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Whores .08: False Start

05/19/12

  09:22:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 884 words  
Categories: Whores

Whores .08: False Start

It was hard to reconcile my job and the realities of it with the world I'd always known. According to my coworker, a lot of women were dirty rotten scoundrels. I couldn't tell if that was the usual, jaded cop bullshit, or if she understood something innately that I had only just heard about- one of those hard truths it takes most of a lifetime to finally swallow.

I hoped she was wrong, because hers was a much darker, much bleaker world- and the one I'd always known was crappy enough.

I scheduled my shift so I could so I could shadow Deborah Gladstone at work, which after I parked outside her ad firm, I realized was an incredibly ill-conceived idea. She spent the entire time in an office cubicle; but I couldn't get close to her, couldn't monitor her conversations or her interactions or rifle through her things. Any of that would have aroused her suspicions- or at least required a warrant.

At lunch she did go out with her fiancÚ. They got sandwiches at a little walk up deli. His excitability from a few days before was gone, he was smiling, laughing with her, happy. I caught myself hoping he was a moron, whatever the crime equivalent of a hypochondriac was, that Deborah wasn't eyeing an abortion. For that matter, I hoped Candi was a moron, too, that there were other, better ways to deal with her than to toss her in jail.

I fell asleep more than once, trying to spend my entire day watching Deborah through a pair of binoculars. And I was pretty sure it was going to be a complete bust of a day. I watched her get in her car, and drive off, and I followed her.

I made a deal with myself. If she drove to the apartment she usually shared with Peter, I was going to go home, and collapse. Boss would be pissy I didn't write up my daily report first, but I'd spent all fucking day in a car, and my entire body from my upper lip down was alternatively asleep or being jabbed with pins and needles.

But she didn't go to the fiancÚ's. She drove to an address in Old Town. Most of the buildings there were smaller, cheaper, and less maintained.

But this one I recognized. They called it the Old Maid, because it was one of the women-only housing projects- rent-controlled and strictly for single females. There were more like it all over the city. Women who couldn't afford a better place, ended up places like it. It was a step up from the slums, but not a very big step.

The reason I knew it was because during my time riding along with the arson desk, somebody tossed a Molotov through one of the first floor windows. We all but traced it back to a men's rights group, but we couldn't get any evidence to stick to them. They did it- no question- but there's a big difference between what you know and what you can prove, and only one of them matters in a court of law.

I followed her inside. A woman was getting a package out of her mailbox in the lobby and she fixed me with a knowing glare. The name on the box was E. Kowalski. ?They're very particular about male visitors,? she said.

?I'm going to be real quick, just taking my strictly platonic, lesbian coworker out for a movie,? I told her, and ran up the steps to catch up to Deborah. She stopped at the fourth floor, and went down the hall. I walked quickly behind her, pretending to be focused on a doorway down the hall as she went inside an apartment. I touched the door at the end of the hall, then walked back out much more slowly.

On the street I called Candi; her shift had just started. ?I followed Deborah to that women's housing on Grant.?

?We've suspected for weeks that they set up a clinic there. But without more to go on, even the most pro-life judge in the county isn't going to give us a blanket warrant for the entire building.?

?Well, I followed her into the building, and I got a look inside the apartment she was going to, however briefly. And they've got an ultrasound machine inside.?

?That sounds like probable cause- and the successful end of your first case. In record time. I'm nearly impressed enough to ask you to dinner.?

?Nearly??

?I wouldn't want it to seem like I'm throwing myself at you or anything.?

Deborah walked out of the building, in tears. ?How long does the procedure take??

?Well, if the fiancÚ can be trusted, then she's past the point of just taking a pill. So fifteen at a breakneck, reckless pace. But more likely an hour plus. Why??

?Because she just walked out, after maybe two minutes.?

?Fuck. That probably drops a deuce on our probable cause.?

?How's that??

?There's nothing inherently illegal about owning an ultrasound machine- or even necessarily suspicious. But that, with the fiancÚ's testimony, and her spending enough time up the for either the procedure or at least a check-up... but it gets us an apartment number. It's several steps toward the finish line.?

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