“Damn it!” I scooped up the ketchup, trying not to smear it. Another shirt bites the dust. I looked up just in time. My target stepped out of his apartment. He made a beeline for a late-model blue Ford pickup parked across the street. His backpack sagged on his shoulders.
“Yo, man, hurry up!” A young guy yelled to him from the driver’s side of the truck.
“Don’t sweat it, man. I’m comin’.” He got in.
I followed them as they drove the two blocks to the driver’s one-story, orange-sided duplex. The street-side windows were always open. It was the same story everyday. I grabbed my camera, took a couple of shots, then set it aside.
“This shit is getting old,” I muttered to no one.
Tracer International, my employer, assigned me to what I concluded was the most uneventful, boring case possible. It was some sort of punishment. Richter, my boss, was still a little pissed. How was I supposed to know his wife was a gold-digging slut intent on embezzling from the company? I didn’t hire her. Their divorce was quick.
Our client was an older woman with a loser for a grandson. She’d supported the ingrate for years, and was, according to her file, tired. She wanted to know how he spent his time. Millicent James knew he was lying to her, but couldn’t prove it, and for some reason, couldn’t cut the apron strings. She believed that if she knew the truth, then she could walk away. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. I would have kicked his lazy ass to the curb long before now.
I thumbed through the file, again. A picture dropped out. The guy in the picture wore an over-sized plaid, button-down shirt and faded jeans. His dark hair was short. There was something about his crooked grin that set me off. I didn’t like him. It was a feeling I got. It was kind of like when you get stuck in a grocery line behind a toddler who just shit his pants. The odor reaches your nostrils. Your stomach twists. The bile comes just to the upper part of your throat, and you choke it back.
A few hours passed. The Miami humidity kicked in, so I started the car and clicked on the air. I hated Miami. Five years tracing and tailing dumb-asses were taking their toll. Tracer International paid for my housing, so I stashed away most of my check. I was ready for a change.
“Yo, man, calm down!” My target, Carver Stewart, tripped backward down the short flight of stairs to the sidewalk. “I’ll get it for you.”
I rolled down my window. A guy I’d never seen before stood in the door. He started toward Stewart. The driver was in step behind him. I picked up my “point and click” and took a few more shots.
“I don’t have time for your shit!” He grabbed Stewart.
“Really, man, I can get it.”
The man shoved Stewart aside. “You’ve got two days.” The man went inside. The driver shrugged his shoulders at Stewart and followed the other man.
Stewart pulled out his phone. A few minutes later, a red Firebird stopped in front of the duplex. An average-sized brunette sat behind the wheel. Stewart got in.
I followed them the two blocks back to Stewart’s place.
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