Lead Us Not Pt. 3

Home of Hondo Harrelson – Morning –

Unexpected company was becoming a regular thing, so it seemed.  Hondo slowly made his way to the door as the doorbell rang for the second time.  Glancing through the peephole he didn’t recognize the attractive blonde on his porch. He slowly opened the door puzzled at why she was here.

“Sgt. Daniel Harrelson?”

“That’s me, how can I help you?”

He watched her hand raise as she showed him her gold badge.

“Lt. Paula DelDotto, LAPD. May I come in?”

“Sure, sure.”

Hondo stepped aside allowing her inside his home. Her eyes studiously scanned the room; the sign of an experienced cop he thought to himself.

“Can I offer you something; coffee, tea?”

“No, I’m good any more caffeine and I’ll be flying around the room.”

“Please have a seat.”

Lt. DelDotto sat on the couch as Hondo slowly eased himself into the armed chair across from her.

“So, what brings you by, Lieutenant?”

“I’m sorry for coming by so early but I wanted to talk to you about a case I’m working.”

“Okay, I’m not sure how I can help but…”

“Oh, I think you can definitely help Sgt. Harrelson.”

“Please, call me Hondo.”

“Okay, Hondo.”

“We found the body of Ricky Bolton in a downtown alley last night.”

“Okay so what does that have to do with me?”

“It has everything to do with you.”

“I’m not following.”

“Richard ‘Ricky’ Bolton is a known associate of Maurice Jamison; one of the men you accused of attacking you.” She noticed his expression change. “Sound familiar now?”

Hondo recognized the name as soon as she’d mentioned it. It was the same name De Silva had mentioned earlier and the man who De Silva had plans to apprehend.

“Are you trying to accuse me of having something to do with his murder?”

“I’m not accusing you of anything sergeant but if you know anything and withhold it…”

“I don’t know anything, Lieutenant! Now if you don’t mind, I need to take my pain meds.”

Hondo stood waiting for her to do the same. Finally, she stood, taking another moment to survey her surroundings.  She stared into his face studying him for any clues of guilt.

“Look Hondo I know De Silva came to see you. It’s been a rumor around LAPD that he and his team operate as some sort of vigilante group within the force. We haven’t been able to prove anything but when we do, and you’re involved…”

“I said I don’t know anything, Lieutenant!”

“Fine, fine.” DelDotto headed toward the door with Hondo on her heels. Before leaving she turned to face him. “Get better I’m sure your team misses you.”

S.W.A.T. Headquarters – Afternoon –

Deacon had noticed that Luca had been unusually quiet since visiting Hondo yesterday morning.  They’d been too busy for him to ask how the visit went until now.  Deacon found his friend in the kitchen heating up another creation from his food truck and he joined him grabbing the last of the stale coffee.

“Hey what’s up with you?” Deacon began.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean you’ve been quiet since you got back from Hondo’s. Is he okay?”

“I’m worried about him, Deac.”

“What do you mean?”

“I think he’s going to do something like go after the men who hurt him.”

“Did he say he was?”

“Not in so many words but, I don’t know, something’s not right and he won’t talk about it.”

“Just give him some space; it’s going to take a while to get over this. As long as I’ve worked with Hondo, nothing has ever happened like this to him. He’s never been beaten…it’s going to take a minute for him to realize that he’s human like the rest of us.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“So, what are you heating up?” Deacon asked changing the subject.

“Something new that I can’t pronounce. All I know is that I’ve been eating it for the last two days and it’s amazing! There’s enough for the whole team; want to join me?”

“Sure, why not.”

Chris and Street where drawn into the kitchen by the amazing aromas that smelled familiar and different all at the same time.  More importantly it meant that Luca had brought lunch and when he did it was always enough for everybody.

“What’s for lunch Luca?” Street asked.

Chris breezed past Street toward the pot on the stove and lifted the lid inhaling with her eyes closed.

“Feijoada! No way!”

“Yeah that’s how you say it, Feijoada!” Luca replied.

“What is fay…shee..” Street asked confused.

“fay-jwa-da.” Chris pronounced slowly. “It’s Brazilian black bean stew!”

“Well it smells amazing!” Deacon commented.

“It is amazing!” Luca responded placing a bowl of white rice on the island.

“I’m starving! Chris commented.

“Well, there’s plenty for everybody so dig in!” As he placed the hot steaming pot next to the rice.

Bosco’s Coffee and Things – Afternoon –

Hondo was angry and he made no effort to hide his anger when he called Lt. De Silva and demanded they meet.  Hondo had not agreed to be a part of De Silva’s crew, yet he was now tied up in a homicide investigation.  Less than eight hours after learning the name of his other assailant, the man was dead, and Hondo’s name was on the top of the suspect list.

De Silva didn’t appreciate the younger man’s tone, but he was willing to overlook it this time. It was understandable that he would be upset; no one wanted to land under Lt. DelDotto’s radar, especially if you were a cop. She played no favorites and she would bring down a dirty cop as fast as she would any common criminal.

The unmarked car pulled in two cars behind Hondo.  The young detective had managed not to be seen by the injured man as he slowly pried himself from the car.  Detective Mackenzie Shields hated surveillance, but she was good at it; she’d been trained by the best and that was why Lt. DelDotto had given her the assignment of keeping an eye on Sgt. Daniel Harrelson.

Hondo grabbed a small table on the patio; it would be thirty minutes before De Silva would arrive to join him.  His tardiness sent a message to Hondo that this was his playground and he held all the marbles.  

“Sgt. Harrelson.”

The man appeared from behind him and took the only other seat at the table.  He didn’t bother to explain or apologize for his late arrival he merely got comfortable and flashed an arrogant grin towards Hondo. The waitress quickly approached their table taking their order for two coffees, black.

“I got a visit from a homicide detective this morning.”

“Don’t tell me she’s trying to recruit you too; you must be flattered to be in such high demand.” He joked.

“The man who you said worked with Maurice Jamison was found dead last night. You didn’t have anything to do with that did you?”

“Of course not! Well, that explains why he wasn’t home last night when we went by to question him.”

Hondo didn’t believe a word he said.  He saw the truth in his eyes; this man was dangerous, 

Mackenzie continued to take pictures of the two men who were obviously engaged in a pretty intense conversation.  After a while, Hondo left the older man at the table alone.  Once he was back in his car, Mackenzie started her engine and pulled into traffic behind him.  While keeping a close eye on Hondo, the young detective made a phone call to her boss.

“DelDotto!”

“Hey boss…I think we got him!”