The second I see him, I know Ed’s not our guy. No way someone Ed’s size took out the Russet. Hell, the knife the Russet was killed with is bigger than Ed. Still, there’s something here. Ed’s nervous. He’s got information he doesn’t want me to know. I plan on getting it out of him. Ed’s a bug and bugs get squashed.
I had a uniform pull Ed’s file on my way to see him. No surprises. He’s a junkie through and through. A couple of possession charges, a trespassing ticket, and a warning for pawning stolen goods. Never finished high school. Meaning, Ed’s not smart enough to know we don’t have a three strike rule in this state.
I tell Ed he’s looking a little green. Maybe there’s something he saw he needs to talk about. Or maybe he’s just strung out and looking for a third strike, a hard twenty in the slammer. I tell Ed a guy like him wouldn’t do well in prison, wouldn’t be able to fight, would end up getting pimped for cigarettes. Guys like Ed are too dumb to see through the clichés. It works. He panics and starts running his mouth. He tells me he was just following the Russet, that’s all. That the Russet was dead by the time he caught up to him. Says he was hired, promised an all you can snort buffet on mirrored glass. Says it was going to be the good shit too. Not the crap cut with gravel he’s been snorting, powdered rock with powdered rock, a cure for the healthy nose.
I ask him who hired him. No answer. But he’s starting to sweat. Ed’s a dinner plate in an earthquake. A little pressure and he’s going to break. He knows it too. Can’t even make eye contact with me. I ask him again who his boss is, throwing a little violence into the question, the threat of physical harm a growl in the back of my throat. He gives up the name. Guys like Ed always give up the name.
It’s a big name too – J. Icama. I thank Ed and let him go, a quiet fuck you to the honorable Yukon Gold. I gather my thoughts as I walk away, a light rain starting to bead down on the sidewalk. Icama’s a mob boss, nearly untouchable. But he’s definitely got a mean streak and the size to be my guy. Not sure what a Russet would be doing with Icama, but from what I know, Icama is more than capable of gutting a man. Looks like I’ve got my first suspect…