The rain was coming down in a deluge. Sergeant Lyle Hirschberg was driving. He could hardly see through the windshield as the wipers tried their best to keep up with the onslaught. Steven was sitting shotgun and squinting through the darkness to try to figure out exactly where their turnoff was. “I think it’s the next block,” he said.
The two men had been working together for three years, and Steven considered himself lucky to have Lyle for a partner. Lyle didn’t look like the typical TV detective with his slight, unmuscular frame and his thinning red hair, pale complexion, and nervous demeaner. But Steven had found him to be a dogged investigator and unfailingly dependable in a clutch. They were headed for the house of Edgar Escochea, whose nephew Manny Sanchez had just been paroled. Sanchez was supposed to be staying in a halfway house, but their intel told them otherwise. They had merely wanted to talk to him about one of his former buddies, Lester Chavez, who had taken part in a gas station holdup with Sanchez but had escaped capture and conviction. Now, if what they had heard was true—that Sanchez was hanging around with Escochea, another convicted felon—his parole could be revoked. The two detectives would like to avoid that. They’d rather get their hands on Chavez and get him off the streets. Steven was eager to get Sanchez down to the station, interview him, and then get home. Tonight, was the opening of Olivia’s play, and he had promised Rosemaria that she would be his date. It was already half past five, and he needed to be at the theater with his daughter by eight. He hoped Sanchez would be a willing witness and not cause any delays. They had the parole violation to hold over his head, so he should be willing to spill his guts about whatever he knew.
Lyle made a right turn, and Steven started reading off the house numbers. “Forty-two fifty-eight. It must be the next one, with the broken fence.”
Lyle drove by the house slowly. There was a dim light inside. He parked half a block away, and they both pulled their Glocks out of their holsters, checked them, reholstered, stepped out of the unmarked car and into the pouring rain. They walked quickly down the street, eyes on their surroundings, to the front porch of the dilapidated house, where they found a bit of shelter from the downpour. They peered in the front window and saw no one. They could barely make out a table in the kitchen that seemed to be laden with piles of small plastic packets of a white powdery substance.
Steven spoke first. “No warrant. We can’t go in.”
“I guess we didn’t hear a cry for help either.”
The light in the kitchen went out. “I’ll go right. You go left.” Steven said.
Lyle took out his Glock and flashlight and stepped off the porch. Steven did the same. They proceeded to slowly make their way around either side of the house. The adrenalin of both men was surging. Rain and sweat were mingling on their faces as they approached the backyard
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