup before engaging the fight.
“Car 74 to dispatch,” Marcus called on the radio.
“Car 74, please hold.”
“No can do dispatch, we’re going to need at least three more units, possibly five. Fight in progress multiple assailants.”
“10-4, Car 74, additional units in route.”
“You ready?” Les asked.
“They didn’t run when McMillian showed up.”
“Would you?” Les tried to ease Marcus’ nerves.
“They don’t care that we’re here. I thought we squelched this shit during the summer. Fucking teenagers.”
When McMillian and Kent saw Noonan and Peterson they all nodded in acknowledgement. Although it seemed as if hours had passed since their car had arrived, it had been barely a minute. When Marcus was in a high-risk situation the world slowed for him. It’d always been that way, playing ball, tests in school; it was as if his mind could pull him out as it quickly added up the scenario.
Twenty to thirty people were in the group of kids ranging from what appeared to thirteen to twenty-one-year-olds. Mixture of black, Asian, and white or Hispanic—in the dim glow of the streetlights he couldn’t be sure. His first fear was gang or racial war, but the kids seemed pretty mixed. Male and female with four major altercations occurring. He’d let 27’s crew handle the girl-fight going on at the edge of the crowd. They looked underage and ready to kill—sadly, over nothing, he was sure.
The four of them began dispersing the crowd so they could reach the middle where fists were flying. Marcus spread his long fingers to tighten his black leather gloves. One of the kids flew back from an upper cut and landed on the steps to the porch of a house with music blaring so loud the windows were rattling. It was then Marcus saw the young dark-skinned youth pick up a hammer and lunge back toward the crowd.
Les had his Taser out and Marcus his standard issue Glock. Not again, not again, not again, Marcus prayed.
“Now son,” Les began. “This has gotten way out of control. I’m gonna need you to put down the hammer.”
Marcus wanted to look behind him because he couldn’t hear if back-up had arrived or if the other kids were restrained yet. His gun felt like an anvil at the end of his extended hands.
“You got three options here,” Les continued. “Option one is you put down the hammer and we take you into custody. Option two is I Taser you, you piss your pants and then spend the next few hours at Regions handcuffed to a bed.”
“Fuck you,” the kid who couldn’t have been more than fifteen cried. Thankfully the hammer stayed by his leg and he didn’t raise it an inch. “Did you see what that asshole did? I got the right to defend myself. I ain’t no punk!”
“We’re here to defend you. We got him now, but you need to put that weapon down.”
Sweat trickled down Marcus’ cheek as he tried to take in as much of the area without losing focus on the kid less than three steps from him. If he so much as flinched Marcus would have to unload his gun into this kid’s center mass.
“What’s your name, son?” Les asked, more to let Marcus know he would be approaching from his right.
“Okay, Ronny, I didn’t get to option three, but I’m going to tell you the last thing Officer Peterson wants to do is explain to your parents why he had to kill you.”
Ronny dropped the hammer to the ground by his feet.
“That was smart,” Marcus said. “Now kick it away from you and walk toward Officer Noonan.”
Les holstered his Taser and took out his handcuffs. As soon as the first cuff was on Ronny, Marcus blew out a relieved breath and lowered his gun.
“Marcus, your nine!” Les’ commanding voice could only mean one thing. Unfortunately for Marcus it came two seconds too late.
Jenna had never been a slave to her phone. Half the time it didn’t make it out of her bag when she was at work, but this week it sat on her desk, nightstand, or next to her where ever she was sitting.
Marcus was funny, sexy, and charming. She needed the Mississippi River to stay between them because by Sunday he might as well pick her up naked for all the willpower she’d possess by then.
“Hey lady, it’s almost nine.” Brenda poked her head into Jenna’s office.
“I know and I’ve finally reinserted all the weight bearing walls genius boy removed. Why do we let designers touch our blueprints?”
“Because it’s all about the way the light reflects off of their ass cheeks in the morning,” Brenda teased.
“Like I didn’t think of that and used this weird thing called Calculus so a stiff wind won’t blow the whole damn building down.”
“I can stay for a little bit until you finish.”
“No. I have—” Jenna’s phone did a little dance as it vibrated across her smooth glass topped desk.
“Oooh, sexy cop again?”
“I don’t know.” Jenna fought the urge to snatch the phone up immediately.
“Well,” Brenda said as she strode toward the desk. “Since you don’t seem to care…”
Brenda snatched the phone and crossed to the corner.
“I don’t care,” Jenna said, then crossed her arms and held tight as long as she could. “Okay, I care. Give me my phone.”
“Not after I saw you turn to jelly in your chair earlier today. I wanna know what the sexting King…”
Brenda’s face fell and lost all color as she scanned the screen.
“Jenna,” she said with a hard swallow.
“Jenna, sit down.”
“Why do I need to sit down?” Jenna nervously laughed. “He didn’t send me a picture of his dick or something.”
“I don’t think he sent this text.”
Brenda passed Jenna the phone and as she read the words her head spun and legs buckled. She should have taken Brenda’s advice and sat because when her legs gave way she landed on the edge of her chair and it rolled away, causing her to fall on her ass.
“I don’t think I can date a cop,” Jenna said as she looked into her friend’s mournful eyes from her collapsed position on the floor. “I mean why would his partner send this to me? We haven’t even kissed?”