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The Beachside PD 2016 Boxed Set.

The Beachside PD 2016 Boxed Set.

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The Beachside PD 2016 Boxed Set.

Lunghezza:
1,240 pagine
18 ore
Pubblicato:
Apr 20, 2016
ISBN:
9781310931666
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

With the ease of master story-tellers, this unique father and son writing team brings you into to the world of Beachside PD as they weave intricate stories of reality-based crimes.

BEACHSIDE PD: THE RELUCTANT KNIGHT
Danny Phillips, an ambitious scoundrel is determined to live the high life, but when his high-powered investment company on Wall Street crashes, he is forced to follow in his father’s footsteps as a police officer. The last thing this charming entrepreneur wanted to be was a cop, but when his old friend, Angelo Tedeschi, convinces him the city of Beachside is a ripe plum for guys like them, he reluctantly agrees.

Thanks to the crooked Captain Hagen, and his unexpected bravery in the line of duty, he is promoted to the rank of Detective Specialist in charge of the Missing Persons Bureau. His complex relationship with fellow officer Anna Perez and an encounter with Rudy, a badly scarred young boy, slowly begins to soften his amoral behavior. But he hasn’t reached redemption yet and when he ignores a string of missing children cases, he is suspended from duty. Battling his inner demons, this flawed knight begins a quest to track down the perpetrator.

Everything readers have come to expect from a tightly constructed police procedural is on full display in a compelling tale of corruption, murder, and redemption.

BEACHSIDE PD: THE GYPSY HUNTER
A savage murder . . . a cocaine-crazed Gypsy on the run . . . lives are at stake and the clock is ticking . . . only one man can find him . . . the man Gypsies fear more than any other—Mike Zaragossa: The Gypsy Hunter.

Based on a real police officer, no other cop has ever penetrated the mysterious and dangerous world of the Gypsies as he has. It is as if he’s traveled the caravan roads with them from town to town, learned all of their secrets, and now he has shared them with us.

BEACHSIDE PD: CITIES OF SAND AND STONE
A fascinating prequel—that tells the story of Angelo Tedeschi, a Brooklyn Mafia soldier, who goes to Florida to become a cop.

BEACHSIDE PD UNDERCOVER:
A series of home invasions . . . Police officers gunned down in broad daylight . . . A call for help to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement . . . the Special Police and Law Action Team is assigned . . . SPLAT—cops who shoot first, ask no questions, and steal what isn’t nailed down. SPLAT.

What happens to Danny Phillips when he has to adjust his moral compass as he goes undercover? That’s the dilemma Danny Phillips faces when he joins SPLAT. Can he resist the temptation to return to his free-wheeling days of scams, blondes, and bourbon?! At the same time, Mike Zaragossa, The Gypsy Hunter, is back solving the cases of a kidnapped Gypsy girl, arson, and a Gypsy-aided terrorist plot to destroy the Kennedy Space Center.

Pubblicato:
Apr 20, 2016
ISBN:
9781310931666
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Neil L. Yuzuk was born in Brooklyn, New York. Now retired after twenty-two years, as a SPARK Substance Abuse Prevention Counselor, he wrote "Beachside PD: The Reluctant Knight," after collaborating with his police officer/actor/writer son, David, on a screenplay called "The Reluctant Knight."He's just completed the fourth book in the Beachside PD series, "Beachside PD: Undercover" and it is now available on Smashwords.Neil is available for book signings and other events in the Los Angeles/Southern California area and will travel as needed.

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The Beachside PD 2016 Boxed Set. - Neil L. Yuzuk

horror?

BEACHSIDE PD:

THE RELUCTANT

KNIGHT

by

Neil L. Yuzuk & David A. Yuzuk

(second edition)

Based on the screenplay: The Reluctant Knight

Beachside PD: The Reluctant Knight

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, incidents, and places are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locations, geographic areas, or people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2011 Neil L. Yuzuk

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

Contact the author at www.BeachsidePDBooks.com for information about special discounts for bulk purchases, promotions or to bring the author to your event or reading.

Copyright © 2010 Jaime Chalem - Nisso Studios (www.nissostudios.com) front and back cover photographs.

ISBN: 1456440500

ISBN-13: 9781456440503

Library of Congress Control Number: 2010918418

DEDICATED TO:

My son David who said,

Hey Pop, why don’t you write a book . . .

and

Robert McKee, who taught me

to write the truth.

Prologue

Danny Phillips, gun in hand, entered the small abandoned shack; the inside was dark. In the middle of the room, Danny pulled the hanging chain light switch. The bulb moved frenetically filling the room with bursts of light and shadow.

Danny steadied the light and the room was dimly lit allowing him to see pictures on one wall and dried blood on the floor. On the far wall was a set of chains and shackles. A small pile of discarded clothes rested in the corner.

OH GOD no, no, no, no! Danny overcome by guilt fell to his knees sobbing. What did I do? What did I do?

He tried to stand, but stumbled back against the doorjamb, partly in the room and partly out.

This is my fault, I should have done more.

1

Danny Phillips

Canarsie, Brooklyn, that’s where it all started; my old man, Samuel Philikowski, came to America at age 28. He was a cop and he walked his beat for twenty-seven years in the 69th Precinct, and every business owner and resident of his one square mile zone knew and respected my dad. He loved walking the beat and he refused promotions and more money, to stay on it.

As a result, money was always tight at home. I loved sports, so he signed me up for Little League Baseball, but in order to save my entry fee he did every odd job, no matter how disgusting, even cleaning the dog shit off the fields. He would stand at the fence always yelling instructions to the managers, coaches, and players in that loud Hebrew-accented voice of his. I was embarrassed, but people were always telling me how lucky I was to have him as a father. I didn’t get it.

It always felt like we were at war. To me it seemed he was giving everything to the neighborhood; but what about us? My mom was the soft touch in the house, always mediating between us. It wasn’t that I was the favorite, my sister Rina and I were equally loved, and she just felt my needs were greater.

Everything I wore was a hand-me-down from our neighbors. My mother somehow cleaned and sewed the clothes so they fit, but I was always out of style. I think that’s how my success with the girls started as I learned to be so charming that they saw past the clothes. Being a star athlete didn’t hurt either.

My sister Rina was a stunning dark-haired beauty, easygoing, bright, and always the teacher’s pet. It didn’t matter what she wore, she attracted guys all the time. The hard part was that we had to share a bedroom. As kids it was fun, we always got along. However, as we matured it became weird and we ended up becoming less affectionate with each other and more formal.

My buddies Angelo and Jay helped me keep the creepier guys away from her. Nobody wanted to mess with us, especially with Angelo. As a kid he was already toughened by the beatings he would catch from his abusive father. After one especially vicious beating of his mother, Angelo, age twelve, attacked his father with a baseball bat and beat him nearly to death. He might have gone away for that if my mother hadn’t pleaded his case with my father who testified for him.

So I learned an important lesson, that in order to have the finer things in life you needed to go get it yourself and never take no for an answer. I would make my own future, but I wouldn’t work for the neighborhood, I was going to make the neighborhood work for me.

* * *

High school was boring, the work never challenged me. I only stayed in because of the sports I played . . . and Coach Cam. He was always on my case along with my father. It really sucked having my father on foot patrol every day around the school. He always sniffed out when I was cutting and where I was hiding.

In high school, I came up with a World Series betting pool to make a few bucks. Typically, Angelo decided not to pay off the big winners and kept the money for himself. They squealed and when the Principal had us in his office, Angelo took the full blame. My father knew that he wasn’t smart enough to come up with a plan that needed advanced math; Ange was barely getting by with a C- average. He had no proof that I was behind it, but he grounded me anyway.

* * *

After graduation, all I could afford was a City University, so I went to Baruch College where I majored in Finance. I worked part-time in Mickey D’s as a cover for the money I was making developing schemes for Angelo and Jay to run. Our best one was a stepped up protection racket, no more nickel and dime stuff. Angelo ran it day-to-day as Jay and I went to college. One thing you could always count on was Angelo resorting to violence when things didn’t go as planned. However, it paid for school. After college I got a job at Chase Manhattan first as a bank teller and then as a loan officer. At the same time, I was going to Columbia for my MBA thanks to the scam money and a scholarship.

My sister Rina fell in love with one of her Brooklyn College Professors, and of all things, they got engaged. Of course, not before I checked him out. Ange and I took him for a ride out to Plum Beach for that, but he was okay and they still have the rarity of a strong and loving marriage. It was tough on Angelo; he was in love with Rina from day one. However, he knew it wasn’t returned and he accepted it.

Then in my second year, my dad was killed on the job he loved and money really tightened up for a while. I had to help support my mom and sister, so I developed a big bucks stock scam, it was a variation of selling shares in a non-existent Brooklyn Bridge company and it paid off. However, Angelo decided to do it on his own and of course, he screwed it up. His pigeon was the nephew of a guy known as The Don of Carroll Gardens. Angelo left town and ended up in some hick town outside Miami called Beachside, where of all things he became a cop. I never knew the whole story behind that deal, but it allowed me to get my MBA and Jay to study Law without having to deal with the fallout from Angelo’s temper.

Eventually the city paid my father’s insurance and I invested the money into a safe mutual fund that paid enough for my mom to take it easy; but she wanted to work and took a part-time job as a School Aide at the high school.

In 1992, I graduated with my MBA and went to work as an Investment Consultant for J.P. Morgan and Company. I learned a lot there and began to develop a real appreciation for the finer things in life, especially blondes and fine bourbon.

* * *

Six years later I became Daniel A. Phillips, Financial Advisor and opened my own office on Broad Street complete with a knockout blonde secretary named Kimber. Her full name was Kimberly, but I shortened it like her skirts.

All I had to do was have her in the room, legs crossed, taking notes and I could sell men anything including nonexistent investments. But I didn’t, I put them in high-yield, but also high-risk investments, mostly dot com startups. When they paid off, they paid off big and when they didn’t, well the term ‘crash and burn’ works real good and they crashed more often than not—the trick was to get out early and take your profit before they went under.

When it was a woman client, Kimber stayed outside as I worked my charm. With married couples, we worked as a team. Of course, I was banging her, but she was starting to get possessive. There was this couple, I called them Mr. and Mrs. Gotbucks. She was the bank and he was supposed to keep her from making any bad investments.

While I was showing Mrs. G. the view of the New York harbor from my window with my arm casually around her shoulder, Kimber was giving Mr. G. another view, tits and ass, as she bent several times to pick up a pen she just kept dropping. By the time they were sitting together in my office they were ready to buy anything I suggested, and they did. In fact, Mr. G. said to me as he reached his hand out with a check, I appreciate that you’re letting us in on this project, Mr. Phillips.

First, I took the check and put it on my desk and then we shook hands and I made sure to put my left hand on his right shoulder and said, It’s Danny to my friends. I’ll have Kimber give you a receipt.

I called Kimber on the intercom and I think she unbuttoned another button because Mr. G’s eyes started to bug out. Let’s face it, Kimber not only had great legs, but an au naturel rack.

Kimber would you please give Mr. and Mrs. G. a receipt and a contract, as I handed her the check.

Of course Mr. Phillips and I’ll notarize it as well. Mr. G., would you please come with me.

His eyes widened at the double-entendre and her twitching butt. It was all he could do to restrain himself. In the meantime, I got close to Mrs. G., distracting her from the byplay of Mr. G. and Kimber. I took her hands in mine, gave her the killer smile and told her, Please feel free to call me anytime and remember me to your friends.

I leaned forward and kissed her cheek letting my cheek rest on hers for a moment too long. She blushed, embarrassed and pleased at the same time.

After they left, Kimber came in with the signed contract and a check in the high six-figure range.

Yes, I shouted and pumped my fist. Kimber sat on my lap and started to nuzzle my neck. Danny let’s go celebrate. First feed me, then I want to fuck. All those zeros make me so horny.

Not tonight. My old pal Angelo is in town and I haven’t seen him in years.

Can’t I come with you? she said in a whining tone.

C’mon Kimmy, it’s a boys night out, no girls. I’ll tell you what, hold that thought, and we’ll go away for a short vacation. How does Vegas sound; good food, good shows, and sex in the desert? If you want we can join the mile-high club on the way there.

She squirmed in my lap and I started to get aroused so I told her to lock the door and turn off the lights in the front office. Angelo could wait, Kimber couldn’t. I was late, but Angelo was even later.

* * *

I was meeting Angelo at Keen’s Steak House and as I walked in I was warmly greeted by the Maître d’ and the staff. Right this way Mr. Phillips, he said as he led me to a private booth in the back.

Your party is not here yet; can I get you a drink in the meantime?

Yes, I’ll have a Champagne Cocktail. Ever since I saw Paul Henreid order one in Casablanca, I thought they were the coolest thing to order. I felt like a suave movie star saying, I’ll have a Champagne Cocktail, but they tasted like piss and I couldn’t wait for my second and favorite drink, bourbon to wash the taste out of my mouth.

As we walked to my booth, several people stopped me for chitchat and I exchanged greetings with staff members. I treated everyone as if they were the most important person in my life. I spread the honey and caught a lot of flies.

I was in my booth drinking my cocktail when one of the waitresses came by and gave me a tip on a business deal she had heard about earlier in the day. I slipped her a C-Note and she walked away smiling.

Danny, someone shouted and it was Angelo walking to my booth, followed by two beautiful women, a blonde and a brunette. Angelo’s stocky build was fitted into a light grey Armani suit and with his dark hair, white teeth, and tan he looked great. I stood up and he gave me the old one-two, pulling his punches and grabbed me in a bear hug . . . better known as the Angelo hug.

Danny, my main man Danny, it’s so fuckin’ good ta see ya.

Ange, it’s been too long. You okay?

Yup, the Don is dead, he said with a grin, the nephew’s in Green Haven and no one gives a shit about what happened back in the day.

And who are these lovely ladies?

They were my flight attendants and since they have a layover . . . he smirked, I invited them for dinner . . . and maybe a layover.

The brunette playfully punched him on the shoulder, Be nice, or else.

Angelo pointed first to the brunette, Danny, this is Sally, she’s mine; and this lovely lady is Liz. Liz, this good-looking guy is Danny. Be careful, he loves beautiful blondes. Liz was wearing a navy blue sheath dress that outlined her bountiful bosom and ended well above her knees showing slim ankles, strong legs, and a nicely rounded butt.

Hi Danny . . .

Hi Liz, Ange, I’m in love. Let’s sit down, grab some drinks and order, I’m starved.

It was a terrific meal. Liz was charming and willing. It was good to be young, even though Kimber had drained me just a few hours ago; Liz was revving me back up.

After dinner, the women excused themselves and went to the Ladies. It gave us a chance to talk.

How’s the south treating you? I said

Brudder, it’s a paradise filled with beautiful women, Palm trees . . . and da action, fuhgedaboutit!

That’s my Angelo. Are you running that hick Police Department yet?

Shit, I was there for only three years and dey made me a sergeant. But I gave it up and I’m into sellin’ insurance, Brooklyn style, he laughed. But I’m still connected. The captain . . . well let’s just say we’re like dis . . . he crossed middle and index fingers, . . . and my old road crew is still on my team, ya know what I mean? After five plus years in the south, he still sounded like Brooklyn, dropping his g’s, using d for th, using ya for you, and so forth.

No shit?

No shit! You know a guy like you; you would clean up down there.

How do you figure?

"Everything is much slower down there; half the people there have their head up their ass. With your charm and good looks, you could be mayor in five years and governor in ten.

Not a bad idea I thought, but not yet. Sorry kid I’m making too much money here.

C’mon Danny, it’ll be like the old days you and me . . .

Yeah, running from the cops? I said and laughed.

You’re forgetting, I’m the cops now . . . and the babes, you gotta see ‘em, he kissed his fingers, Mwah!

They’re Latinas, c’mon Ange you know it’s only blondes for me.

Hey, in the dark they all look the same. You gotta meet Paola, you’re gonna love her. Tell you what, next time you get a vacation you better come down; I’ll show you around and introduce you to her, if she’s in town.

Sure, just let me keep making the money I’m making and I’ll retire down there in three years and it’ll be the two of us.

You got a deal.

We shook on it and then came the Angelo hug. When the girls came back, they stared at us and laughed. Liz asked in a teasing tone, Excuse us, do you boys want to be alone?

We broke the hug and I held out my arms to Liz she ran right into them. Later, I went back to the hotel with Liz and she was a lot of fun. A real sweet piece and I was so thinking with the wrong head that I forgot to ask her if she was on the pill. That was a big mistake.

That one-night-stand cost me. Liz ended up pregnant and as a devoted Catholic, she refused to have an abortion. I had Jay fight her in court until the results of a DNA test established that I was positively the father. After that, I was generous with my child support. The kid would have whatever he needed, except me.

2

Kimber Clarke

Danny and I really had a good thing going from the first day I walked into his office for the interview. I impressed him with my secretarial skills, my knowledge of the financial world, and especially my looks. We were like two magnets drawn together from the first moment we saw each other. I ended up in his bed that first night after dinner. He said I was the best dessert he had ever eaten.

At first, it was slow, but as we developed a working style together the business picked up speed and we started to bring in the big bucks. I loved him and I wanted to start a family, but he kept putting me off, I just could not nail him down. Even though I never caught him, I sometimes suspected that I wasn’t the only blonde in his life.

We were in bed one night and I decided to put it to him.

Danny, you keep telling me we’re going to take this relationship to the next level but I still don’t see a ring.

Are you kidding me Kimmy? he said, You’re my girl. Don’t worry baby, when the time is right I’m going to get you a ring so big it’s going to make your arm sore.

You keep saying that, but nothing happens. We make such a great team at work and you make me so hot at home. Let’s get married and make babies, lots and lots of beautiful babies.

He didn’t say anything as he reached over and started to stroke my naked body. I moved away and said, When Danny?

Let’s talk about that later because right now I feel like making a hostile takeover of your ass . . . ets.

Danny grabbed me, pulled me close, and the argument was over, I could never resist him. Then one day this blonde bitch walks in with a baby and tells Danny that it was his and she wants child support.

I wanted to kill him, but I thought of a better way of bringing him down. I went to the New York State Attorney-General’s office and the SEC and they came down on him like a ton of bricks. My revenge was complete when the State Police came in with an arrest warrant. They took him out with his hands cuffed behind his back, a look of shock on his face and I just laughed and laughed. The bastard was getting what he deserved.

3

Jay Gardner

I was Danny’s lawyer through all of the negotiations with the SEC and the AG’s office and finally on a winter’s day, I met with him in his office. He was standing at the window looking out on a city that was rapidly filling with heavily blowing snow.

He turned to me as I came through the door and said, What’s the decision, Jay?

Let’s sit down.

Sitting across from Danny, he looked awful. He had put on weight, dark bags under his eyes, and he was unkempt; a beaten man, no longer my confident and charming friend of more than twenty-five years. To see him like this was painful, but I had saved him from an even worse fate.

Danny, I have good news and bad news, I started.

Give me the good news first, Jay.

"You’re not going to prison. The Attorney-General and the Feds both agree that while you presented the investments as being safer than they were, they also felt it was the buyer’s responsibility to be aware of the risks . . . and while it was their greed that often did them in, you were still at fault for putting them at-risk.

Since you weren’t running a Ponzi, you won’t be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff and, if Kimber used her assets to befuddle them, well that’s tough because there was never a quid pro quo.

He looked relieved, That’s not so bad Jay; I guess my three hundred thou worked. So what’s the bad news?

Not so fast, while you technically didn’t violate any major laws, you bent them pretty badly and there were too many ethical lapses on your part. In order to keep you out of prison I made a deal with them and you’ll have to sign off on it.

What’s the deal?

You’ll have to declare bankruptcy as part of paying your clients back. That means they are taking the summerhouse, the co-op, your boat, the cars, your credit cards and your sports memorabilia collection. You’re also out of the financial advice business, permanently.

Jeez Jay, what do I get to keep?

Pretty much nothing; except for your personal stuff, one car, and whatever money you have hidden away. I looked at him and he just shrugged. He was always closemouthed about his money.

What about the kid? I can’t keep sending Liz all that dough now.

I’ll see what I can do about getting the child support reduced. You need to keep it zipped, Danny, I cautioned him.

I know, she really took me to the cleaners. My motto, since then, is: No Glove, No Love!

Do you see the kid at all?

Nah, she named him Jack and I’m not big on kids. The last time I saw him was at the DNA hearing. Anyway, how long do I have? he said.

Get your stuff together and be out in five days.

Where am I supposed to go? he said despondently.

I’ll tell you what; you can use my condo in Fort Lauderdale. Pack some things and you can have it for . . . I guess the next five or six months or until you get settled. I have a big case to prep. The dumb bastard, he really dug himself a hole and no matter what I do, I’m only stalling the inevitable; he’s heading for a big fall.

I guess I got off lucky, he replied.

You did, but now the good thing is that you can start over down there, no jail time or convictions on your record. Call Angelo tonight and tell him you’re on the way and I’ll have your car and the rest of your stuff packed and shipped to my condo.

Sounds like a plan.

One more thing, Danny, I said as I took a sheaf of papers out of my briefcase and put them in front of him. You need to sign off on the deal. I’ll wait while you read it.

Just show me where to sign; I don’t need to read it.

You need to sign the first and last pages with a full signature and initial the bottoms of all of the other pages.

He took a pen from a desk set and signed as I instructed; he handed it back to me.

Here you go.

We stood up and Danny came around the desk and we shook hands, then I pulled him into a brief hug.

In a quavering voice Danny said, You’re a good friend Jay, and I appreciate all you have done for me.

Danny, truth be told I would have never made through law school without your help. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have made it out of childhood without you and Angelo watching over me. I’m just glad I was able to help you.

He put his hand on my shoulder and nodded.

Can I give you a lift? I have a car waiting for me and it’s pretty bad out there.

Nah, I’ll be okay. I’ll call you from Florida.

As I turned to leave, Danny was back at the window staring out; his shoulders slumped, shaking his head.

4

Danny Phillips

I took a long last look around the office before I closed the lights for the last time; there were a lot of memories in those rooms. Outside the snow, pushed by the wind, was coming down heavy and the city looked like something out of a fairy tale—covered in white and the lights softened by the falling snow.

There were no cabs and as I walked through the storm the raw weather matched the darkness in my life. By the time I got home, I was covered in white, and when the warm air started to melt the snow, I was soaked. I stripped off my sodden clothes as I went through my door, leaving them in a soggy pile. After a hot shower I made coffee and sat in the living room looking out over the city, the city that would no longer be mine.

The coffee was liberally laced with bourbon, but I couldn’t warm up. I was scared. It was as if I was walking naked in the street, people pointing and laughing. Jay may have saved my ass, but for what?

As I kept refilling my mug, now all bourbon, I kept thinking about the many ways of how to kill Kimber. I was up to five, when I remembered something my father had once said and he may have been right, The best revenge is to live well. As a Holocaust survivor he would know about revenge.

More than once I heard the story of Alex and Joanne, the Polish couple who hid him when the Nazis rounded up his family along with all of the Jews in the town. They had them dig a pit and shot them all to the approval of most of their Polish neighbors. He was the only one to survive out of the almost 800 Jews in the town.

Okay Pop, so I picked up the phone and called Angelo. It rang a bunch of times and as I was about to hang up he answered, Who the fuck is this and do you know what time it is?

It’s me Ange, Danny.

Sorry Danny-boy, what’s up? You okay? He sounded worried.

The final word came down today. They cleaned me out and nailed my balls to the wall. I’m out of business and they’re seizing my assets.

Did they give you any jail time?

No, Jay kept me out, no criminal convictions. My record’s clean, but I lost everything and I need a job. Jay’s letting me use his condo in Fort Lauderdale.

He’s a pretty good shyster; I guess we did the right thing keeping him alive when he was a kid. So, Danny-boy, when you coming down here?

It’s still snowing here so I won’t be able to get a flight for at least a couple of days. Jay said he’ll pack my stuff and ship it down with my car.

Pack a bag and hop a train to D.C., then fly down to Fort Lauderdale Airport and I’ll pick you up. Just let me know the airline and what time you’re coming in.

Sounds like a plan. I should be able to get over to Penn Station tomorrow and I’ll probably see you in two or three days. I’ll call from D.C. Thanks Ange.

"Danny-boy, we’re so going to clean up down here, shit we’ll need our own bank to hold all the dough. Oh man, yes! The boys from Brooklyn are back in business. Talk to you tomorrow."

Tomorrow, I echoed.

Angelo’s enthusiasm was catching and I began to feel much better. He would take care of me and we were back in business.

The next morning the skies had cleared, but the airports were still too backed up, so I made a reservation out of D.C. and headed over to Penn Station for the Metroliner. The train was packed and we got to Union Station late.

I grabbed a cab to Dulles, but the last flight was gone and I had to spend the night in the terminal. I got on the first flight out and I was off to Florida. I couldn’t believe it, no first class, and no business class on the plane. I was flying like a peasant and they charged me an extra thirty bucks for more legroom. The plane was packed, crying babies and such shit. It was a two-hour flight from hell.

I finally got off the plane and as I got my luggage, in strolled Angelo, I almost cried in joy. First, I got the Angelo hug, then he grabbed my bags and as we walked through the door, I was hit with a blast of hot wet air. Nothing like what I had left behind.

5

Angelo Tedeschi

Traffic was light on 95 as I headed to Fort Lauderdale Airport to pick Danny up and I was so psyched, we would be working together again. I made all the arrangements to get him started. I pulled into the JetBlue terminal, parked the car and got out. One of the Mickey Mouse cops ran over yelling, You can’t park there. It’s a restricted zone.

I pulled out the tin and told him, Restrict this, asshole.

Then I lifted my shirt so he could see my weapon and I snarled at him, And don’t mess with my car, I’m picking up a prisoner.

Sorry sir, I’ll watch the car for you.

I went in the terminal and saw Danny right away. He looked like shit, all wrinkled and worn out and pale.

I said, Danny-boy, as I gave him a hug.

Ange, man am I glad to see you. I got both bags so we can go, he said.

I let him go and grabbed the bags. We walked out and I put them in the back of my truck.

Danny whistled, Escalade, nice wheels Ange.

Yup, and wait ‘til you feel the AC. Where’re we headed?

Danny took out a slip of paper, Fort Lauderdale, 340 Sunset Drive, it’s off of Las Olas Blvd.

No problem, I’ll just put it into the GPS.

As I pulled out, I gave the Mickey Mouse cop the finger, what a schmuck.

Danny leaned back and said, I can’t believe at age thirty-five I’m starting all over. What’ve you got lined up?

It’s not so bad; I got you a job with my old P.D.

He was not happy. What the hell, Ange? I don’t wanna be a cop; don’t you have something else for me?

Listen Danny, you’re my main man, but you need to learn the ropes down here and this’ll set you up. The fix is in.

No Ange, not a cop. I’ll do anything else, but not a cop like my old man.

He was starting to piss me off, I’m setting him up with a real sweet deal and he’s crying? Listen to me Danny, it’s different down here and you need to learn what works and what doesn’t. Trust me you’re going to love it here, just be patient.

Danny shook his head, If my old man was still around I think he’d have a laughing fit. I always told him I’d never be a dumb cop like him.

No, no, no, Danny-boy you are not going to be just a cop, you’re going to be my golden boy. With your smarts and my connections, this city is going to be a ripe plum for guys like us to pick clean. Anyway, it’s all set, you’re going to breeze through the academy and the captain has guaranteed you a job. You’re going to be working road patrol like I started. How do you like that?

I don’t like it. He hunched his shoulders like he was about to take a beating. I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out.

I laughed and said, Danny it’s going to be you and me, just like when we were kids. That brought a smile and we slapped high fives.

And wait ‘til you see all the women you’re going to get. They look at you in your uniform like you’re some sort of fuckin’ knight in shining armor. I put my arm around his shoulder and laughed, Danny Phillips my reluctant knight.

What’s the captain’s story? he asked.

Captain Jimmy Hagen is my boy. It doesn’t get much better than this setup. He’s a stone cold degenerate gambler with a taste for the finer things in life. All he asks for is loyalty along with a few cash gifts every now and then. With you working with me, he’ll be treating you real good.

And the chief, what’s he like?

Chief Joshua Chamberlain, he’s a straight shooter, a by-the-book type of guy, but totally clueless. The schmuck’s a political appointee and he trusts the Captain’s judgment and lets him handle all the personnel decisions and the paperwork.

Traffic on Las Olas was heavy and I was at a red light. When the light turned green the gavonne in front of me wasn’t moving, so I hit the horn but the little bastard wouldn’t move. He was making out with his girlfriend.

I’m hitting the horn, nothing. So I hit the siren and lights and this ‘banger leans out of the car window, yells something in Spanish and gives me the finger. I don’t let anyone disrespect me so I jumped out of the car and proceeded to pull the skinny bastard out through the window. First I clocked him with a left to the belly and a right to the jaw. After he hit the ground, I started to kick the shit out of him.

His girlfriend jumped out of the car and put herself between us screaming for me to stop. I was about to put the bitch down with her boyfriend when I heard Danny yell, That’s enough Ange, anymore and you’ll kill him.

I put my hand under her chin and shoved her down on her boyfriend. I spit on them and got back into my truck. As I pulled around them Danny said, I see that the years haven’t mellowed your temper.

All of a sudden, I got the shakes as the adrenaline rush wore off.

Thanks Danny, I would have killed the both of them if you hadn’t yelled at me. You are gonna be so good for me. After you shower and shave I’m going to show you a little of what my Police Reserve badge can do. We are going to go to Shooters.

Ange, don’t you mean Hooters? Danny said.

Nah, Danny, Shooters. We are going to eat steak and lobster tails, and drink each other under the table. Then we’ll go to the Viper Room, and not for nothing, there’s some really good looking women there.

Sounds like a plan.

Enjoy it now, because you start the academy in three days, and I want you at the top of your class.

You got it, Ange.

6

Danny Phillips

I liked Beachside, except for the humidity. It was on the ocean about ten miles east of Interstate 95. The main drag through it was Beachside Boulevard, north to Fort Lauderdale and south to Miami Beach. A lot of traffic ran through it moving drugs, illegals, guns, and tourists.

The main attraction, aside from the waterfront stuff, was this mall filled with all types of upscale restaurants and some local shops. There was talk that national chains were looking to expand into it; department stores as well as a multiplex movie theater.

This was a very upscale city with lots of money and lots of growth. The Police Department was growing as well in order to deal with the growing population and crime rate.

The academy was good for me; I didn’t have time to reflect on how I ended up down here. The classes were relatively easy, but mind numbing. I got out of doing most of the paperwork by buddying up to the instructors; also, Captain Hagen had apparently put the good word in for me.

The best part was the physical training; it wore me down and built me back up. I could have taken it easy, but it was just what I needed. I gave up smoking and by the time I graduated, I was in the best shape of my life. It felt good running wind sprints on the beach and I got a lot of attention from the ladies.

Three weeks before graduation, Captain Hagen arranged a two week advanced training session for me. He had me assigned to ride with this Road Training Officer, Anna Perez. She was tall for a Latina, about five-seven or eight with a dark and sultry look kind of like Eva Mendes, friendly, but at the same time all business. I don’t know what I would have done if she was a blonde. At the same time, even though she was a brunette, there was something very appealing about her.

I felt like a real schmuck riding with her, as I was supposed to only observe and learn how to handle the radio and computer. When she saw that I had those procedures learned in the first week, she started to teach about proper traffic stop techniques. On the last couple of days, she let me do traffic stops and she critiqued me on the spot. She said I had a good way of handling people, but I was too relaxed. She emphasized to always be alert – never relax.

Thankfully, the two weeks went fast and I learned a lot from her. I was looking forward to graduation and to getting on the road. I found the work more fascinating than I thought I would when I first came down here.

7

Anna Perez

It was the first roll call with the rookies and Lieutenant McCafferty ran it instead of the duty sergeant. He liked to establish himself with the newbies. He ran Road Patrol and was one of the oldest members of the department, starting the job before Beachside was a city. Unfortunately, he liked to ramble on and I zoned out and looked around the room.

The rookies were sitting together, huddled like chicks without the momma hen, all but one. Danny Phillips sat among the veterans. He oozed confidence and charm, but in a masculine sort of way. He was ruggedly good-looking and he had a killer smile. When we’d worked together, sometimes I would catch him checking me out, but he never made a move on me. I heard that he was only into blondes and that wasn’t me.

I was sort of torn between wanting him to approach me and keeping him at arm’s length. However, I knew that I would only be a quick lay and then he’d move on. There was no substance, and while it might be fun for a while, it would never last. Still a girl could fantasize. I felt a poke in my back and heard a whisper, Anna, wake up. The Lieu is talking about the arrest you made.

Thanks, Leslianette.

I want all of you, especially you rookies, to listen up while Road Training Officer Perez tells you about what looked like a routine traffic stop she made and what she found. R.T.O. Perez, would you please come to the podium.

Reluctantly, I stood and went to the podium; public speaking was not my favorite thing. I turned and faced the group.

I looked at the audience, turned to the huddled rookies, and said, "I guess the first thing to remind you rookies is that when you are out on the road alone, always, and I mean every time you make a stop you call it in to Dispatch before you get out of your vehicle. Include a description of the vehicle, license plate number and a description of the occupants. Always make sure your dash-mounted camera is running.

I looked over at Danny and saw an intense look on his face as he stared at me. I felt a warm flush and fumbled my next words.

If you . . . ah, I mean . . . ah, never hesitate to ask for backup. I turned back to the rookies before I lost my composure. "If you hear that someone has made a stop, pass by and back them up. The second thing to understand is that Beachside is a very upscale community and we are starting to attract homeowners who are bad guys. We are getting high-end drug dealers, pimps, smugglers, loan sharks, etc. Most of them look and act clean, but they are still scumbags. Do not be fooled by their fancy manners and appearance.

Good advice, now about the stop you made, the lieutenant added.

"Yes sir, I was monitoring a school crossing when this silver Porsche Carrera blew by me doing well over fifty mph. I called it in to Dispatch and went after him. After several blocks, he pulled over. He was young, good looking, and well mannered, but he was nervous about something. His license was clean, but there appeared to be a small amount of blood-spatter on the back seat. When I asked him to step out of his vehicle, he refused.

By then Jake Parker had arrived to back me up. He went to the passenger side, spotted something, and drew his weapon. I drew my weapon and at that point, the driver came out of the vehicle. I handcuffed him and then we searched the car. Under the passenger seat was an Uzi with a full magazine with the safety off and in the trunk we found several hundred thousand Oxycontin pills, and a sawed-off shotgun.

Thank you R.T.O. Perez, our Officer of the Month along with Road Officer Parker. He began to clap and the group picked it up. I did a little bow and Parker stood up and did a comic curtsy that got a laugh and more applause.

Once the perp was questioned by Chief Inspector Aidan Fitzpatrick, he admitted to murdering a drug courier and stealing the shipment of Oxy. Remember, even what seems to be a routine stop—well there is no such thing. Never let your guard down, always do backup for your fellow officers. The last item of business is assigning you rookies to your R.T.O.s.

I returned to my seat and sat down. The lieutenant started to pair the rookies with their Road Training Officers, I wondered if I would get Danny. Nope, the lieu partnered him with John Brazile and I got Kaylia something or other. She looked like a perky pain in the ass. When the lieutenant dismissed us, she came bubbling over to me all happy and excited. I hated her youth and enthusiasm and wanted to smack it out of her right then and there. However, I also knew that it wouldn’t last long once she was out on the road.

I looked over at Danny and I excused myself from Ms. Perky.

He gave me a warm smile and said, Well Anna, it’s off to the streets for me. I want to thank you for the two weeks we spent together. I learned a lot from you, especially about officer safety. I looked at him to see if he was kidding me, but he seemed sincere.

He reached out his hand and I took it. I felt enveloped, warm and secure. How does he do that? I thought. You’re welcome Danny, you did well. Just remember what I taught you. One other thing, you need to know that John Brazile is a very strict, by-the-book cop, so be careful.

He smiled that killer smile and kissed the back of my hand. My heart gave a quick jolt. Thank you Anna, but I can handle him.

When Brazile came over to collect him I said, Danny why don’t you get Kaylia over there, I pointed at her, and go out to the cars, I’d like a word with R.T.O. Brazile.

Sure thing Anna, and off he went.

Brazile looked at me disdainfully and said, You’re awfully close with him Anna, anything I need to know?

No John, he’s just friendly, absolutely nothing more. One thing though, he’s a very quick learner and he gets bored rather easily, you might want to start by letting him drive and making traffic stops.

Really, you think he’s ready for that?

Yes, really.

Oh, don’t worry, I’ll keep him engaged. Let’s roll.

We went out to the parking lot and I started Ms. Perky off by having her do a full inventory of the car and the equipment. I looked over and saw Danny stiffen as John laced into him about some rule or regulation.

8

John Brazile

The word was out on this kid, but not a kid, a grown man; the fix was in on him. However, he was going to learn my way, the hard way. After he went on fulltime, it was on him as to what he did, but if he screwed up and got himself killed, well that was not going to be on me. I started him with my speech.

Officer Phillips . . .

Call me Danny, John, he interrupted and reached out to shake hands. I brushed his hand away.

First of all, you will address me as Training Officer Brazile or sir at all times and I will call you Officer Phillips. Do you understand?

He shrugged his shoulders and nodded, the cocky son of a bitch.

When I ask you if you understand, you will answer, yes sir or no sir, Training Officer Brazile. Do you understand that simple concept or do I have to stand here all day explaining it to you?

Yes sir.

The second thing is I am not your buddy or friend. I am your Road Training Officer and I do not want to hear about your past or your future and do not ask me about my past or future. We work strictly in the here and now. Do you understand Officer Phillips?

Yes sir.

Third, this is my car and not a restaurant. You will not eat doughnuts or drink coffee in my car. Do you understand, Officer Phillips?

Yes sir.

Fourth, you will behave professionally at all times. I heard that you were a pussy-hound. You will not be a pussy-hound on my time. Do you understand, Officer Phillips?

Yes sir.

Fifth, right now you are nothing but a dumb-ass rookie and if you want to survive out on those streets, you had better keep your mouth shut, your eyes and ears open and learn. Do you understand, Officer Phillips?

Yes sir.

Last, today starts your phase two training. Everything you did before, I am expecting you to do better. R.T.O. Perez said you were a fast learner that is why I am letting you drive. Remember, with me officer safety is always first. I do not go for any rookie cowboy bullshit. Do you understand, Officer Phillips?

Yes sir, I have it loud and clear.

For the first two weeks, I had him do routine traffic stops and I analyzed his style. He was a fast learner and he was good on safety issues. Even when he was issuing tickets he had a smooth way about him, and he got minimum negative feedback. I could see that he was chafing under my strict supervision, but he kept his mouth shut and did as was told, until one day.

He had made a routine traffic stop and was issuing a citation to this young and attractive blonde. I was about to break up their little tête-à-tête when a woman ran up to me screaming in Spanish.

"¿Entiende el inglés?" I said.

"Si, si, I mean yes. It is my ex-husband; I have a restraining order, but he’s drunk and he’s on the school bus with a machete. He is going after our son. He has a machete and he’s crazy!"

She pointed up the street to a stopped yellow school bus and I could hear kids screaming. Danny had come over and he started to calm her down. I called it in, 462 to dispatch.

462 go ahead.

I have some type of disturbance on a school bus stopped at 2-0-7 Street and 2-9 Avenue. Start me backup units.

Copy that 462, we’re sending two units.

I turned to the woman and said, Senora, you wait here by my car. Officer Phillips and I will investigate. Okay, I said to him, let’s see what is going on.

We jogged up the street to the stopped bus, we could see the kids at the bus windows, panicked, and banging on them. The screams got louder as they saw us approaching. We drew our guns as we came around the front of the bus; an apparently dead driver was wedged in the door, covered in blood.

Check the driver, I instructed Phillips. Meanwhile I moved down the side of the bus trying to assess the situation, it was chaos inside. I looked back at Phillips.

Phillips duck-walked over and checked the driver, he shook his head no. He holstered his gun and then he tried to get the door open in order to board the bus.

Phillips no, he’s a barricaded subject. Our job is to contain him and call out SWAT and a negotiator.

There’s no time, he could kill those kids before they get here. He started to pull on the door again.

No Officer Phillips, we will follow procedure. We wait and contain. You will stay right here and guard the front I am going to the back to see if I can get a better view of the situation. You will not do anything, unless I authorize it. Do you understand?

Yes sir.

I got back on my radio and advised dispatch of the situation and I requested a SWAT team, a negotiator, and more backup. Then I jumped on the hood of a nearby vehicle to get a better look inside. I could see this seedy looking Latino waving a machete, but the kids were too close for me to take the shot.

The street was filling up with people, so I assigned the arriving backup officers to maintain crowd control. I wondered how long it would be before the media vultures would arrive with their TV cameras hoping to film a bloodletting for the five o’clock news.

9

Danny Phillips

I was maintaining my perimeter point at the front of the bus, my gun out and at my side. The coppery smell of the driver’s blood on the hot street spread to where I was standing. My first instinct was to run, but I fought it and stayed in place. This was not what I had in mind when I came down here.

I could see Brazile standing on a car looking in. As soon as the man spotted him, he became more agitated, waving the machete and shouting at Brazile to back off. When Brazile stayed in position, he grabbed a boy and held the machete to the kid’s neck.

He yelled at Brazile, Back off or I’ll cut his fuckin’ head off!

This was not good. Brazile and his damn rules and regs, unless the situation was defused, kids were going to die. I was hot and had enough; it was time to take action.

There’s no time to wait Brazile, I’m going in, I shouted.

Brazile yelled for me to stop and maintain my position; instead, I holstered my gun, and pulled the dead driver out of the doorway. I entered the bus in a low crouch. Inside the bus, kids were screaming in panic and the perp said, Get the hell out of here, I swear I’ll kill him.

Easy dude, I just wanna get these kids off so we can talk. They’re making too much noise and, I stood and showed my hands, see, no gun I’m not going to hurt you.

That seemed to calm him a bit. Yeah, get the little bastards out of here, they’re making my head hurt. I got the one I want.

I stood up and announced, Okay kids, I’m Officer Danny, I had their attention, and everything is going to be okay. I want you to sit down in your seats quietly and then one by one, as I call you, you’re going to leave the bus. Does everyone understand?

I got a chorus of yeses as they calmed and sat back in their seats. I decided to move the kids closest to the machete, out first.

That’s great kids, you’re doing fine. Everything is going to be good. Now I want those of you in the back two rows to take your book bags and walk to me slowly. Don’t run we’re going to do this nice and easy. And just as I asked they slowly came forward to me.

When the first group reached me, I went to the open doorway and shouted, Brazile get to the front of the bus, the kids are coming out. Do not come into the doorway. I added.

Okay kids, I want you to move past me and go out the door, and as they passed I gave them each a gentle pat and smile.

Slowly, row by row, I emptied the bus and each kid got a smile and a pat. Meanwhile the man sat down on the floor up against the back of the bus, well below the sightline. He was still holding the boy on his lap and the machete to his throat.

When the last kid left the bus he said, Now tell that other guy to back off.

Phillips, get out of there, I heard Brazile shout. I shouted back, Brazile, back off and take care of the kids, we’re good in here, then to the perp, We good?

No, the bitch wants to take my kid away from me, he said bitterly.

Is that him? I said.

Yeah, he’s my kid. With his free hand, he gently stroked his son’s cheek, but the machete stayed at the boy’s throat.

What’s his name? I said as I slowly moved towards the back.

Hey, that’s far enough. Stop right there, he shouted.

Okay man, so what’s his name? I said again.

Santiago.

No kidding, my son’s name is also Santiago. What a small world.

"Bullshit, what’s a Blanco like you doing with a kid named Santiago?"

"I’m married to a Latina and she named him for her father. My name’s Danny, Danny Phillips. What’s your name?"

Miguel, Miguel Sifuentes.

That was good, progress. I needed to get him more engaged. So Miguel, what kind of work do you do?

I’m a painter, he said as he pointed to his paint-spotted overalls. I’m a house painter.

How’s business?

Good, but I got fired yesterday. My boss didn’t want to be bothered by taking the child support payments out of my paycheck.

That’s tough, I sympathized, but there’s got to be lots of painting jobs available, a lot of construction going on here in Beachside.

Nah, it’s too late for me, and he started to cry and I got just a little closer. There was no way I could jump him, the machete was still up against the kid’s throat. I had to talk him into either putting it down and surrendering or letting the kid go and shooting him.

Miguel, Santiago is a young boy with his whole life in front of him, why don’t you put the machete down and let Santiago off of the bus before he gets hurt?

No, that bitch will corrupt him and make him dirty like her. Today I decided that it is time to leave this earth and my son is coming with me. It is too late for me. They’re going to lock me up for the rest of my life and I’ll never see him again.

He stopped to think and then he said, I’ll make you a deal; I’ll let him go . . . if you shoot me. I want to die.

Suicide by cop, huh? I paused for effect pretending to think it over, Tell you what, I paused again. You have a deal, but first you need to let Santiago go, I bargained.

"No, you do it now.

No Miguel, you don’t want him to see that happen. Besides I’m a lousy shot, I might hit him. No, you need to let him go.

You’ll do it for real, man?

For real, if I could I would give you the gun so you could do it yourself, but I can’t. So let Santiago walk over to me and we’ll get him out of the way.

Sifuentes slowly took his machete away from Santiago’s throat, kissed him on the top of the head, gave him a quick hug and pushed towards me. "Go to Officer Danny, mi hijo."

Santiago slowly walked to me and when he reached me, he held me tight. He was crying and I soothed him. I took his hand, walked him to the door, and said, Good boy, Santiago. Now I want you to go through the door and Officer John will take you to your mother.

I shouted, Brazile, the last kid is coming out, I’m okay in here.

Santiago stepped off the bus into Brazile’s arms.

I got the kid, now get your ass out of there and let SWAT handle it. He was really pissed.

No, tell them to back off, I made a deal with Mr. Sifuentes and I have to keep it.

I walked back to Sifuentes and said, Miguel, stand up and put the machete down and I’ll keep my part of the deal. I stood with my hand resting on my gun.

Sifuentes stood up and put the machete down on

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