I saw Mike sitting at our usual table in the corner. The diner had seen better days but it had been the only place that was open when we were working graveyards on Vice. Hence it was still our meeting spot. It was far enough off the beaten path that most cops skipped it and headed to one of the dive bars nearer the precinct. Mike may still like me, hell he may even understand why I did what I had done, but that didn't mean he needed the headache of being associated with a guy who betrayed the shield.
We greeted with the usual pleasantries, a stiff handshake and a stiffer hug and settled in. Mike was pouring scotch from a flask into a chipped plastic tumbler of coke and offered me a swig, which I gratefully accepted. The conversation started like any conversation starts between two old friends, of days past and stories told, until you finally get back to the business at hand over post meal Irish Coffee. Mike pulled out a folder on Roger Horner that wasn't as thick as I had hoped it would be, but it did list some very pertinent info.
It did a last known address for Horner after he had been picked up for a minor possessions charge. The report had some handwritten notes that they felt Horner had some ties with other dealers, but nothing could be proven. It did show who had posted his bail though, one Elsa Lomack. The address was over a year old and Mike even had a black and white do a drive by of the house, though all that was left was a burnt out tenement. Still it offered a place to start, and hopefully some neighbors to shake down. Leafing through the rest of the file didn't show up much, but did show a previous employer, namely a place called Sin's Castle. Last known to have worked there around the same time as his previous address. Sin Castle was a particularly rough strip joint, one that even my Annie stayed away from. Two leads and all it had cost me was a cheap meal.
Still I knew it couldn't be this easy, any dick worth his salt could get this lead, plus that lead weight in my gut told me that it wasn't just the pot roast I had eaten that wasn't sitting right. Something was gonna bite me in the ass, but I knew I had to keep digging. Mike and I chatted a but before running out of things to say, I was pretty sure he thought I had shit my life away, and I was sure that he was still working for a bunch of crooks down at the Precinct. Still, some pretense had to me made. As it approached 2am , Mike told me he had to go and get home. He had married and had a kid, things working out for him n ways I had long since realized were not my path. We said our goodbyes and I headed back to the Lucky Lady, photocopies of the report in my pocket, and an itchy lead to follow up on tomorrow.
End of Line.