“Give me the gun.”
I despise Det. Fuchs with every fiber of my being. In the past two years he’s stolen at least a kilo of medicinal-grade cannabis, “borrowed” two vehicles only to return them in various stages of wreckage, and mooched enough whiskey to float a mid-sized ocean liner. I’d have planted him in the Carlsbad kelp beds weeks ago if he wasn’t a member of the Oceanside PD Vice Squad and married to Mallory, one of my best dancers.
And right now the tweaked-out sack of donkey shit is pointing a wicked-looking pistol at her head.
“Seriously Michael, you need to give me the gun,” I lock-in eye contact with Fuchs as I notice Sledge creeping behind him. Sledge is extremely protective of all our dancers and had to be restrained from ending Fuchs the first time Mallory came in with a facial bruise. I hope Sledge’s plan is just to disarm Fuchs. The last thing Dirty Jake’s needs is OPD Homicide sniffing our asses.
“Kiss my ass, Doc!” Fuchs yells at me. Or at least I think that’s what he meant to yell. The shitbird closed an undercover case on a low-end hash dealer two weeks ago and has been on a meth-and-booze bender ever since. Right now he sounds like a flat tire trying to order sushi.
“Put it down and we can talk about this,” I have my hands out, palms down and fingers splayed, pushing down on air in hopes of deflating the situation. I can see the rage boiling in Sledge’s eyes. If he hits Fuchs, Sledge may not stop until his knuckles reach the far side of his skull.
“Hassenpfeffer!” Fuchs says (I’m almost certain, although I’ve never known someone able to mumble and yell at the same time). He’s completely out of his mind on speed. His shirt, which appears to have once been a high-quality Panama Jack, now looks recently used on a baby’s ass after its meal of chili and prunes. His face and eyes are in an argument about who has more visible veins, with his nose turning in an MVP-quality performance.
“Donuts the black flying squirrel!” His hands are so jittery, I’m not sure if it’s his own anger or the Sudafed Sweetener that swings the gun in my direction.
It’s at this time Mallory decides to squeeze the baby juice out of her husband’s nutsack. Like most men, Fuchs’ initial reaction to this is a full-body freeze. This opening allows me to whack Fuchs’ wrist with a nearby pool cue, then follow up with back-hand the side of his head, causing the gun to hit the floor only slightly before the rest of Fuchs.
Sledge jumps forward and grabs Fuchs’ limp form. “Now what?” he asks, visibly disappointed at not being able to do physical harm to the detective. Fuchs is high-profile enough that we can’t simply kill him and drop the body off the pier, but just dumping him in an alley and hoping we can avoid retribution is too much wishful thinking for my taste.
“Deliver him to the Blade,” Mallory says from behind us, rubbing the spot where Fuchs tried to push the barrel of his gun through her skull.
The Oceanside Blade is our town’s newspaper, if by “newspaper” you mean twenty pages of ads sandwiched between a smattering of junk stories I hesitate to call journalism. Sure, if this were New York City we’d have an actual newspaper office, maybe even a reporter just dying to do a story about a junkie vice cop. But since we live in military town, the ability to question authority figures has been bred out of the local media like blood clotting from the British royalty.
We decide it will be hard to ignore a passed-out cop (even one labeled a “hero” no more than a week ago) driving his car through the paper’s glass-walled office. Sure, he didn’t actually “drive” so much as sleep through the entire experience as we popped his car into gear after aiming it at their building. I even feel good about deciding to put the asshole’s seatbelt on before sending him on his little excursion into infamy.
“Here are your divorce papers,” I tell Mallory as Sledge hands her a manila envelope “We had Dillon draw them up for you a while ago, hoping you’d make this decision on your own”. The look of surprised confusion is a hard shift from the joy she had watching her soon-to-be-ex ‘s slow ride into The Blade.
“He has to be out of your life, and it will be easier with what he’ll go through for this,” Sledge adds.
“Sorry to be a dick, Mal, but it’s him or your job. We’re tired of having to clean up after him.”