This is the conclusion to the four part Dreams Come True series.
Catch up on the previous installments here:
Part 1 Dreams Come True
Part 2 Integrity International
Part 3 Express Lane to Danger
“It’s pay day,” Skylar announced as I strode into the office. She did a little dance around her desk. I joined in.
“Finally,” I said. The time had come. “I know what I’m going to do this weekend.”
“What? Party your paycheck away? I never pegged you as a partier…”
I chuckled and settled down at my own desk. “I’m going apartment shopping.”
“What’s wrong with your current apartment?”
“Um, my childhood bedroom just isn’t cutting it. This job requires general privacy, and I just don’t have that.”
“Ugh, you still live with your parents? What are you doing there? You’re a grown woman.” Skylar perched herself on the edge of my desk. “You need an intervention. I’m going with you to find an apartment.”
“You are?” I asked.
“Yes. There’s no question.”
Adam strode out from his office. “Gather around, gather around,” Adam called to us all. He picked a desk to sit on. The forty-some of us circled around.
“Emergency meeting?” I mused. Skylar shrugged. We knew something was up.
Jacob Stiller, a non-dreamer co-worker that I’d barely noticed before, took the floor. “I’ve been working the case downtown,” he started. “There’s a drug ring we’ve been keeping an eye on – they call themselves Nexus. This case just became our priority. A few months ago, my eyes on the street told me a Nexus customer dropped dead. It happens, we know, with drugs, but this seemed different. The PD told us that toxicology showed the girl had a non-lethal dosage in her system. There was no reason for her to die. Last week, another customer turned up dead.”
Heads shook around the circle. For sounding so intelligent, I was surprised at how young Jacob really looked.
“We think they’re making bad batches for specific targets. We’ve been keeping an eye on them from a far, but the stakes are higher and we need to get closer. We’ve received information about a transfer taking place this morning. We don’t know if the customer is targeted, but either way we will bust them. We will be there, along with the PD.”
“Are the two dead customers linked?” Skylar asked.
“Both victims were children of former 14th Street Gang members. In the 90’s, Nexus rose into power and fought 14th Street for their turf. Nexus won.”
Adam added, “Jacob can’t go, since he’s already undercover acting as a Nexus costumer. If he was caught loitering, it’d be suspicious. Cammie and I will go.”
My heart stopped. Did he really say that? Did he know I had absolutely no field experience?
Regardless of my qualms, I was brought into the undercover resource room. Adam was given a shabby overcoat and facial hair, and I had a makeover to give me freckles and a birth mark on my neck. Anyone who knew me in real life would not recognize me now.
“A member of our homeless network was fortunate enough to hear vital information. The exchange between Nexus and a buyer will happen at Goldberg Pier, next to the seventh lamppost in from the Jamba Juice kiosk. We will loiter, a natural looking loiter. Jacob and the police will be standing by. Our word is magazine.”
“Word for what?”
“When we see the exchange happen.”
“And our goal is…?”
“Stop the transaction. If the drug batch is bad, we’ve saved a life. At the very least, we’ll catch another dealer.”
He made it sound so simple. “Can I ask – why would you have me go?”
He shrugged. “Everyone has their opportunity to go undercover. Yours is right now.”
I continued to stare at him.
“What? I told you you’d be part of a special operation. What I meant was you’d be the next one to go undercover.”
“College did not prepare me for this,” I mumbled.
Adam chuckled. “No college ever does.”
“But I was a criminal justice major,” I protested.
“Don’t worry. I have a camera attacked to the button on my shirt, and we’ll both be wired.” He handed me a tiny ear piece. “Jacob will be in our heads the whole time.”
It was windy out on the pier. I was grateful for the hat that I wore. It kept my hair down over my ears, hiding my ear piece.
Adam and I strode down the walkway, as if we’re just two old friends out for a stroll. “Nice day, huh?”
I nodded. “Windy, though. I’m glad I have this hat on. I don’t want my ears to show.”
Adam gave me a small grin, but sent me a look with his eyes, wondering if I was about announce that I was wearing an earpiece. An elderly couple walked beside us, and secretly I knew they were listening.
“I don’t like my ears showing,” I covered. “I’m very self-conscious. Did I ever tell you that my nickname in 3rd grade was Dumbo?”
Adam burst out laughing, and I could tell he wasn’t acting. “You never mentioned that.”
A voice crackled in my ear. “Your 2 o’clock – don’t look, Cammie. That’s him. Brown hood pulled over his face. His shoes are exactly how the homeless witness described..”
“Hm, thought I told you that,” I said to Adam, trying to keep the conversation moving. “Remembering to tell people things like that aren’t my gift.”
“Adam, I’m losing visibility,” Jacob said in my ear. “Keep an eye out for the buyer.”
“How about we sit down for a bit?” Adam motioned towards a bench close to Jamba Juice.
“There’s still a crowd blocking the camera. You have visibility?” Jacob continued.
“Yes,” said Adam to the both of us, “I think this date will be a success, what do you think?”
“It already has been,” I said, grinning. “I’m so glad you took me here. The view is great.”
“Hm, getting late,” Adam said. “Want me to buy you smoothie?”
I shook my head, playing along with Adam’s clever reply to Jacob. “That’s alright. I’m not very hungry.”
“Ugh, where is the buyer?” Jacob groaned loudly in my ear. I winced. “These people usually want their fix. They’re never late.”
“Actually, I’m getting hungry now,” I said after a moment. From across the wide pier, I could see a young man approaching the brown-hooded dealer.
“Okay, I’ll go buy something for you.” Adam stood up.
I heard Jacob in my ear, telling the police to be ready.
The young man, in an oversized red t-shirt, turned to the dealer. The Nexus member pulled a brown paper bag. That was our evidence. That was our cue.
I stared at Adam. The next two seconds took a lifetime. Magazine. How to say magazine? Two girls sat on the bench beside to us, obviously people watching and picking us to watch. We had to act natural.
Adam was leaning closer to me. “Cammie, you’re a novel in a sea of magazines.”
“Baby, you’re too kind,” I said, staring into his alluring eyes. I may have reacted promptly, but my mind was spinning. Those were the exact lines that had happened in my dream weeks ago. The dream were I thought Adam had flirted with me. Now I saw it wasn’t a flirtatious line, but a line that proved we had accomplished something together.
All chaos erupted in my ear as the police officers rushed out of the unmarked van.
“The scans came back on the drugs,” Adam announced at the end of the afternoon. “That batch contained rat poison. Also, it has been confirmed that the buyer’s dad had been a member of 14th Street. Nexus had been targeting buyers that have ties with 14th street. Not anymore”
The room erupted in cheers and applause.
“Have a great weekend everyone, and pick up your paychecks on the way out.”
Skylar stopped me in the parking lot. “Hey, so I saw Jacob making eyes at you today. He’s a really sweet guy.”
“Oh? I hadn’t noticed.”
That hadn’t exactly been my priority today. “After the thrill I got today, I realized how much I love this job. I think I’ll stay married to it for a while.”
“This one looks nice,” Skylar commented.
It was Saturday, and we were touring the fourth apartment.
“Location’s nice. Close to work, farther away from your family’s house.”
I chuckled, but said nothing.
“What you are thinking?”
“The bathroom’s spacious,” I commented. I truly loved this apartment – it would offer the privacy and independence I truly needed.
“But your mind isn’t here,” Skylar inferred. “What else are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking this is better than I thought it’d be.”
“I get the feeling you’re not talking about the apartment.”
I shrugged, smirking, and turned from the window. I couldn’t get my mind off going undercover at the pier. Despite my original qualms about my first undercover assignment, I now had the overwhelming desire to do it again. The shivers I got when I saw the Nexus dealer being taken away from handcuffs. That was why I was there. That was why I was a dreamer. I accomplished my duty today, and I couldn’t wait to do it again.