Monday October 18th 8:43 A.M. Washington Heights
West 176th Street – Apartment Building of Roberto Guevara
Kelli pulled up half a block from the five-story tenement and parked. “You see the guy sitting on the stoop up there, Chris? That’s who we want to talk to, so just follow my lead.” She opened the driver side door and kept her eyes on Roberto as she walked around to the curb.
Chris waited at the front of the car, focused on the front of the tenement. “So, who is he?”
Kelli tapped his shoulder. “Come on, and let me do the talking. The last time I saw this guy, he spit in my face and I pointed my Glock at his crotch.” A slow smile crept across her face. “His name is Roberto, but he hates that. His crew just calls him Bobby. I hope he remembers me.”
Roberto Guevara had to be either one of the smartest members of the DDP, or the luckiest. During the leadership of Carlos Rodriguez, Roberto was nothing more than a street hood. Now, with Carlos and two of his lieutenant’s dead, the kid moved up. Kelli made it her business to keep tabs on him.
As they approached, Kelli spotted several gang members standing around in the alleyway next to the building. “Check it out, Chris.”
“Great. Just what we needed. You sure you don’t want to call Harris and Yablonski in on this one too?”
She kept walking. “Just stay cool. They’re stupid, but they’re not that stupid.”
“Yeah, but just the same, it’d be nice to have some backup.” He looked over his shoulder.
“Don’t worry about them. Let’s just concentrate on what we came to do, get information.” She stopped at the bottom of the steps and looked up at Roberto, perched on the top step. “Need to ask you a few questions, Roberto.”
The man shifted, narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms. “I know you? Cause you look a lot like the bitch who tried to blow my balls off.”
Kelli fought the urge to smile. The son of a bitch does remember me. “Actually, I only threatened to blow them off, Roberto. If I’d wanted to blow them off everyone would be calling you Roberta now.
Roberto grimaced as he placed a hand between his thighs. “You’re one mean bitch. What you want?”
“Information. What do you know about Raul Flores?”
Roberto shrugged. “What’s it worth to ya?”
“Not a hell of a lot right now, considering that he’s dead.”
Roberto stood and stared at Kelli. “That’s a fuckin’ lie! He ain’t dead. You got him in jail for shootin’ that cop, everybody knows that.”
“Not any more. I was with him at Bellevue when he died. Do you have any idea why someone would want him dead?”
He slumped back down on the step, shaking his head. “Fuckin’ Raul, always knew that motherfucker was gonna end up dead. Dumbass junkie.”
Kelli looked at Chris, then back to Roberto. “He wasn’t always a junkie, was he, Roberto? What happened to him?”
Roberto looked up, a sour expression on his face. “Naw, he used to run errands for Carlos. Then he got himself hooked up with this guy Carlos knew and disappeared for a couple of months. Don’t know what he was into, but when he came back he was smokin’ that fuckin’ crack like it was candy.”
Kelli had a good idea what Raul had been into, but telling Roberto would just make things worse. There was already the possibility of a gang war between the DDP and Trinitarios, and she didn’t want to give Roberto any more reasons to start one.
“So, you don’t have any idea what he was into, what made him start doing the hard shit?”
“Naw,” he said, avoiding her eyes, “I just know he had a bad habit. Told the stupid motherfucker that if he was gonna do that shit to keep his ass someplace else. Only seen him a couple times since then, and he was always high.”
“So, he wasn’t one of you, wasn’t in the DDP?”
Roberto slowly raised his head, his eyes boring into Kelli. “Chingala pinche puta,” he hissed. “First you come around tellin’ me Raul got himself killed and now you got the cajones to ask about shit that ain’t your fuckin’ business.”
Kelli didn’t waver as she stared him down. “Pendajo, it is my fucking business. Whoever put the word out on Raul is still out there. Shit Roberto, who knows, you may be next on the hit list.”
He puffed out his chest and sneered. “I ain’t afraid of these motherfuckers. They come around here startin’ any shit, we’ll fuck ‘em up.”
Kelli shook her head. “I thought you were smarter than that. You want to end up like Raul? Or even worse, end up like Carlos?”
“Carlos was a tota, a real fuckin’ pussy. He got soft, and when…” He lowered his gaze. “I ain’t got nothin’ else to say. If these motherfuckers come around, they gonna get fucked up.”
“And when what, Roberto? What happened? I know how he was killed, but I don’t know who did it. What do you know about it?”
Roberto raised his head, closed his eyes and sighed. “I said enough. I ain’t talkin’ to five-oh no more.” He stood up, spun around, pushed through the doors and disappeared into the building.
Kelli looked at Chris and frowned. “I’ve got a feeling that this is just the beginning. With Raul dead, and the Trinitarios responsible, it won’t take long for the DDP to retaliate. Problem is, it could start at any time and we can’t stop it.”
Chris nodded. “All we can do now is wait, and worry about picking up the pieces later. I just hope the body count is low.”