It was early in the morning, and Anton woke up to a burning , rising sun outside of the house.
The digital calendar standing next to the bed flipped over to a new day, reminding him of this special date: Thursday the 13th.
At 9:00, the serial killer case would come before the court.
Anton frowned, grabbed his clothes and walked into the bathroom, which awakened the other person laying in the bed. The other person moved slightly, opened his large and tender, but alert eyes, and looked around.
His side of the bed was messy, with gentle erotic reminders of last night’s craziness.
Anton stood in front of the mirror, staring at his reflection – blue-black suit, flawless shirt, curly hair, wide forehead, high nose bridge, and a pair of deep and determined eyes, like those of an eagle. He took a deep breath as his eyes gained more determination. Three years of his life would see fruition or ruin today. He lifted his collar, but when he was about to turn around to grab the tie, a pair of hands had wrapped around his neck and tied it for him. He turned around to see that Will was staring at him.
“Thank you, Will!” Anton nodded and said, “Let’s go!” Then, despite feeling the stare on his back, he headed to the door without looking behind.
In fact, he felt quite relieved that Will had called him last night, so that he could forget all that he needed to face today in yesterday’s debauchery.
The air in the early morning was chilly and sobering. Barely minutes past eight, police cars were already zipping around the Twin Towers.
Suddenly, right when Anton’s car had just made a turn, another car suddenly dashed out from the side and cut in front of him.
“f*ck!” Anton cursed, but the driver of that car had jumped out and rushed to his direction.
The driver was Rene.
Rene normally drove pretty steadily, quite unlike today. He rushed to him and pulled open the door when Anton was still slamming on his breaks.
“Anton, I’ve been trying to reach you the entire morning on both mobile and landline, but couldn’t get through to you!” His voice was condemning and his expression was cold and serious. He saw Will who was sitting at the passenger’s seat, but he only spared him a glance before continuing, “O’Neil has escaped!”
“At six this morning, on the way here from the state prison.” Rene nodded before continuing, “I am giving you two men to act as your assistants for the next several days. Come to the emergency conference in the 18th floor meeting room at 9!” He pointed at the watch on his wrist, his eyes sharp and cold. “Actually, you can come up now. Right away!” He banged the door and rushed back to his car.
When Anton looked up again, Rene’s car was already following the department head’s car into the underground garage.
“I am giving you two men to act as your assistants for the next several days.” Anton understood that this meant “giving you two bodyguards to protect your safety”. He looked at Will, but didn’t explain anything, and drove into the street-level parking area for the officers.
This was the first time that Anton visited the small meeting room on the 18th floor. There were already several people present, most of whom looked unfamiliar to him, and they seemed quite shocked to see him walk in.
“I am Lampton!” A thin, tall, and strict-looking man who looked to be in his forties was first to reached out his hand and introduce himself. “I’m in charge of the special case of O’Neil.” He then went on to introduce the others, including two FBI officers, a lawyer, two detectives from the state police’s special investigation unit, and the prosecutor who was scheduled to go to court today, who Anton recognized. There were another two large detectives standing in the corner, who Lampton didn’t introduce.
Lampton looked him up and down with a strict expression, to which Anton couldn’t help frowning.
“Are you Anton? The officer that has been chasing O’Neil?”
Anton nodded, noticing Lampton exchange a look with the detective next to him.
“Then you must know a lot about him?”
“I have been following him for three years, and across thirteen states, but I still don’t know everything,” Anton said evenly. The tone and looks of the two detectives were very infuriating.
The door behind him made a slight click. Anton turned around, and saw that it was Rene. The man sat down noiselessly in one of the seats by the wall, and expressionlessly watched the crowds.
Anton got it. Over the weekend he had seen things shouldn’t have seen, and said things he shouldn’t have said. Damn! he thought, this man was going to nail his balls to the wall.