Max will be going on duty at six o’clock PM. and won’t get off until six o’clock in the morning. This routine crops up three times a year when each division has one detective on that shift, making a total of five detectives. Of course, the regular uniformed officers will be working as usual. During this time, the detectives don’t just sit in the office with their feet up on the desk, but drive around throughout the neighborhood streets, either doing follow-ups on open cases or tending to whatever happens in their particular department. In Max’s case, most homicides happen at night, so he is usually busy.
Max’s day passes rather quickly, including about an hour’s nap in the afternoon to accommodate the long hours of the job. He is soon on his way to City Hall to pick up an unmarked detective’s car at the police garage, leaving his own car there until end of shift. He enjoys the night detail because that’s where the action is for police and he has always been prone to enjoying his job the most when there’s something going down.
Max starts his usual routine of driving through the streets to observe what is going on, much the same as any patrolman does. As he turns right into a particularly rugged residential area, he hears two shots ring out and observes two men running through the yard of a nearby house. A man, no more than forty-five years old, is lying on his face in the street bleeding profusely beside a Yellow Cab. Max notifies dispatch to send back-up and an ambulance, quickly parks his car at the scene and gets out, running to the injured male.
He kneels down and is feeling for a pulse in the man’s neck when the man opens his eyes, turns his head and weakly speaks to him.
“Hey, man. I was dispatched to this address for a cab and the minute I pulled up, two guys pulled me out of my car, grabbed all the money and shot me twice. I’ve never seen either of them before, so don’t know what the hell that’s about.”
“Here, let me help you get more comfortable.”
Carefully, Max helps him sit up and lean back against the front tire of his taxi. Seeing the tremendous amount of blood surrounding the body, Max knows it’s not a good sign and the ambulance is not going to make it in time to save this guy’s life.
“Okay, just relax. There’s an ambulance on the way and I’ve got officers looking for those guys. Just hang on. I hear the sirens now.”
“I’m not going to make it, am I?” the victim asks as he weakly gazes into Max’s eyes and has to struggle for breath to speak. His face has completely drained of its color.
Max cannot bring himself to lie to this poor man at such a time. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Okay, will you stay with me and hold my hand until I’m gone?”
“Of course I will, Buddy. Just relax.”
Regardless of what the situation may be, cops have a unanimous tendency to tell those in the worst possible situations to “just relax”. Sami is always amazed at this propensity.
Max sits down on the street beside the man and gently places the man’s head on his shoulder as he tightly holds his hand.
“I’m right here and I will stay with you. I will get the son-of-a-bitches who did this to you and make them pay. I promise you!”
“God bless you.” The man can no longer speak above a soft, weak whisper.
Those were the last words the man ever uttered as he died in Max’s arms. Max doesn’t move until the ambulance with the paramedics arrive on scene. His face shows nothing, but inside his soul is screaming with sadness and anger at the same time.
The chapter continues on from here. How does Sami react to seeing her husband covered in blood? Does Max keep his promise to the dying man or does he fail? Read the book or Kindle and find out.
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