Justin arrived home around six. As he got things ready, He thought about everything he needed to do. He needed to have Arlene babysit his kids. If things went well, this would be the last time he would have to do this. If not, well…he hated to think of the what-ifs.
He dialed Michael’s home number and waited until there was an answer. “Arlene? dis is Justin. C’n you look after my chillun for de evening? Yes. We got de go-ahead on the case. Yes. It’ll be an all-niter, I t’ink. Jus’ depends if we catch ‘er. Merci, ma amie. I owe you.”
He hung up. The kids were already at Michael’s house, so there wasn’t any need to worry. they were in good hands. Arlene had been like a second mother to them anyway.
He laid his cell phone down and began to get ready to take a shower. He needed to smell the part, not just look it. He laid out his best casual suit and shirt. No need to get all formal. He just had to look sexy enough to draw attention. He smiled.
Stripping down to boxers and under shirt, he slipped into the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, he emerged, a towel wrapped about his waist. He quickly dressed and splashed on a little cologne. He smiled. He was going to knock all the beautiful ladies over. He only hoped that he looked good enough to draw their suspect.
Once this was over, he was going to leave the force. This case had cost him too much. He didn’t want to lose everything else. He wanted to be around for his children.
He sat down for a moment and put his head in his hands. He took a deep breath and then got up. He had a job to do. He rehearsed every line. Which would be the best?
Misty called the cab company. “Can you send James around?”
She always asked for him personally. He knew the best clubs in the city. She watched out the window for him, as he drew near, she picked up her purse, keys, and left the apartment. She got into the elevator and went to the lobby. Walking out the front door, she went to his cab and got in.
She had not noticed the police car across the street or the unmarked car behind it. She wasn’t looking for them. She had only one thing on her mind. Well, two. Sex and dancing.
James looked back at her through the mirror. “Where to tonight, madam?”
She smiled. She liked how he called her madam. “The French Quarter, James. Lonely Hearts I believe.”
He smiled. “You got it.”
They drove on in silence. twenty minutes later, he was in front of the pub. She nodded. “Thank you, James.” She handed him the fare, plus a large tip.
He looked at the wad of bills in surprise. “Th-thank you, madam.”
She turned away. “You’re welcome, James. I won’t be needing you anymore tonight. Have a great night.”
He watched her walk away. Man, she knew how to make herself irresistible! After she disappeared, he pulled away from the curb and drove off.
He was surprised as a policeman pulled him over three blocks away and took him in for questioning.
“She just went into the pub a block from your apartment, Justin,” Michael said into his phone, “it’s showtime. OK. Will have your back. Yes. I have Reilly and Danforth watching her complex. I had Officer Malachi take the cabby into custody.”
He watched as Justin came out of the door to the stairs that led to his apartment. He watched his friend do a fairly good impression of John Travolta’s swagger from Saturday Night Fever as he walked down the sidewalk. He couldn’t help but smile. Justin was going to milk this for all it was worth. Damn showoff.
“Sir,” Malachi’s voice came crackling over the CB, “The cabby checked out. He only takes her one way every night, never both ways. He has never seen any of the victims. at least not with our suspect. And his logs put him anywhere from six blocks to six miles from the clubs or any of the scenes. In fact, he is off before midnight and with his wife and children before the night is over. She is usually his last fare.”
Michael now saw the connection with the victims and the dumping of their vehicles, if they weren’t killed at their homes. They couldn’t be connected with the scene of actual death. That meant that the scenes had to be found. Somehow.
He picked up his CB and pressed the Squelch. “Reilly. Danforth.” He waited.
Reilly answered. “We’re here.”
He pressed the button again. “While you are waiting for her return, go search the dumpsters. I know we don’t have the warrants to do so, but do it anyway. This is not an official search. It is simply to satisfy a hunch.”
Reilly automatically knew what the hunch was. “OK. No collection, just a look-see. I think I know what you are thinking. We’ll note everything we find there.”
Michael smiled, satisfied. “Thank you.”
Reilly nudged his partner. “Danforth. Get a couple pairs of latex gloves. We have some dumpster diving to do.”
Danforth looked over and grinned. “Will we need rifles to fend off the over-sized city-bred rats and roaches?”
Reilly chuckled. “We might. Never know. All I know is we are looking for something. Anything.”
Danforth nodded. “Any unofficial evidence that links our suspect with the murders.”
Reilly looked over at his friend. “Really. You must be psychic. You got all that out of his instructions?”
Danforth nodded. “Why else would he ask us to do unofficial dumpster diving while the suspect was away?”
Reilly got out of the car. “Then let’s get to it, shall we?”
Danforth followed suit. “Let’s do.”
As they walked over to the parking lot of the complex, Reilly looked over at his partner. “How long you think we got?”
Danforth shrugged. “Maybe an hour, maybe four. Why?”
Reilly looked away. “I was thinkin’ that if we found what I think Mike thinks we’ll find, we’ll want to explore her complex as well.”