Ted Wade pulled up in front of 2624 Inverness Way and discovered that it was the location of the Bad Girls Toy Emporium. The uniform’s that had arrived before he and Date were standing outside of their squad car tossing a litany of one-liners back and forth as fast as they could about that particular fact. Date approached and proceeded to unleash his anger at the morning as well as his general distaste for rookies in one fell swoop.
“Are you toddlers finding something fucking funny? Maybe it’s the hacked up teenaged girls? Maybe it’s that some stupid asshole has us chasing our fucking tails while there are three sets of parents out there that have had their whole fucking lives destroyed by this piece of shit. That’s hilarious, did any of you assholes bother to see if maybe this shit head had worked here in the past or maybe he was banging one of the bad girls that work here? No? Maybe you panty waste little bitches can go get me a fucking Irish coffee so I don’t pistol whip you like a whore that came up short on my money while I do some actual police work.” Date’s face was tomato red and there was a vein throbbing in his forehead, his spittle had begun to fly during his tirade and more than one of the uniforms had physically ducked to miss the violent rain he spewed forth. Wade stood stone silent as it was all he could do not to break down into tears and find himself laughing uncontrollably at his partner’s outburst. The officers stood back and chose which one would try to figure out what an Irish coffee was and where to go and get it from. Date smiled as the pale one with red hair left the group to fetch his drink.
Wade opened the door to the sex shop and motioned to Date to proceed forth before him. Bad Girls Toy Emporium lived up to its name quite well. There were adult toys on shelves, walls, in bins and even hanging from the ceiling. Date stopped in front of one awe inspiring display and just shook his head for a long time. At the front counter there were two older women who looked more like librarians in an elementary school than purveyors of filth. Wade approached the counter, showed the ladies his badge and simply asked if they had ever heard the name John William Grant. They shook their heads in unison that they had not. A pimple faced kid of maybe eighteen years old spoke up from behind the detectives.
“Is he a skinny dude with long hair?”
“Yes, that’s him.”
“Yeah that guy comes in here a lot, never really buys anything. Me and Sherrie, that works here at night, call him Grumpy Peepers cuz he just walks around looking pissed about something and then leaves. He does it at least twice a month and he never buys anything. The only reason I know his name is John is because he use to come in here wearing a name tag from some fast food place for a while. Toasters I think that Mexican chicken place around the corner.”
“Anything else you remember about him?”
“Dude I just wrote you Mr. Peepers biography what else do you want?
“Well if you remember anything else please give me a call.” Wade handed him his card and used his thumb to point out the cell number on the bottom.
“Dude what did Peepers do?”
“He may have seen something that is all?” Wade was very careful not to insinuate anything what so ever about a suspect until they were up the river without a paddle. He had seen too many good cop’s get pulled into court over absolute bull shit by money grubbing lawyers dozens of times.
As they stepped out into the scalding sunlight, the red headed uniform approached holding two Styrofoam cups.
“They had hot or cold so I got one each.” Date completely baffled that the young cop was able to not only find the drink that quickly but that he had talked a bartender into putting it into a to go cup as well. He calmly grabbed both cups, smiled and asked the young man his name.
“O’hearn sir.” Date chuckled and said thank you and headed to the Crown Vic.
“You ain’t planning on drinking that shit in this heat are you?” Wade questioned as he pulled his seat belt across his torso.
“I just said that to be a dick, I didn’t think one of them would do it. And hell yeah I’m gonna drink it, it’s free booze.” He pulled the lid off of the one that felt cool to the touch and took a big swig. “Now that gets me ire up.”
The detectives made the mile drive to Toasters Loco Pollo and pulled up out in front of the door and turned the car off leaving it obstructing the entrance. They made their way into the restaurant and found a small heavy set Latino girl in a bright yellow uniform behind the register.
“We need to speak to the manager.” The portly employee silently waddled to the back of the kitchen returning moments later with a severely obese woman in a an all polyester manager uniform with a name tag that read “Polly, General Manger since 2012”, so they were dealing with a seasoned veteran.
“Did you ever have an employee by the name John William Grant?” The woman stood back for a moment appearing to gather enough breathe to produce a sentence.
“Skinny long haired pervert.” Every word seemed to exhaust her. Wade expected that if she coughed a chicken leg might free itself from her airway.
“Would you happen to have his employee file with an address on it?”
“You got a warrant?” She laughed and even that appeared to be too much exertion. “Hold on.” She shuffled back to where she had appeared from earlier. It took her five minutes to reappear and when she did she was covered in flop sweat and there was what appeared to be a fresh hot sauce stain on the front of her shirt.
“I can’t give you this without a warrant.” She then coughed ferociously for a full minute setting the open folder on the counter and then ever so NOT nonchalantly pushing it off the counter and on to the floor in front of the detective’s feet. Wade bent down and worked his way through the folder on the floor acting as if he was just trying to pick it up. The address was different and it was in a little nowhere place called Topock that the detective could barely remember as the name on a road sign off of 40 West he had passed a hundred times. He placed the folder on the counter in front of the manager and placed his business card on top of that, thanked the ladies for their assistance and exited the restaurant. He pulled his cell from his pocket and hit the screen pulling up officer Gaines number tapping it once to start the call. The officer answered in one ring sounding defeated.
“Did they get any info on that cell number for Grant?”
“No, it’s a burner number. The minutes were paid and set up with a pre-paid Green Dot Visa. Also, John William Grant’s address on his license is a porno shop.” Wade grunted at this.
“Yes it is, but luckily one of the employees remembered him coming in and gave us a lead. I want you to see who lives at 3450 Royal Road in Topock.” Wade could hear the officer typing frantically as he said that and then he came back with an immediate response.
“Edward and Mary Grant, they’ve owned it since the seventies.”
“You got a phone number for them?”
“No number listed.”
“Great, well I guess we will take a drive to fucking Topock to see if his folks know where the shit head lives now.” Wade groaned audibly and hung up on Gaines. Date overheard every word and just smiled at him, picked up the warmer of the two Styrofoam cups and shook it at him in an offering fashion. He took the cup, popped the lid off and looked inside. There was no steam so he slammed back the entire contents in one large gulping motion.
“Oh yeah, that does hit the spot in an all kinds of wrong ways.” He placed the cup back in the cup holder and threw the Crown Vic in drive and began their journey to Topock.