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  - Chapter 1
  - Chapter 3  
  - Chapter 4  


"Fuck you, you fuckin' cracker-assed pig!" yelled the fat hooker. She still had the rubber tube wrapped around her arm, just above the elbow, from her last fix and it whipped about as she waved her arms in defiance.

"Ain't that special? You kiss your mother with that mouth?" Officer Victor Chavez was in no mood. He was already cutting the bitch a break by not arresting her, and now she had the nerve to actually complain about it. God, sometimes he hated this job. "Now, you still need to move yourself out of here."

"Ain't got no right. Jus' makin' some money. You want a blow, officer? Twenty bucks. Maybe loosen your tight white ass right up," she cackled.

"I'm gonna count to ten. If you're still here, I'll assume you want to crash at DCJ tonight." DCJ was the Dade County Jail and the last place he wanted to be on this fine evening. Spending two hours filling out paperwork in that shit house for some ho' who inevitably would be sprung first thing in the A.M. by an overworked, cranky judge.

"Don't want no jail, master cracker," she mumbled, her eyes half closed, and she finally stumbled off down the street, narrowly missing a speeding Mustang. A screech of brakes was followed by a horn and a number of loud expletives.

"Kiss my ass!" the hooker yelled back behind her as she wobbled down the block and out of sight.

Chavez watched her teeter off, just as the small radio pack on his shoulder crackled to life. "Alpha 816. Thirty-eight, thirty-five with a knife in an alleyway at Northeast Seventy-ninth Street and Biarritz Drive, behind the Atlantic Cable Company. White male, fifties, gray beard. Complainant advises subject causing a disturbance."

Thirty-eight was a suspicious person. Thirty-five was a drunk. Put the two together and you have politically correct cop lingo for homeless person. A bottom-feeder call, which of course meant that Victor Chavez would get it.

Victor looked around at the boring mess that was now his daily life. Chasing hookers off the street, nickel-and-dime junkies back into their holes, homeless people to their next park bench. When he was done doing that, he could expect to pull a husband off his wife after pummeling her face in, and maybe respond to a car wreck caused by some overindulged idiot trying to find his way home off the Beach. It was barely one in the morning, and he had been on the job for just two hours.

Victor hated midnights. He hated being baby-sat by the Miami Beach P.D.'s powers-that-be practically every minute of his ten-hour shift. He hated shit patrols and vagrants pissing in the backseat of his car, and he wondered when-oh-when his penance would be paid and the account with his sergeant settled.

Every since the Cupid case he had been stuck on midnights, denied overtime, and passed over for the prime vacation times. When was it supposed to end? He was almost at his end, though, that was for sure. He was going to have to sit down with Sergeant Ribero next week and demand a normal schedule, a normal career. Not this piddly babysitting-the-homeless-and-fruitcake job. That was not what he signed up for when he became a cop almost four years ago. If need be, he would go to the Hialeah P.D., where his brother worked. Get a job as a cop and then maybe move up to detective after a few years. Fuck the fun of the Beach. It wasn't fun anymore, anyway.

He clicked back on the shoulder pack to respond. "Alpha 816. QSL from Twentieth and Collins." The literal translation for QSL was "I receive," though in Victor's case, it always meant "Shit rolls downhill, and I'm at the bottom."

No more. He could take no more. He actually had not even fucked up the Cupid case, when you thought about it. He had been the one to stop the son-of-a bitch as he tore over the McArthur Causeway with a dead girl in his trunk. Just one of the eleven women that the psycho had carved up. But in the eyes of his sergeant and the bitchy prosecutor, a carved-up dead body in a trunk meant shit. The stop-his stop-was "bad," and he had spent three long years trying to make amends. Well, no more.

Victor Chavez climbed into his squad car, happy he'd come to this decision. Happy to think that maybe, in a month or so, he would actually begin to like this job again. Let the chips fall where they may, he thought. Then he activated his blue lights and headed over to 79th and Biarritz to rustle some poor guy from the alley he probably called home.

Copyright © 2007 Jilliane Hoffman  All Rights Reserved.
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