Chapter 14: “I, Spy”
Jason walked through the door and looked around. Tina held up her hand and waved, smiling.
“Look, T, there’s something I gotta tell you.”
Tina’s heart raced, and she played with her hands. If he said something sexy like he was falling for her, she would never gather the courage to tell him the truth.
“Let me go first. Please.”
“I really think I need to tell you first.”
“No,” said Tina. “I called you so I’m calling it.”
Jason shrugged, “Okay.”
“This is going to sound crazy…”
“Uh oh, don’t tell me you got some crazy baby daddy…”
“That depends. Is your baby mama crazy?”
The two laughed. Tina knew about Amarie. Jason had told her the first day they met, right after the police left the day of the car accident, and they exchanged numbers. She could tell he loved his daughter. He had explained that she could not meet her yet but that he wanted to be straight up. He was not ashamed of his baby, and accepting him meant accepting her too.
“I see things.”
Jason frowned and Tina was sure he thought she was crazy.
“Well, not things, really. People.”
“You see dead people?” he joked. They laughed.
“I’m trying to be serious!”
“Then don’t try, do it.”
Jason laughed, “You’re the one seeing people.”
“Well, not people. More like, angels.”
“Oh, so you one of those super sensitive spiritual people huh?”
Tina nodded, “I guess you can say that.”
Jason nodded, and Tina relaxed a little. He didn’t seem turned off. Az had said there was still a door open, a connection to Big Sam’s people attracting Pas and her Legion to her family. Her secret had to be the door. She had to come clean.
“His name is Az, and he knows about your friends’ murders. He can help you,” Tina blurted out.
“What are you talking about? Who is Az?”
Tina fidgeted. Jason didn’t look impressed.
“Az, the angel.”
“Tina, I thought you were joking.”
Her face flushed red and Jason sat back in his chair and folded his arms. “You’re serious…”
“As a heart attack.”
Jason rubbed his chin. “Come on now.”
“Wait, just let me finish. Az can help us. He knows the women who killed your friends and…
Jason thought of the women Juan said his brothers were looking at before they were killed.
“Yes, but it’s more complicated than that, Az said…”
“I’m not making this up you have to…”
“Jason, please just let me explain…”
“Tina. Stop talking!”
Tina sat back in her chair. It was the first time she had heard him speak in that tone. She rubbed her neck where the knot was that wanted to send tears gushing from her eyes. Tina hated that about herself, how she could get so angry she cried, and Jason’s tone had angered her. She knew this was a stupid idea and that he wouldn’t believe her, but no one spoke to her in that tone.
“I’m sorry about the car accident, and I’m sorry about your friends, but you don’t talk to me like that. No one talks to me like that.”
“Why are you so stubborn?” he asked, getting up and grabbing her by the arm.
“What are you doing? Let go of me!”
Tina noticed Jason loosen his grip as customers gave him nasty looks. She snatched away from him.
“What is your problem?”
Jason gritted his teeth and ripped open his button-down shirt and tore at his chest, throwing the lapel mic on the Starbucks table.
Juan sat upright in his office chair, his face grave as he watched the screen in front of him, the wiggly lines of the audio going flat. Officer Parks and Officer Jones, detectives who were part of the Ja’mella case, stood on the side of him. Jones, a brown-skinned bald man, folded his arms and Parks, a short caramel skinned black woman with gray dreadlocks, stood next to him, her hands on her shapely hips. They stood behind Juan.
“What the hell happened?”
Officer Jones unfolded his arms, “It looks like we’re disconnected.”
“Looks like somebody else is in on this,” said Parks, cutting her eyes at Jones.
“Wait, you think Jason’s working with Tina?”
Parks raised a brow, “how else would you explain this sudden disconnection?” Parks shook her head. She knew Tina from the Ja’ mella case and still considered her a friend. “She’s a little out there, but what do we really have on her?”
There was silence as the detectives sat in thought.
“Exactly,” continued Parks, “we have nothing concrete that connects her to the murders.”
“For the last time, we don’t know if it was a murder,” said Juan, “and we do have her admitting to knowing the women who may have been involved…”
“…and to seeing angels,” interjected Detective Carl Jones, raising a brow.
The door to Juan’s office opened, and Fred’s face peeked in.
“Detective? You called?”
Juan closed his laptop. He had forgotten he called Fred in for a meeting. He was promoting him as an informant to spy on Tina. Now that they knew Jason was involved, he would spy on them both.
“Yes, come in.”
Fred opened the door wider and entered the office.
“Detectives,” he said, nodding his head at Officer Carl Jones and Rosalee Parks.
“What’s this about?”
Concern flashed across Fred’s face, and his eyebrows buried deep into his forehead. He sure hoped he wasn’t being fired.
Tina gathered her things and followed Jason out of the store. He had her attention now. Customers continued to give him angry stares as they exited.
“Where’s your car?”
Tina pointed, looking like a scared child, and they walked over to her vehicle. She unlocked the doors, and they sat in, quietly. Tina faced the window. He could see she was still upset, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“My car is bugged too. This is what I had to tell you.”
“Only since yesterday. When Juan found out I was Jason, he put a wire on me. They think you may have something to do with the murders. They ain’t exactly calling it a murder yet, but they think you might be involved somehow.”
There was silence.
“Listen,” began Jason. “It’s not like I knew you were a Detective. I don’t even like the police.” He paused to cut his eyes at her. He could tell she was trying not to smile.
“I would have never done this if I had known. I’m just trying to solve my brother’s murders.”
“How is snitching on me solving your brother’s murders?”
“Listen, I got a call from Big Steve’s phone. The one they said was missing. That’s why I went to the station. Juan told me everything, so when you texted, I knew that was a sign to tell you. You should have let me talk first. Stubborn ass.”
“Well, I guess we’re even then.”
Tina turned away from the window to face Jason. “I hit you on purpose. The car accident. It was Az and me.”
“Who the hell is Az?”
“I already told you.”
Jason rubbed his temples. He finally found someone he liked, and she was crazy.
“His name is Azbuga, actually. He’s a Watcher Archangel, and his name means Strength. He looks like a really tall Hispanic guy, but he’s not really Hispanic because angels don’t have a race like us. He sounds white, though,” Tina chuckled.
Jason spoke with his hands, “I don’t see anything funny about this. Do you hear yourself?”
“I’m telling you the truth.”
There was silence, as Jason thought. Juan was right. He and Fred told him about Tina’s nephew Ronnie’s death and how she hadn’t been the same since. They had caught her talking to herself, and he thought they were reaching. People grieve differently. No process is wrong. But now, with all this angel talk, it had him thinking, maybe they were right.
“Anyway. We caused the accident because we had to save you. Or else…or else you would be dead too.”
Her last comment pissed him off. “What do you know about who killed my friends? And I don’t wanna hear shit about no damn angels.”
“Then, you don’t want the truth. I mean, what about that weird feeling you said you got from that woman at her house? Are you just going to ignore that?
Jason’s jaw clenched, and he exited the vehicle. “Going to get Amarie. When you ready to talk, you know where to find me.”