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There's always one policeman that you can't buy. In every town, city, country, or even village there is the one who got the idea that truth and justice made the world go 'round and without it there would be complete anarchy. These men and women dedicate their lives to protecting the helpless and innocent from the boogieman.
Today, I'm the boogieman.
Officer Anthony “Call Me Tony” Lopez is sitting in my waiting room. I have yet to replace Ira after her...early termination, so I'm letting Tony settle for a few minutes before speaking to him. A client that works for the police has been informing me that for the last eight months Officer Lopez has had what he described as “a wild hair up his ass” for me and wanted to take me down. Not for the glory or recognition.
But because it is what's right.
I've managed to avoid Officer Lopez all this time due to the fact that I have been very busy. Over the past few months my clients have increased by 65%. It has been difficult keeping up with all the business I've been getting. Difficult. Not impossible.
Nothing is impossible.
At 9am I walk to my door and let Officer Lopez in. He removes his hat and waits to be seated. They do not make men like this anymore. He's old fashioned, but it is an act. There is a reason it is called old and a fashion. We shake hands, decent grip not too firm and not too soft, he sits down, places his hat on his lap, and looks around my office before bringing his attention back to me. Every move he makes is measured and with the intent to illicit a reaction.
“Good morning, Officer Lopez” I say. “Sorry for the mess. I haven't had much help since...”
“Oh, no” he says holding his hands up and shaking his head. “I was looking around because I like to know my surroundings. That's all. I wasn't making any sort of commentary on how you keep your office. Sorry if I made you feel that way.”
This guy is good. Very apologetic.
“Can I get you anything?” I ask him. “Coffee? Water? Something stronger?”
“I don't want to trouble you” he says. “I just have a few questions...” he trails off as he pulls out a notepad and pats himself for a pen. I pull out a brand new box and slide it towards him as I sit. “Thanks. I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached.”
“I know the feeling” I tell him. What am I doing? I don't know that feeling at all. “I'll help you out in any way I can.”
“That's nice to hear” Tony says. “Now, Mr. Tatum...”
“Call me Cyrus.”
“Cool name” he says. “My name's Anthony but everyone calls me Tony. I mean, I ask them to, but still. It's not as cool of a name as Cyrus. What does it mean?”
“It is a Greek translated version of the name Kūrush. It means 'far sighted.'” I am giving up more information than what is being asked of me. I'm being affected by him. He's really good.
“Cool” he says. “Now, as you may know there has been an investigation launched into the murder of your former secretary Ira...”
“Murder?” I ask. He stops writing. “I believe it was ruled an accident. Her ex husband was paid quite handsomely by the manufacturers of the elevator that she perished in if I remember correctly.” And I made sure that every penny went to a battered women shelter.
“Sorry” Tony sighs. “I didn't mean to say murder.”
“Yes, you did” I say. Tony puts his notepad and pen on the desk and looks up at me. “I know what you are trying to do. I even know why. But trust me, this is a path that you do not want to walk down.”
“Or what?” he asks. “Another 'accident'?”
“There are no accidents” I tell him. “Just situations that work in my favor better than others.”
“Is this what you do all day, Cyrus?” he says with a smile. “You just sit there behind your desk, tell people how to run their lives, and collect their money?”
“No” I say. “Sometimes I meet them at their homes.” He is slowly starting to crack. I've gone over Tony's history. Grew up in Echo Park. Family consists mostly of gang members. He was the one that got straight A's and decided to dedicate his life to law enforcement. Had even put a few of his cousins and even his own brother behind bars. Graduated near the top of his class. No wife. No children. His existence is this job.
“Cyrus, you're not as innocent as you pretend” he tells me. “I've done quite a lot of research into your past. Is it true that your father committed suicide when you were a child?”
“And your brother?” he continues. “He served time for assaulting you?”
“And your former fiancee?”
“She told me that you a rather difficult person to deal with.” Tony waits for a response from me. “Okay. Sore spot. And your mother?”
“What's that supposed to mean?” he asks.
I just smile at him. He knows that there is a history with my mother but is not sure what it could be. No one is sure but me. He knows about as much about me as anyone with Google knows. Any information he could have received from Maggie or even my brother could not damage me. But I have someone coming here soon. Maybe they can help me out.
The phone rings.
“You're early” I say. Tony just watches me, surprised that I would answer the phone at a time like this. “Of course. You have any trouble parking? Good. Come right up. Yes. That's the suite. See you in a minute.”
“Is this a bad time?” Tony asks me as he prepares to stand and leave.
“Not at all” I tell him. “Just some interviews for a new assistant.”
“I can leave--”
“You will stay” I tell him. “You will stay because you have no choice.”