I sat at my desk and looked over the push-pin board that was filled with info on Sonny Sugerland. Pictures of him and the guys that worked for him flowed down one side like a pyramid and we had an officer tailing each and every one of them. I had started to work like a mad man on this case since the paint blow up a few months ago. Between Alanna giving birth to Anna and the deal almost closed on the house I was buying for myself and Calla, I barely had time for much else. Tonight would be the first time I would get in the ring since before Christmas and I was itching to hit something, not to mention that I needed the money with the construction of the house going on.
Myself and Calla had decided on a model home instead of one pre-built and she was busy making everything just right for us to have “her” perfect dream home. The cost was digging into my pocket but a few fights would bring me up to what I sunk into the home already.
I was thinking about the fights so much that I hadn’t noticed some of the places where Sonny was being photographed. I leaned in to look at the photos closer and studied the background, each place looked just that little bit familiar. Frantically, I started to go through the papers of addresses where he was located, no wonder the other officers had to follow him and couldn’t find a set pattern to the places he was going to. Sonny was going to the same fights me and Dice went to. How could we have not seen him or noticed him there? The place was packed but there was no way he could stay hidden from us this long. Someone with Sonny’s profile would draw a crowd, people would gather around him, he’d have some kind of protection.
I filled Dice in on what I knew and he went to the fights ready to catch sight of Sonny. I was in the change room getting myself ready for the fight. The tape on my left had to be tight, it was still giving me problems since the bullet went through it. The last time the doctor had looked at it he said I would have feeling back into it again soon but still nothing. I could move it and grab things but it was numb. I needed to have it wrapped tight to prevent it from being hurt too badly, I wouldn’t even know if it was until I took the wrappings off.
“I saw him come in but I lost him.” Dice lit a smoke and checked my wrappings.
“He’s gotta be here somewhere. Ain’t like he can just hide.Not someone like him.”
“I’ll go find him, you just worry about the fight. I got a lot of money riding on you.” Dice always had a lot of money riding on me. He would bet twice as much as I would but I guessed he had more faith in me than I did.
“Yeah. Sure thing.”
“Your hand is still bugging you, isn’t it? You should tell the doctor about that.” Dice was comparing how tight the wrappings were on my hands.
“It’s fine.” I lied. It was far from fine but I’d be damned if I would admit it. “Lee is coming home. He called me the other day.” That was a good way to change the subject.
“It’s about time. When was the last time he was home?” Dice handed me the last half of his smoke.
“I don’t know, three years? Maybe it’s only been two.” I relaxed back against the wall and finished the smoke Dice gave me, hopeful that Lee would come back and stay this time.
“He’s in for a rude awakening when he shows up. I’m going to get back to work. Look at the plus side to this, for once we can’t get in shit for being here.” As Dice left to go look for Sonny he laughed.
As I entered the ring and sized up my opponent I gave a quick look around the ring before I snapped my mind back to the fight. needed to pay attention since the man across from me had a few inches and several pounds over me. I had to leave this search up to Dice and let him find Sonny.
The fight started and we quickly set to a rhythm of hooks and jabs back and forth at each other. He had power behind his punch and one of his hooks sent my head snapping around to one side. It was then when I caught sight of Sonny, he was sitting not too far from the ring, watching me closely. The distraction was enough to let my opponent get another strong hit in to the side of my head and sent me to the floor. I was looking only at Sonny, I wanted out of the ring and I wanted to start pounding on his head. My ears were ringing and I received a kick to my gut, the wind was knocked out of me quickly and when I brought my eyes up to Sonny, he had a pleased smirk on his face. He was enjoying this, watching me get my ass handed to me. Another kick, far too close to my balls was enough to get me back to my feet and throwing accurate jabs and hook punches at my opponent. I had hoped that Dice had seen where I was looking, he needed to keep his eyes on Sonny since I couldn’t. I finally had caught sight of Dice on the other side of the ring and he was looking around the large room, he hadn’t seen Sonny.
“Damn it!” With a heaved breath I hit my opponent in the stomach to make him bend over and as he did I sent a hard right hook down on his temple. He dropped to the mat hard and didn’t move, he wouldn’t either. Not for a little while at least, he was knocked out cold. Now was my chance to go, I didn’t need to be announced the winner, I needed Sonny. I jumped over the side of the ring and started to take off after Sonny and the two men at his side. This time I was praying that Dice saw me, I had no gun or cuffs on me, Dice had everything and I could only go so far on my own unarmed.
“Behind you!” Dice shouted as I kept running. If Sonny got outside and in his car we would never catch him now. I hit a dead-end with two ways to go. Right or left, I wasn’t sure. There was no sign of Sonny down either way and Dice had caught up with me.
“Split up or stay together?” I was bent over and panting heavily. Running after a fight was not a smart thing to do.
“We’re going left.” Dice handed me my gun and we started down the hallway. There were offices along each wall, after we opened some of the doors we found most of them to be rooms filled with crap or empty and falling apart with holes right though the ceilings.
I moved, with my back along the wall and Dice facing me, working with hand signals since we didn’t want to make noises and alert Sonny. We finally hit the last door in the hall and if this wasn’t his then we had to go all the way back down this one to go the other way or give up and hope for better luck next time. Dice gave me the nod and we pushed open the door, guns drawn and we scanned the room. It had to have been Sonny’s office, it was the only one that looked new and didn’t smell like a homeless man was living there and using it as a bathroom.
“I think we missed him.” I put my gun in the back of my pants and started to look around the room a little more as Dice did the same. There wasn’t a whole lot, nothing we could really use as hard evidence on Sonny but it was a start. As Dice stepped around the desk somewhere off in the corner of the room among a bunch of books started to ring like an alarm clock. I knew one thing that could mean and so did Dice. The two of us made a mad dash to the door and ran as far down the hallway we could before the room exploded. Fire and debris following us down the hallway, the skin on my bare back burned for a few moments and then me and Dice were thrown down the hallway from the blast, falling over each other in a heap to the floor.
“What the fuck was that?” Dice pushed me off of him and laid on his back to watch the last bit of flames die down to sporadic fires along the floor and walls.
“Fuck sakes! I think my back is burned.” I got to my hands and knees and tapped Dice on the arm. “Common, we ain’t suppose to be here, remember?”
“Let’s go. I got some burn salve at the house, I’ll get Alanna to patch you up.” Dice helped me up then we got out of the warehouse as quick as we could and back to his place to get me fixed up so Calla wouldn’t worry herself sick about me almost being blown up.
“You could have died! What if you didn’t get out of there on time Dan?” Calla paced her living room floor in front of me as I took deep drags off my smoke and avoided sitting back on the couch with my burned back.
“But I didn’t and I’m fine. No big deal. It’s kinda the job woman. Cop equals danger.”
“Dan, listen to me. You let yourself fight tonight, then beat up, you went after a mob leader and almost got yourself blown up. Do you understand what I’m saying? What would I have done if something horrible happened? What would Alanna have done if something happened to Dice? She has that new baby.” Calla got down to her knees in front of me and ran her hands up my thighs. Her eyes pleading me for some kind of assurance that I was going to be safe.
“I can’t change what the job is. This is what I do, I’ve been doing it for years.” I kisses Calla’s forehead as I leaned over her to butt out my cigarette.
“Just try not to get yourself killed.” It was hard not to roll my eyes at Calla. I didn’t have a death wish. I didn’t leave the house every day thinking about ways to kill myself or how to get in trouble. All I could do was nod and shrug it off for another day.
Calla went to get me a bottle of whiskey, her way of keeping me home and not down at Mike’s all night drinking. I sat back on the couch and quickly set myself forwards again when the burn screamed at me in a fiery pain. I was ready for another cigarette when there was a loud boom that came from outside, similar to the one I heard earlier at the warehouse. My instincts kicked in and I ran from the apartment, first checking my own apartment. Nothing. I ran downstairs, secondly think that something had happened at Mike’s, it wouldn’t have been the first that the place had caught on fire or maybe it was a gas leak. I was met though that the bottom of the stairs by flames, my car was on fire, pieces of it scattered all over the road and sidewalk just outside my apartment. My car, a car I had bought when I was 17. My first car, the car I put money and time into. Sure it was old and it had a few tricks to get it started but it was my car and it was totaled.
“Fucking Sonny!” This had now just gotten personal. Not only was I now going to have to deal with calming Calla down again, I was going to have to buy a new car. 13 years of my life was just blown up, the car I got laid in numerous times. Damn! I was never going to find a back seat that had that kind of space in it again.
I heard the sirens off in the distance, fire and ambulance had obviously been called. I’d call work, let them know I was here and they can send a tow for my charred remains for evidence. As I lit a smoke I heard the door open behind me and there stood Calla with her arms crossed over her breasts, tapping her foot as the look on her face read a clear “I told you so.”