Konan and Lilly loaded into the SUV and headed back toward the police station. The SWAT van had left before them, and they should have Terrace signed in by the time the detectives arrived. Neither said anything on the ride back. The realization that power had corrupted their chief so completely overwhelmed their senses. The usual banter between the two partners had dimmed. While Konan and Tia Mathers had never connected outside of work, Lilly had been friends with Tia for years.
It made sense that Lilly would take the news hard. Konan respected Lilly enough to give her room to process the betrayal. Of course, Tia’s betrayal came as no surprise to Konan. He expected that everyone would act according to their nature, and politicians, regardless of the political affiliation, only had one nature. All political actors are corrupt, some more so than others, but all are corrupt or corruptible.
“I can’t believe it, Konan. At least we got Ric Terrace. Maybe he will cough up the rest of the story.”
“We’ll get them, Lilly. We will do whatever it takes to bring them all down.”
Silence engulfed the car as Konan drove them back to the precinct. Two SWAT officers escorted their suspect into the building. Lilly trailed after them. After Terrace was booked into the system, two officers escorted him into an unoccupied interview room. Konan walked behind the glass and turned off the cameras. He needed information, and he knew that Terrace would die before he gave up Billy and Cartwright.
Konan stared at his reflection in the mirror. He meant every word he said to Lilly on the ride to the precinct.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to put these traitors in the ground. Even if I die in the process, they’re not leaving here to harm anyone else.”
Ric Terrace sat at the desk and waited. The door opened and Lilly came and sat across from him. She sat his file on the table and looked him in the eyes.
“Can I get you some water? Coffee? It ain’t hitting on a whole lot, and I’m not sure how old it is, but I could get you coffee.”
“Okay. I’ll get a public defender over here.”
“I want my phone call.”
“Well, fine then. I’ll make arrangements for you to use the phone.”
Lilly picked up the file and pushed away from the table. Konan walked in, and Lilly nodded her head at Terrace. Konan nodded.
“I’m gonna make arrangements for SBD to use the phone.”
“Silent but deadly, or so they say.”
“Okay. I’ll keep our guest entertained.”
Terrace laughed, both detectives looked at him and waited for an explanation.
“What’s so funny?”
“Detective Thompson, do you know anything about your partner?”
“Sure. I know quite a bit about him.”
“What about his time before becoming a police officer? Did you know he would torture the locals to gain intel? Or that he got his squad killed? He’s everything you claim to stand against, and yet here you are.”
“You have the right to remain silent,” Lilly said leaning over the table, “why don’t you do us all a favor and shut your man-pleaser?”
Ric Terrace leaned close to Lilly and licked his lips. Lilly didn’t back down. Konan cleared his throat, but Terrace and Lilly ignored him.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on you, Thompson. You will scream my name before I take your life.”
Lilly noticed the red dot on the camera was off and she grinned. She leaned back and slapped the suspect with the back of her hand. Red blood poured out of his mouth as his head banged off the table.
“Don’t threaten me with a good time, boy. You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
Terrace leapt to his feet and snarled, but Konan stepped between the two. He nodded toward the door, and Lilly gave him a thumbs up. She picked up the file and left the room. Konan sat across from Terrace.
“I ain’t telling you nothing. So, do your worst, Konan.”
“It’s always the same thing, Ric. Go here, kill this person. Go there, kill that family. All the blood and you’re still nothing more than a paid employee. I’m sure at some point you figured you would rise through the ranks, right?”
The hitman said nothing to Konan. It was only a matter of time before Cartwright or Billy would discover his fate. Then, an attorney would come in and arrange for bail. No one knew Terrace was a hitman, his record would list this as his first offense. Thanks to the connections Billy and Cartwright had made through the years, several computer technicians kept clean files for all of their employees. Every four hours a clean record was loaded to various law enforcement mainframes.
It was one way that Billy and Cartwright stayed ahead of the game.
“You always were second best, Terrace. There was no way you could ever fill my shoes. Cartwright knew that. Everyone knew that. If I were to go to work today, Cartwright would put me over you. You’re a second-rate hitter, an unambitious one at that.”
“I do the work of ten of you. One day when Cartwright is gone, I will take the contract to kill you, Konan. Then, you will know that I am better than you.”