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Moments earlier, the Oakland hills peeked through a thin line of orange in the predawn sky. Slivers of light glowed in the distance, guiding Bette onto Bryant. The street cleaners had just wrapped up overnight rounds of washing away yesterday’s remnants as she drove up. By the time she’d parked and exited the elevator, a faint yellow glow filled the windows lining the sixth-floor hallway.
With the lights off, she assumed Eric had yet to make it in. For the unsanctioned operation they cooked up overnight, she estimated she’d have two hours in the squad room before prying eyes rolled in.
She turned the corner to a surprise. “Do you ever go home?”
“Unlike you,” Eric peeked up from his computer terminal, “I don’t have a pretty wife to keep me in bed.”
Bette hadn’t given it much thought, but Eric led a lonely life. He lived alone in a small apartment and only spoke of attending the occasional ballgame with a brother. As far as she knew, his only friends were on the job. What a waste, she thought. Why hadn’t he married? A tall, youngish, fit, handsome man, loyal to a fault, he defined husband material.
“Are you in?” Before sitting, she removed her outer coat and slung it over the back of her chair.
“Yeah. I gotta hand it to the gang task force, they keep good notes.”
“How do you want to divide this up?” Bette logged onto her computer terminal.
“I’m almost halfway through GTF, why don’t you start with vice?”
“You got it.”
Bette accessed the case files flagged by vice for the last 12 months. Her goal: to gather the name of every snitch used by every detective in the city for the past year with no one finding out. Poaching a snitch equated to sleeping with another detective’s wife. No one did it. If word got out how she accumulated these names, no detective on the force would have her back again.
They searched for names, addresses, hangouts, and affiliations, of anyone who provided actionable intelligence on anything drug or gang related. Each worked on their own in silence, compiling their lists and making notes until the elevator dinged down the hallway.
Eric tapped on his desk. “Time to pack it up.”