This story is by D G Coates and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Jack stroked her hair, silken strands sliding between his fingers. He savoured the memory of her raven tresses trailing across his abdomen.
Neon flared against black outside the rain spattered windows. Jack kissed his mate on the forehead before rolling over. He tapped the bedside lamp once so that only a gentle glow illuminated the room and sat up, stretching his arms out wide.
Naked, he stood and headed for the kitchen. His feet padded across the wooden boards, his head rolling from one shoulder, down to his chest and across to the other shoulder, repeating from one side to the other and back again until he reached the fridge.
Lifting the Peroni and enjoying the momentary draft of 4°C, Jack turned to the countertop, pulling his phone closer. He swiped the screen then entered his four digit pin. He found Doug’s direct call icon and brought the mobile up to his ear.
Doug answered after six rings, just before his voicemail kicked in.
“How you going Jack?”
Jack turned his back on the woman lying in his bed and moved to stand at the furthest end of the open plan loft.
“Can’t complain boss.”
Doug chuckled, “Sure you have Jack. Sure you have.”
“How’s it looking for tomorrow?”
The amusement left Doug’s voice; “The raid’s all set Jack. The team are ready.”
Jack sat down on the corner of the ottoman and rested his bottle on the coffee table in front of him. “How did patrol go this evening?”
“Without a hitch. We’ve got all the reconnaissance we need. I’ve emailed an encryption to the cam footage to you.”
“Hang on a minute, I’ll go turn on my laptop.” Retrieving his beer, Jack made his way to his desk, took a swig, sat then placed the Peroni and his mobile on the side. He wiggled the laptop’s mouse to revive the sleeping machine, tapped in his code, read the latest email then followed the instructions to gain access to the cam footage. Before pressing play he made sure to mute the speakers.
Jack lifted his mobile back to his ear, “Okay Doug, I’m watching it now.”
“Patrol covered every exit from the blueprints. They stayed in place for an hour before withdrawing undetected.”
The images played in front of Jack. He leaned closer to the screen, studying the details of the building as seen from a number of his squad’s Aurora night vision cameras. He watched as the team split into twos and threes to cover each exit.
“Positions look good. How was the timing?” Jack stretched over the keyboard to pick up his beer, finishing it as Doug spoke.
“They’ve tightened up by a couple of minutes but not enough to move our schedule. The gang are lazy Jack. We’ve carried out this manoeuvre three times and three times it’s run like clockwork. We’re going to take these bastards off the streets.”
A twitch at the corner of Jack’s mouth threatened a smile. “I can’t wait.” He closed the lid to the laptop. Leaning back in the leather desk chair, his features shadowed. “How’s the situation at HQ?”
“Quiet. The boys are keeping watch for any movement here and there’s been nothing out of the ordinary. Our surveillance team are onsite 24/7 with a live feed back to HQ. So far it looks like our visit tomorrow night is going to be a complete surprise, as planned.”
“I don’t want any of our team losing their lives. It has to be perfect.”
“It will be Jack, we’re up against amateurs. Sure they’re armed, and armed heavy, but they’re not trained. We’ve been watching them long enough to know that. We’re better equipped and better prepared.”
Jack twisted in his seat. “I know boss; we’re taking them down.”
“Too damn right. These are our streets,” Doug decreed, determination ringing through his voice. “This is our neighbourhood. We run this town; not the drug selling, dirty bastards we’re taking out tomorrow.”
Jack nodded as Doug continued his rant, “Nobody so much as walks on these streets unless we let them. We sell the drugs. We own the town. After tomorrow, every other dumb fuck who thinks different will know better.”
“Or be dead.” Jack’s lips fully warped into a calm smile.
“Wiser or deader Jack, one way or the other they’ll know better. After tomorrow, we can relax. All will be right with the world. We’ll be enjoying this for weeks!” Doug snickered at the end of the line before it turned into a smoker’s cough. It took a few seconds for him to calm his breathing, “You Okay there Jack? Not getting second thoughts?”
Jack left the question hanging long enough for Doug to check he was still there, “Jack?”
“Doug, you may be my boss but I take that as a personal insult.”
“That’s what I admire about you Jack, the heavier it gets, the more you like it. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Bright and early Doug.”
Jack brought the phone down and flicked the end call icon with his thumb. He stood, the cheeks of his ass rouged from the leather of the seat. He turned towards the bathroom.
The door to Jack’s apartment exploded inwards. Men; two, four, five…. Kevlar wearing, weapon carrying, helmeted men surged through the shattered door frame. Point pair advanced in tandem, pounding the floor.
“Down on your knees!”
“On the floor. Get down!”
“Get down. Get down!”
Fierce authority slammed towards Jack. Before he could reach for the desk drawer, four rifle barrels hovered at his face. Peripherally he watched two men holster their Glocks.
Jack twisted his hips. His hand reaching for the drawer.
Mass slammed into Jack’s blind side. He bowled to the ground, head ricocheting off the chair, pelvis smashing into the hard floor. Weight ploughed into his back. The thick tread of a boot compressed his skull. All he could see in focus was the polished aluminium base and black castors of his chair. More, but blurred, black boots shifted on the horizon. Jack felt his arms wrenched behind him; first the right, then the left.
“John Geary,” the voice above Jack snarled the words, “you are under arrest on suspicion of murder.”
Metal snapped around Jack’s wrists. The weight shifted off his back and arms hooked between his before the boot lifted. As Jack kicked out he was hauled upright, carried until his feet found the floor. At least he could see the men around him now.
A deeply lined, clean shaven face stepped up to his.
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
The face tilted slightly to the side, the soul behind the eyes boring into Jack’s.
Jack cleared his throat. “You want to explain this?” His voice was thick from recent violence.
“We’re arresting you on suspicion of the murders of Theresa Howard, Karen Mason and Phoebe Butler.”
The eyes noticed Jack’s focus twitch in a micro movement before re-centring. The face turned and saw the men behind him all looking towards the bed.
A young woman with ebony hair lay facing them, eyes closed, motionless.