#Winter

“This don’t feel right,” Mr. Armillo Roya says, looking out the window of Daniel’s squad car. Mr. Roya doesn’t want to be seen across from the laundry mat, nearly two blocks away from his gang’s turf. Detective Daniel Harrison and Detective D’wavoire Manstry know that. They also know that Mr. Roya is having the moral dilemma that most career criminals have when choosing to save themselves over ratting out their friends.
“I’m sure that your cell feels a lot better. Tell me again, how much did they put on your books?” He grunts, then lean back in his seat.
“We are wasting precious time, Daniel. Let us take him back to the station. He can stay in prison until the winter. We can revisit him then. I’m sure after his friends forget about him, he will change his mind and, as you Humans say, beg us for our deal.” D’wavoire adds.
“You’re starting to get the hang of our lingo, Partner. How’s that sound, Mr. Roya? I’m sure the boys down in county are just waiting for a rock star like you to give them a little excitement. I’m sure one or two of the guards could use an assistant like you.”
“I’m not an assistant,” Mr. Roya huffs.
“An errand boy in the streets is an assistant in the real world, kid.”
“Let’s just get this over with.” Mr. Roya says, getting out of the back seat. D’wavoire and Daniel follow.
“Remember, we need a confession. Without it, your information is useless. you do not want to know what I do with people that are useless to me.” D’wavoire said, squeezing Mr. Roya’s shoulder a little tighter than needed. The message sinks in when he tries to move her hand, only to find that he can’t even budge one of her fingers. Nervously laughing it off, he taps her hand to signal that he gets the point.
“I really hate to have to give you this speech, but let’s just cover our bases.” Mr. Roya rolls his eyes, but when D’wavorie puts her hand back on his shoulder, he straightens up. “I’m going to give you your gun back. The prints run down at the station have been removed, thanks to some very good courtside tickets that I planned on using. Don’t do anything stupid with this. If you do, D’wavoire here will gladly take you down. So, do we need to go over the plan?”
“Nah, I got it. Go up there, convince the boss that you had nothing on me. Get him to give me evidence that he killed that scale bag. Then I walk free.”
“That ‘scale bag’ was a Talon priest that helped a lot of people. Pay more respect to the dead. One day you will be among them.” D’wavoire says, pushing Mr. Roya against the squad car.
“Alright, fine!” Mr. Roya protest.
“Oh, did I forget the part where my partner roughs you up a bit? It must be old age creeping up on me. It wouldn’t be believable if you came back without a scratch. Partner, try not to have too much fun.” Daniel says to D’wavoire with a smirk.
“No promises,” D’wavoire says, giving him a few gut punches to soften him up.
Once Mr. Roya acquired a few bumps and bruises, they say their ‘goodbyes’ and drive away.
Sure that Detective Manstry broke something, Mr. Roya limps down the street.
Making his way to his place of work, some of his ‘coworkers’ notice him. Rushing to his aid, they begin to question him.
“Nah, it’s okay. Those dumb ass cops just had their way with me, but I got a bullet for them when I catch them on their own.” Mr. Roya plays the part. The last thing he wants to see is Detective Manstry and his partner. “Where is the boss?”
“Patron is at the end of the block. He has the ninas.” Damn, this was bad, Mr. Roya thinks. Interrupting the boss with his kids was as bad as going back on his word to Detective Manstry. What was he to do?
There were only two things he did know. Number one, Detective Manstry was far stronger than the boss. Number two, the boss knows where his family lives.
The idea of betraying them both fight back in forth in his mind as he hobbles down the street, harassed by the other gang members. Why should he be loyal to a bunch of punks that didn’t really care that he just got his ass beat by a super cop and her pet?
For the same reason that he joined the gang in the first place, someone had to put food and medicine in the house for his Mother. His father went ghost shortly after she got pregnant with him, and Abuela made it clear that she would not help either of them again unless Mama disowned him.
If Mama would not give up on him, then he would not give up on his Mama.
“Aye, Armillio, you good?” The boss says. Even though his words are those of compassion, his eyes say something else. More along the lines of ‘what are you doing here?’
“Yeah, I’m all good, Patron. Just ready to get back to work.” Mr. Roya has to make a decision.

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