Author: Hyperminimalism PM
Elliott Reese works with the LAPD as a narcotics detective, and he does his job well. None of that will matter when his emotions are tested, rocked by a secret unearthed by his partner. Slowly, Elliott finds himself abandoned by friends, family and even his co-workers. He must find a way to keep his sanity, turning to the only person who will listen. (eventual m/m)Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Crime - Chapters: 19 - Words: 89,150 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-07-13 - Published: 01-20-13 - id: 3093913
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Six Months Prior
"LAPD search warrant," the officer shouted as he struck his fist on the door repeatedly. "LAPD. Open the door now," he hollered again. He waited for a reply though only for a moment. In the darkness of early morning, the strike team had rallied around the residence of Jose Ramirez. The hammering noise of a gloved fist against wood, shouting voices, had awakened some of the neighbors who poked their heads out of cracked doors and windows, but that was the Los Angeles Police Department's last concern. Another shout, another warning and the lead officer held open the screen door, taking a step out of the way. Two men carrying a handheld battering ram shuffled up the steps and swung it on cue, splintering the wood of the door before swinging it one more time. The front door burst open and cracked loudly against the wall behind it. Officers poured in one after the other, spilling into the foyer now that they had written permission from the state.
The man they were looking for emerged from the back of the house clad in only a pair of threadbare plaid pajama bottoms. "What the hell is going on?" he grumbled in a faint Spanish accent, squinting his eyes as several flashlights shined in his direction.
"Hands where I can see them," Officer Haddock, the lead officer, barked. "Get on the ground!"
"Okay!" the guy bleated and raised his hands as ordered, coming down to one knee first and then the other. Narcotic detective Elliott Reese moved from the front line. He slipped into the kitchen and glanced around to find no threats there. He then moved through the living room and down the hallway where a woman and bawling child stood stiffly against the wall.
"Get them out of here," Haddock ordered. Immediately, Elliott lowered his weapon. The raid had frightened them enough, that much made clear by the shrill cry emitting from the little boy.
"Come with me," Elliott said in a gentle voice. As a peace-offering, he extended his free hand, beckoning the woman to go outside with her child.
The woman shuffled across the tiles in white fluffy slippers. By the look of her, he figured she could not have been a day over 21. "Wh-what's going on?" she asked, trembling, "What's happening?" Elliott thought it should have been obvious with his supervisor shouting that the man was under arrest for both an outstanding warrant and allegations of drug trafficking, but family dynamics always complicated things. The woman stopped when Elliott neared the front door, unable to see Jose on his stomach, wrists behind his back in cuffs. He stood awaiting orders having led the woman and the child to the front door, ignoring her question.
"Would you shut that kid up?" Haddock spat, not to anyone in general; Elliot maybe, or the woman. She did as much as she could and came down to the little boy's eye-level, even holding a hand over his mouth to muffle his cries. When the boy settled into a pitiful sob, Haddock frowned and shook his head. His mind was in a million different places and Elliott could see it written all over his face. "We're taking him into custody," Officer Haddock murmured as he passed by, Jose in front of him. "Keep them occupied." The woman and child had been an unwelcome surprise. Until that moment, the team had been unaware of any other persons residing in the home.
"Officer, please…what's going on?" the woman asked again, this time begging to know. "What has my husband done?" The little boy cowered against her. His small arms wrapped around one of her thighs. He glanced up at the officer towering over him, eyes red from having been crying so hard, and listened as though he were curious, too.
Elliott could not say much. It would not have been lawful to convict the man of anything without a trial, but Elliott would at least try to offer an explanation. "He's been accused of something that could put him away for a long time," he said, vague enough to unfetter any liability. Another officer rushed to the doorway from the street. He whispered something into Elliott's ear and Elliott gave him a nod. "You'll go with him now." Elliott watched as the officer helped the woman out of the front door in the darkness of the morning. She had been leaning against the entryway wall, exhausted from the stress. She only tore her gaze away from his to make sure she did not trip down the steps of the front porch, shooting Elliott a glance over her shoulder.
Elliott spun around at the sound of the familiar voice behind him. Haddock's orders were to stay put the lieutenant arrived, and after an hour of speaking to neighbors, gathering evidence from the rather quaint and cozy looking house, Lieutenant Fenwick's unmarked cruiser pulled to the curb. "Yes, sir," Elliott said. He straightened his back, pushing his shoulders down—a respectful salute sans the hand gesture.
"You know this is on you, right?" Lieutenant Fenwick said with a toothy smile. The older man, ten years his senior, stood an inch taller. His broad shoulders filled his pressed black uniform nicely and gave completion to his stoic frame. From day one, Elliott had tried his best to stay on the lieutenant's good side. His efforts seemed to pay off.
"Not at all, sir," Elliott replied. If it had not have been for his diligent research, hours spent at the department going through old evidence on a case that had gone cold, sifting through and making contact with potential witnesses, and conducting interviews, they very well would have still been on the hunt for Ramirez.
"There is no reason to be modest around me. That is how we grow here. It's how I climbed the ladder and I know you'll do the same." Fenwick placed a firm hand on Elliott's shoulder and squeezed, giving the man a hearty slap on the back as they strolled into the living room. "I've kept a close eye on you. You've always been so eager to make that jump ahead of everyone else." They stopped midway in the frame of the bay-view window. "It's a shame your partner can't seem to grasp that concept," he continued and nudged his head toward the front lawn. Elliott remained silent, at a loss for words as he stared at his partner through the glass of the bay window. He was far from the kind of person to speak behind other people's backs, but Fenwick started again before he could even think to agree. "In any case, at the rate you're going, you'll be sitting behind my desk in no time."
"Not for a while," Elliott replied, emitting a soft chuckle. He could feel his cheek flush in embarrassment.
"You're right. I should hope not too soon, for my sake," Fenwick snorted.
Glenn Mauro—Elliott's partner—stood loitering not twenty feet away on the lawn with fellow detective Cole Wieland. His weapon still drawn, the butt of the rifle sat tucked under his right arm; the barrel thoughtfully pointed toward the green-brown grass that had not been watered in ages. They had been watching Elliott from afar since the lieutenant's arrival.
"Look at them," Glenn sneered; his brow pulled into a frown. He stood with his weight leaning on one leg and glared into the window. "Elliot's had his nose up Fenwick's ass since the moment he could find it."
Cole chuckled in reply, adding, "No shit, huh? I've been here for years and not once has that old fuck ever even so much as looked my way."
"Oh, he has," Glenn assured the man. "I think he just likes your ass better than your face." The comment earned Glenn a light punch against the shoulder. "He isn't fond of those thin little bird lips of yours. You know how he likes those plump ones—dick suckin' lips. Real good suction." The brunette glanced up in surprise and gasped softly. "What's that? I think I can hear their conversation: 'Oh, Elliott, you're amazing. However did you do all of this on your own?' Glenn switched to a softer, calmer voice in attempts to mimic his partner. He feigned a blush and shied away, playfully slapping Cole on the shoulder. 'Nonsense, lieutenant. I do what I can.' Glenn switched back to the lieutenant's voice to finish it off. 'Come…I think the bedroom is free. We can suck each other's dicks in there.'
Cole burst into laughter and threw a hand over his mouth as if that would help to mask his amusement. Glenn, however, could only muster a snicker. He jumped as a heavy hand came down on his shoulder, no longer finding himself laughing. He stood up straight instead and cleared his throat. Out of his peripheral vision, he could see Cole's expression: a picture of fear painted across that long, gaunt face. Glenn, who jumped out of surprise as well, expressed his apathy clearly.
"You two boys find something funny?" Haddock asked. With his arms over both their shoulders, he walked with them away from the house toward the street. He had caught wind of their conversation and could not let it be.
"What do you want, Haddock?" Glenn grumbled. The two had never liked one another, only getting along for duty's sake, but Glenn wasn't the kind of person who went to work to make friends.
"It sounded like you two were dicking around instead of doing your jobs. But that's not what we're here for, is it?"
"No, sir," Cole replied. His cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Glenn could only not so subtly roll his eyes and scoff at
"As long as we have an understanding," Haddock replied and flashed them a grin. He let his arms drop to his sides as he walked in between the two, brushing Glenn's shoulder hard. "Let's get back to work, okay?" Glenn held his gaze, wishing his glare could somehow mimic the power as the weapon he held in his hand. When he turned to face the house again, he had to squint as the sun caught his eyes. Even through the glare, he had caught a glimpse of the lieutenant and Elliott through the window still chattering away. That last glimpse was more than enough to keep him powering through the rest of the morning.
"So," Glenn said, slapping the manila folder on the desktop. "You done wiping your nose yet?" He grinned at his half-witted joke, but Elliott sighed and shut the door behind him. He learned quickly that his partner had no qualms expressing his brash and sometimes inapt sense of humor.
"I was dropping off the report," Elliott replied and sat down at his desk. He ran a hand over his weary face, back up to comb through his dark hair. His job was stressful enough as it was, but to have to deal with someone like Glenn made doing his job that much more difficult. "If you don't like the way the lieutenant handles things, I suggest you take it up with him."
Glenn thought about the suggestion for a moment. His silence somewhat unnerving. "Nah." Glenn shook his head and glanced to the corner of the room, somewhere beyond the walls. He seemed to have something on his mind, but he never elaborated. Glenn stood from his seat and leaned against the corner of the desk instead, crossing his arms over his chest. "What's the old fart got in store for us this time?"
"I think you were reading it," Elliott said, motioning to the folder Glenn had slapped down. "A woman named Tiffany Johnson contacted the department last week. Said she knew some information about the body that was found in the canal."
"Oh yeah? Did she do it?" Glenn chuckled. "You know, it'd be a lot easier if she would confess. We could've arrested her on the spot."
"Not quite." Elliott reached across his desk. He pulled the folder open so he could get his facts straight. "She didn't give many details because apparently she's worried that if she talks, she'll end up regretting it."
"Yeah, but if she doesn't open her mouth she's gonna end up regretting it no matter what."
"In any case, Fenwick wants us to talk to her," Elliott said, shutting the folder.
Pushing himself from the desk, Glenn shoved his hands in his pockets. "Right, well, let me know how that goes," he said as he strolled to the door, letting himself out. Glenn always did this. He avoided things when he did not think they were worth his time, and it grated on Elliott's nerves. Each time it happened, he found himself reeling from the initial shock; though it tended to wear off soon enough.
Elliott pushed himself out of his seat and followed hot on Glenn's tail. "You don't have a choice," he said. What Elliott did not need to say was that he could take it up with the lieutenant.
Glenn turned to walk backwards, hands still in his pockets. "Please, save me the lecture. I'm trying to keep them down to at least a minimum of one per week—" He illustrated with a single finger. Glenn turned to face forward and disappeared around the corner of the hall toward the bullpen. "Pete!" Glenn sang from across the room. A single head popped up from behind the desk. Glenn sat at the corner of Peter Gillium's desk. Peter's job was to handle intelligence, and from the looks of it, he seemed to be in the middle of an important task. "How's it going, buddy?"
"Fine, Mauro," Pete replied in a flat tone. Glenn had a nasty habit of harassing whoever was in immediate sight and Pete happened to be his next target. "Since when did we become buddies?" Pete wondered aloud as the pen he held continued to scrawl across the paper. Not once had he looked up from his paper work.
"Oh, Pete. That's harsh." Glenn snatched the pen from Pete's hand, earning him a wide-eyed stare. It was a wonder Glenn had not yet been pistol-whipped. Pete's gun was in its holster and within easy reach. "So I hear you're finally getting married. How'd you manage that one—threaten her with your gun?" A cheap shot, but nothing Glenn would dare hold back on. "Or maybe you cuffed her to the bed post."
"No, actually, it's a little something called decency," Pete said, finally relaxing against the back of his chair. A smug grin pulled at the corner of his mouth. One arm hung over the arm of the chair. "But you wouldn't recognize it if it slapped you across the face."
Glenn looked to his right and spotted a photo of a woman around Peter's age-Glenn's next target. "Is this her? She's pretty good lookin' for a guy."
The comment did not sit well with Pete. "Glenn, I don't have time for this," he said with an exasperated sigh, snatching the picture away. Pete set it down where it belonged and continued, "So if you'd just—"
"Hey, Glenn," a voice called out over the noise of the bullpen. He turned and peered over his shoulder. He had been caught. "You coming?" Elliott tossed the car keys in his direction, which he caught as they hit his chest.
Pete shot Elliott a half-hearted smile. "Looks like your babysitter wants you."
Glenn sneered, pretending to laugh and slipped off Pete's desk. "That your daughter?" he asked, pointing to another framed picture next to the one of his fiancée before walking away. The picture showed a girl no older than ten, smiling with a mouth full of braces. "She's cute," Glenn said. "Let me know when she turns 18, okay?" He winked at the man; Pete stared wide-eyed and slack-jawed. Glenn strolled away with his free hand in his pocket, idly spinning the keys around his index finger.
Tiffany Johnson lived off Alameda in the worst of neighborhoods. The building was made from a stucco plaster, though that feature seemed the only Spanish influence. Everything else was straight up and down, modern lines and wrought-iron fences. Small cracks ran along the sides and around the foundation from earthquakes and the natural process of corrosion.
The building's front entry sat open insecurely due to a broken lock. Elliott moved in first while Glenn spotted Tiffany's name on the mailbox. "She's in three," he said, a few steps behind his partner. An arrow nailed on the wall indicated unit three could be found on the first floor through the dimly lit hall. Only the sun provided illumination as it shone through the tiny windows. Once they reached the apartment, Elliott knocked and took a step back, glancing up and down the hall out of concern for safety. His attention shot to the door when he heard the deadbolt side and the knob turned.
A young, light-skinned African-American woman answered the door. She wore a peach tank top that complimented her skin and a pair of frayed jean shorts but the lack of cover wasn't provocative; it exposed her gangly arms and legs. Her dark brown hair was pulled into a bun and she wore slipper-shoes on the freshly mopped tile of the foyer. "Can I help you?" she asked, eying the two men, making sure not to open the door wide enough that they could see past her.
"Detective Reese, LAPD," Elliott said, flashing his badge more out of a sign of peace than for the sake of formality. He could see in her eyes, hear it in her voice that she did not trust them and for good reason. "My partner," he continued, shooting a glance over his shoulder at Glenn, "Detective Mauro. Are you Tiffany Johnson?"
Despite having proof, Tiffany seemed reluctant to trust them. "Yes, I am," she said.
"Would it be possible to take this conversation inside?" Elliott asked. Had Glenn been in charge, he was certain the man would've pushed his way inside. Glenn lacked the ability to control his patience and that made it difficult to conduct any type of task involving other people. When the woman nodded and stepped aside, he crossed through the doorway and stood in the middle of the entry. Tiffany showed them into the living room. She had been cleaning before they arrived. A bucket, mop and broom sat against the wall near the sliding glass door. Once settled on the couch, Elliott cleared his throat. His partner had chosen to stand near the window with his hands in his pockets. "You spoke with Detective Haddock recently, correct?"
She nodded as soon as she sat in the armchair across from them. "Yeah, I did."
"We'd like to ask you a few more questions, if that's all right."
"Sure." She shifted uncomfortably.
"Now, Ms. Johnson…"
"Tiffany," Elliott echoed and continued. "You say you know Arthur Monroe."
The name didn't settle right with her and she immediately withdrew a bit. "H-he's my boyfriend."
"How long have you known Arthur?"
"About four years. We only started dating two years ago."
"How did you meet him?"
"We were introduced by some friends at a party. We, uh...hit it off real quick," Tiffany explained and sneered at the thought.
"So you would say you know him rather well."
"I think so," she shrugged, "but I dunno so much anymore."
Elliott glanced down at the small notepad he carried with him. "It says here you believe Arthur has done something terrible. What do you mean by that, Tiffany?"
"I saw this report on the news. You guys are looking for him, right? For drug trafficking."
"We are," Elliott replied. "Is that why you came to us?"
"Not exactly. See, he's been doing that stuff for a while. He's been picked up and let go 'cause of a lack of evidence more times than I can count. I couldn't tell you where he gets his stuff or who he deals with. He never involves me in it and I'd rather he not, but…this time he did."
"Tiffany, if this isn't related to the drug trafficking, you need to tell us."
"It is, it's just—"
"Come on, girlie," Glenn spat, pulling his hands from out of his pockets. He marched over to the couch and leaned against its back. "We don't have time to jack around with you, so if you've got something important to say, you better say it."
Elliott shot his partner a cautionary glance, though it only earned him a glare in return. He knew the other man well enough to know that Glenn had some sense of self-control. He could only hope this was one of those moments. Elliott continued when he felt it was safe to do so. "I'm assuming you're afraid if you do tell us that someone will find out."
"He'll find out," she said; her voice cracked under the pressure. She tried to hold it in but Elliott could see the tears welling in the corners of her eyes. "He always finds out. If I tell you, he'll find out and I'll be the next one." Tiffany withdrew again, but Elliot assumed it was a painful burden she no longer had the strength to carry.
Elliott sat forward on the couch, propping his elbows on his legs. "The next one?"
"Arthur killed that man," she continued. "The one they found in the canal. They haven't released his identity yet but I know who he is because Arthur told me."
"The Venice canal?" Elliott frowned. They had been called in the week before to investigate the death of a young man whose body was found about a day after his unfortunate demise. The only reason they had been called was because of the amount of drugs he had inside his clothes.
"That's the one…" Tiffany had managed to get a hold of herself. "Arthur came here last week. He never comes here, says it's too much of a shit-hole, but he came anyway." Glenn snorted at the comment and rolled his eyes. He agreed but kept quiet. "We got into an argument. Whenever he's pissed, he takes it out on me. He's been mean the last few weeks." She shrugged. "But I guess it's better knowing that I was the only one having to deal with it. Instead, Arthur went and did something like this…"
Elliott shifted again, trying to catch her gaze. In a soft, reassuring voice, he reiterated his offer. "Tiffany, we can help you. If you go on record with this, he doesn't have to find out."
"But he will!"
"Look," Glenn sighed, "you've already opened your trap—"
"Detective!" Elliott warned in a firm voice, but Glenn wouldn't listen.
"No! You listen to me," Glenn spat, rounding the couch to approach her. "Whether you wanna stay anonymous or not, we can just as easily subpoena you to show up in court to testify against this shit head. Now make up your mind, 'cause I can have the courts make it a legal obligation for you to be there."
Elliott shot up from the couch, thankful there was not a coffee table blocking his path. He reached out and grabbed Glenn by his shoulder, forcing the man to turn and look at him. Instead of grilling into his partner right there, Elliott excused them for a moment and slipped into the entryway. "What the hell is your problem?" he hissed, no louder than a whisper.
"She's toying with us. We don't have time for this!" Glenn replied.
"Well then why don't you let me handle her? Go outside or something," Elliott suggested. "Cool down." As much as Glenn was against the idea, he did excuse himself after brief consideration. "I'm very sorry about that," Elliott said upon his return, hoping his apology would be enough to convince her to cooperate.
"It's okay." Tiffany waved off his apology. When Elliott settled on the couch again, she continued. "I had this friend who became an informant for the cops a while back. She was kind of in the same position, 'cept she was having an affair with her boyfriend's best friend—the guy they were having her spy on. Turns out, one time during a raid, she'd been figured out somehow. They say her boyfriend found out she was working with the cops because someone rat her out. Dunno why he didn't off her sooner, but he kidnapped her and took her to this…this run-down warehouse by the ports over in Long Beach. He killed her eventually but the coroner said it was a slow death. I don't know the details. I don't want to know the details, but he tortured her. And I know that was her case. Chances of that happening to me are slim…"
"Very slim," Elliott added.
"I know, I just… It's the possibility, you know? What if he does find out?"
"He won't," Elliott told her matter-of-factly. His voice was firm and confident. "Never in my career have I worked with any informant that was found out. I promise that will not happen to you."
Tiffany said nothing for the longest time. Her lack of a response kept Elliott on the edge of his seat. As a detective, he liked to consider himself good at reading people, but Tiffany made it difficult. The more she picked at the fray of her jean shorts, the less certain he became. But Elliott said nothing. If she needed a moment to think; if she needed a day, he would give it to her. Finally, she raised her eyes and met his gaze. "Okay," she said, sighing. "I'll do it."
Elliott nodded. He shut his notebook and tucked it back into his jacket pocket. "Good," he said, standing from the couch. Tiffany stood as well, but she was visibly shaken. The decision had been a tough one. "You're making the right choice," he assured her and she nodded in reply, showing the detective out.
Pacing back and forth on the cobblestone walkway, hands shoved in his pockets, Glenn asked, "Well?" Elliott did not reply right away, only once they were far enough away that he knew Tiffany would not hear.
"You calm down yet?" Elliott asked, but Glenn snorted in reply. "She decided to help us, no thanks to you." Both men slipped into the car and sat for a moment. Before Elliott slipped the keys into the ignition, he said with a sigh, "Let's go get our man."
Tiffany explained that Arthur Monroe had holed himself in an apartment off Sunset. He had stayed there ever since the incident occurred and threatened her not to tell anyone. Despite the possibility their suspect might have left the area, Glenn and Elliott watched the house dutifully. They watched it for nearly almost two days before coming to the conclusion that Arthur had left. Only when Tiffany received a text from Arthur did she find out he had been staying at his mother's house on the other side of Los Angeles County. She was able to confirm the message after a visit; thus, calling for a second warrant to be issued for his arrest.
Early the next morning after she received the text, Elliott and Glenn drove down a side street in an unmarked and rather run-down sedan. If Arthur was indeed staying at the house, they needed to come into his territory as inconspicuously as possible. And given the fact that even rush hour hadn't begun; the chances of him still being asleep were good. There were two cars in the driveway of the house and one broke down Caddie out front at the curb. Elliott parked behind. the Cadillac. He allowed the car to idle for a second before killing the engine and leaned over, searching for the house number.
"That's the one," he said. Glenn was already reaching for the door and slipping out of the car before Elliott could tell him to wait. "Whatever happened to working together?" he hissed, having to jog to catch up to his partner.
"What's the point in sitting around if he's in there?" Glenn replied.
"That's the thing—we don't know if he is," Elliott spat, having lowered his voice as they approached the home. "If we go rushing in there making a scene, we could scare him off."
Glenn raised a fist and smiled, knocking as he said, "Guess we'll have to find out." It did not take very long for someone to answer. An older woman, about five-feet three inches, with short salt and pepper colored hair down to her shoulders opened the door. She stared at the two men. The glare of the morning sun shined in her face.
"Can I help you?" she asked
"We apologize for the disturbance, ma'am, but I'm Detective Reese with the LAPD and this is my partner, Detective Mauro." As always, out of habit, Elliott flashed his badge and stuffed it away as quickly as he pulled it out. "Is your son Arthur here by any chance?"
"No," the woman replied, a bit hastily—hint number one. "I haven't seen him in months," she said and shook her head furiously, turning her gaze away. She seemed agitated by the mere mention of his name.
"It's just that we need to speak to him about some important matters," Elliott went on. He lowered his voice when he realized she knew exactly why they were there and stepped a little closer. "Your son is in a lot of trouble, ma'am. If he's here, you need to tell us."
"I said I don't know where he is," the woman spat. "I've got something on the stove." Mrs. Monroe tried to slam the door in their faces but a large palm slapped against the wood. Glenn had prevented her from shutting it completely.
"Don't jerk me around, lady. I haven't had my coffee yet," he said and flashed a knowing smile. The woman stared out of shock, unaware that Elliott caught a glance inside the house over her shoulder. He could see Arthur moving down the front hall, completely unaware of who was at the door. Arthur's realization came quickly, and the man made a mad dash for the back of the house.
"Hey!" Elliott shouted, making brief eye contact with their suspect before shooting a glance at his partner. Glenn understood immediately and remained only for a split second before running in the direction Elliott pointed. Glenn, in the distance, leapt over fences and running at full speed. It wasn't long before Elliott caught up and took off behind the house that led to an open alleyway.
He ran past more houses than he could count before finally catching up with Glenn. Apparently, his partner had managed to get close enough to reach out and grab Arthur, but the man was shirtless and had nothing but the belt of his jeans to grab a hold of. When Glenn attempted to tackle the man, Arthur had pushed for that last boost of energy that would take him a measly inch or two out of grasp. When he maneuvered around a corner, Elliott knew they were playing on Arthur's home turf. According to the report, they'd lived there for nearly twenty-eight years—more than three years before Arthur was even born. Surely, Arthur played in those alleyways when he was a child. Arthur knew that Tammy from next door would be taking out the trash and that Mr. Woods would be leaving for work soon. He had the layout of the neighborhood memorized.
Elliott watched as Glenn went down, tumbled and rolled across a dusty pathway. But his attention did not stay on his partner for too long. He had to focus his energy on following Arthur. For a moment, the man seemed to have disappeared. Elliott stopped dead in his tracks, panting and heaving for breath. He was certain, however, that Arthur was nearby. Perhaps he knew a friend that could hide him when he was sure the cops had gone. But no, Elliott would not give up so easily. His eyes darted back and forth between the many pathways Arthur could have gone down, slipped through or hopped over. He waited. He waited for nearly a minute and finally he heard his break. Arthur must have slipped up and, in his exhaustion, stumbled against a metal garbage can. The noise was loud enough to alert Elliott that someone was close by.
Rounding the corner behind a small yellow house, Elliott drew his weapon and shouted before Arthur could cross the lawn: "Arthur Monroe—LAPD. Put your hands where I can see them."
Arthur skidded to a stop. He knew the man behind him had a gun and he was not about to risk being shot. The Los Angeles Police did not discriminate against hitting vital organs. They were well-known for being rather trigger-happy. Arthur did as told and slowly raised his hands while Elliott approached from behind. He reached behind him for his cuffs and grabbed one of Arthur's wrists, yanking an arm behind the man's back. From out of the corner of his eyes, he spotted Glenn crossing the front yard where he had gone down not too far away.
"You son of a bitch," Glenn spat and struck Arthur across the face with a fist, hard enough that he nearly staggered to his knees. The force of the hit threw Glenn off balance, but he regained his stance and hissed at the pain that tingled through his hand. Shaking it as if the gesture would soothe the pain, Glenn went in for another attempt only to be stopped when Elliott yanked Arthur out of the way. He threw his body in between them, stopping Glenn from coming down against his partner's back. Elliott didn't need to say anything. The look he threw at Glenn was clear enough.