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Three Rivers Chapter 6

by Jason Ray Morton 6 months ago in Series

By: Jason Morton

In the days following the funeral, Jeffrey and Alex spent most of their free time running surveillance on the mysterious Joeseph Morris and his entourage. They attempted to learn everything they could about the three men that pulled the strings behind whatever happened to Eric Lassiter. After four days, the two were starting to discuss more aggressive options. While Alex worried that Jeffrey was losing his edge, Jeffrey considered more affirmative actions. He was noticing a trend, and it was something that would get them their answers.

Jeffrey knew that the Office of Zoning and Planning would have what he needed. Getting access, that was going to be a different story. Even as he told Alex his plan, he realized it was a long shot and probably a suicide mission. If, by some miracle, they could get the records, for the two of them to put them to use was going to take a lot of luck and a degree of skill.

"Look, boss. You know I'll follow you anywhere. But, this is crazy," said Alex.

Jeffrey knew he was right. First of all, pulling off a burglary at City Hall was going to be next to impossible. The idea alone had Alex nervous. Secondly, even if they got inside, how would they find the files and nobody else is the wiser? Lastly, there was a small army, including off-duty cops, that patrolled the residence.

"I get it. It sounds impossible."

Alex looked at his boss, a smirk on his face, "Impossible! You want to call it impossible. I call it insanity. Your idea is that we break into city hall to get the blueprints to Judge Lassiter's home. Then, you want to break into a judge's home. And, when we do this, you want to interrogate them during dinner.

"That's the gist of it," Jeffrey said calmly.

Alex looked at his friend, astonished. The absolute insanity of the plan was beyond his comprehension. He paced around in a circle, struggling with what he should say. If they were successful, they would finally know the truth about the little cabals' interest in Eric Lassiter. If caught, Alex knew they'd get thrown into prison, if not shot on sight.

"How do we do it?"

Jeffrey explained that the records for City Hall would be easier to get their hands on. It was a government building, paid for with taxpayer dollars, and they would have filed the plans with the state.

"So," said Alex. "We've still got to get them."

Alex didn't know that Luco was there, in the states, and already working on retrieving the plans. With the plans, they would find a weakness in the building. As hard as people tried, Jeffrey knew, no building was impenetrable. When Luco brought the plans, Jeffrey and Alex could use them to get into City Hall and steal the blueprints for Judge Lassiter's home. It made sense, even though it sounded insane.

"Luco's here. The notorious Luco?" asked Alex.

"The one and only," Jeffrey answered.

"Boss, if I agree to this, I'm going to want something in return," announced Alex.

Jeffrey looked at his younger partner, realizing that he owed Alex that much. He nodded, acknowledging that was fair.

"Don't you want to know what it is I'll want?" asked Alex.

Jeffrey knew what he'd want. It wasn't a secret that Alex suspected there was far more to the story of Jeffrey Mayes. Alex was too curious at times, noticing small things that didn't add up. Jeffrey had his secrets, kept even from his closest associates, and Alex was too intelligent not to have stumbled onto them over time. As long as they'd know each other, he hated having to lie to Alex. Alex was going to ask him for the truth.

"When this is over, I'll tell you whatever it is that you want to know. Just remember, when I do, it's not something that I can untell you."

"Fair enough," replied Alex, not sure of what he meant.

Jeffrey explained to him that Luco would be in town with the plans by three. From there, they'd have six hours to be ready. Jeffrey had already concocted a plan for them to get into the building. Even with the plans to get into City Hall, there were other considerations. Luco was only going to be in town for one day. While Jeffrey and Alex hit City Hall, Luco was going to create a distraction.

"What kind of distraction?

Jeffrey looked seriously at Alex, warning him, "The less you know, the better off you are."

'Ring', 'Ring', 'Ring'.

Jeffry looked at his phone, his facial expression changing. The call surprised him. He heard Alex asking, 'who's calling?'

"It's Alvarez," said Jeffrey, putting his finger on the flashing green icon.

"Hello, detective. What can I do for you?" asked Jeffrey.

"Listen, I know you're not happy with how things went down. Something's happened. And, I think it might be connected," explained Alvarez.

"So, do your job and investigate. Isn't that what a detective is supposed to do?" asked Jeffrey.

"Listen, Mayes...this is outside of my area of expertise. There's something weird going on," he explained.

"Like what?"

"Mayes, let me walk you through everything. I've got two dead bodies and a trail that I think leads to something you're interested in," insisted Alvarez.

Jeffrey got quiet, thinking about Alvarez's invitation. Gabriel Alvarez had years of experience, had seen it all from a cop's perspective, and two dead bodies were enough to make him reach out to Jeffrey. Alvarez hinting at a connection to the event with Eric Lassiter made Jeffrey curious. How was a kid in lockdown at a psych ward connected to two recent dead bodies? Jeffrey agreed to meet Alvarez.

"Meet me at 4th Street and Alameida. Be there in one hour. Oh, and bring whatever you carry. That quadrant of town is a nightmare," Alvarez told him.

"Do you trust Alvarez? He's tight with that attorney and Judge Lassiter," inquired Alex.

Jeffrey looked at his watch. There were a lot of moving parts in the air. He had an hour to get across town to the meet. He would have to leave Alex behind. Someone needed to meet Luco at the drop point.

"In broad daylight, out in the open, yes. Any other time, I wouldn't put it past the greasy bastard to try taking me out, especially if there was a payday involved," explained Jeffrey. "You go to my place and be on the lookout for Luco. Here's a picture," Jeffrey said as he gave instructions. "If I'm not there by five, then tell Luco what is going down around here."

Jeffrey walked away from Alex, not bothering to explain that last instruction. He knew Luco would settle things if something happened to him. Luco could also disappear, land back Tangiers with his family, leaving Alex out of the mess.

An abandoned building on the corner provided Jeffrey a near-perfect vantage point to watch for Detective Alvarez to arrive. After leaving Alex to meet Luco, Jeffrey went to the meeting point and scouted out a perfect watchtower post. There was a view of the cross street, and he could see two or three blocks away in all four directions. He left Detective Alvarez zero opportunities to ambush him if that was his intent.

When Alvarez arrived, sitting in his official Three Rivers vehicle, Jeffrey watched him for twenty minutes. Unless he was wearing a wire, Alvarez wasn't communicating with anyone. He let the detective wait, noticing his impatience grow as Alvarez began to fidget around in the driver's seat. Jeffrey decided to set a camera with a burst feed. He programmed it to stream to his phone. He could monitor Alvarez's movements from the time he left the window to the time he got down to the street.

A few minutes went by before Jeffrey successfully snuck up on Detective Alvarez's position. He moved along ide Alvarez's vehicle and got into the passenger seat, surprising Alvarez in the process.

Alvarez looked at Jeffrey before looking down at the barrel of the forty-five caliber aimed at his abdomen. The gun aimed at his stomach caused him to tense up. Jeffrey just sat there, looking at Alvarez and then around the area.

"Jesus, I came alone," Alvarez told him.

"I see that," said Jeffrey. "What is it you want to show me?"

"May I?" Alvarez asked. "It's only a couple of blocks from here."

Jeffrey nodded, not taking his eye off of Alvarez as the detective started his squad car and they drove away. Alvarez turned the first corner, heading toward the vacant housing projects ten blocks away. They pulled up to a gas station. Jeffrey didn't know it was there before today.

"What are we doing in the ghetto?" asked Jeffrey. "Is this where your friends Morris and Burr intend to jump me?"

Alvarez pulled up alongside the curb. He motioned that he wanted to get out of the car. When Jeffrey nodded, slowly getting out on the passenger side, Alvarez grabbed a file from between them. It was the file on the murder of a cab driver.

"Two days ago, we responded to the murder of a taxi driver. The girl that did the driver, Lila Morgan, appears to have done her parents as well," Alvarez explained.

"What's that got to do with me?"

"I need to know," said Alvarez, "What have you learned about Adam Dorn's murder? I know you've been looking into the matter."

Jeffrey explained that he hadn't learned anything new about Dorn's death. He believed it was Eric Lassiter. The kid was in custody at the time. There was no way he murdered Adam.

"There might be a tie between them," admitted Alvarez.

Alvarez showed him the file, going over the credit card receipts that Lila Morgan used. He had stills of Morgan walking away from the area, two blocks away from the crime scene.

"Forensics says she used the same weapon on the taxi driver as she did on Adam. Forensics found four sets of DNA on the blade," explained Alvarez.

"What's the tie between Lassiter and the girl?"

"Neither of them remembers a significant period before their arrest. In Both cases, the court-appointed shrink puts the timelines at ten days. The both keep referring...".

"Gabe, what is it?"

Alvarez explained that they both were missing between two and three weeks of their memories. The kids had never met before, but they both exhibited similarities. Alvarez admitted to Jeffrey, it was weird.

"Both Judge Lassiter's son and Ms. Morgan think that they could hear a voice in their heads-a voice telling them what to do," said Alvarez.

"What's the connection between Harrison Burr and Judge Lassiter?" demanded Jeffrey.

Detective Alvarez couldn't tell him much. As far as he knew, Harrison Burr was just a high-priced attorney that Judge Lassiter called. He claimed he didn't know anything else. Alvarez thought Burr was just the Lassiter's attorney.

"I'll admit, I don't like the timing of Burr showing up. He showed up just in time to represent Joeseph Morris. Burr representing Eric Lassiter was entirely too coincidental," said Alvarez.

"You seemed chummy with Burr and the judge," Jeffrey pointed out.

Alvarez wanted to explain his decision but could only share so much. There was an internal affairs investigation that was nearly complete. His sources in the department were warning him that there was enough evidence to take to a grand jury. Playing politics with Judge Lassiter and Harrison Burr was an opportunity that he couldn't pass up. He was surprised to hear that Burr and Joeseph Morris were responsible for kidnapping and torturing the judges' son.

"Why would they do that? Burr is supposed to be representing the kid," Alvarez asked.

"I don't know, but I think it has something to do with the kid's behavior in the hospital."

"I know I haven't been upfront with you, but I want to help," announced Alvarez.

"Prove it," suggested Jeffrey.

Alvarez challenged Jeffrey to give him an opportunity.

"We'll see if that becomes a necessity," said Jeffrey. "In the meantime, take me back to my truck," he told him, looking at his watch.

Minutes later, Jeffrey was back in front of the gas station. He stepped out of Alvarez's vehicle, walking away without saying a word to the detective. The information Alvarez shared changed nothing about his goals. Getting to Harrison Burr and Judge Lassiter was something that needed to happen. Speeding away, he knew Alex was in the process of receiving the courthouse blueprints.

Across the city, Sue was sitting on a chair in an office. She wore a dark blue skirt, a light blue top, and a one-inch heel. Sue wore a string of pearls around her neck, had her make-up done conservatively and not a hair was out of place. She was there for a weekly appointment, something that she committed to, trying to get her life together.

As she sat there, waiting for the balding, middle-aged, slightly chubby Dr. Halsey to begin her session with him, thoughts about her past were sitting on the edge of her lips. This was her sixth session and only the second since she started to get more involved with Jeffrey Mayes.

"Well, how are you this week?" asked Dr. Halsey.

"I'm alright," she sighed. "A little stressed."

"Oh, why?" asked the doctor.

"A lot has happened in the past ten days," she told Dr. Halsey.

Sue went on to describe the events at the hospital, and how weird the story seemed. She talked about the hunt for Eric Lassiter and the strange men involved. Sue went on to describe how Jeffrey was handling things, especially after the murder of one of the younger members of his unit.

"So, you and Jeffrey finally became a couple?"

"Yes," she said, smiling from ear to ear. "It happened right around the time this all started."

"That must be hard, managing a new relationship in the middle of all this chaos," the doctor commented. "How are you dealing with it all?"

"As I said, it's been stressful. I want to help, but there are places this will take him that I can't follow."

Doctor Halsey looked at Sue, quizzically wondering how honest she'd been with her new lover. He'd heard Jeffrey's name a time or two. Now that they were involved, he wondered if she would be truthful with Jeffrey about her own life, her problems.

"Does he know why you come to counseling?" he asked her.

Sue looked down at the floor, focusing on her foot as it rocked up and down on her leg. She knew this was going to come up at some point, but she didn't know how to handle the question.

"No, I haven't told him yet," she admitted.

Doctor Halsey wondered why. Through their sessions, he came to know Sue as someone that would eventually tell him more than he could think to ask. In this case, he was stumped. He knew how much Sue thought of Jeffrey Mayes. Why was she holding back from the person she described as, "I'd trust him with my life."

"I don't know how he'd react," she admitted. "It's not like other kinds of baggage a woman carries around."

"No, you're right," Dr. Halsey admitted. "In fact, yours' is much more difficult. But, if you're going to have a relationship then honesty and faith in him is something you need to practice."

"You're suggesting I tell him the truth," she said.

"It is your story, there's no escaping it."

"If I tell him, how do I know he won't betray me?"

"I didn't," answered Dr. Halsey.

Sue started to sob, looking down again to the floor. "I don't think I can tell him...I'm a murderer."

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About the author

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. From the current state of the world to the fantastical ideas of science I've enjoyed exploring them. Time to share them.

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