Sam walked up the stairs of his apartment and unlocked his door. As he turned around to shut the door and lock it he soon realized what he did. He quickly looked over at the clock he had hung on the wall. It wasn’t late enough or dark enough that the streets would be clear. He quickly moved to his bedroom and peaked out through the holes in the tarps that were still hung up to cover the windows. He looked down the street and noticed two guys get out of a car and cross the street. After they crossed the street both of them pulled out smaller hand guns. Sam cussed to himself. After he saw them pull out their guns he quickly ran to the empty bedroom and opened the window. He was about to climb out when he realized that he probably wouldn’t be able to return. The cops would continue to surveillance his place and he might not be able to sneak back inside again. Sam heard a banging on the outside door on the ground level. He quickly but quietly walked back to make sure he had locked his inside door. He heard one of the men yell that they were the police and they had a few questions for him. There was a small opening in the ceiling where a piece of the ceiling could be moved to gain access to the attic. It was right below his upstairs door. Sam pulled over a chair to slide the ceiling piece so that there was an opening. Sam had kept everything of value and importance up here. If a person hadn’t lived here before it was very rare that anyone would notice the small opening. Sam quickly went to his bedroom and grabbed a book bag. He went into his office and tossed in his laptop. He moved back to the kitchen area and placed the chair back next to the table. He heard the men at the bottom of the steps attempting to break the door down. Sam took a running start and leaped off the wall and up towards the ceiling. He grabbed the ledges opening and steadied himself before pulling himself up. He managed to close the ceiling piece back in place before the two cops broke down his inside door. There was nothing left but for Sam to be quiet and listen.
Sam heard the two men go through his place and clear each room. One of the cops saw that the back window was opened and he said over the radio that the place was clear and nobody was here. Once they didn’t see anyone running down the alleyways the two cops considered this a failed effort. Sam overheard the two of them saying things like: “this place was trashed, do you think there are people after him? Do you think he’ll come back?” Sam himself wondered how they knew to look for him or anyone at this area. It grew quiet for a while and it sounded like the two men had left but Sam knew that they hadn’t and was afraid they might have found his location. He nerves were calmed as one of them said something about the papers he used to have on the walls which were now thrown all over the room. The other officer then stated he was going to check out the bathroom. Sam knew this was his opening. In the attic Sam kept a safe with important documents, a black bag full of cash, a container that held a few small guns, and other random things that were significance to him and that were significant to pulling off his cons. Sam had already pulled out one of his guns and was loading it up as he heard the man approach the bathroom. He grabbed a ski mask and put it on his head. He also grabbed another one and placed it in his front pocket. Sam was still wearing his suit from the funeral and left the jacket in the attic. Once the cop was in the bathroom Sam opened the ceiling piece and quietly fell from the attic to the floor. He knew he wasn’t in the best location being in between both men but Sam decided he was going to go after the cop that entered his bathroom and at worst the bathroom was across from the empty room and Sam could make a run for it. Sam quietly followed in the direction towards his bathroom. Sam was lucky enough that the cop had left the bathroom door open. The cop was about to lift up the back piece of the toilet when Sam cocked his gun.
“Don’t move.” Sam said calmly. The cop stopped and had placed his hands in the air. “Put your hands on your head” the cop followed orders.
“Don’t do anything stupid.” The cop said. Sam quickly came over and took the gun from the cop’s holster.
“You’re the one who broke into my place. I have the right to protect myself.” Sam said. “Now turn around” the cop followed orders. He threw his other ski mask on the floor. “Reach down and grab that mask. Slowly.” Sam was a step inside the bathroom door. The cop grabbed the mask. “Now I need you to put that on backwards” The cop slowly followed these instructions. “Turn around and face the wall with your hands up.” Sam paused as he followed his instructions. “Now I need you to reach for your handcuffs and put them on behind your back where I can see them.” The cop slowly followed these instructions.
“You find anything?” The cop yelled from the other room.
“Don’t answer.” Sam said and came closer to the man and made sure the handcuffs were tight and locked in. “Follow my lead and you won’t get killed. Don’t speak.” Sam led the man out of the bathroom and down the hallway. Before he could enter the room where the cop was the cop entered through the door and to the hallway. He quickly raised his gun. Sam made sure to stand behind his hostage.
“Put the gun down and let the man go. We are police officers.” The second cop pulled out his badge and showed it to Sam.
“Unload your gun and put it on the floor or else your partner is going to get a bullet in the head.” The second cop listened and followed orders. “Now slowly walk back to the room you were just in but continue to face me. “ The second cop followed orders as well. Sam grabbed the second pair of handcuffs his hostage cop was holding on his belt. He tossed it to the other cop and instructed him to handcuff himself in the front where he could see it. Then he told the second cop to get on his knees and Sam walked the hostage cop over next to that cop and told him to get on his knees as well. After both cops were handcuffed and on their knees Sam proceeded to bash the back of their heads once so that they’d pass out. He grabbed a pair of handcuffs the unmasked officer had and handcuffed the handcuffs together. Sam was fortunate enough that nobody was radioing these two officers. He needed some time to think.
Sam stood there for a moment trying to figure out the best plan of attack. He had some drugs to keep them sedated but he didn’t have the proper equipment to hook them up to. He didn’t want to risk either of them catching any subtle clues about him when they woke up so Sam decided he needed to make his getaway quick. He grabbed the wallets, radios, and keys from the two officers. Sam threw the wallet and keys in his book bag that he still had on his back and turned off one of the radios and tossed that inside it as well. Sam had stored an emergency getaway military bag in his attic in case he needed to leave in a hurry. It had the very minimum of stuff he needed. Two outfits worth of the most basic clothes, a few thousand dollars of money, and a gun. He went to his trash bag first that was in his kitchen and went back to the room with all of his papers. He quickly tossed everything he had in the garbage bag. He then walked it back to his back room and left it there. He grabbed the chair from his kitchen and hopped up to his attic. He grabbed all the documents from his safe, put the guns in a protective suitcase, and tied up his black bag full of money and tossed everything down on the floor. There were a few costume items laying up there as well. Sam grabbed a wig and a dress and tossed it onto the floor as well. He placed the documents, the money, the wig, and the dress in the large military bag. He made sure that the protective suitcase was locked and placed these items in the back room as well. Sam went back to the office room to make sure that the two men were still unconscious. They still were. He did a quick look around to see if there was anything he’d regret to leave and didn’t notice anything. He still had his wallet and keys in his pockets. It had gotten dark by now. Sam made sure to place the chair back next to his table as to not give away the location of his attic. He grabbed his items in the back room and headed outside on the roof. He calmly walked down the alleyway to his car and tossed everything in his passenger side. He took a quick glance back down the alley to his apartment for any signs of stirring. The lights were still off and he didn’t hear any screaming so he decided he was still in the clear. He started up his car and drove off.
The next day Sam woke up in an upper class hotel feeling like he only had gotten a couple hours of sleep. His mind was racing on what he should do next. He knew he needed to warn Charlie, Lauren, and his brother but he had destroyed his phone and threw it in a restaurants dumpster. He was afraid to call any of them on just any phone line. The night before he had parked his car across the street and checked into the hotel under a fake name. He paid with cash for two days. Sam sat at the end of his bed with a thousand thoughts running threw his mind. He knew he could just take off and disappear for a while but he wasn’t sure how that’d affect anyone he knew. He wasn’t even sure what the cops knew about him or why they were there. Sam saw a notepad and a pen at the desk in his room. He walked over and sat down at the desk. He had grown accustomed to writing everything he thought down and using that as a way to organize his thoughts. His first thing he had to do was contact Charlie. If he contacted Charlie he knew that was the same as indirectly contacting Lauren and his brother. Charlie was smart enough and calm enough to do this favor for him. The second thing he needed to do was figure out what these cops were looking into at his place. Was it something as simple as just being caught for house squatting or had he been tipped off by somebody about one of his cons. He underlined a name. Serrasi. This was the cop that he had helped before in exchange for clearing Nate’s record and he also managed to gain Amie’s medical files for him. With Sam’s help Mr. Serrasi had gained a promotion for cracking a big case. The two of them were probably even but Sam knew Mr. Serrasi might be willing to help him out if he could leverage something for him that could be of use. Sam pulled out the two wallets he took from the cops and glanced over them. The third thing he needed to do was get a background check on these two officers just in case they happened to be a dirty cop. Sam went down to lobby area and looked up the numbers he had saved on his phone through the internet. He wrote down his number and called him once he got back to his room. Sam also stopped by the small gift shop in the lobby area and bought shaving cream, a razor, and some girly sandals. He called the guy as soon as he got back and gave him the names and the addresses of the two cops and told him to rush anything he could find about them. The next part was the part he hated the most. Sam shaved all of his facial hair off. He also had to shave his chest and his armpits. He knew where he could find Sam but he also knew that it was going to be a very public place and it was going to be on the college campus. If they cops knew to look for him above the bookstore it would be of no surprise to find them hanging out on campus.
Charlie was sitting at an empty picnic table outside of the student center reviewing some notes. A girl came over wearing a green sundress and sat down at Charlie table. Charlie did nothing but glance at the person and then went back to his notes until he felt like someone was staring at him and looked back at the woman. Except that it wasn’t a woman. It was Sam wearing a blonde wig and a dress staring at Charlie until he looked back at him.
“Sam? Is that you?” Charlie questioned
“Don’t laugh. I wouldn’t be dressed like this if it wasn’t serious.” Sam said quietly. Charlie couldn’t help but snicker a little bit.
“What on earth are you doing this time?” Charlie asked with a smile.
“Just listen. Two cops broke into my place last night after I got back. I tied them up and left them there. You absolutely cannot be seen going over there. I don’t know why they were there or how they found out about me. All I can tell you is you need to stay away from there and if anyone asks about me you’ve never heard of me. Remember their names or take their cards. I’ll find a way to get a hold of you and then you can tell me about them. I also need you to tell Lauren that I’ve disconnected my phone and all the same stuff I just told you. That is the easy part. Now the hard part is I need you to contact Nate for me too. I’m not sure what they know and if it’s really bad they’ll know my real name and they’ll know that recently my brother had his record clean and has moved from a shitty apartment to living on a small boat.”
“You moved your brother onto a boat? I thought he just went back to his apartment once he paid off his rent and bills?”
“I have a friend who lives on his boat and he knew an older guy who was retired and elderly and he moved into a retirement home and sold me his boat real cheap. I moved him and Lilly in there as soon as I could to get them out of Lauren’s hair. I’ll write down the location for you to find him. I just don’t know what to tell him. He doesn’t know what I’ve been doing. He’s completely ignorant to the actual truth.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll come up with something for him.”
“Yeah it’ll be good. I promise. But what are you going to do then? How are you going to figure out what they know? You going to spy on the police station?” Charlie asked.
“That’s not out of the question. I do have their ID cards but it’d be very risky using them.”
“Who says you have to use it? What if you just flaunt it?”
“What are you talking about?” Sam said with a puzzled look.
“These ID cards open doors but they also have a picture on them. What if you just replace the photo or make your own ID card and flaunt it. Play the part and ask around at the water cooler. Maybe somebody tells you something that your private investigator can’t?”
“It’s risky pretending to be someone inside of a police department.”
“I’m sure not all of the cops drink the coffee that is brewed inside their office. Just find the closest coffee shop nearby or small town diner. I’m sure if you scout one out for a while you’ll find the right officer or two to talk to.”
“Have you been reading some of the books I’ve been letting you borrow? Because you’re getting smarter” Sam said with a grin. Charlie smiled.
“Your books are more interesting than the actual books I’m supposed to be reading. That’s why I take extensive notes in class to cover up my lack of studying.”
“Well that’s all you really have to do. After a while you pick up on teachers’ tendencies and they basically hint on everything that’ll be on the test. That’s how I passed all my exams.”
“Somehow I think your skill for reading people is way more advanced than mine.”
“All you have to do is really look at something to figure it out. I have to go.” Sam said and walked away.
That night Sam had a message waiting for him on the answering machine in his room. It was his private investigator reporting that the two cops that had broken into his place were in fact clean. They also were new officers in their careers. Right away that relaxed Sam. New officers meant that his case could not be a very high priority. He also knew that as new officers they were most definitely embarrassed by the whole ordeal and probably were getting teased about it pretty bad among their other officers. Sam went to bed early that night knowing that tomorrow he had to get up early the next morning to scout out potential officers at a nearby coffee shop. His private investigator let him know which office the two guys were working out of.