Captain Lecan was a smoothie. I can’t think of a better word to describe him. His hair looked like it had popped out of a plastic moulding machine, his eyebrows were match perfect and neat like the zippers on a leather jacket and the sharpness of the crease in his pants would have given a razor blade a complex.
He sat behind his desk staring at me with baby blue and whiter than white eyes, not a vein in sight which just isn’t right for a Captain of this precinct. How can you trust a man with no whiskey tracks in his eyes ?
“A desk job ... you want a desk job ?” he asked and smiled a thin precise chrome steel smooth smile.
“Yes,” I replied. He waited for more words but I didn’t oblige.
“You’re a street cop Palmer,” he said making a small adjustment to the papers on his desk, which were already in perfect geometric alignment. “You’ve been a street cop for 15 years, it’s what you’re good at. Don’t get confused blood lines at this stage of your career, you’d be about as useful behind a desk as a sledge hammer in a Swiss watch factory. “ He reached down into a drawer of his desk and brought up my gun, placing it in front of me very delicately, as if it were a glass full of nitro-glycerine.
“IAD have cleared your last little escapade on the Brooklyn case so you’re back on the job. This is your tool of the trade, this is what turns little men into big men,” he re-activated the stiletto smile and sat back with the sort of self assurance a salesman has when he’s scored a big hit.
“It also turns big men into dead men,” I replied. “I’ve been shot three times in the past five years; I’m starting to get a bit pissed off with it. I figure I’ve earned a desk job.”
“Well you figured wrong,” he replied. “If you’re running scared maybe you should consider some other profession, although what that might be in your case is difficult to imagine.”
I gave some serious consideration to picking up the gun and shoving it so far down his throat I could have tickled his appendix with the barrel. I opted for a different track.
“I could go private,“ I told him. “Divorce, missing people, corrupt policemen taking back-handers from mob figures, associating with known mob hookers. After fifteen years on the street you get to know a lot of the shit going down in this town.” I smiled my own version of the liquid metal smile and watched him closely, but the bastard remained ripple free smooth.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do,“ he said finally. “I’ll put you on the cold case desk for a month, give you a break. But short of a miraculous score, after that it will be back on the street.” This time there was no smile, and his voice had an edge sharper that the crease in his pants. So I got the desk job for a while, but I think I’m going to have to watch my back for the next month.