CC and the Fed
I sit nursing my whiskey. Tiny is behind the bar, giving me the eye every now and then. Yeah, Tiny, a strange man. Most would think with a moniker like Tiny he would be a mountain of a man. You know, just the opposite of his nick. Tiny, aka Freddy, is just that, tiny. Barely 5 feet tall, with greased back black hair, brown eyes that don’t miss much. A small man, many a bigger man has misjudged. He owns the bar and rules it with a custom-made baseball bat.
I’ve seen Tiny take out men three times bigger than him. He’s not afraid of anyone. If I’m ever in a pinch and need backup, I call on Tiny. He owes me a few favors. Which he tries to collect between the sheets so to speak. He’s not my type. All though word on the street is he’s a magician in that department. I don’t want to know.
I take another sip of my whiskey. I’m waiting for a potential customer. I got a call early this morning, some guy needing me to find someone. Well, that’s what I do. Find people. You could say it’s a specialty of mine. I got into by accident, but that’s a story for another day.
I got a vibe from this guy this morning. Not bad, not good either. He knew me, my reputation and I got the feeling he knew a lot more about me than he should have. The vibe I got was cop. Or Fed.
He talked more like a Fed guy. Curt. Said what he wanted, didn’t offer more. So I got curious. At first I was gonna just say, ‘no thanks’. Then my interest was piqued. So here I am.
Why does a Fed need me to find someone? That’s what they do. So do I, but not nearly by the same book as Fed guys do. Maybe that’s why he needs me. No use speculating. I’ll find out if he ever shows up. I almost told him to meet me at my office. Yeah, I got me a office, if that’s what you want to call it. A dingy place downtown, up three flights of stairs. Even has my name on the door, ‘Charly Cumberstoke’.
Quite a handle huh? Cumberstoke, man, what was my mother thinking marrying a man with a name like that? Anyway, most call me Charly, or CC if they’re friends. Not many get to call me CC. I’m particular about friends. That and lately my friends have a tendency of getting themselves shot. Not conductive for friendships.
I was just about to finish the whiskey and order another, when I spotted him. The Fed. They never can pull off the average Joe look. He tried though, I’ll give him that. The eyes give it away every time. Can’t hide those cop eyes. The way they swiftly take everything and everyone in. The hardness in them, the calculation.
Fed zeroed in on me like a laser. I downed the whiskey that was half way to my mouth. Motioned for Tiny to bring another one. Then watched as Fed walked straight to me. His eyes took in what they could see with me sitting in the dark corner. Yeah, I knew what he saw, a 32-year-old woman with black hair, cut short, gray eyes with specks of green, surrounded by dark lashes and eyebrows. Looked like Fed stood about five eleven, so I’d almost be able to look him in the eye standing up. With heels, straight in the eye.
I was glad to be wearing my boots with the four-inch heels. I didn’t want to be that much shorter than Fed. He rankled something in me. Deep in me. Wasn’t sure I liked it much. My curiosity though has played havoc with my life before. I figured this time was another of those instances. I should just stand up and tell him no thanks before he even sat down.
I leaned back and sighed silently, too damn late. Fed sat and Tiny brought me my drink. After asking Fed what he wanted and getting a deep voiced answer, Tiny looked at me and said, “If you need anything CC, just yell.”
I nodded my head and Tiny went to fill Fed’s order. We stared at each other, I saw that hard Fed look in his green eyes. His baseball cap was hiding blonde hair, from what I could see peeking out from under the cap. Black leather jacket over a black T-shirt. I had noticed the tight, worn blue jeans and tough leather biker boots on his feet. Yeah, from the look of him, he was Fed, but a muscled one. No pencil pusher, this one. Or if he was a desk jockey, he worked out in the company gym.
I looked back at the icy green eyes and saw he was studying me just as close. Just what I didn’t need, a hard ass. I cocked an eyebrow, inviting him to say his piece so I could turn him down and get home. I was tired, it had been a damn hard day.
Tiny showed up at the edge of the table, he set the beer Fed had ordered in front of him. Hands on hips Tiny looks Fed up and down, curls his lip and turns to me.
“You ok here CC? You just says the word and this joker is outta ‘ere.”
“I’m good Tiny.”
I look at Tiny, what’s he trying to prove here? He knows I can take care of myself.
“I’m good.” I say roughly. Tiny gives Fed one more curl of his lip and saunters off.
I take my whiskey and toss it down. Damn. What the hell is up with Tiny? Putting the whiskey glass down a bit too hard, I stare at Fed.
“What you want?” I ask him.
It’s his turn to cock an eyebrow.
“That your boyfriend?”
“Acts like he is.”
“I’m not responsible for how he acts. Now state your business, I got things to do.”
“I need you to find someone.” Fed stated as he slowly turned his beer glass as it rested in its own sweat on the worn table.
“That’s what you said this morning on the phone. You’re a Fed. Why don’t you find this person yourself?”
I got to admit, it gave me a warm feeling when Fed glanced up quickly in surprise. Yeah, I‘m kinda shallow that way.
“I never said I was Fed.”
“You didn’t have to.”
He stared at me, I could see the debate in his eyes. So to be contrary, I asked him a question.
“Who you want found that you can’t find?”
“I heard you were the best at what you do.”
“How did you know I was a federal agent?”
The question set me back a second. Changed gears on me. But, I figured I’d give him his answer, then maybe he’d give me his story. Yeah, I was curious now. Damn, my curiosity has gotten me in more trouble than a tomcat in a dark alley. I still wasn’t sure I’d take the case, but I wanted my curiosity satisfied.
“My attitude? I was on the phone.”
“You got I was a federal agent from a 3 minute phone call?”
“You asked, I answered. Now why do you need to hire me?”
I stayed quiet as Fed turned his beer glass again. I could tell he was debating telling me or not. I knew to keep my mouth shut now. It wasn’t easy though. I looked at my empty glass, deciding against another one. I wanted to be clear-headed with Fed around.
Fed looked up at me and I could tell from the look in his eyes, I was about to hear his story. I settled back and waited.
“I need you to find my cousin.”
“Why can’t you find this cousin?”
“If I find her, I’ll have to arrest her.”
“Does she need arresting?”
“You don’t know?”
“I need to talk to her first. If you found her, I could talk to her and decide what to do. She’s just a kid.”
“What’s she suppose to have done?”
“Murdered her politician lover.”
To be continued………….
(This is a new ongoing story that I am working on. It’s in a different genre than I have done before. More in the old style Private Eye books that were out in the 1940’s and 50’s. Hope you enjoyed)