Naomi kept a firm grip on her Colt Official Police revolver as she ran down the sidewalk, the tall New York City buildings and alleyways rushing past. “I said stop! NYPD!” she shouted. Ahead of her, a man in a blue suit fled. He took a quick glance back and then ran across the street. A red Buick Roadmaster screeched to a halt, horn blaring, almost hitting the fleeing suspect.

Naomi ran over the hood of the car and followed the man across the street into an alley. He tipped over a garbage can, but Naomi leapt over it. “That’s enough,” Naomi said. She pointed her revolver into the air and squeezed the trigger. The crack of the gunshot reverberated in the alley, and the man slowed to a stop, his hands raised over his head. “Take one more step and you won’t live to take another.”

Naomi holstered her pistol and wrenched the man’s arms behind his back. She slammed him up against the side of a brick building and secured his wrists with cuffs.

“Easy, sweetheart,” he said. “Rough me up too bad and I just might think this is a date.”

Naomi smiled and jabbed her elbow into his kidney. The man cried out, and Naomi shoved him harder up against the wall. “That rough enough for you?” She pulled him back and pushed him toward the street. “Go ahead, keep running your mouth.”

Naomi returned to the police station with the criminal and left him with two uniforms at the main desk who hauled him away to a cell. She walked to the detective’s office and sat down at her desk.

A moment later, the phone on her desk rang.

“Detective Blake,” Naomi said.

“Mark Falco is in interrogation room one.”

“Thanks.” Naomi hung up and stood. She walked down the stairs to the first floor and swung open the first door on her left. The translucent pane rattled when she closed it. Naomi sat down across from a younger man, his chin and cheeks covered in stubble from a few days of not shaving. His black suit was trim and pressed. The man sat straight in his chair, a smirk on his face as he tapped an unlit cigarette against the table.

“Is my lawyer here yet?” the man asked.

“If he were he’d be in here, wouldn’t he, Mr. Falco?”

The man smiled. “I suppose. Well, I’m nothing if not patient.”

“Look, Mark, I’m not here to dick around. Falco Corp. trucks have been spotted making late-night deliveries to an out-of-business warehouse at the edge of the city.”

“You’ll never get anything out of me. I’m no rat!” Mark slouched in his chair and laughed.

“Is there no end to your bullshit?”

“I don’t know what you want me to tell you. Perhaps there was a mix up. Sometimes the drivers get the address wrong.”

“Come on, Mark, this isn’t the first time you’ve been in trouble for drug trafficking. An abandoned warehouse on the edge of the city is the perfect place to store drugs ready to be moved out.”

“Then get a warrant and search the place. I don’t know what to tell you.” The door opened and a tall man in a blue suit stepped inside the room. “And that would be my lawyer,” Mark said, smiling.

Naomi stood and snatched the cigarette from Mark. “Thanks for all your cooperation.” She brushed past the lawyer and exited the interrogation room, making her way toward the main door of the station.

Once outside, Naomi pulled her brown trench coat close against her body, shielding herself from the bitter wind, and walked down the steps. She leaned against the side of the brick building and perched the stolen cigarette between her lips. A moment later, the cigarette was lit, and she took a deep drag, the smoke stinging her lungs, and exhaled. She watched as the cars drove by on the busy street. People on their way home from work, oblivious as to what was really out there in the city. Unknowing of the shootings, murderers, and drug addicts that she and the rest of the force protected them from. She recalled the last time she broke one of the city’s finest pariah’s arm at the elbow. Brought it down over her shoulder. She could still hear the snapping pop in her ear.

Naomi took another drag from her cigarette. She heard the door to the police station open, and Mark and his lawyer walked down the steps. Mark glanced at her and smiled. She wasn’t really convinced he actually had anything to do with the warehouse deliveries, but she didn’t know why. Naomi exhaled the smoke and watched as Mark and the lawyer climbed into the back of a black car.

As the car pulled away, a taxi pulled up into its spot. A woman threw a wad of money at the driver and scrambled out of the car. She hurried up the steps and into the police station. Naomi flicked the cigarette away and rushed in after her.

“I’m telling you, he’s missing,” the woman said to the officer behind a desk.

“What’s going on?” Naomi asked.

“My husband is missing,” the woman replied. “He hasn’t been home the past few nights.”

Naomi observed the woman’s tear-streaked face. She appeared to be pretty shaken up. “Are there any other women in your husband’s life?” Naomi asked.

The woman stared at her. “What are you saying, that my husband is having an affair? How dare you! My husband would never— I can’t believe you would even—” She paused. “I’ll bet they took him!”

“Who took him?”

“Those bastards from the—,” she began

The doors to the station burst open and a figure in a black trench coat opened fire with a revolver, sending everyone diving to the floor, and filling the room with screams.

Naomi pulled the pistol from the holster at her hip and crawled behind a desk. She looked at the woman. Blood soaked into her shirt from three bullet wounds. Naomi peered around the desk at the entrance, but the doors were shut. She slowly stood, staring down the barrel of her pistol, her heart racing. She took two quick breaths and lowered her weapon. “Is everyone all right?” she asked, looking around.

“Everyone except her,” a police officer said, pointing to the dead woman.

Naomi walked over to the body and knelt down by her head. Her green eyes stared at nothing, void of life. She checked the woman’s pockets and found a folded piece of paper. She opened it and read:

This is your last warning. If we catch you sneaking around the warehouse again, you’ll find it awfully hard to write for the paper without any fingers.

Warehouse? Naomi thought. Maybe it’s the same one where the Falco trucks were spotted. She returned the note to the woman’s pocket and stood, turning to face an officer who had just walked in from outside. “Get anything?”

The officer shook his head. “Nothin’,” he replied. “No one speeding or running away. It’s like he just vanished. Even grabbed his shell casings from the floor.”

“Interesting. Well, apparently this woman worked for the paper. Interview any witnesses and get me a photo of her as soon as possible.”

“Yes, detective.”

Naomi looked at the dead woman before her. She didn’t know what to make of it. Woman comes in claiming someone took her husband, and then someone kills her just as she’s about to reveal who. She couldn’t be positive what, but something within her knew that this case would be one of the biggest the city had ever seen.

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