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Fiction Crime Drama

"If you get me his phone, I might reconsider,” Detective Pike said as he turned to walk away. Sharon knew she could not let the negotiation end here. She searched the ground as if the canals forming between the cobblestones would give her the right words. She looked back at Pike’s caramel-coloured trench coat moving further away. The downpour cascaded like a waterfall around his muscular frame as it streamed off his black umbrella. It was the image of her last chance, framed on either side by the cement walls of two city skyscrapers.

               “Ok,” Sharon shouted. Her voice straining to be heard over the pounding of rain on stone. “But I need something more,” she paused and took a deep breath, trying not to swallow any rain. “Something more than what we originally agreed.”

               Pike stopped just short of his parked car's driver’s side door. The grey sedan matched the storm clouds that shrouded the alleyway. He pivoted on the spot and marched toward Sharon until they stood toe to toe. He desperately needed this woman. However, he could not let her know that.

               “You’re hardly in a position to be dictating terms, young lady,” Pike said sternly. He looked down at Sharon’s slim figure in her pink blouse and jeans. Every item of clothing clung to her body as it took on more water. Her blonde hair was so drenched it looked like a wet mop. Her makeup had turned her cheeks into a purple, red and blue tie-dye pattern.

               “I can get you the phone, Detective Pike. But not without your word on something.” Sharon replied defiantly. “You need my husband’s phone, and I can get it for you. So, you need me more than anything.” She stared upward into the detective’s deep brown eyes. She noticed a momentary twitch that contorted his scruffy face. It gave away his bluff and Sharon the upper hand.

               “Go on then, Sharon. I am listening.”

               “You need the phone, fine. If it contains the evidence to put those scumbags away, it is worth it,” Sharon said with a single finger waving in Pike’s face.

               “Yes, we have already established that,” Pike said, confused. “What exactly are you getting at?”

               “I am not finished. You must promise you will not lay any charges on my husband. Once it is done, you will leave my family in peace.”

               “You cannot be serious,” Pike laughed. “From the very beginning, our arrangement was always a lighter sentence. You get me the information, and your husband gets ten years of minimum security. If he is lucky.”

               “I have learned about who you are really after Detective.” Sharon shifted her hands to her hips. “Johnathan is just the delivery boy in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also think you are aware of that. He is the weak link in the chain, so you came after him. Came after me.

               “We both know what Johnathan has done. I have enough evidence to issue a warrant for his arrest right now. One text is all it will take for that to happen. Are you willing to risk that, Sharon?”

“We both know you are not going to do that, Detective,” Sharon confidently replied. Despite their mismatched height, she felt like she stood eye-to-eye with him.

Pike could feel a heat flushing his cheeks. His inability to hold a poker face had sent his strategy into chaos. Until this point, he had Sharon wrapped around his finger. The poor, desperate housewife who would do anything to get her husband out of trouble. It had all been too easy. Yet somehow, she had now tipped the power balance in her favour. She was never meant to know she was his only chance.

“You know they have been blackmailing him. They are controlling him. Terrorising our family. You get them, put them away, and leave our family in peace.” She had started crying, which she worried might tip the balance again. Fortunately, Pike could not tell if it was rain or tears on her face. “These people are monsters. There is no corner of this city they have not tainted with their evil. Including your own department. So that is the deal, Detective. Take it or leave it. But answer me now; otherwise, I am walking away.”

               Pike looked away whilst he considered the offer. The husband was not innocent, but he was a small prize compared to those pulling the strings. There was no way he could definitively agree to Sharon’s new terms. However, Letting the big fish slip through the net he had cast would be a disaster. He felt a lump in his throat that triggered a panic as he realised he had been silent for too long.

               “That is it,” Sharon shouted as she shoved past him. “I am out.” Her saturated frame was disappearing, as would Pike’s entire career if he could not close this case.

               “Alright, Sharon.”

She stopped at the sound of his voice. But did not turn around.

“Yes, Detective?”

“I will try my best to have no charges laid against your husband.”

“Your best is not good enough.” She kept her back to him.

“Fine. You have my word.”

Sharon turned back and showed the first hint of a smile Pike had ever seen on her face. “Well, I guess we have a deal, Detective.”

Pike closed the distance between them before handing her the umbrella. “You might need this to stay dry on the walk home.”

Sharon watched as Pike returned to his car. His coat darkened due to its lack of defence from the rain. The weight it created on his shoulders felt symbolic of the one Sharon had just placed on him. His mind was racing, trying to figure out how he would honour this bargain. Or if he would even honour it at all.

He lowered himself into the driver’s seat before turning back to say, “Don’t forget to get me the unlock code, too.”

December 27, 2023 11:49

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1 comment

Pryor Rose
01:59 Jan 04, 2024

I absolutely adore mystery and suspense, and you nailed it!


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