Jose’s black sedan rolled to a slow stop in a vacant parking lot underneath an overpass. He shut off the engine as he squinted out the foggy window to his left searching for someone.
“Ok Elaine. I need you to stay low. Don’t get out of the car for any reason do you understand?” Elaine nodded her eyes wide with curiosity. A few silent minutes later a blue small pick up truck cautiously pulled into the parking lot across the street. Jose threw his badge into the consol and shoved his cell phone in his pocket. “That’s him. I’ll be right back.” He slipped out of the car and strode across the street.
A tall lanky man nervously exited the blue truck and craned his neck around, glaring at Jose’s silent car. Elaine ducked down despite the car’s tinted windows. She peeked up to see Jose put his hand out to the man to shake. They began to talk, heads bent low and without Elaine being able to hear anything she easily became bored. She blew on her hands as the car cooled to the surrounding winter temperature. She glanced at her cell phone noting they had spoken for approximately 15 minutes. When she looked up again she saw that the windows were fogging up and she couldn’t see as well through them. She let out a snort of frustration as she tried to inch closer to get a better view.
If I can just get a good swipe I could see better, she thought to herself. Carefully she leaned over and using the sleeve of her wool jacket she wiped away the fog to get a better view. That was when the tall lanky man looked in her direction and noticed the gesture. She held her breath as he began to point at the car and yell animatedly. Jose looked back and put out his hands trying to calm the man down. The man reached into this back pocket and pulled out a gun pointing it at Jose.
Elaine gasped as Jose put his hands up, using slow gestures to keep the man calm. Elaine glanced down and noticed Jose had left his gun in the front seat. She grabbed it and jumped out of the car aiming it at the man.
“Drop your gun!” she called. She inched around the car steadily moving closer to the men.
“Look lady, I will not hesitate to shoot your friend here so I suggest you put your gun down.” The man snarled at her.
“Mack, look, she’s with me. She’s not a cop; she just came along for the ride.”
“She looks like a cop to me.” He stared at Jose. “I told you man, you bring anyone else along the deal was over and you’re dead.”
“Trust me Mack. She’s not going to rat you out, I promise.”
“I trusted you….”Mack glanced at Elaine then paused, recognition dawning on his face. “It’s you. You’re the one he’s after.” Mack made a noise that sounded like the mix between a laugh and snarl.
He stared at Jose. “You’re helping her? Oh this is real good man.” He shook his head and backed slowly away still steadily holding the gun to Jose’s head. “Lady, you want a piece of advice? Run. Get as far away from here as possible. I don’t know how much that will help you because Nick, he’s got people everywhere.” He looked back at Jose. “And I mean everywhere.” He smiled wickedly at the both of them as he opened the truck door and climbed in, never dropping the gun.
“He’s got this whole city in the palm of his hand.” Mack’s laughter was drowned out by the roar of his engine. He sped off into the night, tires squealing in his wake. Elaine dropped her arms; they felt like lead after tensely holding them up at Mack for so long. Jose was immediately at her side, his hands on her shoulders rubbing her arms.
“You ok?” he asked.
She looked up at him, her cheeks red with embarrassment. “Sorry I gave you away. I shouldn’t have tried to wipe the fog off the windows. I didn’t think he would see me.”
Jose sighed. “Yea you did make me lose my lead.” His smile broadened. “But not before he gave me some great information. Come on we can discuss it over some hot chocolate.”
Elaine shook her head. “Unless he told you where Nick is secretly hiding out and how we can get in to him there, I doubt his lead could help.”
Jose stopped, his smile broadening more until his dimple winked at her. “It was something like that.” Elaine’s mouth dropped in surprise. “Come on I know the perfect spot that has the best hot chocolate and apple pie. We’ve got to devise a plan if we’re going to catch Nick.”
To Be Continued…