I'm a few weeks behind the cuff on this one, but part two is finally complete! If you haven't read 'Diamond in the Rough, Part 1' yet, be sure to check it out before reading this one.
The bell on the door of Diamond Brothers Coffee nearly flew off its chain as Casey and I whipped it open and charged inside. The two men we were after were pushing their way into the back of the store. One of them grabbed the edge of a wooden table and threw it behind them, blocking their path and sending coffee cups cascading across the floor. Patrons screamed.
"Around the back. Head them off," Casey commanded, hooking her thumb out the door. She sprinted after them, narrowly dodging a puddle of mocha latte.
Most people in New York simply want to be left alone; they want no business of yours, and want you to keep out of theirs. So most people will get out of your way if you're running down the street with a total hard-ass look on your face. That goes double if you have a badge.
No one stepped in my path as I darted back out the door and into the chilly March air. My coat whipped at my ankles as I ran past confused people on the sidewalk. At the end of the block I turned left down the nearest alley, where the service and delivery door to the coffee shop would be. Sure enough, as I started down the dingy corridor, a grey metal door a few dozen yards down the alley flew open and two men stumbled out, frantically trying to get away from a crazed lady copy hot on their heals.
I turned my running gate into a cautious sidle. My gun whipped up on instinct, but I didn't remove the safety. "Don't do it," I called, my voice steady. "You're under arrest for vandalism and disturbing the peace. Resisting arrest won't make it any better."
At that moment, Casey emerged from the back of the restaurant. She had her hand on her gun, too, but it hadn't yet left its holster. "You didn't even give us a chance to talk, guys. Don't you know that running is pretty much the most guilty-looking thing you can do?"
"We didn't do anything," Horatio Younger, the second victim in a series of break-ins Casey and I were investigating, stammered. He raised his pale, fish belly-colored hands. He was shaking so hard that it made his double chin tremble.
"Shut up," Frederick Watson, the other man, said. "They haven't even read us our rights yet."
"Come on, Fred, don't be like that," I said. "You and I shared a beer at last summer's community party. No sense on being uncivil."
My downstair's neighbor pressed his mouth into a thin line. "I'm not saying anything without a lawyer," he replied.
Casey and I gave each other a look. Then she whipped out her cuffs and shackled the two men together as I read them their rights.