Okay, she was a detective for the 33rd Precinct, but it was closed down. She was transferred to the 12th Precinct. She opened the door and said, “Is Captain Miller here?”
“In his office,” a hefty man said. He was about 6’ tall. “He’s busy right now, but can I help you?”
“I’m Annie Halsey from the 33rd.”
“Oh yah. I’m Wotchohowitz. Just call me Wojo.”
“Wojo…Just call me Halsey.”
“Let me introduce you to everybody. Fish,” he said. “Meet Detective Halsey from the 33rd.” Fish was a man in his 60’s, grey hair, and going bald. “This is Nick.” Nick was a Japanese man in his 40’s. “This is Harris.” Harris was a black man with a moustche.
The door to Cpt. Miller’s office opened. Two men came out. One was a balding Spanish man, Chano, and the other was a man going grey w/a moustache. She was introduced to everyone. “Tyler has the day off,” they said. Chano called Tyler and told him there was a new recruit.
“Not Annie Halsey?” He said.
“Y? You know here?”
“Yeah, don’t say anything to her. She’d skin me if she knew it was me.”
“Okay,” Chano said. “Catch ya tomorrow.”
The next day, Ham Tyler came in. He had told Chano to put him and Halsey together. Barney agreed. “Hey, Halsey,” Ham barked.
The woman looked up reflexively, ready with a comeback before she was sure who’d spoken. She swallowed the words before she could say them, and her blue eyes widened in disbelief.
“Whatsamatter? Forget your name?” Ham prodded.
“Ham Tyler, you stinking son of a bitch!” she snarled.
“Knows him well, huh?” Chano said to Nick.
The big man shrugged. “Better than you could ever guess, Chano.”
The woman’s feral expression dissolved into a face splitting grin, and she leaned across the desk. “Well, I’ll be a son of a gun. What the friggin’ hell are you doin’ in NY?”
“Came to see you,” Ham said staning in an unconcerned, arms folded pose.
“The hell you did.”
“Halsey, did your mother teach you to swear like that?”
She thought for a second. “1st she tought my daddy. THEN she tought me.” Slowly, as if thinking whether it was worth it, she pushed her chair back and then ambled over to Ham Tyler. As she did so, she revealed her slim, wiry figure, clad in loose-fitting jeans and a denim shirt. Her face had a sharp-featured, weathered beauty etched into it.
For a minute, Barney wasn’t sure if she was going to punch Tyler, or hug him. They huged. Then she pushed him back, her hands resting on his shoulders. “Lemmie look at you,” she said. And she did. For an instant. “on second thought…”
“Very funny, Halsey, very funny. Good thing for you, my ego doesn’t bruise easily.”
“Didn’t know it bruised at all. Now really, what the hell are you doing all the way up here?”
“Joined. The question is, what are you doin’ up here?”
“Just couldn’t stay away from you.”
“I knew you couldn’t. Not after I saved your life in El Salvador.”
“Hold on,” she said ominously. “I saved YOUR life.”
Tyler scuffed the floor w/his foot. “oh, yeah….”
“You’ve got the goddamndest most selective memory I’ve ever seen, Tyler. You know that?”
“Yeah,” he growled. “You tell me that every time I see you.”
“Well, why the hell shouldn’t I? You can’t seem to remember my phone #, but somehow, you remember me, and find me every time you need a hand at something dangerous.”
“I’m very selective who I ask on certain kinds of dates,” he deadpanned. The phone on his desk rang and he picked it up. “Det. Tyler, here.” He listened. “I’m on my way. Okay, Halsey, you and me?”
“That’s right, Halsey,” Barney said. “He requested it.”
“Okay. What’s the date?” she said turning to Tyler.
“Just a local job,” Tyler said. “You could do it with your eyes closed.”
“Well, what is it?”
“A 1030, armed robbery in progress.”
“You’re right. I could do it w/my eyes closed.”
The brought in the guys w/in a ½ hour.
The next day they had to look for a drug dealer. “Come on, Halsey.”
“I’d be glad to help – for my usual fee,” she joked.
“Whatever happened to patriotism?” Ham asked shaking his head.
“Patriotism? I got paid in El Salvador – why shouldn’t I get paid on my home turf?”
“I guess,” Tyler said. “But I was CIA then.” He paused to get a chili dog from a vendor. “We don’t have an unlimited petty cash and dirty-tricks fund in the NYPD.”
“We’ll settle the fee up later, Tyler. Maybe something private between you and me.” She elbowed him playfully in the ribs.
They walked and talked to some junkies. An hour later, Ham said, “Hey, let’s take a rest stop.” He found a bench under some trees and plunked himself down.
Annie stood over him, shaking her head. “You’re getting’ old, Tyler. You don’t have the same stamina.”
“Yeah, well, it’s the coushie life fighting junkies and robbers. Just doesn’t keep me in shape the way covert activities for The Company used to.”
She sat, cross-legged next to him, her fingers playing with his knee.
“You don’t seem as anxious to find your drug dealer,” he noted.
“Oh, you know me. I get excited and then I get rational again.”
“What do we do? Look for him all day?”
Annie shook her head. “Nope. We’ll look a little while longer, then head back to the precinct. If Barney can figure out where we go next, then we’ll go.” She was quiet for a moment. “Hair’s gotten a little thinner since the last time, Tyler.”
“You said it yourself – I’m getting old, sweetheart. I’m not the only one, though. You’ve got a few more wrinkles around those baby blues.”
She smiled sardonically. “You’re such a charmer.”
He shrugged modestly. “Hey, some things never change. So, tell me, what do you see in this boyfriend of yours?” He asked referring to what she had told him yesterday.
She mulled over the question, then raised her eyebrow. “Less and less, now that I see you again.” She gently grabbed his collar, pulled him close and kissed him. He hesitated returning it, and she backed off. “Something wrong,” she asked.
“You know, I’ve wanted to seduce you again for five years. Two years ago, we didn’t have time. But I swore if we ever got together again, nothing was gonna stop me.”
He frowned. “I thought I seduced you the first time.”
“You also thought it was you who saved my life. For a CIA man, you’ve got a lousy memory.”
“Ex-CIA,” he corrected.
“oh yeah. You know, I really thought you’d gone commercial after you beat those people and opened that big-time security company.”
“It was a phase. I outgrew it.”
“You and your friends were in all the papers. I almost looked you up. I was gonna make fun of you for selling out and going establishment.”
“Well, if that was the only reason you were going to look me up, I’m glad you didn’t.”
“I’ve got another reason now.” She closed her arms around his neck. This time there was no hesitation about joining the kiss – or continuing it. After a long time, they broke for a breath. Ham played with her hair and Annie just smiled.
She fell to the grass and pulled him on top of her. He resisted, going down only ½ way, then stopping. “Hey, come on. There are bugs all over the place,” he complained. “We’re also in a public park. Besides, we’re on duty.”
“You didn’t mind making love in El Salvador. And the bugs are a hell of a lot bigger down here.”
“I was a lot younger then – stupider too. Besides, those bugs were so big they could’ve passed for family.”
“Your family, maybe,” she said lightly.
“You’re a real charmer too, Halsey.”
“What can I say? I went to the Ham Tyler School of Etiquette.” Propping herself on one elbow, she began unbuttoning Ham’s shirt.
“You’er not going to take no for an answer, are you?” He asked, an amused glint in his eye. He ran one hand along her firm body, from her thigh to the bare skin of her neck.
“Nope. C’mon Tyler, be young again.”
“I’m being overwhelmed by superior forces.”
“I may be superior, but you’re not bad, if I recall correctly.”
He leaned down and kissed her. Just then, two cops came up, one cocking any eyebrow, clearing his throat and saying, “We’re brining you in.”
“Uh, NYPD,” Annie said, taking out her badge. “12th Precinct.”
“And you,” one asked Ham.
“Same division.” He pulled out his own badge. “Special assignment. It’s more or less a signal to our coworkers in that building over there.” He pointed to the shabby hotel across the street.
“Oh. I’m sorry. We’ll let you alone.” The cops tipped their hats and left.
When they were out of earshot, Annie said, “Quick thinking, babe. At least the mind still works. What else works?”
“You’d be surprised, Halsey. You’d be surprised.” He paused for a second. “Now, do you see what you’ve almost gotten us into?”
“A private little jail cell?”
“No. Separate, larger, crowded jail cells.”
“Hey, nobody’s perfect.” She pulled him down again and found his mouth with her tongue.
“Listen, babe,” he said when he came up for air. “We have to get to work. We still haven’t found our druggie.” He rolled off her, and stood up. He extended a hand and helped her up.
“I see your point, Tyler.”
“Come on. We gotta go to West 57th. That’s where the last guy said we’d find our druggie.”
“I’m with you all the way.”
They walked the two blocks. Ham was slightly winded. “Gona pass out, old timer?” Annie asked. “You look flushed.”
“Cute, real cute.” He hung a leather-clad arm around her shoulder and put the other one in his jeans pocket. Annie held the hand that was casually thrown over her shoulder and put her other hand in his back pocket and squeezed his bottom playfully. He looked down at her and smiled.
They looked nothing like police officers. He was in his usual black shirt, boots, jacket, and blue jeans. She was wearing blue jeans, black Converse high tops, a Boston Red Sox jersey and a jean jacket. They looked more like tough NY street punks. When they saw the man they were looking for, they approached him in a cavalier manner.
“You Chris Morgan?” Ham asked him.
“What’s it to you?”
“We hear you got some drugs for sale. True?”
“We’s clean,” Annie said. “We’ve been all around this globe for adventure, man. Laos, Vietnam, Brazil, and the list goes on. We hear you got some adventure right here in the good ol’ US of A.”
“Yeah, I am Morgan, and I got a good stash. What you want?”
“What you got?” Ham asked.
“You name it, I got it.”
“We’re looking for phenabarbatol and PCP,” Halsey said. Morgan opened his jacket to reveal a healthy supply. Halsey and Tyler looked at each other, went under their jackets, and pulled their guns.
“NYPD,” Tyler said. Halsey took out her cuffs and read Morgan his rights.
“Where’s your badges?” Moran asked.
“Right here,” Annie said pulling it out of her pocket.
Ham took out a walkie-talkie and called in. “Yeah, Barney. We need a black and white. It’s about five blocks. West 57th.”
“He’s getting old!” Annie shouted into the walkie-talkie.
Barney laughed and said “It’s on the way. Leavitt’s bringing it.”
“We’re in front of Donatelli’s Deli,” Ham said. “Do you want a full description of what we got?”
“His initials are Chris Morgan.”
“Good work, guys. There may just be a promotion in this for you.”
“What promotion?” Annie yelled. “Just doin’ our job. Like Ham said, I could do it with my eyes closed. I almost did.”
“Yeah, well, a promotion’s going to be put in whether you want it or not.”
“Right, Barn,” Ham said. “Over and out.”
Ham turned to Halsey. “What are you nuts? ‘What promotion? Just doin’ our job,’” he mocked. “I did NOT spend ¾ of my life gallivanting around the world, working for the CIA not to get promoted to Lieutenant.”
“Ex-CIA,” she said. “And if you wanted to get a promotion, why didn’t stay with the CIA?”
“Too boring. The world’s getting better. I figured police work was more exciting…I miss El Salvador.”
“So do I, Babe. So do I.”
After work, they went back to her place. “You’re a real charmer, Halsey,” Ham said picking up where they left off that afternoon.
“Ham Tyler School of Etiquette, remember?” She began unbuttoning his shirt.
“Dam those superior forces.”
She reached down to unbuckle his pants. She pushed him onto the sofa and landed on top of him, finishing off his shirt buttons and scraping her fingernails through the hair on his chest. They made love softly, quietly, revisiting old feelings under tentative new circumstances. Annie quickened the pace.
“Hey, slow down, Halsey,” Ham whispered as she straddled him. She bit his earlobe.
“Uh-uh. I’ve been patient for five years, Tyler. No time for patient now.”
“You’re a real romantic, kid.”
Her breathing quickened. “If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be sittin’ up here after all this time now, would I?”
He gave in to the urgency. “Okay. I’ll just enjoy the ride.”
“Shut up, Tyler.” She leaned forward and found his mouth with her tongue, her hands stroking his face.
Afterward, both of them had the same thought at the same time and they started to dress. They grinned at each other. Annie kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks for giving in to superior forces.”
“My pleasure, lady.”
They went into work the next day, arm in arm. “What happened to you two,” Wojo asked.
“Renewed some memories from El Salvador,” Halsey said.
“Oh, really,” Chano asked. He gave a smile and said, “Good work, Tyler.”
“I had nothing to do with it. She seduced me in El Salvador, and she seduced me last night.”
“You got it right this time,” she said. She pulled his tie and he leaned down to kiss her.
“Don’t get married,” Fish piped up.
“Why not?” Annie asked.
“You miss the things you used to do. Talking to yourself, eating whatever you want, whenever you want – nakedness.”
“We got all we wanted last night,” Ham said. Halsey poked him in the ribs, smiled, and rolled her eyes.