In The Midnight Of His Heart
By AL BRUNO III
August 31, 1993
Howard Connelly wasn't there but his partner Barbara Myles was. She was a tall, gum-chewing woman with dark, prematurely graying hair. Before John could even speak she said, “He'll be back in a few minutes. Have a seat.”
He settled down in the wooden chair, “How did you-”
“Howie said you used a cane, I heard it from halfway down the hall.” she replied without looking up from the sheaf of papers she was pouring over. Every few seconds or so she would pull the pen from behind her ear and make a mark on one of the pages.
There was amusement in John's smile as he mentally cataloged the things he could tell about her from a single whiff.
Detective Myles looked up at him, her expression dour, “You nearly got my partner in a hell of a lot of trouble Mr. Sig.”
“His off the record investigations on your behalf nearly made him trip up a DEA operation that's been almost a year in the making.” she got up and paced behind him. John had to twist in his seat to keep her in his line of sight.
“I don't know what you're talking about.”
“Really? How do you expect us to trust you when you've been lying to us all along?”
“What are you talking about? I came here in good faith.”
“You came here in a cloud of bullshit!” Detective Myles spat, “I called Phil.”
“Oh- I” John felt a blush crawling up from his neck to his ears.
“Oh? He said you're a good friend of his but he never authorized you to come here looking for favors.”
By now everyone in the room was watching the exchange, detectives and civilians alike. John opened and closed his mouth several times before sighing with resignation, “You're right.”
“You're damn straight I'm right.” Detective Myles sat back down and surveyed him with a frosty stare, “If you want to track somebody down you hire a private detective. Internal Affairs had a field day with us thank you very much. As God is my witness I was ready to come after you and bounce your stupid ass in jail for whatever reason I could find.”
“I don't care, next time you trip up my partner I will arrest you. I don't give a damn how deep your connections go.”
“Connections?” John wondered, I have connections?
Detective Myles pulled a business card from Howard Connelly's desk drawer, “When I found out you were feeding us a line I ran a trace on you and it led right to the Justice Department. You're buddy Gawain Wight got the DEA and Internal Affairs off our backs... he wants you to call regarding the information you need.”
“He does?” stroked his mustache. “He did?”
“Saved your ass is what he did.” she turned.
Using his cane John stood and headed for the door, his skull pounding. He'd steeled himself for the worst, expecting to hear that Angie’s body had been found in some secluded place in a barely recognizable state. Not knowing was somehow worse. Now he had to go and bear his throat to Gawian Wight for the information. Fine. He thought, I just hope he has more sense that his father did.
Howard Connelly was waiting for him at the bottom of the secluded stairwell, “Mr. Sig?”
His voice startled John from the thoughts of what going back to Project Pharos might mean. “Detective Connelly,” his voice was barely audible, “if you're here to scold me, I'm not in the mood for it.”
“No.” he said, “That's Barb's specialty.”
“Then if you'll excuse me...” John tried to shoulder past him only to have Howard grab his arm. With a snarl John shoved the detective away. John rounded on him his cane raised, “Touch me again and I'll-”
“Don't do it!” Howard hissed, gasping for breath.
“I'm not going to hurt you.” John lowered his cane, trying to calm himself. Even if he'd wanted to kill this puny little man, this was neither the time or the place.
“I mean don't go to Gawain Wight.” Howard straightened, his confident demeanor gone; “He’s trouble.”
He snorted “I’m not afraid of Gawain Wight.”
“He used us.” Howard explained, “We thought he was helping us on a murder investigation, but he wasn’t interested in arresting anyone. He made us party to a fucking execution!”
“I appreciate your concern.”
“For Christ's sake listen to me! If you get in bed with him he’ll own you!” Howard shouted after him as the stairwell door swung to a close, “Just like he owns us.”