“What am I thinking?” Dean wanted to know. “I’m going to shoot a man? Have I totally become Dwayne already? For his murder I murder? Just like that forget everything that separated me from Dwayne? Now, just like that, I’m going to kill a man? I became a cop to get paid to catch em, not flip the switch. Now I’m ready to pull the trigger? Am I ready? I didn’t when I had the chance. Do I have any idea what the hell I’m doing?” Dean spoke the entire monologue aloud thinking he was thinking in silence.
All his life choices had been so easy because it was always clear to Dean what was right and what was wrong and that made it really simple to make the right choice. Now the right choice was hiding behind blind rage and an overwhelming sense of duty.
“I didn’t kill him in those two seconds cause I didn’t think it was the ideal shot. Too public. I’ll try again in a couple weeks to set up a meeting for drugs.”
Dean took the subway east getting off a couple blocks from the Hell’s Angels clubhouse. Dwayne hadn’t told him where it was, Dean knew like all cops knew. Dwayne hadn’t told his brother anything about the clubhouse, not so much as a password to get in. The only thing Dean had shown him was the official Hell’s Angels handshake. Dean was afraid his brother angels would spot the imposter immediately and gun him down on the spot.
Entering the clubhouse Dean found there was no password beyond: “Hey!” He was recognized as his brother Dwayne by everyone, finding a group of men playing pool, foosball, darts and ping pong.
“You wanna play, Dwayne?” A strange man who obviously knew him offered Dean a ping pong paddle.
Dean thought how great Dwayne had been at ping pong and how lousy he was. He passed on the ping pong. Careful not to get exposed in the glare of his lackluster talent at something Dwayne could shine.
It took about an hour for Dean to trip over his dead brother’s shoes. He had been doing remarkably well blending into a group he was only just meeting for the first time. He had been investigating some members of this chapter of the Hell’s Angels, so he knew the names and backgrounds of a few of them. Dean spent his time circulating with the men he recognized, all the while listening intently to pick up the names of the rest.
Dean was playing darts with two guys, Mike and Glen. Dean thought he could handle the darts cause both he and Dwayne were excellent darts players; Dean would go on to win the precinct’s darts tournament every year and Dwayne would become one of the city’s sharpest dart sharks.
But, tonight, something was wrong, maybe the nerves, maybe bad luck, but whatever it was, it killed Dean’s usually steady aim. Instead of bullseyes, Dean was lucky if he hit the wall. He had the single worst game of his life. Mike didn’t notice anything, chalking it up to a fluke. But, Dean saw Glen’s eyebrows raise a couple of times.
“Ha! Bad game,” Dean tried to laugh it off, handing over the hundred dollars he’d lost on the bet.
“Yeah, bad luck,” Glen took the money, eying Dean closely. “You lose weight?” Glen asked him.
“A little. I was sick,” Dean was ready for this question.
“You better now?” Glen held his gaze with Dean, not letting go.
“I guess not, how else you gonna explain this fucking game?” Dean hated the shit taste of the swearing on his tongue, but knew his brother was a big swearer.
“I dunno. Hey Dwayne, you remember the time you and me took out that Blood pimp? Remember that, right in front of his girls then we fucked a couple of them?” Glen’s mouth was smiling but his eyes were deadly serious.
Dean sensed a trap. “No,” he said, “why you making shit up? You wish.”
“You don’t remember that?” Glen held his gaze and wouldn’t let go.
Mike broke it up, asking, “What shit you talking, Glen? When’d you do that? I never heard that.”
Glen laughed as though it’d all been a joke. “Nah, I’m just saying. It’d be cool as shit, though!”
Dean danced around the snare this time, but he feared he could do something worse that could set off traps next time.