Chapter 13: M-M-M-My Sharona!
Duffy glanced nervously down at his watch once more. It was nearly 2 o'clock now, and Jezra hadn't show up yet. Shifting, the Irish detective nearly winced as the old wooden pew creaked with every shift of his body. The anticipation for the time he would see Jezra again had him glancing at his silver watch once again, the face glaring back at him in the dim lighting of the Church. 1:55pm.
Was she going to show? Duffy couldn't be sure, though he brushed off the hurt he felt from Jezra not trusting him. He'd put his career on the line for this girl years ago…had she begun to think he'd changed in the years they'd lost contact? It hurt to say but maybe. If he was in her shoes, especially with the Saints hanging around her, he'd be weary of cops too (even if that cop was an old friend). With a heavy sigh he brought his hand up, the leather of his glove rubbing across the rough stubble on his cheek. Glancing to his left, Duffy nearly rolled his eyes. At least out of the two cops sitting in the back, Smecker looked relaxed that had to be something, right?
The Agent next to him was kneeling, hands clasped together as his head bowed. If Duffy had been any normal Church-goer and didn't know Smecker, he'd probably brush it off as the older man praying for forgiveness or the good health of his peers. Almost perfect; except for the fact Duffy swore he could make out the words 'My Sharona' as Smecker bobbed his head in time with the beat only he could hear. Unless The Knack had somehow been written into the pages of the Bible, Duffy knew Smecker didn't have a religious bone in his body. Sighing in exasperation, Duffy looked down at his watch again. "Two o'clock. She ain't coming." He said quietly to Smecker wanting to get away from the suffocating scent of incense and candles. So Jezra didn't trust him after all..
But a sharp buzz caught him off guard as Smecker casually pulled out the prepaid he'd insisted on taking from Duffy. Flicking it open carelessly he said. "You're late." Her soft laughter drifted through over the line. "None sense…I'm right on time…" Smecker frowned at the game she was obviously playing before continuing. "Listen Jez, I'm not turning you in. But we do have to talk. " There was a soft hum in agreement that made him think of a cats purr. If he'd been straight that probably would have brought him to his knees. "We'll talk. Meet us at McGinty's in twenty. Just the two of you." With that she hung up.
Slipping the phone back into his suit pocket, Smecker turned back to an anxious Duffy. "Well your girlfriend certainly knows how to keep us on our toes. No wonder why she wasn't caught last time.." Duffy sighed in relief, chuckling quietly they walked outside spotting a black car parked right in front of the church, the driver patiently leaning against it. Smecker paused quirking a brow up at the younger man. "You know you're not allowed to park near a hydrant right?" Smecker said evenly to which the young man ignored instead opened the door to the back seat showing off the soft gray leather interior. "I've been sent by my employer to pick you both up." He replied instead bending slightly at the waist and waving his hand toward the inside. Duffy held out his arm, stopping Smecker in his tracks to watch the suspicious cop curiously. "Who's your employer?" He asked sharply, even if Duffy had an idea of who sent him he was no rookie and refused to just get in the car.
The driver, though seemingly new to his job, smiled politely. "She said you'd be suspicious and I was to give you this." Stilling as the man reached into his inner pocket taking out a small card much to their amusement and promptly handed it over to Duffy. Smecker leaned over Duffy's shoulder (which wasn't hard considering he was taller) confused as he flipped it over and chuckled.
'Get in the Car Duffy..'
The message was simple enough, but the detective would recognize that scrawled cursive and lip print anywhere. The deep crimson had become a custom and Duffy knew perfectly well this was her 'working' shade of lipstick. Folding the paper he shoved it deep down into his pockets. "Alright, let's go then." Nodding he slipped into the back seat and Smecker did the same.
Waiting until the Chauffeur closed the door Smecker looked over the younger man critically. He knew Duffy has known this Jez girl very well, and cared for her enough to alter evidence or at least keep one behind so she wouldn't be caught. But he had to wonder. How well did Duffy now the girl, how did they even meet?
So he did the Smecker like thing and asked him. "Ey, how do you know this girl anyways?" Smecker said brushing off his dress pants before casually crossing his head. "I doubt she's the kind you find in your neighborhood bar." The agent questioned taking a moment to slip his hair back into place. But Duffy kept his eyes down at his hands. It had been so long since they'd first met, but Duffy could still remember every detail. The shade of her lipstick, how her eyes shimmered with crocodile tears he hadn't been able to see through, down to the scent of her jasmine shampoo; he'd neither coveted the memory nor regretted it just remembered.
Smecker waited impatiently for an answer and just when it looked like Smecker would have to employ some kind of method to drag it out of the reluctant Irish cop, he answered. "It was when Santo and Peccatore first started. I was a rookie then, Jez was sixteen, and her brother was around….eighteen or so.." Duffy said squinting slightly, trying to place Demetri's age in his mind's eye. "I was part of her mission…" He muttered bringing his hand up to rub it tiredly over his five o'clock shadow suddenly feeling old. "She came into the station one night, looking small and scared muttering something about witnessing a crime…she looked a mess crying their begging me to help…was caught up in her eyes. " Duffy snorted as Smecker raised a brow. Well he was not expecting this…"I took her into the interrogation room at her request, leaving all my notes and case files on them right there on my desk…" He chuckled darkly at the naivety of his younger self, his hand slipping inside his pocket to touch the card Jezra sent to him, fingers twisting the small card. "I'm still not sure how it happen…" Duffy shook his head glancing over at Smecker but not really seeing him. "One minute I was trying to figure out what happen, the next thing I know I had her under me right on the table.." The Detective admitted rubbing his hand along his jaw again trying to banish the memory of Jezra, her eyes large and dark still slightly glossy from her tears as they clouded over in pleasure her crimson lips parted as she panted against his neck urging him on.
"Well…I never pictured you with a thing for the younger ones. And to top it off, the interrogation room?" Smecker whistled shaking his head. "A bit riske don't you think, what with those one way mirrors..." Duffy narrowed his eyes, glaring at the FBI agent. "I was working late that night. And I didn't know she was sixteen until later, she told me she was eighteen..." Duffy defended himself wearily, but Smecker was hardly one to care; He was after all about to help out the Saints. Not like he could turn Duffy in for a one time deal…
"Is that the only time it happen?" Duffy hesitated but carefully nodded his agreement, which Smecker seriously doubted. "Like I said, I was her mission. By the time we finished her brother, Santo, had collected most of the evidence that could possible incriminate them, and Jezra ran out as soon as she was dressed. I met her again a while later, gunshot wound in her shoulder; I took her to one of those free clinics. After that…it just became normal for me to help them out…" Duffy trailed off back to his thoughts. How did it become so normal for him to help them out? Why would he put his badge on the line for a couple of kids who were in over their heads? Maybe he did care for them more than he allowed himself to think about even on his worst nights where he stayed up late with crap television and a whiskey.
"Lovely story…" Smecker drawled lazily clasping his hands around his knee. "It even made the ride pass quicker. Too bad it looks like we're not going to McGinty's, after all…" "What?" Duffy answered twisting to look out the window just as they rode by the bar not even bothering to slow down. Slipping out his gun, Duffy flicked off the safety before banging angrily on the tinted glass that separated them from the driver. The glass rolled down an inch the driver glancing up through the rearview mirror. "Yes, sir?" He questioned and Duffy scowled in response. "You went past McGinty's? Where the hell are you taking us?" His finger slipped down to the trigger but the driver answered promptly, clearly confused with this turn of events. "McGinty's sir? I was ordered to take you to club Ever..." The driver finished rolling up the glass divider but not before Duffy heard the rhythmic clicking of the directional.
Smecker put a hand on his shoulder. "Put it away there cowboy. I know this place…" The Agent admitted crossing his arm, though Duffy could see Smecker smile grimly at the name. "The fuck is Club Ever, and why are we going there…?" Duffy questioned sliding his gun back in the holster as the car slowed to a stop. "Obviously your girlfriend doesn't trust us…or me. Whatever..." Smecker said carelessly sliding out of the car. Duffy glared. "She's one of the Saint's girlfriends, not mine." He growled as he slid out of the sleek limo. "Oohh…touchy.." Smecker teased strolling forward.
"If you're both done…I'll take you down to see Jez, better hurry. The Irishman she's with is a bit twitchy…" The fox chuckled as he waltzed into view rubbing the back of his neck fingers pushing back the unbuttoned collar of his shirt to rub relaxing circles into the soft skin. Smecker glanced up with interest, his suspicions confirmed. Jez seemed to know the fox, quite well judging from how willingly one of the smarter, slyer criminals in the city picked up two cops. Eyeing the dark green button up that was draped over the fox's frame, Smecker lit up a cigarette trying to remain unaffected by the red head as the Fox turned to lead them down into the bowels of the club.
Pausing outside a large metal door, no doubt bullet proof, the Fox paused gesturing toward a burly man standing sentry beside it. Duffy tensed eyeing them wearily, but he relaxed noticing Smecker didn't look disturbed by this turn of events. "Sorry boys, can't let you through without checking for any toys…" The fox said coolly and Duffy nodded his agreement allowing the large man to pat him down, grabbing the holster and gun by his side without a flinch.
Smecker stared at the fox coolly taking another drag of his cigarette. He'd perfected the cool and undisturbed look years ago, but the fox didn't seem fazed by it. If anything the sly criminal's eyes darkened to forest green in amusement as he stepped forward. "If you don't mind, honey..." The red head teased and Smecker shrugged, mentally preparing himself for the feel of the foxes hands. But the fox was quick and efficient, thorough without allowing his hands to linger. Pulling away, the Fox turned and opened the door, waving them in. "You sure know how to pick'em Jez…"
Her soft laughter drifted out of the darkened room. "Thanks, I owe you one foxy…" "This one's on the house babydoll…" The fox called into the room, shooting the girl inside a wink before turning around and waltzing off down the hallway. Duffy walked in first followed by Smecker who handed over his lit cigarette to the giant man by the door. Shoving his hands in his pockets he wasn't surprised at all as the door closed tightly behind him.
First thing he noticed about Jezra was that she was entirely feline like. The agent watched her, noting how her eyes followed Duffy's movements intently as he strolled forward, much like a cat would a toy being dangled before it as it waited for the opportune moment to bat it away. Her little body moved with easy feline grace, every stepped poised and elegant as she moved to meet Duffy. "I've missed you!" She practically purred to the Detective much to Smecker's amusement as the girl wrapped her arms around his new accomplice. Though her Irish wolf hound did not look too pleased from how she greeted Duffy, her face lighting up as she gave him a chaste kiss. Though from Smecker's angle it looked to be a little long for a greeting and he guessed the Irishman noticed it to from the dark scowl as he twitched reaching for the smoke behind his ear as if to distract himself.
"Oi Jezra…" Murphy ground out impatiently, avidly watching the pair a few feet away ignoring the knowing smirk from the FBI agent. It was obvious even to Murphy these two had history. And he wasn't too sure he liked that idea. But the girl whirled away from her old friend painted lips curved up and her nose twitched briefly. "Jealous..?" She cooed softly, but that didn't stop her from skipping back over to scruffy blue-eyed man practically wrapping herself around his arm. Murphy scoffed and rolled his eyes not rising to the bait.
Finally turning to Smecker, Jezra offered him one of her casual smiles. "So you're Smecker then? Duffy was right; you are a lot smarter than Allans'. He was a moron." She said easily, dragging her crimson nails down Murphy's arm before waving them down graciously to sit at the table. "Allans…Allans…Oh, right, I remember him. He was an idiot." Smecker snorted taking a seat on the side of the table with two chairs leaning forward on the table taking out his smokes again.
Duffy sighed, slumping down next to Smecker, sick of all the pleasantries he spoke up. "Jezra, what the fuck is going on? Why the change Jez…" Jezra grinned as Murphy slid into the lone chair, the girl hopping up on the table crossing her legs neatly swinging her legs back and forth. "Cause the Saints wouldn't let me go alone. Or a place that could be decked out with cops. "She explained idly offering only a half shrug, her leather jacket riding up slightly before she tugged it back down. "So I called in a favor from the fox. But as to why we're here…." She gaze a side glance to Smecker. "That's your part." Smecker leaned back in his chair.
"I do have a couple questions. " "What sorta' questions?" Murphy cut in suspiciously and Duffy glanced between them, deciding to stay quiet only allowing the side of his mouth quirking up at Jezra winked at him. "The usual. How many of you are there? Do you plan to stay in Boston or.." Murphy pulled the thumb nail he'd been biting away from his mouth frowning. "And why should we tell you'?" He questioned and Smecker leaned forward after lighting up his smoke. "Because I want to help. While I may not be overly religious- I can appreciate the attempt to clean up the streets. "
Murphy opened his mouth but Jezra pressed a finger to his lips without looking at Murphy. "There are four of us; The MacManus boys, me and an idiot Italian." There was a muffled curse and Jezra rolled her eyes and Murphy sniggered chewing once more on the skin of his thumb nail. Turning to her accomplice, Jezra sighed heavily. "I told them to just come out here. But your brother had to do it movie style..." Murphy nodded. 'Ya' get the fuck out here would'ya.." He called over his shoulder watching Jezra giving Duffy an apologetic look. "The boys wanted me to be careful, ya?" Duffy nodded in understanding as Smecker leaned back in his chair watching as Connor and a displeased Rocco emerged from the shadows probably from a hidden room, which only added to Smeckers inner theory that this was where the fox conducted business. With a greeting nod, Smecker got to it. "What I need from you is what you need for help. I offer my services." "We need info on this man Il Duce…the Fox was kind enough to hand some over. But, there are still some blanks I'd like to fill." Jezra answered promptly getting right down to business giving Smecker a leveled look. Smecker whistled in return. 'So Yakavetta went for him? Well…he's certainly done messing around."
"Exactly. Came after us, looked to be in his late 50s, and carried six guns. Shot at these three over at the McAlister place." She supplied and Smecker sighed. "A senior frickin citizen with six guns…who knew Greenly could get one thing right. "
"We need his whereabouts.." Connor finished off. Smecker nodded. 'I'll run it through my best snitches and sees what I come up with. In the meantime, what's next on the agenda…"
Connor looked at his 'group'. "Tonight we hit Yakavetta in his own home. Then we'll be movin on, probably New York…"
The meeting adjourned a little while later, giving Jezra and Duffy some time to talk. He reached out his hands gripping her arms, blue eyes blazing as he stared her down seriously. "Be careful Jezra…" He said quietly. She smiled. "I'm neve-" "Jezra" He cut her off sharply, and her grin disappeared as he cut her off.
"Duffy…" The girl under his hands sighed, a hand coming up to rest against his cheek fondly. "I'll be careful…" She whispered tilting her head to offer a smaller genuine smile. "You've always looked out for me…I won't let that go to waste..." Jezra vowed her hazel eyes filled with grim determination. They stared at each other for a moment in companionable silence before he said. 'If anything happens…" He hedged and Jezra laughed softly but it lacked any of her usual amusement. "I know exactly where I'm headed if something happens to me…and I'm ok with that." She said shrugging and her hand dropped from his face as they lapsed into silence again.
Suddenly brightening, Jezra stepped closer to her favorite detective pressing against him, curling an arm around his neck loosely her free hand gently brushing against his cheek again. "You know what Saints and Sinners both have in common Duffy?" The Detective watched her quietly only placing one hand on her hip, as she leaned forward. "They can both be completely reckless." Jezra told him playfully pressing her lips against his once again, her lips moving against his heatedly as if dredging up old memories which he was willing to remember in that moment as he answered the coaxing crimson lips on his. Reluctantly he was the first to pull away kissing her forehead gently and releasing her. "I'll find a way to let you know I'm ok…" She promised softly and Duffy nodded and they both turned away slowly, Jezra walking back over to the Saints and Rocco, and Duffy leaving the room with Smecker who'd graciously waited by the door for his accomplice.
"Lipstick…" Smecker sang as he waltzed out the door, pointedly not looking at the smirking fox talking to the large sentry guarding the door. Duffy scowled but pulled out a napkin from his pocket wiping off the residue from Jezra's lipstick.
Jezra stood by Murphy who wasted no time in pulling Jezra toward him, tucking her under his arm. 'Trying to make me jealous m'dear?" Murphy asked his lips right by her ear as he spoke thee Irish hilt to his accent making her grin, tilting her head as he kissed a faint scar on her neck. "I don't have to try very hard…" She told him cheekily leaning her head back to get a better look at him. Murphy smirked in response. "Jus' remember your' mine Peccatore..." He said her name rolling off his tongue in smooth Italian. "Guess you need a Saint to balance out a Sinner…" Watching as he flushed, a twinge of red appearing below his darkened eyes Jezra smirked fondly.
It was as if she could feel something tying them together. They'd never spoke about their relationship; whatever this was. But they both knew there was no just fulfilling a deal, there was something there. Even during the rows of passion between them, something made it hotter fueling the fire and attraction between them, the absolute trust. Their words never delved so deep. But in that moment, the exchange of sub-texted words in the shadowy corner it was official. Whatever it was exactly, and where the lines were drawn in this relationship, it would all be defined later. But at the moment they were content to be together. It wasn't love, or perhaps it was and they didn't feel the need to acknowledge it. Not with the need to send Papa Joe Yakavetta to meet his maker. They had all the time in the world….after tonight.
'Let's fucking go…" Connor called to them and Rocco nodded his head bouncing around fidgeting once again. "We got work to do!" The Italian said in agreement and Jezra scoffed. 'Idiota!"