I am currently working on another novel. This time Mike Romano works as a Narcotics Investigator in his quest to earn the rank of Detective and the coveted “Gold Shield”.
Work is slow on this one and hopefully will be ready for publishing this summer.
In the next novel, Mike gets a new assignment, Narcotics………He is having a celebratory lunch with the detectives from “Dirty Baggs” when their good time is tarnished by the arrival of Dennis Bryan. Here is the scene:
As the men were finishing off their third extra large pizza, one loaded with home made Italian sausage, and waved for more beer to wash it down, Mike almost choked as he peered over his glass as he brought it to his lips for another mouthful of the amber liquid. Walking toward him, casually dressed, his face flushed and pumpkin-like as he remember him, was the huge bulk of Deputy Inspector Dennis Bryan. Mike froze as his mind instantly flashed back to key incidents regarding the man. His thoughts raced;
Dennis protected his brother-in-law, a pedophile. When I was first on the job and living in Jackson Heights and married to that whore.
Mike’s thoughts raced along, Dennis was a also graft taking cop and took $8,000 as explained by my family friend, Rocco Banducci, for pushing to void a lawful arrest that I made while working in Midtown South……
Mike remembered his parting conversation with The Great Pumpkin as he left his command for the last time,,,,,,,,,,,
What a sight, I thought as he walked closer to me and I carefully chose my words. “Well, Deputy Inspector Bryan, all I can say is that it has been a true experience serving in your command.”
Bryan smiled, took a swallow of beer and answered, “Glad to see there’s no hard feelings Romano. You’re a good cop. A little crazy, but a good cop. By the way, hope you like your new command. Where is it?”
Mike remembered thinking, either he’s playing me or he’s drunk and can’t remember where I’m going. “It’s the 123 Precinct, Tottenville, on Staten Island, sleepy town, not very busy.”
Mike remembered the big man asking what Mike thought he should have known the answer to, “How did you manage that? Got a hook?”
Mike remembered pausing to craftily respond with, “Well, Boss, you’ve seen my jacket. Bribery collars, killing a pedophile, I saw you at his funeral, remember? Anyway, Staten Island is slower then Manhattan and you know that I like being active. I’ve usually had steady tours and haven’t worked the clock more then a total of three years in my entire career. In Tottenville there are no steady tours. I’ll have to work the clock. The midnights will be boring. I like to fish though. I’ll probably carry a fishing pole on the midnight tours and sneak some fishing in. Do you like fish?”
“Sure do Mike, Are you going to come visit and bring me some?”
Romano remembered how Bryan’s face frowned and twisted at the same time as he asked, “How will I get the fish then?”
Mike remembered answering just loud enough for most of the men to hear, “I’ll send the heads to you by way of Department Mail. Enjoy.”
Inwardly Mike Romano chuckled as recalled the response, Dennis’s eyes got wide, his ruddy complexion paled, as he dropped the open can of beer soiling his pants and shirt. The six pack of beer balancing on his ample belly thumped to the floor. “Just what the hell are you trying to say Romano?”
Mike remembered smiling at the ruddy face as he answered, “What I’m saying is that you and your bigotry can kiss my fuzzy Italian ass!”
Mike quickly put his glass down on the table as The Great Pumpkin moved close to Flynn, held out his right hand and asked, “Sergeant Flynn, One Two Oh squad, I believe?”
Andy Flynn hesitated for a split second before reaching out and grasping the big man’s hand, “Inspector Bryan. Am I correct? Are you still the CO of the Academy?”
Bryan was pleased as seeing that Romano was paying close attention to the exchange. His ruddy face smiled like the magical Cheshire cat from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland as he answered, “No, I managed to work my way into the South Manhattan Borough Office as Executive Officer, second in command.”
Flynn quickly responded, “Nice place to be.” Without waiting for a response, Andy put his left hand on Mike’s shoulder and said, “We’re here celebrating the transfer of Officer Romano to Manhattan Narcotics. Romano’s a sharp patrol officer on his way to a gold shield. Mike was temporally assigned to our squad to work on a homicide case with us and it turned out that the shooter was a dirty cop. You probably heard about it, the guy was a bag man and part time enforcer for the mob. Without Mike, I don’t know it we ever would have solved the case. His instincts are sometimes uncanny.”
Dennis quickly answered, “Yeah, I heard about it. Officer Romano and I know each other from some time ago.” He then turned his attention to Mike and said, “Romano, you always had a knack for doing the unexpected, it worked out for you again, didn’t it?” Bryan’s tone had a menacing edge to it.
Mike realized that the conversation was quickly becoming personal, as it usually did when Mike was under Bryan’s command back in Midtown South. He wasn’t going to risk the friendship of Sgt. Flynn and the men around him by playing into The Pumpkin’s Hand, so he took his time before answering by first picking up another slice of pizza and sprinkling a generous amount of crushed red pepper on it, then, slowly put it down into the plate sat on the table in front of him as his body tensed.
Sgt. Flynn had no idea what they were talking about, but still had his hand on Mike’s shoulder and felt cop’s muscles tighten and gently squeezed the shoulder in a silent plea for the Mike to control himself.
Feeling Flynn’s caution signal, Mike turned and said, “It’s good Sarge. The Inspector and I are just reminiscing, that’s all. Aren’t we Inspector?” Mike’s scrappy personality could not resist getting a little dig in, “Oh, by the way, eat any good fish lately?”
Bryan’s face began to glow a deep crimson at Romano’s question. Dennis knew that Michael would not back off and began to dread what foul secrete would the ballsy Italian cop would drop if the conversation continued as it was going. Quickly he once again reached for Flynn’s hand, nodded at the other men at the table and mumbled, “Nice to see you all.” Looking directly at Romano with a malevolent stare, he coldly added, “Hope that someday you get that promotion, if you can stay out of trouble”
Mike couldn’t help himself, “Probably make Detective before you make full Inspector. Have a nice day.”
Bryan’s face flushed as he began to respond, “What?” then had second thoughts, turned and slowly walked away, slowly shaking his head, his mind spinning, remembering full well the past problems he had that he attributed to Mike. The job was loaded with people who were afraid of him, Mike Romano not only was not one of them, but would come back at him if pushed as if the young cop was always a step ahead of him. Bryan wanted to know why he was so comfortable doing it.
The men at the table sat dumbfounded in silence at Mike’s remark. Andy Flynn faced Romano, “Mike, I know that you’re a quick witted cop but I never got the idea that you were suicidal and would go nose to nose with a Deputy Inspector. I take it that you are not a fan of his. What happened while you were under his command? Can you talk about it?”
The men of the Two Oh squad all but sat on the edge of their chairs, waiting to hear the background of the quick pointed exchange that they just witnessed. Mike took a swallow of beer before he answered, “Well, first let me say that I am generally not in the habit of challenging a superior officer, but I have made exceptions. Without going into details, I’ll say that Dennis Bryan and I have disagreed on a moral issue.”
Sgt. Flynn spoke as Romano paused to gather his thoughts, “Mike, when we got involved with Inspector Rothwell from One PP and the Boro Commander just before we had our coordination meeting to nail Capelli, I got to look at your personnel jacket, you’re squeaky clean. What moral problem could you have had with Bryan?”
All eyes and ears were on Mike as he answered, “I had no moral problem, he did and it wasn’t prudent to announce it at the time. Before you all ask, no I’m not in the rat squad. Dennis just offends me, that’s all. Let’s get back to my sendoff party,” he replied as he picked up the pizza slice in front of him.
Det. James took the opportunity to say, “Romano, after seeing that little joust, I’m happy that we’re parting on good terms. Something tells me that if really pissed off, you could be a handful.” There was subdued laughter all around.
Half an hour later the men were headed back to the Two Oh.