In a rare occurrence, the sun is shining all across San Francisco. There are throngs of reporters camped out in front of the mayor’s home, hoping to catch a glimpse of Sam Davies’s family since they don’t have access to the man himself. Television, newspaper, magazines. Regional, local, national. Patricia, Sam Jr., and Eddie have become prisoners in their own home. They don’t dare to go out except to run to Safeway in the middle of the night, not even to attend school. Patricia’s mother has moved in with the family to take care of her grandchildren. None of them will speak to the media about what’s happened, not even to make the obligatory ‘no comment’ comment.
“In a stunning turn of events, the mayor has been arrested for the recent murders…”
“He’s charged with framing an innocent woman…”
“The mayor, his lawyer, several of his men, the chief of police, the editor-in-chief of the Chronicle have all been charged…”
“A kidnapping/pedophile ring…”
“The city is besides itself…”
“Photographs, documents, DVDs…”
“The mayor raped and murdered his own daughter five years ago…”
“His lawyer taped it…”
“Delilah Wire is completely exonerated…”
“Victim of a malicious plot…”
“I’d advise her to sue…”
San Franciscans are shocked by what’s being revealed on a daily basis. They can’t believe that Sam Davies could have been involved in such heinous deeds. Since the chief of police is involved as well as other cops and since it’s a federal case, the FBI have taken over. No one trusts the SFPD to take care of the mess—a mess in which they had a hand in creating. People aren’t talking about anything but the scandal on the streets of San Francisco. The Republicans are quietly gloating, of course, but publicly, they restrain themselves. Even the most ardent right-wingers, however, would never have wanted little girls to come to harm in order to further their cause. People are shocked. No one can quite believe the magnitude of the situation. An evil like that should be able to be felt, to be seen, to be scented. It’s beyond comprehension how the evil had been allowed to exist in their midst so peacefully for so many years. They will continue to ponder this for a very long time.
“Ah, there’s no place like home,” I say, looking around my apartment in satisfaction. Even though I’ve only been gone two weeks—Mowgli and I stayed at the hotel a week after—it feels like longer. In order to celebrate, I have a few friends, mostly new ones, over. Mowgli, Vandalia, Incubus, Tron, and, Mona Lisa who looks uncomfortable. I invited Mrs. Sanderson, but she wasn’t up to it. We had a little celebration of our own, however, replete with chocolate éclairs. I thanked her for believing in me, which caused her to tear up. I also slipped her a check for ten thousand dollars which she was reluctant to take, but eventually did. Her Social Security isn’t enough to cover her husband’s illness. My new group of friends and I have just finished watching the news which was all about the scandal, of course.
“Click your heels three times, Dorothy,” Mowgli says amiably, chugging from a Molson Ice bottle. “So you’re not moving?”
“Nah,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “Rent control, you know. Where else am I going to find an apartment with this kind of space for a thousand a month?” Besides, Mrs. Sanderson’s got my back, and the rest of the neighbors are falling all over themselves to make it up to me. I even got a reward from the FBI, which makes it that much easier to pay rent.
“I can’t believe you didn’t get more credit,” Vandalia exclaims, reaching for a chip. “I mean, you busted the case wide open.”
“I don’t need that kind of notoriety,” I shrug. “Not in my line of work. Lord knows I got enough face time to last me the rest of my life.”
“We did good, didn’t we?” Tron asks with a sly grin. He has his hand on Incubus’s thigh, so it appears they are now ‘a thing’. “I was nervous with those fucking cops around.” Turns out that the cops arrived on Tron’s doorstep after we had left, compliments of Mowgli. Good thing Tron knew about it ahead of time so he could clear the immediate area of anything less-than-legal. Fortunately, he thought it was a kick to work side-by-side with the boys and girls in blue for once instead of against them.
“Man, that was fucking cool. Next time, though, we get paid,” Incubus snaps, actually breaking off a smile. “Me and Tron are going in business together.” I shudder to think of the damage the two of them can do, but they seem pretty happy.
“I did good, huh, T.?” Mona Lisa asks nervously, jiggling her leg. She’s wearing a miniskirt so short, her ass cheeks are hanging out. She’s tossing back the Sam Adams like there’s no tomorrow.
“You did good, M.L.,” I reply sadly. It’s hard for me to look at Mona Lisa and not remember when I was just like her; it is harder still to look at her and see how far I’ve come.
“I’m quitting the game. You’ve inspired me to get out of the life,” Mona Lisa says abruptly. “I’m going to write to my parents and see if they can, you know, float me a few. Just until I get on my feet.”
“Sounds like a plan, M.L.,” I say. The others are quietly conversing amongst themselves, so Mona Lisa and I are having our own dialogue. “Be sure and let me know if I can help.” I look at my girl and know that she’s not going to make it, but I hold my tongue.
“You should sue the hell out of the city,” Vandalia says dramatically, tossing back her curls. “For the duress and strain. Or maybe the mayor’s estate. I can’t believe you turned down the money.”
“Blood money,” I say grimly. I have little desire to take money from those bastards. In fact, I’m debating what to do with the twenty-five thousand DiCalvo signed over to me. It’s still sitting in my bank account, waiting for me to do something with it. “Little girls were raped, tortured, and killed by those men. That doesn’t sit too well with me.”
“Me neither,” Mona Lisa says softly. She looks ill, and I know she’s thinking about the fact that she’s actually fucked one of them. “Fucking bastards.” Tron and Mowgli wisely remain silent.
“I can’t believe you were going to kill them,” Vandalia says, her eyes wide. “I can’t believe Mowgli lied to you.”
“I can’t believe that, either,” I say darkly, glaring at Mowgli.
His lying to me is still a sore spot between us, but we’ve been friends too long to let something like that permanently damage our relationship. He did what he thought was right; it’s just too bad that I don’t happen to agree with him. Detective Beauregard has been a boon throughout the whole ordeal, however. The three of us crafted carefully tailored statements; Tron and Incubus did a quality editing job on the tapes they have of the little confrontation in the hotel rooms. The Feds are certain that we’re hiding something, but they can’t find anything amiss. With the evidence that Mowgli and I turned over to Beauregard, all the players are going away for a very long time. The mayor is up for the death penalty, but I highly doubt he will receive it. The rest of the boys have varying possible sentences from twenty years to life; I was correct in surmising that the deaths of girls not from the States are not as big a deal as the girls the assholes fucked in the States. Besides, as I’ve said, only the mayor can indisputably be linked to an actual death. I know that the Feds and Beauregard did the best they could, but it enrages me that all the assholes aren’t up for the death penalty. There is only one thing I can do about it now, however; I will be at every trial to make sure that the last face those boys ever see on the outside is mine.