"Hola Kevin...I want you to know that you are the only person who can call me on my day off and get me to meet with you." she said smiling that smile that could melt a glacier!
"You mean you have a day off?" I joked when I saw her...
"Occasionally boss lady gives me a day off....Have you not been reading the papers?...We just caught a major serial killer.." she said.
"Yeah, from what I've been reading...you guys caught two in just the last month....That guy that was roaming around the southwest killing prostitutes and that goofy reporter,Beavers, who was killing people...He wrote an investigative piece for my magazine once....Good writer, but I could tell he was an odd sock even then." I said laughing...
Carlotta smiled...I ordered her and myself two tumblers of coffee...
"So ...What is on the mind of the great private investigative genius.?" she asked..
''Oh, you make me sound more than I am." I said. "Chica...I know that you're a Homicide Detective now..but I also know that when you were a patrol cop ,you used to work the Northern Liberties area...Fishtown, Kensington and what not.."I continued..
"I lived in Northern Liberties.I worked it as a Narcotics Detective too." she said.
"So...you probably know all of the players right?" I asked.
"A lot of them are in jail or dead now...You know how that goes.." she said.
"Well, did you know anybody who fought dogs?, Who trained dogs...???" I asked.
"I knew a few...One guy in particular...Tico...Tico Vasquez...He's retired, or so he says..He did a five year stretch in the State Penn for dog fighting and illegal sports betting" she said.
''Could you get me a meet with him?"I asked.
"Sure...I could try...What's up?" she asked.
"I'm looking for a dog...In particular...a trained Pit Bull...A client of mine was mauled and wound up in the hospital and he doesn't think it was an accident...Your boy might know who's training these dogs and using them to send messages." I said.
''Are you talking about juice...Loan Sharking?" she asked.
''Not quite...something different...Something big....Tell your husband and the boss lady that they will be hearing from me soon anyway..."I said.
Carlotta smiled..She kissed me softly on my cheek..
"You make police work sooo much fun." she said and dabbed her cocktail napkin in her water and wiped her lipstick imprint off of my cheek...Her kiss was as soft as a feather..I imagined she must drive ADA Wallace crazy...
"I'll call you with the information and set up that meet." she said.
''Thank you Carlotta...I won't disturb you on your day off again." I said and smiled..
"That's okay...It was you. Love you baby." she said and smiled again.
"Love you too Chica." I said.
Tico Vasquez owned a kennel in the Port Richmond area of the city...I visited him there and he didn't look too happy to see me...
"You are Carlotta's friend?" he asked..
"Yes...My name is Morris, Kevin Morris...I'm a private investigator."I said.
"I don't fight the dogs anymore." he said.
"I know that and I don't care if you do..I'm not a cop."I said.
"Where is Carlotta?? She is one fine mami.." he said with a salacious smile.
''She's happily married." I said.
''To you?" he said.
"No, not to me, but to one of my friends.." I said.
"Damnnn, I wanted me some of that...Aye Mios Dios...I dreamed about her when I was in the joint." he said.
''Hate to interrupt your fantasy pal...but I'm looking for a dog." I said.
"A dog?" he asked..
''Yeah...a trained Pit Bull...The kind that responds to a whistle...You know the kind that only dogs can hear?
My client was nearly eaten up by this type of dog and he wants to know where the dog is and who owns it." I said.
"I have plenty of Pit Bulls here, but none are well trained like that..." he said.
"You hear things on the street playa....I know who you are...So let's not play games...Here is my card..That's my cell phone number...Here's sixty dollars...You hear anything...Call that number...If it's a good tip...There is more money from where that came from...feel me playa?" I said and looked Tico square in the eyes.
"I feel you dude....If I hear anything...I'll give you a call." he said.
I smiled and left.
I missed my wife...I had been running around investigating this case...and had seen her going to work and at night fast asleep when I got in late. She was in Josies... Gus pointed to where she and Bonita, Robert Foxworth's wife had been sitting when I came in..
''Ohh, hey Bonita, how are you?" I said.
"You two need a room.." she laughed...
"I've been busy and you two been busy and I've missed my sugar." I said.
Sepia giggled like a school girl...
"Oh is that why Sepia has been keeping a perm in her hair longer than three days?" laughed Bonita...
"Ouuuuuu girllll, you wrong for that." laughed Sepia as she and Bonita laughed their little conspiratorial laugh..
Just as we were getting ready to order drinks..I noticed Lt. Sissy Van Buren and two uniformed police officers coming in Josies and walking over to us...
''Hey ladies." said Sissy with a smile.
"What's goin on Boss Lady?" I said.
"Kevin,I'm just glad that you and Sepia are okay...There's been a home invasion." she said.
"Oh yeah...Who's home?" I said.
"Yours!" she said..
Sepia, Bonita and I followed Sissy back to my house.....
My house was in very good shape for a place that had been broken into...everything appeared to be there...
Laptops, ipads, ipod docks, computers, Flat Screen TV's...All the stuff you figured a burglar would steal....
My wall safe was untouched...
''Kevin, a squad car responded within thirty minutes....but this place looks too neat and clean for anything to have been stolen...Maybe the guy panicked." said Sissy.
I looked around...
"Yeah maybe...Nothin seems to have been touched and they didn't toss the place..."I said.
Then I saw something..Something weird...
"Sepia...one of my shoes is missing.." I said.
"What?" she said.
"The new pair I just bought...One is missing." I said.
"Come again? Someone breaks into your house and all that is missing is one shoe?" asked Sissy.
I thought about it for a minute....
"You know Sissy...I have a client...He was nearly chewed to pieces by a Pit Bull....and he told me that in the days leading up to the attack his house was broken into and all they stole was one shoe." I said.
"Of course Kevin...For his scent...Whoever stole his shoe and possibly yours needed to give the dog the scent off the shoes.." said Sissy..
Sissy giggled like a school girl....even blushed a little bit...
''Look..I'll assign plain clothes cops to this neighborhood and I'll run a few uniforms down this block.. Want to tell me what's going on?" she asked.
''My Client is Vince Scully. He's been writing an investigative piece on Cookie Cutter and he thinks maybe Cutter had that dog sicked on him to shut him up."I said.
''And Vince hired you to find a connection between Cutter and his attack right? That's like trying to find a needle in a haystack....but then again...you're good at finding needles." she said and laughed...
"Yeah? Well keep this under your hat....Vinnie found out a lot more...Like Cutter is secretly in the drug business...the illegal kind... I've been compiling evidence...Evidence that will be coming your way soon as soon as I can connect Cutter to the drugs..."I said.
"You never cease to amaze me Kevin...I'll be awaiting your call and your package.... Good night you two...be easy." said Sissy.
After she left, Sepia and I chilled out...
''It's okay...the fool who broke into our house has already had his photo taken and it's at police headquarters now...He'll be picked up probably within the next few hours."I said.
Sepia kissed my forehead...
"With your shoe." she said and laughed...
"Yeah with my shoe.."I said..
What wasn't funny was that I was now the target of a killer pit bull.
(TO BE CONTINUED...)