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Authors: Victor Methos

Run Away (13 page)

BOOK: Run Away
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Tate Reynolds was smoking a bowl outside of Lee’s house on the large patio stacked with furniture. A few neighbors were out, but they were also getting high or drunk to be able to get through another day.

Tate sprinkled a fine white powder on his weed.
Angel dust. He’d started experimenting with it in high school when he was running with a biker gang. One of his buddies had ripped out his own eyeball while he was on the stuff, and since then, Tate had been careful. He only sprinkled it on his weed. The drug’s effects were powerful and immediate. He felt as if he could stop a semi-truck with his body or jump off a building and break through the cement like Superman. But it left a bad taste in his mouth, as though he’d eaten a light bulb.

Tate finished the bowl just as a car pulled up to the house
—a Rolls-Royce Phantom that Tate was certain cost almost half a million dollars. Three men, all black, were inside. Two were beefy guys dressed in sports coats, with gold chains dangling from their necks. The one in the backseat was wearing a fedora, a purple suit, and matching shoes. He stepped out with a golden cup in his hand and gave it to the guy in the passenger seat then approached the home.

“Where’s Lee?” he demanded.

Tate shouted, “Lee, get out here.”

Lee stumbled out a second later. “Hey, Dominic
. What’s up, man? Where you been?”

“Here and there, little
cuz. How’s your mama?”

“She good.
Gettin’ by, you know.”

“That’s good. Well
, you tell her hello for me.”

“I will.”

Tate blew out a puff of smoke. “So, we gonna do business, or you guys gonna suck each other’s dicks the whole time?”

Dominic stared at him. He turned back to Lee and
asked, “Who’s this arrogant muthafucka?”

“It’s Tate, man. The one I told you about on the phone.”

“Fuck this muthafucka. I don’t do business with cocky-ass cracker Nazi muthafuckas.”

“No, Dominic, he’s cool. I know him from back in the day. He just got some bitches and wanted to meet you.”

Dominic turned to Tate. “That right, cracka? You got some bitches you want me to look at?”

Tate placed the pipe down on the side table and rose to his feet. “I didn’t think pimps were supposed to dress like pimps.
Don’t that make the cops come lookin’ at you?”

gotta dress for tha game if you gonna be in tha game. Where them bitches?”

Tate motioned
toward the RV. Dominic strode over there, and Tate and Lee followed. When no one was looking, Tate reached back and felt the grip of his pistol. He didn’t trust any of those fools. They could all turn on him. As far as he knew, Lee was playing him.

Dominic opened the door to the RV and stepped inside.
Hiapo was sitting at the table. The young girl was on the bed.

“The older one’s in the bathroom,” Tate said.

Dominic strolled into the back and opened the bathroom. Sharon was seated on the toilet. Though she didn’t look as hot as she had the night before, her beauty still shone through. Dominic looked her over like a farmer examining a cow.

what are you going to do with me?” she stammered.

Nothin’, baby doll,” he said. He turned to Eliza. For her, a smile came over his lips. “How old are you, child?”


“Thirteen. And I bet you ain’t never been with a boy, have you? You ain’t never fucked?”

She shook her head.

“That’s a good girl. You save yourself. That’s valuable. Most valuable thing a bitch has.” He watched her a moment longer then sauntered back to the front of the RV. When he walked, he tried to appear as though he were gliding with a limp. It was too much. The pimps he’d known were just junkies who raped and beat girls often enough to get the girls to work for them. That meant either Dominic was so high level that Tate had never seen a pimp like him, or he was full of shit and posing as one.

“I’ll give you twenty-five hundred for both,” Dominic said.

Tate scoffed. “You asked about her fuckin’ ’cause you know virgins is worth a lot, don’t you? And I can turn them out myself and make twenty-five in a weekend. I’m talkin’ about selling ’em off.”

“And who else you
gonna sell ’em bitches to, cracka? You ain’t know nobody. And you put them bitches on the street without any experience in tha game, and some other nigga gonna steal them bitches in a minute.” He looked at Lee and exhaled. “But if you a friend of my cousin’s, then I be straight with you. Virgins bring in a lot. Some folks pay as much as twenty-five G’s to be with a virgin her age. I can get her overseas to them Muslim muthafuckas and make even more. The other one’s just a whore like any other. Ain’t worth much. But I take the girl.”

“No, you take ’
em both. I don’t want either of ’em.”

Dominic thought a moment, staring at his
freshly manicured fingernails on his left hand. “A’ight. I give you fifteen for the both of them. And that’s it.”

“I can live with

Dominic nodded and stuck out his hand. Tate slowly put
out his hand and took the other man’s palm.

Gimme one day to get the money to you.”

“A day? Player like you doesn’t have
fifteen K laying around?”

“Have to have u
ntraceable bills. I don’t write muthafuckin’ checks.”

Dominic said good
-bye to his cousin and stepped off the RV. Tate watched him go, a grin on the pimp’s face. He took out a cigarette and lit it, turning to Hiapo, who was also grinning. “Hundred and fifteen K, and I didn’t have to hurt either of ’em. You see that, Lee? That’s how you get shit done.”

“Cool, man. And I get a taste, right?”

“You get two K for callin’ your cousin.”

K? Y’all parked in front of my house. You couldn’t’ve done this without me.”

K. You got a problem with that?”

Lee swallowed and looked from
Hiapo to Tate. “Nah, man.” He turned and opened the door without another word.

When Lee had left the RV, Tate sat down at the table and slapped
Hiapo’s shoulder. He smoked a bit more then said, “Where the fuck is Sticks?”






Stanton was acquainted with this section of the island. But he’d never been there at night, so nothing looked familiar. Fences, which were falling down, surrounded rundown homes. Dogs were chained up in a few torn-up lawns. Several cars that he knew wouldn’t run were parked on the block. There was no HOA there, not even much of a police presence unless someone was raped or murdered.

Tate Reynolds lived in a brown one-story home with no fence.
A group of young men were drinking in front, near the corner of an intersection. As he rode by in his Jeep, he heard two of them say, “Po-po, man.”

though he was in his Jeep, wearing casual clothing, they could somehow tell. Just like most cops had a sixth sense when it came to criminals, they had a sixth sense about the cops, too. Stanton parked in front of the house and got out. Laka pulled her jacket out of the backseat and put it on, covering as much flesh as possible. As they walked up the sidewalk, the men stepped back without saying anything. Stanton looked them over to make sure no one was reaching for a weapon. The men eyed him, staring him down, but didn’t go for anything.

The screen door was falling off its hinges. Stanton pulled it back
carefully and knocked. A light went on inside the house. Slowly, the lock turned, and he could hear a chain being pulled off the metal latch. The door opened, and just the slightest hint of a young woman thrust part of her face out, only her eyes and forehead.

“Yes?” she said quietly.

“I’m looking for Tate Reynolds. Is he here?”


“Do you know where he is?”


Stanton looked back at the men on the corner. They were listening to everything. “We’re with the Honolulu Police Department. May we come inside, please?”

She hesitated. “I guess.”

She opened the door, and Stanton stepped in first. The house had no furniture other than an old futon covered with blankets and pillows in the living room and a beat-up table in the kitchen.

“What’s your name, ma’am?”

“Cindy.” She folded her arms across her chest.

“We just need to talk to Tate. I think he may be involved with some bad people
, and he doesn’t know what’s going on.”

“Tate can take care of himself,” she said.

“I’m sure he can. But I’d like to speak with him anyway. Any idea when he’ll be back?”

She shook her head.

“Have you talked to him recently?”


“I take it you’re his girlfriend,” Laka said.

“No, his wife.”

Stanton glanced around the home. He could picture their entire marriage, nothing but drugs and abuse. The track marks going up Cindy’s arms told him she was a prisoner there, just as if she’d been chained in the basement. Her old bruises had healed over, only to be bruised again. She was terrified and confused.

“Tate left you here by yourself,” he said. “He doesn’t care about you. You don’t owe him anything.”

She stared at the floor. “He takes care of me.”

“He uses you. Nothing else. I know someone that can get you out of here. Get you a place to stay until you find a job and land on your feet.”

She looked up at him. “Away from here?”

“Cindy, you don’t have to be here. He doesn’t own you.”

For an instant, and only an instant, a hope flashed across her face. Her eyes lit up, and her lips parted as though she were about to smile. But as quickly as it had come, the hope faded away. And her eyes sank back to the floor. “I don’t know nothin’,” she mumbled.

Stanton watched her
a moment. “Where did he say he was going?”


“Who is he with?”

“Sticks and H.”


“Hiapo. I don’t know his last name. They stopped here and got some things and left again.”

“Do you know
Sticks’s name?”

“His first name’s Tom. I don’t know his last name.”

Stanton glanced around once more. “Are you sure you don’t want to take me up on that offer, Cindy?”

She nodded.

“Mind if I have a quick look around?”

She didn’t say anything, so Stanton walked into the kitchen
then the bedroom. He was looking for a basement or attic, somewhere Tate may have hidden something. But the house’s few rooms were bare.

he and Laka left, Stanton saw the young men on the corner. They had been watching the house the entire time. He had no doubt they would relay everything they’d heard to Tate as soon as they saw him.

“I can run the AKA Sticks through
Spillman,” Laka said. “Might get lucky. It’s kind of unique.”

“Do it. I’m going to hit another source.”

“What source?”

“Just a gu
y I know.”






The bar and grill wasn’t really a bar, and it definitely wasn’t a grill. Stanton had never been there in person. Whenever he needed something from the owner, he called. The owner was a squat, obese man named Billy Green. Because his name was so close to the Michael Jackson song, people called him “Jean.” When Stanton stepped inside, he saw Jean waddle into the back.

The bar was
hazy with cigarette and weed smoke. It catered mostly to bikers and drug dealers, but sometimes, average citizens looking for a cheap prostitute went there, too. The biker gangs had jumped on prostitution once they figured out that the cops weren’t enforcing the laws against it anymore. Most of their girls had been taken from pimps the gang members had beaten or killed, but some had been kidnapped. Some were runaways, and others were bought and sold like cattle.

For their first year or so, most of the girls tried to run
for help. So the gangs kept the new girls on lockdown for the first year. They brought the johns in, and the girls weren’t allowed outside by themselves. After the first year, Stockholm Syndrome would begin to wear away their will to be free, and they began to form false relationships with their captors and willingly accepted their positions as sex slaves.

Stanton saw the girls. He
had covered up his badge and left his gun locked in a hidden compartment of the Jeep. He hoped that was enough to prevent anyone from recognizing him as a cop at first glance. He got stares as he strolled through the bar, but nothing threatening. Someone like him being there was a normal occurrence. In fact, it was how they made their money. Men would get off work and stop here for a drink, a girl, or some blow before heading home to their wives, who had no idea what their husbands’ private lives were like.

At the bar,
Stanton waited for the bartender, a woman with tattoos running the length of her arms.

She looked
at him without smiling. “Yeah, what did you want?”

“I need to talk to Jean, please.”

“He’s in back. I’ll grab him when I get a sec.”

“Sure. Thanks. Um, can I get an
apple juice please?”

The woman gave him an odd look
before pouring the juice. Not drinking would have been a sure sign that he was a police officer, and he hoped the apple juice looked just enough like whiskey or beer to avoid raising any suspicions.

After wiping down the bar and serving three beers to a table in the corner,
the bartender went in back. A moment later, Jean hobbled out. He motioned with his head for Stanton to join him in back.

The back room was cluttered with paper and cartons of liquor. Jean cleared some space on a chair by folding the papers together and forcing them into a drawer. Stanton sat down across from him and waited until the man got up and shut the door. He took a flask from his pocket and swigged some whiskey before sittin
g back down and wiping his lips. “I don’t like you coming here, Jon. As much as I like you.”

“I wouldn’t have if I didn’t need to. Sometimes you don’t call me be back for a day or two and this couldn’t wait.”

“Hm. Well, I appreciate you hiding your badge at least. What was it you needed?”

“I’m looking for someone with the nickname Sticks.”

“Sticks, huh? Why you need him?”

“I think he’s involved in a kidnapping and murder.”

Jean whistled through his teeth and took another sip of whiskey. Stanton could smell it. He knew the whiskey was the most expensive thing Jean imported. He wasn’t one to skimp on booze.

“Yeah, I know him. He’s low level.
Nothin’ but a punk. He and his buddy Tate come in here sometimes and sell their shit.”

Stanton nodded, noticing a poster of a naked woman behind Jean.
He immediately looked away. Jean and Stanton had an understanding. Stanton didn’t inquire into the bar’s activities, and Jean gave him information whenever he asked. Jean had been invaluable to numerous investigations. Where the police’s information ended, Jean’s began. It was worth letting the drug dealing slide. But Jean knew human trafficking was not something Stanton tolerated. If Stanton ever saw any direct evidence of it, he wouldn’t hesitate to arrest him. Maybe one day, Stanton thought, he would. Right now, he needed him.

“I need to find him.”

“He’s usually over at the Red Buckle. You know the place?”

“Yeah, a bar down in Chinatown, right?”

“That’s the one. His uncle or someone owns the place, so he’s always there.”

He nodded and rose. “I appreciate it, Jean. Take care of yourself.”

“Yeah, man, well, see, you can actually do me somethin’, too.”

“What is it?”

“My little sister, man. She’s locked up right now on a coke charge. Anything you can do?”

Stanton took out his phone and opened a note pad app. “What’s her name?”

“Melinda Green.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

As he was on his way out, one of the women stepped in front of Stanton with a wry smile on her face. She placed a finger in one of his belt buckles, exposing his badge that was clipped to his belt. She saw it. “Interested?”

“No thank you,” he said.

She slipped her finger out of the buckle and walked to the bar. As he opened the door to step outside, he heard her say, “Fag.” He didn’t miss a beat as he shut the door and walked to his Jeep. He wanted to get to Chinatown as quickly as possible. Even with a gun and a badge, he didn’t want to be there alone too late at night.

BOOK: Run Away
6.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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