It was difficult to see farther than a few yards through the driving rain and the reflection of blue and red flashing lights. Dennis cursed and cut the sirens as he flew over the speed bumps marking entry into an industrial park. The chase had been going on for miles, since the two cops had spotted the truck racing out of the retail park with its doors hanging open.
"Jesus, man," Caleb, his partner, complained, gripping the hand-hold above his door. He was glad he'd fastened his seat belt.
Dennis threw a grin at him. "Up ahead." He gestured to the white truck that had pulled in some distance from their Crown Vic. "Ready for some action?"
"Can't wait," Caleb grunted, unsnapping his seat belt as they squealed to a halt. Chasing villains was one of his favorite things in the world and after a few hours of sitting on his ass during an initially quiet night, he was ready to stretch his legs.
A half-hour ago they had been sitting on the shoulder of the freeway near the retail park, Caleb yawning while Dennis dissected his partner's sex life.
"All I'm saying is you're all about the domination and it wouldn't hurt you to give it up once in a while."
Caleb had stared at him like he'd come from Mars. "What? Do I look like a sissy little bottom boy to you?"
Dennis shook his head. Big, burly, and mustachioed, he looked like the cop from the Village People. Those who suggested that to his face had lived to regret it. "Nothing wrong with taking, man. Ain't about being sissy, it's about being the bigger man and knowing where to take your pleasure."
"Whatever," Caleb said. "I'm fine keeping my ass intact for now, thanks."
Dennis shook his head. "You need teaching, my boy. I could help you out there."
That had made Caleb blanch and Dennis had cackled. The conversation flashed through his mind now, tormenting him as he dived from the vehicle, unsnapping his holster as he used a Dumpster for cover to negotiate his way to the truck.
"They've gone inside," Dennis yelled above the pouring rain. "I'm going round the back."
Caleb raised his hand in acknowledgment. He drew his pistol and eased around the side of the truck, checking through the passenger window. Empty. He leveled his gun and cocked it as he yanked open the back door. Empty—save for a few boxes of what the two guys in the truck had been stealing when Caleb and Dennis had spotted them. Caleb rifled quickly through one, finding it stuffed full of iPads and iPhones.
He hurried around to the warehouse, squinting through the rain as he saw the side door hanging open, padlock cut off. He stepped inside, taking his time, gun surveying the scene, finding the entrance hall gloomy but with a promise of light coming from within.
He pushed the door open slowly, covering himself, surveying every angle with his gun. The warehouse was vast. An empty space in the center was surrounded by open crates and boxes holding bottles. Alcohol—spirits and wine—thousands of dollars of the stuff.
Caleb was momentarily distracted by the sight. He was too late turning to face the rustle behind him as something hard cracked him over the head.