A detective is confronted
Detective Joe Stepped out of his squad car. He rested his arm across the top of the door frame and looked down the dusty ruts that lead away from him. The sun beat down on his back and glistened off his steel grey hair.Running his fingers through it, he hoped the new cut didn't stand on end from the action. He moved his other hand to the holster as he watched a dust cloud follow a car towards him.
The red, 1966 GTO came to a stop. Ttwo federal agents stepped out and looked around the open field.
"You alone?" one asked.
"You blind?" Joe answered.
They looked at each other and the silent one nodded. They shut their doors and took enough steps to put them a few feet in front of their car and from his.
Joe didn't move.
They adjusted their stance a few times, then the talkative one spoke. "You know why we're here."
Joe continued to look at them and waited. This turned into a staring contest.
"Look, Joe this isn't anything against your job or the case. This is the higher ups ordering you to stand down and leave the case to proper channels. All you're doin' is messing in things that could get you killed."
"Like it did Susan? Are you telling me that I need to stop looking for her killer? What do I tell her parents?" Joe's fingers gripped the door. He wasn't surprised at the order, but to send two lowly agents out to the middle of no where to order him to back off the case was under-kill.
The silent man nodded again to the other who stepped a little closer. His hand went to his pocket and Joe froze.
"Don't move or one of you is dead." He propped his weapon on the window well and made a show of thumbing the safety.
The man stepped back, his hands up. "Hold on Joe. I wasn't reaching for my gun. I have something for you. Something I'm supposed to give you." He waited. The other man's hands, while not in the air, stayed in plain sight.
"You, lay your gun down and the other guy take whatever you have out of your pocket and put it on the hood, right here." Joe pointed to a spot near him.
The men followed his order and then stepped back to their original places.
"Now, tell me what's in the envelope. It doesn't look like my lunch, although I missed it."
"You know what it is. Money for you to use however you want to, just stay away from the case." They relaxed their stance when Joe moved from behind the door to pick up the package. Leafing through the bundles he raised his brows, it wasn't peanuts. There was quite a hefty amount. More than his salary by a few years.
"I want to be clear. Who gave you the money to give to me?" He looked at them without raising his head.
The two men stole a glance at each other then at Joe's car. "I see you don't have the camera on so I'll be frank. It was the Attorney General who actually handed me the package, but the Head of the FBI took the money from the NFL commissioner to add to it. It was a group effort I'd say." This time the silent one spoke. "You're mighty lucky they want to pay you to keep quiet and not have us kill you for it."
"You're right." Joe fingered the bills and smiled at the two men. "I'm sorry boys, but you won't be needing your ride home."
"What?" The two men looked at each other, then dove for their weapons. They never got them from where they lay on the ground when they were hit by tranq darts.
"I hope you got all that down." He called over his shoulder to the tech guy sitting on the floor where the front seat had been removed. The three officers in the back moved to the men on the ground, but not before Joe noticed a glint near a tree down the road. "Hit the deck !!" he ordered and everyone fell flat where they were. Bullets whizzed around them peppering off the cars.
Joe ducked behind his door and folded himself into the back seat. He raised his head a bit to see where the shooters hid. There was a burst of fire from his back up. The bushes shook from the volley of shots. After that burst of fire no shots were returned, then silence.
"You're clear," came the call. The men stood and moved to the clearing brushing themselves.
"That was close, " Joe spoke to the men.
"Sorry we couldn't get a good bead on him right away, Boss," came the answer.
'Gather everything up for Grady, he'll want to go through every speck." Joe went to the car the men drove and got in. "I'll see this gets to Grady."
He turned the key and smiled a little as the engine roared.