Scene setting – The New York Times Office, New York.
Razorbackwriter: Waiting nervously outside the Editor’s office, Tommy sat twiddling his thumbs as Ms Braxton’s secretary kept stealing glances at the reporter. It wasn’t everyday that Tommy wanted a one on one with the editor and chief, but he couldn’t let this opportunity pass to break the story of the creature that killed Detective Rory Lismore. The only photos he had were from the envelope that Joey had sent to Frank and now the only real evidence that he had. Joey’s death making the chance another witness statement null and void. Tapping away on her computer, the secretary moved to click on the intercom when Ms Braxton’s voice filled the small outer office.
“Send him in, Cassie.”
Cassie motioned for Tommy to head into Ms Braxton’s office as the Editor was now ready to see him. Rising slowly, Tommy brushed down his suit, which he had now been wearing for two days. He really needed to go home at some point and change. Raising his closed fist to his mouth, he coughed politely before heading into Ms Braxton’s office.
One thing could be said about Ms Braxton, she had a very casual way about her, even though by her tone she was a real ball breaker. Tommy often wondered if she had been injecting herself with male hormones. Her husky voice often made him wonder about her sexuality. She never acted flirtatious…mainly cause she wasn’t into men. Seeing the slightly disheveled looking Tommy enter she said sharply. “Close the door.” Tommy didn’t wait to be told twice and closed the door with a light click before turning around to face her again. “Sit.” A single hand wave to the chair opposite her desk had him move like a dog in an obedience school. He walked across to the chair, pulling it out slightly before sitting himself down and taking out the envelope. At this point, Ms Braxton took her feet off of her desk and then eased back in her chair. She became hard and cold. Like a school principal. It was unsettling to say the least.
“Want to tell me why I had a call from one of the Commanders of the NYPD, Xo?” Ms Braxton’s eyes were as cold as ice as she stared him down. “He made mention that not only were you at a crime scene without authorization, but that you may have lifted evidence that has now been restricted from publication, due to a pending inquiry.”
Tommy swallowed hard as he internally was screaming. That scum sucking piece of shit had beat him to it. The photos he held in his hand…now useless. Tommy’s lips thinned as he fought to not speak his mind.
“I was at Joey Patone’s apartment when he was shot. I was about to conduct an interview…”
At this, Ms Braxton simply held up her hand. “You should know better than get tied up with the mob!” Tommy was walking on ice now, and he knew it. Joey Patone’s murder was already to be published the next day. “The Commander said that a….Detective Frank Malone was responsible and that he will be charged once the ballistics report comes back. Wait….why am I telling you this?”
Ms Braxton rose slowly from her chair and placed both hands down flat on the desk. “I’m assigning you to doing a report on New York’s hospitals. That way, you are doing a job I know you are capable of. Keep off the homicide cases and for God’s sake….STAY AWAY FROM DETECTIVE FRANK MALONE!”
Tommy could hardly believe what he was hearing. She knew that Frank was Tommy’s mate and always helped him out with leads on various cases. To threaten him to stay away from a friend was not at all part of his job description. He held his tongue and simply stared at his editor incredulously.
“That will be all.”
The Editor sat back down and then went about reading a new report on her desk, as Tommy left her office quietly. He felt like a right dick….a coward. Shutting the door, he shook his head and walked past the secretary’s desk and headed back to his own office. It was a long walk. He was weighing up everything. Tommy believed in publishing the truth. Telling it like it was. But with a corrupt force and now his own Editor caught up in this madness, he wondered if he could ever do the right thing by his friend.
Reaching his office, he was shocked to see who was waiting for him.
A beautiful looking Chinese woman, wearing an expensive Chanel suit. She was flitting through a Time magazine lazily and had a smug look on her face as she placed it down on Tommy’s desk.
“Poor Tommy. You don’t know what you got yourself into…do you?” The woman spoke with a slight accent that showed her origins from Hong Kong. Tommy let out an exasperated breath. How on earth she made it into his office without being noticed was beyond him. Mind you, two well dressed men were loitering about in the corridor. They must be her men. It all started falling into place.
“Shame about Joey. Really. I was surprised to hear that your friend is being fitted up.”
Tommy closed the door, knowing that Madame Rose Li knew a lot more about the death of Joey Patone than anyone. “So why are you here, Rose? Not like you to come out during the day. I thought you only came out at night.” Tommy hinting that the woman was a nocturnal creature…a true lady of the night. Madame Rose laughed and rose from her chair, gliding across the floor to stand before Tommy. She smelt beautiful. Like an exotic flower, but anyone would know that she was deadly.
“Is that how you talk to family?” Madame Rose had once been married to Tommy’s brother who had died a year earlier. it was probably a good thing, since it was a match made in hell. Tommy would not have been surprised if Rose had a hand in it. Rose reached out to caress Tommy’s cheek and he snatched her wrist.
“Cut the crap, Rose.” Tommy snarled as Rose laughed at him with a slight giggle. “You always were more dominant than Jack. I guess that is why I always had a soft spot for you.” Tommy released Rose’s hand as she brought it down and rubbed her wrist with her free hand. Tommy turned away from Rose as she took out a parcel and dumped it on the table, almost haphazardly.
“If you want to save your friend….you need something incriminating of that….Commander. Oh yes, I know all about it. How he is trying to fit up your friend….Frank. Frank’s innocent. Sad…but innocent. You’ll find what you need in that parcel. You can thank me later.”
Smirking, Rose snatched up her Gucci purse and headed to the door, stopping to look back over her shoulder.
“Feel free to drop by the club. I’d love to dance one last dance with you.”
With that…she left.
Tommy stared at the package on the desk and hesitated before picking it up. He tore off the seal and there inside was a DVD…..and a lot of pictures. Pictures of the Commander in a compromising position at Rose’s club.
“Why that sick fuck?” Tommy murmured as he leafed through the pictures.
“Is that a goat?”