My brother Ronnie had been murdered, while I was in jail, shot in the head. The cops knew it, they’d bugged his apartment. They didn’t want Ronnie; he was a low level drug dealer and addict, just another nobody to them. Two piece of shit cops thought bugging his place would lead them to bigger fish. They had no idea.
They had a tape of Hector Flores killing my brother. Hector had worked his way up to big time drug dealer over the past few years. It’s too bad they placed the bugs illegally. They couldn’t use any of it in court. That’s where I came in.
I just got out of jail, assault and battery. Two guys jumped me outside McCoy’s Bar. It was self-defense but my court appointed lawyer was shit, so I did 90 days. They wouldn’t even let me out to go to Ronnie’s funeral.
I went to check in with my probation officer, and knew right away something was up. There were two cops waiting for me, Detectives Miller and Bronson. The cops knew Ronnie had been dealing small time outta his place, a little here and there never anything steady. He sold just enough to cover his fix, and only when he was low on cash.
A few of his buyers were well to do college boys. They were running their own operation, catering to the academic…if you know what I mean. They’d slum it down town then sell it on campus at an inflated price, sort of a finder’s fee for their upper classmen.
One of them got popped, and spilled everything. They were planning on stepping up their operation in a big way, and were gonna use Ronnie to bridge the gap to his supplier. I guess college tuition must have gone up.
The two cops wanted the who, what, where, when and how on the college boys. They were gonna let them set up shop and get rolling. Once they had business going Miller and Bronson would steam roll in, facing major drug charges they’d roll on their supplier, Hector Flores.
There was only one problem. A judge wouldn’t authorize the bugs for an operation like that and they knew it, so Miller and Bronson took it upon themselves. They set their equipment up, it was voice activated. Just turn it on and go, then check it every day and see what you got. They weren’t prepared for what they heard on one of the tapes.
They played it for me. It was brutal to listen to. I wanted to kill Hector; I wanted to kill them too. They fucked up couldn’t touch Hector, anything on their tapes would be inadmissible, now they needed my help.
‘So let me get this right, you want me to wear a wire and meet with Hector?’
‘That’s about it,’ Miller said.
‘What makes you think I’ll do it?’ I asked.
‘He was your brother. Don’t you want to help put his killer away?’ Bronson said sarcastically.
‘Fuck you,’ I said disbelieving what I’d heard. ‘How are you gonna convince the bosses down at H.Q. You can’t play the tape for them. They’d shit if they knew about it.’
‘That’s the easy part. You came to us with info on Hector. You volunteered to wear a wire, to even the score for your brother.’ Bronson said. At that they both smiled.
‘And if you don’t, you might find yourself… violating your parole in the very near future,’ Miller added.
‘You can’t do that.’
‘We can do whatever we what,’ Bronson replied. I knew they could too, if I didn’t do what they wanted I’d be back inside. These two fucks had me by the balls.
‘What makes you think he’ll even meet with me?’ I asked incredulously.
‘You heard the tape, the fifty grand he thinks your brother stole from him. He’ll meet you. In fact he’s probably looking for you. We already put the word on the street that you’ve been flashing a lot of cash for a guy just outta jail.’
The bastards fucked me. I had to go through with it. I had no qualms about fucking Hector Flores. I would have preferred to do it in my own time, on my terms. I’d rather see him dead than in jail but you played the cards that were dealt to you.
I remember when Hector was nobody, a punk hanging around Joey D and his boys. He started dealing when he was just a kid, selling bags of weed down on 23rd street. Soon he was running numbers and girls. Somewhere along the line he stepped it up, coke, heroine, you name it. Then Joey D disappeared. There’s no doubt Hector had something to do with it. Rumor has it Joey’s buried in at least half a dozen places in the city.
Their plan was simple. All I had to do was let Hector know that I wanted to give the cash back he thought my brother took. The cops would supply the cash and I’d wear a wire. Hector’s a big mouth, he likes to brag. They were banking on him running his mouth and incriminating himself. I was banking on getting shot; at the very least I’d probably get fucked up pretty good.
I met one of Ronnie’s junkie friends at McCoy’s Bar. He was only too happy to pass the message along. I guess he thought it would put him in Hector’s good graces.
A meeting was set up. Hector picked the spot, I wanted someplace public, but he chose an old flea bag apartment he used to run girls out of back in his pimping days, 10 PM. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be walking out if it. The fucking cops would win either way. He’d incriminate himself or kill me and they’d have it on tape… all legal this time.
I stopped by Ronnie’s old place. I guess it’s mine now, I been staying there since getting out and the landlord didn’t care as long as he got paid in cash. I knew Ronnie used to keep a 38 hidden under the floorboards of the closet. I had a feeling I might need it. It was still there, along with some other things. One of them was a picture of us when we were kids. It had been taken at the beach. Ronnie’s eyes were bright. They didn’t have the dazed, glassed over look I’d gotten used to seeing in them over the last few years. Seeing that picture broke my heart. Ronnie had been a junkie, but he was still my brother.
Up until then I’d considered bailing, take off and run. I’d be violating my probation and might get caught some day. Or worse Hector might find me. He’d think I had his money. One thing about drug dealers, they want their money. For fifty grand he’d hunt me down till the day he died.
With five hours till the meeting, I went to the apartment. I walked the block a few times looking for any sign of Hector’s boys. It was all clear. The doors weren’t locked, big surprise there.
After going inside I saw why. It was mostly bare. An old cum stained mattress lay in the bedroom and a beat up couch and chair sat in the living room. I tore out the lining from under the chair and tucked the gun inside. If I was gonna die tonight I damn sure wasn’t going alone. With the gun hidden I went to meet the cops.
They explained how everything worked, like they gave a shit about me. I was expendable to them. In fact it would make their job easier if Hector had me shot tonight. Just before the meeting they wired me up, I taped the small transmitter up under my balls, I knew Hector wouldn’t go there.
I showed up exactly at 10PM, Hector made me wait almost an hour. Let me tell you something. If someone pulls a gun on you, you react. But knowing its coming and having to wait for it is a whole lot harder.
When they walked into the apartment the first thing I noticed was his bodyguard, he was fucking huge, 6”7” at least, and of course he had a gun in his hand. Hector stood next to him. I got up off the couch with my hands raised, the bag next to me on the floor. His bodyguard frisked me then stepped out of the way.
‘Where’s my money?’ Hector asked, straight to the point.
‘It’s in the bag,’ I said and slid it over to him with my foot.
‘You’re brother had some balls stealing from me,’ he said contemptuously.
‘I don’t want any problems,’ I said. ‘I just wanna make things right, and get on with my life.’ I did my best to look pitiful.
‘Get on with your life… You’re a funny motherfucker. What makes you think you’re gonna have a life after tonight?’
Just then his bodyguard stepped up and hit me with is gun. Pain exploded in my head and jaw as I fell to the ground. I landed sprawled out in front of the chair, spitting blood and a tooth out onto the floor.
‘We both know you’re not walking outta here. The only question is… you gonna die like a man, or you gonna die like your brother? He died like a bitch, begging, and crying,’ Hector said.
‘Fuck you.’ I spat through a mouthful of blood, craning my neck to look up at him. I lay on my stomach and didn’t want to move. My hand was close to the chair, the gun within reach. All I had to do now was wait for my chance.
‘Oh…you’re a tough guy,’ he said. ‘Gimme my gun.’ He held his hand out, never taking his eyes off me.
The bodyguard reached into his jacket as I slid my hand under the chair. He handed Hector a stainless steel Beretta 9mm. Hector squatted down, eye level with me.
‘This is the gun I offed your pussy brother with,’ he said with a smile, revealing a mouthful of gold teeth. ‘Let’s keep this in the family.’
That was it. He confessed and had the murder weapon. They’d break in any second, that’s when I’d make my move. The rest seem to happen in slow motion. It lasted about five seconds but seemed like a lifetime.
The front door burst inward, and there was shouting. The bodyguard turned to it, his gun raised. Hector only shifted his eyes in that direction, but it was enough. A shot rang out, then another. The bodyguard twitched then went flying backwards.
As Hector’s eyes shifted back to me I pulled the gun out and fired. For a split second the shock of what was about to happed registered on his face. It was a look that said ‘I can’t believe a scumbag like you is gonna win’. The shot went upward, hitting Hector in the mouth. The top of his head exploded as the bullet tore through it. He didn’t even get a shot off.
The shooting was in self-defense but I still got nailed for the illegal gun. Hector’s man took out Bronson. Too bad he only got one of the pricks. Thanks to my “effort helping” the police, the judge said he let me off easy, 90 days in county.
Easy…any time inside isn’t easy. But I would have killed Hector anyway, or gotten myself killed trying. And the fifty grand hidden in Ronnie’s closet makes the 90 days a whole lot easier.