Tipsy
there?”
    “ It appears that way,”
Cramer confirmed.
    A trail of expletives let loose from my
mouth.
    “ My thoughts exactly,
Markson,” Watson muttered. “This is absolutely unacceptable. These
punks are our on turf now. It’s a direct challenge. We need to take
them down.”
    “ What do you want me to
do?”
    “ We have it on good
authority that some of the thugs that are connected to LeBraun in
Myrtle Beach will be at a club tonight in Jacksonville. We want you
to assume your former identity and go there. Accidentally bump into
the crew and get in with them.”
    Concern rose up at back of my neck.
“You’re putting me undercover in the same town that I work and live
in?”
    Watson glanced at Cramer with a sour
expression on his face. “It’s not ideal. Under normal circumstances
this would be a no-go. But we’ve been on this case for two years.
This is the first break we’ve had at all.”
    That I believed. The reason I was
pulled out after several months of work was because the case was
going nowhere fast, and it was a waste to have so many guys working
on it. “Can’t you pull in someone from Myrtle?”
    He shook his head. “We don’t know who
we can trust there. Some of the cops on the force are on the take.
It’s the same reason JPD was brought down there in the first
place.”
    “ Plus, some of the crew here
might have come from down there,” I murmured to myself.
    “ Exactly. You’ve been out of
the loop here for months. You’ve just now been back to work and
mostly it’s been routine stuff. You’re not in the club scene around
here, are you?” he asked, a new apprising look coming into his
eyes.
    I shook my head. “Absolutely not.”
Clubs were not my thing, never had been.
    He nodded, looking relieved. “You
already know this case, details that new recruits wouldn’t
understand. We don’t have to brief you on this stuff. Not only will
your presence save us time, but frankly, you’re our best
option.”
    Cramer picked up where Watson left off.
“Point blank, Markson, you’re one of the youngest on the PD here,
you fit the profile of a guy who might be in the drug business, and
you’ve already built an identity that will open doors for us. We
need you to do this.”
    I wasn’t sure if I should be offended
by what he said. It wasn’t every day a guy was told that he looked
like a drug dealer.
    “ I’ll do it.”
    Watson clapped his hands with glee.
“Good. From here on out, you don’t come to the station. Don’t call.
Leave your personal possessions—your cell, your wallet, your car
keys—everything on my desk. You’ll get them back when the
assignment is over.”
    Damn. I hated giving up my car. I loved
that thing. But I couldn’t run the risk of it being recognized.
This was a fairly big town, but it wasn’t so big that someone might
not know the Challenger with the black racing stripe down the hood
if they saw it.
    “ Don’t go home. We’ve rented
a new place where you’ll be staying. It’s been outfitted with
clothes and food already. Here’s the address.” He handed me a slip
that I glanced at only long enough to realize that the location was
less than desirable.
    “ You’re getting two cells.
One for regular use; you can give the number to contacts. One that
is only to be used to contact the station. Don’t let them find the
cell or you’re screwed.”
    He droned on for what felt like hours,
telling me stuff I already knew and outlining the “crew” of
druggies that were in our area. I felt weary already. Dealing with
these kinds of thugs was exhausting. You had to be on watch at all
times. There was never a moment that I could let my guard down. One
slipup could literally kill me or someone else.
    When I couldn’t sit another moment, I
stood and paced to the office door. “Markson,” Watson called, and I
turned.
    “ I want these SOBs. They’ve
been hiding right under our noses for too long. This is our town.
If we let them get control of

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