Hunter and McCall stepped out of Miami’s airport and into the midday July sunshine. Rick Hunter flipped on his shades.
“Wow, it’s really hot.”
He looked down at McCall who, having forgotten her sunglasses, had her hand to her brow as she squinted into the midday sun.
“No kidding. It must be 120 degrees. I think I’ll melt before our ride gets here.”
Hunter spotted a black convertible Ferrari Daytona Spyder pulling up to the curb towards them.
“Ah, this must be them.”
“Hunter and McCall?”
A handsome blonde in white stepped out of the driver’s side. A gorgeous black man in an expensive suit sat in the passenger seat and smiled up at them both.
“Good to meet you, I’m Rick Hunter and this is Dee Dee McCall.”
“I’m Sonny Crockett.”
“I’m Rico Tubbs.”
“And I’m hot,” Dee Dee cut in, “please tell me this car has air-conditioning.” Only a few minutes in the Miami heat and her blouse was already soaked.
Tubbs jumped out of the car.
“Have a seat right up front here.” Tubbs took off his shades and slipped them onto McCall’s face before he hopped into the back seat.
“Thank you.” McCall laughed.
“You gotta wear shades in Sonny’s car.” Tubbs quipped.
Sonny threw the bags in the trunk and Hunter stepped into the back seat. Sonny turned to McCall and smiled flirtatiously, “Why Tubbs, you’ve changed.”
McCall laughed good-naturedly and smiled back at him.
“Well, let’s go” and with that Sonny hit the gas and headed towards South Beach.
“96 degrees right now in sizzling Miami Beach.” the radio dj droned on.
“See McCall, it’s not 120, only 96.” Hunter teased McCall.
“Yeah, well it feels like 120.”
“I love it,” Tubbs said, “after so many years of cold New York winters I love this Miami heat.”
“And the nights,” Sonny added, “none of those cold California nights, here, no sir, we have tropical nights in Miami.”
By now Sonny had pulled onto Ocean Drive.
“Your hotel is just a few blocks away. We’ll drop you off and come back at three o’clock. Lieutenant Castillo wants to meet you and brief all of us on this operation. OK, here we are.”
Sonny pulled up to the Avalon hotel and got out to get their luggage from the trunk.
Without turning around McCall reached back and handed Tubbs back his sunglasses before getting out of the car.
“Thank you sir.” McCall playfully remarked.
“You’re most welcome Dee Dee,” Tubbs was at his smoothest as he stepped out of the Daytona.
Hunter shook Sonny’s hand and grabbed his and McCall’s bags.
“Thanks guys. We’ll see you later.”
In a flash Sonny’s Daytona was speeding down Ocean Drive.
“Well now, they’re going to look real good undercover,” Sonny shook his head discouragingly.
“C’mon Sonny, give them a break. You don’t even know how Castillo wants us to work this yet.”
“I can guess.” Sonny shot back.
“Ok, how?” Tubbs asked.
“C’mon Tubbs.” Sonny scoffed.
“C’mon what Sonny?”
“You know exactly how this is gonna play out. They’re going to be giving the orders and we get to tag along in our own neighborhood and - ”
Tubbs cut him off,
“No, uh-uh, Castillo would never do that.”
“You wanna bet?”
Sonny put a cigarette in his mouth.
Tubbs shrugged his Armani clad shoulders in a gesture of defeat. He’d take this argument up with Sonny some other time. For now he looked straight ahead and Crockett drove over the causeway towards the OCB. There was no point in arguing with Sonny when he’d already made up his mind.
Castillo looked up at the clock, it was getting on towards four o’clock before he spotted the familiar figures of Crockett and. Close behind were a very tall man and a pretty, petite woman. The detectives from LA were both looking rather tired due to their long flight and their encounter with Miami’s smothering heat. Castillo could also tell that Sonny was in a combative mood just from the way that he shot straight for Castillo’s door. It was obvious too that Tubbs was now the official tour guide since Sonny’s mood left something to be desired.
Castillo’s face remained an impassive mask as Sonny stormed in and flashed a saccharine smile to cover the fact that he was gritting his teeth.
Sonny threw his pastel jacket onto a chair. With his green muscle shirt and gun strap on he looked ready for battle. Sonny folded his arms, leaned against a table and waited.
In the meantime Tubbs was introducing Hunter and McCall to the OCB staff.
“Gina and Trudy? Where are you?”
Trudy stepped out of the ladies room followed by Gina. They both had just changed into their hooker wear for an evening of undercover work.
“Ladies, let me introduce you to Detective Dee Dee McCall. McCall, meet Detectives Gina Calabrese and Detective Trudy Joplin.”
“Well this looks familiar.” McCall commented checking out their sultry street getup.
“Is that part of your job too? Bustin’ johns?”
McCall nodded in the affirmative.
“Are your outfits as outrageous as Trudy’s and Gina’s?”
“More outrageous actually.” McCall answered coyly.
“Well that I’d like to see.” Tubbs winked in response.
Hunter was watching this flirtatious display and he couldn’t wait to give McCall a hard time about it but for now he merely rolled his eyes.
Gina and Trudy were both eyeing the tall stranger from L.A. who still had yet to be introduced to them as Tubbs was thoroughly distracted by McCall’s company.
“And you are?” Trudy asked as she fixed her gaze on him across the room.
Hunter walked towards her and Gina, “Hi I’m Sergeant Rick Hunter, L.A. Homicide.”
“Well very nice to meet you Rick, I’m Trudy Joplin. Miami Vice.”
“And I’m Gina Calabrese.”
Both Trudy and Gina fixed their brightest smiles on Hunter. They both looked drop dead gorgeous and Hunter was enjoying their attention.
“So, off to the red light district are you?”
“Yeah, in South Beach.”
“Wanna join us?”
Hunter just grinned in response.
“Wow, you are really tall?” Trudy said.
“Did you play basketball?” Gina asked.
“Football actually.” Hunter answered.
“Really?” Trudy was impressed, “I thought so just by the way you looked.”
Hunter shrugged with an aw-shucks grin on his face and from across the room he could see McCall watching him and rolling her eyes in disgust.
McCall approached the three of them, “I’m sure your Lieutenant is waiting to see us so we’d best be going in, catch you both later.”
Gina and Trudy smiled at each other as they watched Hunter go into Castillo’s office.
Castillo shut his office door.
“I think you’ve all met. This shouldn’t take long.”
Castillo started to pace the room and spoke in a calm voice,
“Sergeant Hunter and Detective McCall are out here on a case and they are seeking our help. A drug kingpin responsible for dozens of murders in the Los Angeles are has recently relocated to Miami. His name is Luis Rosa.”
Crockett looked at Tubbs who gave him that special look which indicated to Crockett that he felt exactly the same way he did: this is our city, drug dealers are our specialty, let us take care of Rosa and send these two back to LA tomorrow.
Castillo continued, “I believe that Detectives Crockett and Tubbs have the connections and the capabilities to get you to Rosa as quickly as possible.”
Castillo’s slow pace around the room came to a halt as he stopped in front of Hunter and gave him a long look, “We don’t want a bloodbath out here Sergeant. We want Rosa out of Miami.”
The room was silent. Castillo had a force in his quiet and deadly serious demeanor that could sometimes awe those in his presence. No one spoke a word.
Castillo started his pacing again.
“Sergeant Hunter, please fill us in on what you know and then we’ll form a plan of action for the next few days.”
“Thank you Lieutenant,” Hunter came quickly to the point, as was his manner, “Luis Rosa has murdered at least 23 people in L.A. over the past year, that we know of, there’s possibly many more that we don’t know about. The victims have been rival dope dealers and underlings in Rosa’s own organization. After the death of Rosa’s right hand man several weeks ago he was feeling the heat and he packed up and took off for - ”
“Miami.” Crockett interjected.
“That’s right, Miami.” Hunter responded.
“Is he organized out here?” Tubbs asked.
“We’re not sure,” McCall answered, “but if he is he’ll soon be taking out the competition one by one and Miami is going to look like L.A. did a few months back.”
“Not a pretty sight.” Hunter said.
“And we’re already the murder capital of the world.” Sonny added.
“Crockett and Tubbs,” Castillo locked eyes with Sonny hoping for a cooperative response but knowing he would get a truthful one, “what’s your take on this?”
Sonny spoke first, “Well, no offense to the Sergeant and Detective from L.A. but I think that Tubbs and I are in the best position to approach Rosa and we can probably handle it on our own.”
Castillo looked icily at Sonny while Tubbs shifted his gaze to the floor.
“And why is that?” Hunter asked, an edge to his voice.
Sonny scoffed and looked around the room for confirmation.
“Because you might as well have ‘cop’ stamped on your forehead! And this operation?” Sonny’s voice was getting louder and his movements became more agitated, “It’s going to involve going deep undercover. It’s what my partner and I do on a daily basis. We know the territory, we know the players…” Sonny’s voice broke off for a moment, “so why are we even having this discussion?!”
McCall was not about to back down and jumped right in.
“You want to know why? My partner and I have been working this case for over a year! We know Rosa’s moves inside and out, OK? And I don’t care how good of a cop you are and how many drug cases you’ve worked, believe me, you have never dealt with anyone as ruthless as Rosa!”
An exasperated McCall threw her hands up, “We’re here to share what we know with you so we can bust this son of a bitch. Lieutenant Castillo invited us!”
“Yes, I did.” Castillo said with assurance. His cool head had a calming effect on everyone in the room, particularly on McCall. Castillo looked at her and asked, “What are your ideas on this Detective?”
“Well, thanks Lieutenant.” Dee Dee’s smile returned.
“Oh, OK, thank you Martin.”
Sonny threw Rico an alarmed look. By-the-book Castillo allowing an out of town detective to refer to him on a first name basis was something totally out of left field. Castillo was full of surprises however. Castillo’s familiarity with the martial arts was one thing, at least it fit completely into his completely disciplined persona, but this was quite another piece of the increasingly complex Castillo puzzle.
“As Detective Crockett so, um…” McCall could not help but smile when she looked at Hunter and then across the room at Crockett and saw how differently they were dressed, “diplomatically pointed out, my partner does indeed have ‘cop’ stamped on his forehead.”
Tubbs and Crockett both laughed with Dee Dee at Hunter’s expense while Castillo remained unamused.
Hunter crossed his arms and gave Dee Dee a dirty look, “Thanks a lot McCall.”
“I’m sorry Hunter, I’m sorry, but it’s true.”
“So, what about you Detective?” Tubbs asked her, “Besides those Hollywood Boulevard gigs we were talking about earlier, what other undercover assignments have you done.”
“I was just getting to that.” McCall jumped up from her chair and started to pace the room herself. For months now McCall had been working out a plan to take down Rosa and suddenly it had come into focus, crystallizing in her mind within a matter of seconds, “And I’ve got it. I know how we can get Rosa.”
“How?” Castillo asked.
All eyes were on McCall as she spoke, “Rosa has this thing for celebrities, musicians in particular. So, my thought is this. Since I am a singer I can pose as a hot new nightclub act in town and one of you can pot as my manager. Rosa will come to us. He must make the scene out here. All we need to do is find the hottest club in town, book me a gig and we’ve got him.”
Castillo nodded, thinking, “I believe we can work out something along those lines.”
Tubbs seemed enthused, “Most definitely, and I would like to work with you on this McCall, being musically inclined myself, I’ll pose as your manager. Do you mind Sonny?”
“Do I mind? Yeah, I do! I’d like to work with McCall. She’s at least got this undercover thing down.” Sonny winked at McCall.
“Oh I feel so wanted.” Hunter noted with his usual dry humor. McCall just smiled wickedly at him as Sonny and Rico carried on.
“It’s always been a secret fantasy of mine to manage a nightclub act.” Tubbs admitted.
“Oh really?” Sonny argued back.
“And besides, I’m more musically inclined than you are.”
“You’re what?” Sonny shot back.
“More musical.” Tubbs stated innocently enough, and then turning to McCall he said, “I’m a singer too.”
“You are?” McCall beamed with enthusiasm, “How about that Hunter, Rico is a singer too.”
“Thrilling.” Hunter deadpanned.
“Tubbs, you can’t use that argument because I sing too.”
“Wait a minute Sonny,” Tubbs contained a laugh, “you sing? What do you sing? Love songs to Elvis? Or songs by that redneck character, what was that tape I found on your boat that time, oh yeah, Dickie Betts!”
“You mean THE Elvis?” McCall was confused. “Please tell me it’s not true!”
“That would be Switek dear, no, my Elvis is a reptile.”
“Ok…” McCall was even more confused now.
“Don’t worry sweetheart, you’ll meet him.” Sonny flirted with McCall.
Tubbs would not let Crockett off the hook so easy, “I can’t imagine you singing Crockett, you won’t even dance, but you sing?”
“Well, I do.”
“So do I.” Castillo said and with that the conversation ended. Sonny and Rico stared at the Lieutenant in disbelief. Castillo paused for effect knowing that he had the full attention of Crockett and Tubbs.
“Tubbs, I want you to work with McCall on making contact with Rosa. Crockett, I want you to team up with Sergeant Hunter on the supply side of Rosa’s drug operation. That’s it for now. Keep me posted.”
Still dumbstruck by Castillo’s musical confession Sonny nodded silently. Tubbs did likewise. McCall glowed with the satisfaction of knowing that her scheme to bring down Rosa was being put into action, she knew it would work. Hunter looked at Sonny and pondered the impossibility of working with him.
“Crockett, I’ll assign Switek and Zito to assist you and Sergeant Hunter in any way they can. Tubbs, Gina and Trudy will be available to work with you and Detective McCall if you need them.”
McCall shook Castillo’s hand, “We really appreciate your help, thank you so much Lieutenant.”
“We do, we really do,” Hunter added, “and we’ll get Rosa.”
Hunter and McCall walked out of Castillo’s office with Crockett and Tubbs not far behind.
As soon as they were out the door Tubbs turned to Crockett and whispered, “Was that just some weird Castillo humor or do you think he really sings?”
Sonny just rolled his eyes and headed for his desk.
“Dee Dee? Wait for me OK.” Tubbs called out, “I’ve just got a few things to finish up here at my desk but it shouldn’t take me more than a few minutes.”
“Sure.” McCall replied.
“Dee Dee?” Hunter kidded McCall, “I’ll leave you and lover boy alone. I’m out of here McCall.”
“Hunter would you lighten up? Geez! How are you getting back to our hotel anyway, you don’t have a car.”
“I’ll drive him,” Sonny said as he was on his way out the door and overheard their conversation, “See you tomorrow Detective McCall, show her the town tonight Tubbs. G’night y’all.”
Sonny was already out the door.
“Goodnight Hunter.” McCall said, “and you two try to stay out of trouble tonight.”
“I should be telling you that.” Hunter grumbled.
“Goodnight Hunter.” McCall said more emphatically this time; she just got a growl from Hunter by way of reply as he stomped out the OCB doors.
Tubbs smiled at McCall from across the room.
“They’re going to get along great.”
Tubbs was quiet for a few minutes as he listened to some messages and sorted paperwork on his desk. McCall sauntered around the nearly empty offices of the OCB while Tubbs worked. McCall she went over to Sonny’s desk and saw the picture of his son and wife. She saw the ‘Big Booty Trudy’ sign on Detective Joplin’s desk. Castillo was still in his office, the lights in his office on low and the door closed, he wasn’t working but was instead meditating.
Tubbs finished writing down his last phone message and looked up to find McCall staring into Castillo’s office.
“He doesn’t sleep here does he?” she asked.
“Sometimes he does.”
“Impressive, he’s quite the devoted civil servant isn’t he?”
“That he is. Anyway, do you like seafood?”
“I love it.” McCall answered.
“Ok then, how about some dinner?”
“Right outside my Cadillac awaits.”
Sonny had been driving for five minutes before the silence was broken by Hunter, “So, what is there to do in this city if you happen not to like trendy nightclubs?”
“How about fishing?”
“Yeah, that works for me.”
“OK then, we can go to my boat if you want to do some fishing.”
“Yeah, my boat! It’s where I live.”
Hunter just shook his head, “well I've got to see this.”
“OK pal, you are invited to a fishing expedition on my boat.”
Loud dance music pulsated through the cavernous Babylon Club. Tubbs led McCall back to their table after having just taken her for a spin on the dance floor.
McCall looked radiant in a deep purple sparkling spaghetti strap dress. Tubbs wore a lavender shirt, a purple tie and a dark blue suit; their outfits complemented one another’s perfectly.
“You’re quite the dancer aren’t you?” McCall said.
“You’re not so bad yourself.” Tubbs sipped a virgin colada and smiled back at her.
McCall took in the brilliant neon and pastels of every variety, swirled together in an explosion of color.
“You don’t need drugs to trip out in this place do you?”
“Dee Dee, we’re probably the only two people here who don’t have cocaine eyes. Have a look around. Look at these people, the beautiful and the delirious. But you’re the prettiest one here.”
“Well, you aren’t looking too bad yourself Detective.” McCall complemented Tubbs.
Tubbs laughed and took another look around the room, his eyes scanning the crowd for familiar faces from the underworld.
“This is a very famous or shall I say infamous nightclub the Babylon. All of the major dealers in Miami are known to frequent this place and spend their hard earned blood money. Did you ever hear about Tony Montana?”
“No, the name doesn’t sound familiar.” McCall answered.
“Well, before he was murdered by some Colombians last year he spent most nights here at the Babylon doing business and he’s as big as they come.”
McCall looked around in hopes of spotting Rosa.
“Do you think he’ll show his face here?”
“You can bet your life on it.” Tubbs replied.
Hunter stood on the deck of Sonny’s boat and stared incredulously at Elvis.
“That’s your pet?” he asked, “a crocodile?”
“Oh right, an alligator.” Hunter continued to stare. Elvis was fast asleep and could have been made out of stone.
“Yeah, poor old Elvis, he was formerly the mascot of my football team and he had a rough time of it, it was the Sixties after all.”
Hunter turned his attention from the alligator to Sonny who was busy straightening some fishing line. For the first time since they had met Hunter could find something about this pretty boy that he could relate to.
“You played football?”
“Yeah I sure did.”
“Wide receiver, University of Florida.”
Sonny stopped and gave Rick a long look.
Rick took a step closer to Sonny.
“I think I may have tackled you a few times, defensive back, University of Southern California.”
Crockett and Hunter both laughed. Rick sat down next to Sonny and picked up a fishing pole that Sonny had just fixed up. Casting out Hunter took a look around.
“It’s beautiful here. I love the water. I grew up outside of San Diego.”
“Yeah, it’s nice.”
Sonny cast out and sat back admiring the city skyline.
“So, did you play pro ball?” Hunter asked.
“No, Vietnam took care of that.”
“I know what you mean.” Rick replied.
“You were in ‘Nam?” Sonny asked.
“My tour of duty was 1968.”
“Mine was in ’69.”
There was silence but understanding between the two of them.
“Is it always this quiet out here?” Rick asked.
“Usually, unless a nearby party gets a little too much snow and then things can get a little crazy.”
“Oh my God.” McCall nearly choked on an ice cube from her strawberry daiquiri.
“What?” Tubbs looked in the direction that McCall was staring.
“He’s right over there, see him? White suit, shiny pink shirt, kind of short.”
“Oh yeah, I see him alright.”
Rosa made his way across the dance floor surrounded by five big bodyguards in black. They would pass right by McCall and Tubbs on their way to the booths at the back of the club where the elite and dangerous conducted their business at the Babylon Club on a nightly basis.
Rosa walked behind McCall’s chair and to Tubbs’ complete surprise she stood up and blocked his path. Rosa started and his bodyguards seemed to engulf McCall. Tubbs’ eyes darted from one bodyguard to the next but he kept his cool and did not move from his seat. Up close Rosa eerily resembled Tubbs’ nemesis Calderon and the similarity made Tubbs uncomfortable to say the least.
McCall put her hand on her hips and flashed a sultry smile at Rosa.
Rosa silently looked her up and down and put his cigar in his mouth.
“Want to dance?” McCall moved up close to Rosa and past him, towards the dance floor, looking back over her shoulder to see if he would follow.
Rosa’s eyes followed her. He turned to his bodyguards, “It’s OK boys.”
He then set his gaze upon Tubbs.
“Sorry to steal your girl my man but what can I say? I’m irresistible.”
Rico took a guess as to the card McCall was playing and jumped in.
“She’s not my girl, I’m her manager.”
Rosa quickly forgot all about Tubbs as he caught sight of McCall waiting for him on the dance floor. They danced together on the crowded floor to Deborah Harry’s song “Rush Rush”.
“How do you know who I am?”
McCall sashayed around Rosa and played the part of a coy and ambitious singer.
“Oh, I heard you are big money and I really want to make all the right connections to make it big here in Miami so I knew I had to meet the newest and hottest player.”
“So, that guy you’re with is your manager?”
“Yes he is,” McCall did her best to keep smiling but she was petrified and made as hell. She would prefer to blow Rosa away right there on the dance floor. The Pointer Sisters song “Operator” now started to pump through the amplifiers and even more people squeezed onto the floor.
“And what do you do that you need a manager for?”
“Didn’t he tell you? I sing! I’m a singer and I’m going to be onstage here tomorrow night, oh please say you’ll come and watch me sing, I am the best there is, really.”
Dee Dee just bubbled over with starry-eyed ego, her acting job was so convincing she made herself sick.
“I’m a very busy man but I’ll see if I can make it.”
“Oh please.” Dee Dee vamped.
“OK sweetheart, I’ll try.”
They finished dancing to the Pointer Sisters then Rosa looked impatiently towards his table, “I’ve got people waiting for me, business matters to discuss.”
“That’s what you’re the big money isn’t it?” McCall kept on with her bimbo act.
“Thank for the dance, um, Miss…”
“Sparkle, Dee Dee Sparkle is the name!”
“Well, that is a star’s name.” Rosa humored this over anxious wannabe.
“Yes it is! Do you think it is? I do!” Dee Dee’s smile was still plastered on her face as Rosa kissed her hand and walked her back to her table.
“Goodnight Miss Sparkle. I’ll try and catch your act tomorrow night.”
“You better be here.” McCall sassed, “I’m the best.”
Rosa pulled her chair up for her and when she sat down he kissed her shoulder and winked at Tubbs before hustling up the steps to his entourage.
McCall shivered in disgust.
He watched her as she calmly took a sip of her daiquiri. She picked up her purse and powdered her nose. She looked in her mirror and not at Rico.
Still avoiding his eyes she said, “Shall we leave? I’m very tired.”
“OK Dee Dee, we’ll leave.”
She got up and glanced back towards Rosa’s table. Sure enough he had his eye on her. Tubbs watched as she waved and blew him a kiss goodnight then turned and slowly sauntered towards the exit. McCall walked as slowly as possible even though she felt like dashing for that door. Tubbs coolly followed. They didn’t exchange a word until they were outside in the parking lot.
She was walking faster now, the click of her heels in the parking lot as she walked with determination towards Tubbs’ blue Cadillac.
“Wait up McCall.”
McCall got in without a word.
Tubbs started to drive and looked over at her.
“Don’t take this the wrong way McCall but I think you moved too fast on this.”
“I saw an opportunity and I took it.” McCall was very controlled in her response.
“We haven’t even gotten on board with the Babylon and you’re supposed to be singing onstage tomorrow night?”
“We’ll just have to work faster!” McCall turned to face Tubbs, her eyes determined, “I have got to talk to Hunter.”
“Yes, tonight!” McCall raised her voice.
“Take it easy McCall, I’ll call Sonny and find out where he dropped Hunter.” Tubbs responded.
“You know what? I think I need another beer.” Hunter looked at Crockett.
“Well, get it yourself.” Sonny joked back at him.
“I don’t know where your fridge is.”
“It’s not that big of a boat pal.”
Hunter managed to move from his comfortable nook on the deck of the St. Vitus.
Rick and Sonny were getting along. They shared a similar sense of humor and had spent most of the evening exchanging stories and telling jokes. Neither of them had brought up the Rosa case.
Hunter made his way below deck.
“You know, you really ought to teach Elvis here how to fetch beers for you.”
“I tried. He didn’t go for it.” Sonny said.
“Can I get you another one?” Hunter asked.
“Ah hell, why not.”
Sonny ran his hand through his hair, he was already feeling the effects of the alcohol.
“I’ve worked other heavy cases with a hangover, no reason to stop now.”
Sonny looked up and saw McCall racing down the dock towards the St. Vitus with Tubbs a few steps behind trying to keep up with her.
“Well hey there detective,” Sonny said, “don’t you look nice.”
He helped her onboard.
“Welcome aboard the St. Vitus. Your partner is below deck.”
“I’ve got to talk to him.” McCall said.
In her rush to get below deck McCall nearly stepped on Elvis. She let out a little yelp before crying out, “what the hell is that?”
“Whoa there detective, slow down. You want to go in this direction. That there is Elvis and these are the steps.”
Hunter caught sight of McCall at the top of the steps.
“McCall? What are you doing here? I thought you were out painting the town red.”
McCall carefully made her way down towards Hunter in her high heels. She grabbed one of the beers Hunter was carrying and sat down. She took a sip of beer and a look around.
“He lives here? With an alligator?”
“Uh huh. So, what happened to your hot night on the town with Tubbs?”
“Tubbs took me to the Babylon Club and guess who showed up.”
“No.” Hunter looked at her in disbelief.
“Yes. Rosa. The slime ball, I wanted to shoot him on the spot but instead I danced with him, I thought I was going to throw up.” McCall shuddered.
Hunter looked at McCall’s sexy dress and couldn’t resist needling her, “So, how did Rosa like your dress?”
McCall shot him a nasty look, “Yeah he liked it alright and he had better like my singing too. I told him that I’d be playing a gig at the Babylon and to come check out my act.”
“What? Tomorrow night? That’s a little soon isn’t it?”
“That’s exactly what Tubbs said!” McCall protested.
Up on deck Crockett and Tubbs could over hear Hunter and McCall’s conversation.
Sonny gave Rico a look, “so did Rosa bust up your date with McCall?”
“You got that right.”
Rico strolled the deck and looked out over the Miami skyline, the lights in the high-rises glittered in the warm night breeze. He looked at Sonny’s fishing equipment, “It doesn’t look like you caught anything.”
“I spent more time swapping stories with Detective Hunter than casting out. You know, he’s an alright guy.”
“So is his partner.” Tubbs added.
“She’s prettier too.” Crockett said, “but she’s tough. Do you know what her nickname is?”
“Hunter told me they call her the brass cupcake. Cute huh?”
“I’d believe it,” Rico laughed, “You should have seen her tonight. Incredible. She’s a good cop.”
“So what happens next Rico?”
“Rosa expects to see McCall perform onstage at the Babylon Club tomorrow night.”
“What?” was Sonny’s response.
“Don’t worry about it man, I’ll take care of it.”
McCall and Hunter came back on deck. They were laughing and smiling. McCall held a beer in one hand and with the other she made a fist and punched Hunter’s arm.
“Ouch, that hurt.”
“Stop.” McCall giggled.
“What’s so funny?” Tubbs looked at McCall.
Hunter answered, “I keep telling McCall she’s never going to get any real police work done if she continues to dress like this.”
“Well, it worked tonight.” McCall smiled victoriously.
“It sure did.” Tubbs echoed McCall’s sentiment.
“Yeah,” McCall stepped a bit closer to Rico, “you know, Rico and I, we make quite a team and we match too.”
“Oh boy, I think we’d better call it a night before I lose my partner to Miami Vice.” Hunter joked and they all laughed.
“I’ll give you a ride back to your hotel.”
“Works for me.” Hunter said.
“Thanks for the beer Sonny and thanks for introducing me to your alligator.” Dee Dee handed Sonny her half empty beer can.
“Any time darlin’.”
Rico walked off down the dock with Dee Dee and Rick. Sonny took another look around at the Miami night before retiring.
“Good night Elvis.”
The following morning Switek, Trudy and Gina were gathered in the strategy room with a stack of photos scattered across the table.
Hunter and McCall arrived before either Crockett or Tubbs.
“McCall knocked on the door and asked “May we join you?”
“Absolutely,” Trudy smiled back, “so, you didn’t get a ride in the Daytona this morning hmm?”
“No, Hunter and I took a cab.”
“I’m going to get some coffee, can I get some for the two of you?” Gina asked sweetly as she got up to leave the room.
“Nothing for me, thanks.” Hunter replied as he took a seat next to Switek and started to browse through the dozens of photographs.
“Thanks, that’d be great.” McCall sat next to Trudy.
“Can you grab some for me too Gina?” Trudy asked.
“Four coffees. Got it.”
Gina sauntered out of the room.
“What is all this?” Hunter asked.
“Well, these are just some of the connections we suspect Rosa is trying to infiltrate. We set up surveillance last week, I took these photos just a few days ago. It’d be real helpful if you would take a look through them, see if you spot any of Rosa’s lackeys.”
Gina was in the break room stirring two packs of sugar into her coffee when Sonny arrived.
“Good morning.” Gina smiled.
All she got in reply was a grumble.
“What’s the matter with you?” Gina asked.
Sonny rubbed his eyes, looking tired and unshaven.
“I could use a whole pot of coffee.”
Gina balanced four Styrofoam cups of coffee in her hands.
“Sonny, you’re in my way.”
“Well aren’t you friendly this morning.” Sonny didn’t step aside for her.
“Don’t start in with me Sonny, OK? I didn’t give you this assignment. If you want to start a fight with someone why don’t you go into Castillo’s office and start a fight with him.”
“I’m sorry Gina, I’m sorry. Just the thought of working undercover with Hunter is making me real uncomfortable.”
“You’re always the same Sonny.” Gina said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sonny asked.
“Gina didn’t give him an answer as she brushed by him.
“Good morning Gina!” Rico was just walking in the office, “one of those coffees for me?”
“Nope, you’re on your own. Maybe you can console your brooding partner who’s sulking in the break room.”
Tubbs looked around the corner, and he found Sonny as Gina had described him, brooding.
“Sonny, what’s the problem?” I thought you and Hunter worked things out last night.”
“Just because I think he’s an OK guy doesn’t mean I want to work a decidedly dangerous undercover operation with him.”
“Lieutenant!” Switek called out from the situation room.
Tubbs and Crockett followed Castillo into the room.
“I think we’ve got something Lieutenant.” Switek said motioning to a photograph of three men standing outside of a warehouse.
“That one there,” Hunter pointed to the tallest man in the photo, “he’s a familiar face. He’s one of Rosa’s closest associates.”
“Sonny,” Castillo said, “I want you and Hunter to work on locating him. If you find that you can make contact without blowing Tubbs and McCall’s cover then do it.”
Hunter looked at Sonny and with a wicked grin asked, “Can I drive?”
“Not in this life pal.” Sonny turned and gave Rico a look of almost complete despair.
Rico couldn’t hide his amusement at Sonny’s consternation but he tried not to laugh out loud.
“Come on, let’s go.” Sonny stormed out. Hunter winked to McCall as he followed, both of them put on their shades and their attitudes on their way out the door.
Hunter sat impatiently in the passenger seat, shades on, baking in the midday Miami sun. Sonny sat silently beside him.
Sonny’s Daytona was parked alongside a chain link fence just opposite of the Big Fish restaurant. Trash bins and industrial supplies were scattered in the vacant lot that separated them from the Miami River. They’d been sitting there for close to two hours now.
“You know what?” Hunter broke the silence, “I have an idea.”
“And I don’t want to hear it.”
“Crockett, why don’t we wait for this guy in the restaurant? You said he will be making a drop at the restaurant anyway so why don’t we get something to eat, wait for him to show and just nab him right there.”
“Listen pal, for one thing Angel Ruiz knows who I am and – ”
“Oh that’s too bad, I guess this means it’s time for me to play undercover vice cop then. I’m going to go get lunch.”
Hunter hoped over the car door and walked to Big Fish.
“Oh that’s beautiful, just beautiful.”
A few moments later Sonny saw Hunter sit down at one of the outside tables right along the river.
“Great,” Crockett murmured to himself.
Just then a yacht pulled in front of the restaurant blocking Crockett’s view. He looked through binoculars searching the yacht for any sign of Angel Ruiz.
Hunter watched the waiters tie the yacht to the dock. He took a photo out of his pocket and looked it over. It was the photo that Switek had taken of the three men talking in front of the riverside warehouse. The tall man in the photo who Hunter had recognized was Hank Stiles, an associate of Rosa’s from L.A., the short young Hispanic male in the photo was Angel Ruiz, the other man had his back to the camera and was heavyset and balding.
Hunter put the photo away and continued to watch the yacht for any sign of Angel.
Crockett had already spotted Angel stepping out of the cabin of the yacht.
“Damn!” he swore to himself.
Crockett started up the Daytona and spun around to pull up in front of Big Fish. He jumped out of the car, leaving the keys in the ignition, just in case. For the moment he stood and waited.
Angel was still on the yacht and from Hunter’s vantage point still out of view until he stepped off of the boat and Hunter saw him chatting with one of the Cuban waiters. Hunter stood up just as the waitress approached with his oysters on the half shell.
“Here you go sir.”
“Where are the restrooms?” Hunter asked nonchalantly.
“Just walk back that way.” and she motioned towards Angel.
Hunter walked right to where Angel and his waiter pal were talking.
“Excuse me,” Hunter interrupted, “nice boat you've got Angel.”
Angel took one look at Hunter and bolted. He ran past the bathrooms and headed toward the exit. Hunter was just within arms length of catching him when he tripped on a step just past the bar and went sprawling onto the floor.
Angel ran out into the street.
Sonny saw him and he raised his gun and yelled, “Freeze! Miami Vice!”
Angel whipped around, startled. Hunter came running after him. He stopped facing Angel down on one side while Crockett had his gun trained on him from the other direction.
“We just want to ask you a few questions.” Hunter said.
“I ain’t talking to no cop.” Angel replied defiantly.
At that moment a car came speeding around the corner, it did a 180 and Angel leaped through the back window. Sonny ran towards it and stood in its path with his gun drawn but the driver didn’t care and the car accelerated right at him.
Crockett fired just above the car hoping that a warning shot might diffuse the situation but the car did not slow down. Sonny leaped out of its path and ran towards the Daytona but Hunter had gotten there first and was already driving towards him.
“Get out! No way in hell are you driving my car!” Sonny protested as he hopped into the driver’s seat. Sonny looked mortified as he watched Hunter spin the Daytona and hit the gas, grinning mischievously as he did so.
They drove along the river through the urban neighborhoods, under highway bridges and past the docked barges. Other cars swerved out of the way to avoid the car chase.
“Who’s the driver?” Crockett asked.
“I think it’s a waiter from the restaurant. Angel spoke to him when he got off the boat.” Hunter answered.
“Hey, hey, hey! Watch it!!” Crockett shouted as Hunter nearly clipped a truck headed in the opposite direction.
“Don’t worry Crockett, we’ve almost got him.”
“Yeah well, he’s not worth destroying this car for.”
“You didn’t talk to Captain Wyler did you?”
“No.” Crockett answered, “why?”
“Just wondering how you’d heard about my reputation for crashing requisitioned cars, that’s all.”
Sonny got a sick look on his face and gritted his teeth as Hunter proceeded to cut through traffic in pursuit of Angel Ruiz and his accomplice.
By now they had crossed the Miami River and were in Overton. On a ghetto corner some people sat in chairs outside of a neighborhood store watching the day go by when Angel’s car collided with a parked vehicle.
Hunter and Crockett were right behind and were pulling Angel and his waiter friend out of their banged up car before they’d even had time to come to their senses and make a run for it.
The people on the corner just sat and observed, not bothering to get up to investigate but content to enjoy the bust as their lunchtime entertainment.
“Spread ‘em.” Hunter pushed the waiter up against the car and searched him for a weapon. He didn’t find one.
On the passenger side Sonny was giving Angel Ruiz the same treatment and he did find a weapon, a gun on his back in his belt. Sonny took it and laid it on the top of the car then turned Angel around facing him.
“Why’d you have to run Angel, we only want to ask you a few questions and now we’re going to have to book you and take you downtown and I’m going to have to clear my desk of all my other cases so that I’ll have time to make your life a living hell.”
Hunter still had the waiter pushed up against the car as he watched Sonny and he knew it was time to play “good cop”.
“Sonny, you know how long that’s going to take?”
“Yeah, I know Rick, I do, but Angel here had to be muy estupido, didn’t ya?” Crockett jabbed a finger into Angel’s chest.
“Well, maybe he could answer our own little question and then he and his friend here, what’s your name?”
“Carlos, um, Carlos Cara,” the young man answered nervously.
“Then he and Carlos and we can get on with the rest of our day. It’ll save us a big hassle, what do you say Crockett?”
“You really think you’re going to talk me into letting this punk go Rick?”
Sonny snarled at Angel.
Hunter grabbed Carlos by the arm and walked around the car. He shoved Carlos next to Angel and stood there with his arms crossed. Angel and Carlos both looked at their feet.
“Angel,” Hunter asked in a soft tone of voice, “what can you tell us about Rosa?”
Bad cop Sonny quickly cut in, “and don’t even think about saying you don’t know who we’re talking about because we have photos of you with Stiles.”
Angel looked up apprehensively thinking of his next move, “So, if I talk to you, you won’t take me in?”
“Yeah, that’s right.” Hunter answered him.
Sonny looked Angel straight in the eyes, “Alright, talk.”
“All I know is that Rosa, and I heard this from Mr. Stiles, OK, that Rosa is going to get a very large shipment of yeyo but it’s not his, he’s going to take it from somebody.”
“Who’s Rosa stealing from Angel?” Sonny pushed for more information.
“I don’t know his name.”
“Sure you do.” Hunter said.
“I don’t know, all I know is that he’s from Atlantic City, that’s it, that’s all I know.”
“When and where?” Sonny asked.
“Rosa’s going to hit the shipment when it’s packaged for street sales, that’s what Stiles said. Can I go now?”
Sonny sighed, “let’s take him in.”
“No man, come on,” Angel protested, “that’s all I know, I’m not lying to you.”
“Then get out of here.” Sonny grabbed Angel’s gun from the roof of the car and walked away.
Hunter followed Crockett to the Daytona. They stood and watched as Angel and Carlos sheepishly got into their wrecked vehicle and lurched away.
“So,” Hunter said, “more scum arrives in Dade County.”
“This is going to take longer than I thought,” Crockett got into the driver’s seat, “The most upstanding citizens from the West Coast and the East Coast and they’re going to stage a bloody drug war right here in Miami. Beautiful.”
McCall tapped her high-heeled foot impatiently as she watched Tubbs from across the room. He was putting all of his sass and charm into the conversation as he tried to talk the owner of the Babylon Club into letting McCall sing tonight.
“Come on Mr. Torello, she’s amazing! Once your regulars see her onstage and hear her sing they’re going to tell their friends to come check her out for themselves and your club is going to be twice as packed as it usually is. What do you say?”
“I’d say you’re a good manager.” Answered the gray-haired club owner
“Well, I just market the talent and she is the best I’ve ever seen.”
“Really? What kind of music? We get a lot of Cubanos in here so even though I prefer Sinatra we have to play music our patrons like, you know, so our band plays salsa, can she sing that kind of music?”
“She can do it all, salsa, contemporary r&b, ballads, pop, rock, you name it, she can sing it.” Tubbs looked over at McCall and winked at her.
Torello looked across the club and gave McCall a once over.
“Do you want to hear her sing?” Tubbs asked.
“No, that’s not necessary Mr. Cooper. With looks like that she doesn’t need to have a voice. OK, I’ll tell you what, you pay me a thousand dollars and I’ll let her have a half hour at ten o’clock tonight. If she’s no good I keep your thousand bucks and you never show your face around here again. If the crowd likes her I’ll give her a two-week run and you can keep ten percent of the nightly profits for those two weeks. Is it a deal?”
“Ten percent?” Tubbs pushed a little.
“OK, fifteen. You happy now?”
“Now that’s a deal I can’t refuse,” joked and ebullient Tubbs with the aging Italian gentleman, “thank you, see you tonight.”
“Be here by eight.” Torello shouted after Tubbs.
McCall could see by his grin that they were in.
“Are we on?” She asked.
“We are. Ten o’clock tonight. We have to be here by eight and we need to bring along a thousand dollars.”
“Good work detective.” McCall smiled at Tubbs as they walked out of the cool, cave like Babylon and into the hot midday Miami sun.
“We got a lot of work to do before tonight.” Tubbs said as he put on his shades.
“Yeah, you’re right, what time is it now?”
Tubbs turned to McCall, “Just after noon.”
McCall sat in the Cadillac and thought for a few minutes before answering, her voice tinged with urgency, “There’s not a lot of time, I have to come up with an outfit.”
“Done.” Tubbs answered.
McCall looked right at him and continued, “I have to come up with the songs I want to do.”
“Piece of cake.” Tubbs responded.
Again, McCall carried on, but now she was smiling because of Tubbs buoyant positivism, “And most importantly I have to style my hair to fit my outfit and the kinds of songs I’m going to sing.” She waited smirking for his response to that comment.
“You’re on your own there.”
McCall shook her head and laughed.
“So, where are we going? How can we get all this worked out in seven hours?”
“Eight hours, we’ve got eight.” Tubbs answered.
“I mean, we’ve got to decide whether or not I want to be Pat Benatar or Shirley Bassey tonight. God, I just hope he doesn’t ask me to do any songs in Spanish, you don’t think he will do you?”
“Nah,” Tubbs dissembled, “Italian, maybe.”
“Just kidding. Now listen, there’s a shop near my house in Coconut Grove, it’s one of those vintage places and it has all sorts of dresses and wigs so let’s stop by there and pick up some things and then we can go to my house, I have a piano, and we can work our your set list. What do you say?”
“You make it sound like it’s going to be fun.”
“It will be.”
“And what makes you say that?” Dee Dee asked coyly.
Tubbs answered her sincerely, “because I think anything would be fun with you, you’re just that type of person, you’re special.”
Dee Dee was somewhat surprised by Tubbs’ suddenly serious tone but she answered with a simple and generous “thank you.”
“Well, I’ll call Castillo and let him know where we’re at on our end.”
“I wonder how Hunter and Crockett are doing.” McCall mused out loud, she paused to look up at the Cuban Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard. They had just turned off of the Causeway and were now heading south, “I hope they didn’t kill each other.”
Tubbs laughed, “Lieutenant, it’s Tubbs, yeah, uh huh, well McCall and I are on for tonight at the Babylon Club so we’ll be busy the rest of the day getting ready for our gig. OK, you got it, we’ll be there.”
“What was that all about?”
“The Lieutenant wants us to stop by the OCB before we head over to the club.”
“Six thirty? Geez, that gives us even less time!”
“Just relax, OK?” Tubbs reassured her.
It was about five thirty when Crockett and Hunter got back to OCB, both exhausted.
A bearded Zito stopped Crockett on his way to his desk.
“So, how’d you do?” he asked.
“Terrible. Zito, have you met my new partner from LA, Sergeant Hunter?”
“Hey, how ya doing?” Rick said before plopping down at Rico’s desk.
Sonny raised an eyebrow.
“Zito, we’ve got more problems than we initially thought, Rosa is out to cut in on some guy from Atlantic City’s coke trade, another charming new resident of our fair city. Hunter and I spent the afternoon trying to get more on him but we came up with zip.”
Zito just nodded as he listened to a wound up Crockett ramble on.
“I need Trudy to look up some information for me, where is she?”
“She’s in Castillo’s office Sonny.
Crockett glanced in that direction and so did Hunter. Neither of them spotting their respective partners and both blurted out simultaneously,
“Where is Tubbs?”
“Where is McCall?”
They looked at each other then they both looked to Zito for an answer.
“Tubbs is with McCall, they’re rehearsing for tonight, and they’ll be here in about an hour. McCall is going to sing at the Babylon Club tonight.
Switek came sauntering in and overheard,
“Yeah, think the Lieutenant will give us all permission to check out the show?”
“Good thinking, Swi.”
Crockett got up from his desk. He tapped on Castillo’s door.
“Come in.” Castillo and Trudy looked up.
“Lieutenant, what kind of backup are you planning on using tonight. I’d like to be there and I think Sergeant Hunter would too.”
“We’ll talk about it once Tubbs and McCall get here.”
“I’d just like to be there if anything goes wrong,” Sonny pushed a little more.
“We’ll talk about it later.” Castillo answered firmly.
Crockett nodded and walked out.
He sat back down at his desk.
Hunter raised an eyebrow at him.
“I’m working on it.”
Trudy walked out of Castillo’s office. She was dressed in an orange and pink tube dress, had huge pink earrings on and her hair was piled up on top of her head. She was definitely dressed for a night on the town.
Sonny started right in on her, laying on all his Southern charm.
“Say Trudy, you look great.”
“Not now Sonny, I don’t have time,” Trudy answered curtly.
“I just told you that you look nice, that’s all.”
“Sonny, what do you want?”
Trudy stood tapping her high-heeled foot with her hand on her hip.
“Well,” Sonny grinned for all he was worth, “two things actually.”
Trudy saw that Hunter was giving her the same pleading look that Sonny was and she knew right away what the favor was.
“No and no. Castillo wants you both to work on the leads you got from Angel and stay away from the Babylon Club.”
“Trudy!” Sonny said.
“Sonny, I can’t talk him out of it, you know that. I’ll be there, so will Gina, Switek and Zito. Don’t worry about your partner Sergeant, we’ve got her covered. See you in the briefing room in half an hour fellas.”
“Looks like we’re stuck on the outside on this one pal.” Sonny said to Hunter.
“Works for me.” Hunter responded, “Works for me.”
McCall and Tubbs sat next to Castillo in the briefing room. Tubbs wore his flashiest silver gray double-breasted jacket with a shimmering blue shirt and purple tie.
Sonny paced the briefing room, he was on edge.
McCall looked gorgeous in a 1940’s style retro dress that was red with black lace and little shoulder pads. Her hair was up with a black veil. She certainly looked the part of a small time rock singer in club land. Hunter sat next to McCall. Trudy was next to him and on her right was Gina in a stunning turquoise dress. They were all waiting for Switek and Zito.
Castillo looked down at his folded hands.
“So, are you nervous?” Hunter asked McCall.
“Would you stop fussing over me Hunter? I’m fine. Geez!” McCall answered back, “well, I suppose I am a little nervous, but only about my singing.”
No need to worry on that score, you’re going to knock ‘em dead,” Tubbs winked at McCall, “I mean, she really is terrific.”
Tubbs turned to watch Sonny pacing the room. Their eyes met for a moment and then Sonny continued his pacing.
Zito and Switek entered the room.
“Finally.” Crockett muttered and he sat down next to Tubbs. Tubbs stared into Sonny’s eyes trying to see if he could find the answer there as to what was troubling Sonny but Sonny looked away. Tubbs didn’t know why Crockett was so uptight about tonight and it bothered him.
“OK, listen up everyone,” Castillo quietly began, “tonight we have an opportunity to get Rosa off the street for good. I want each and every one of you to do your best to see that that happens.”
Everyone sat quietly waiting for Castillo’s next words.
“Gina and Trudy, you’ll be in the club. I don’t want you to interact with Tubbs or McCall, understand?”
“Yes, sir.” Trudy and Gina both answered.
“Crockett, I want you and Hunter to give this Ruiz angle more work tonight if possible but I don’t want either of you at the Babylon Club, understood?”
Sonny bit his lip and answered correctly, “yes, sir.”
Hunter also nodded in agreement.
Castillo seemed satisfied, “McCall and Tubbs, do your best to get close to Rosa tonight but I don’t want you taking any unnecessary risks. If tonight doesn’t work we will have other chances so I don’t want either of you to put yourselves in danger.”
“We’ll do our best to get Rosa tonight lieutenant.” McCall said.
“Zito, Switek, you’ll be in the surveillance van in the parking lot. I want you to keep a close eye on what does on in there tonight.”
“The whole place is wired, we won’t miss a thing.” Zito said.
“OK, that’s all.” Castillo addressed the room but his eyes were on Sonny.
Everyone left the room except for Sonny. Castillo stopped and turned to him, he didn’t have to say a word.
“I understand,” Sonny walked past him, “I do, Lieutenant.”
The music at the Babylon Club was pounding, the dance floor packed. McCall peeked out from behind the stage curtain to survey the crowd.
Tubbs touched her hand and said to her, “Don’t worry.”
“Don’t worry? Don’t worry about what? My performance in front of all these snowed out zombies, don’t worry about Rosa standing out there staring at me or don’t worry about Hunter and your partner turning up for a surprise visit?”
McCall turned away from Tubbs but he gently took hold of her.
“Don’t worry.” He reassured her, “It’ll all work out.”
Torello, dressed in sleazy polyester and looking every bit the nightclub owner, walked in the room.
“Hello Miss, um, Miss…”
“Dee Dee Sparkle!” Tubbs exclaimed.
“Yeah, Miss Sparkle, you’re on in five, the band out front has the music for all the songs on your set list, you get half an hour up there so knock ‘em dead sweetheart.”
“Thanks Mr. Torello, I appreciate the opportunity!” McCall grinned and shook his hand.
Torello just looked bored.
“Whatever,” he mumbled as he left the room.
“Tubbs?” McCall sounded nervous.
“I can’t remember the first song we’re doing.”
Gina and Trudy sauntered amongst the crowd on the dance floor. They were getting many looks and comments from the male club goers. But they managed to avoid conversation. They were on the lookout for Rosa.
Sonny’s Daytona pulled up to the parking lot of the Babylon Club.
“Man, I don’t believe this.”
“Well, look at it this way Crockett,” Hunter said as they watched Angel Ruiz and a slim Italian looking gentleman swagger to the club entrance, “we were just following Castillo’s orders to investigate Ruiz. We trail him. He picks up his gangster buddy at a South Beach hotel, whom you and I both think is the Atlantic City connection.”
Hunter paused for effect.
“Yeah, go on.” Sonny said.
“And they end up here at the very same joint we expect Rosa to show up at.”
“Damned coincidental. I’m sure Castillo won’t believe a word of it.”
“So, what do we do now? Call it a night?” Hunter’s voice dripped with sarcasm.
“Not on your life pal, I’m going in there.”
“Works for me.”
“Now hold on a minute Hunter.”
“No, you hold on Sonny, I know what you’re going to say.”
“You’re not dressed for the part.” Sonny said it anyway.
“Does everyone in Miami wear one thousand dollar suits?”
“The players do. The cops? They dress like you do. If you walk in there they’ll make us in a half a minute and Rosa will slip out of here before a full minute is up, is that what you want?”
“No, so what now, you want me to go shop for some slick duds so I can look just like you, guess I’ll hold on the socks.”
“You know what Hunter? I hate to be the one to tell you this but even if you were wearing one of these Hugo Boss suits you’d still look like a cop and furthermore…”
“OK Crockett, I get it.”
“Ah hell!” Sonny hit the steering wheel.
“C’mon and dance, dance, dance, move to the music, let your heart be free!”
Rico watched Dee Dee singing her heart out to a Moroder Euro-disco tune. The dance floor was packed with flamboyantly dressed and nearly undressed patrons. Many of them crowded near the stage to get a closer look at the hot new singer from L.A.
McCall’s red and black dress stood out in the sea of decadence and her natural charisma, choice of hip songs and lovely singing voice made her a hit with the in crowd.
“Dance, dance, dance…”
Rico stood behind the stage curtain keeping an eye on the room. He saw Gina and Trudy looking gorgeous and carefree but he knew they were just as tense as he was. Rico did not see any sign of Rosa as Dee Dee finished up her third number of the night.
“Whoooo yeah!” Dee Dee yelled in response to the applause, “thank you so much! Thank you! It’s great to be here tonight!”
She shot Rico a look and he shook his head “No.”
McCall was hoping that Rico would have found Rosa in the milieu but no such luck.
“Um, this next number is more of a rock ‘n roll sound, I hope you enjoy it, one, two, three!”
The band kicked into Quarterflash’s song “Harden my Heart.
“Sonny, we got you covered.”
Switek set the phone down and looked at Zito.
“What was all that about?” Zito asked.
“Well, guess what? Sonny and Hunter are here just like Castillo told them not to be!”
“Why?” Zito asked, nonplussed.
“The guy they were following, Angel Ruiz, this is his favorite club too it seems, just like Rosa.”
“Oh. Well, what are we going to tell Castillo if he calls?”
“Larry, let’s worry about that when it happens, OK?”
The phone in the bug van rang. They looked at each other.
“Switek here. Oh hi Gina. Yeah. Uh-huh. Listen Gina, Sonny is here. Yeah, yeah I know. He’s following the Atlantic City connection who is now inside the club. Rosa is there? OK, I’ll let Sonny know.
Switek hung up. Zito looked edgy as he observed Switek dialing up Sonny’s car phone.
“Oh hey, Sergeant Hunger, I need to talk to Sonny. He’s already gone in? No, Gina will probably see him and let him know that Rosa’s inside. Hunter? Hunter? How do you like that.”
“What?” Zito asked.
“He hung up on me!”
Hunter walked to the club entrance. Sonny had asked him to stay in the car in cast Castillo called but if Rosa was inside Hunter wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to take him down. Staying out of the action wasn’t exactly Hunter’s style.
The bouncer sniggered as Hunter approached. Hunter stared down at the man.
“How ya doing?” Hunter said.
“OK man, pretty flashy wardrobe you got there. I don’t’ know if I can let you in looking like that my man.”
“Listen, how’s this,” Hunter pulled out a hundred dollar bill, “you let me in. I used to play pro football alright and I’ve got some people to meet here tonight so I think you can forgive my wardrobe.”
The bounder put the money in his pocket, “you’re cool, go on in. Say, what team did you play for anyway?”
“The L.A. Rams, before you were born…”
Hunter stepped into the din of noise in the den of decadence. The place was packed wall to wall. Thanks to his considerable height he could see every part of the room. But it also was a disadvantage because anyone could spot him, which is just what happened.
Sonny was standing with Gina and Trudy below the stage as McCall sang Laura Branigan’s “Self Control”. Gina had just informed him that Rosa was in the club.
“Oh great.” Sonny said.
“What’s wrong?” Gina asked.
“Hunter just blew my cover.”
“Well Sonny you’re not supposed to be in here either.”
“I know, I know, but what the hell could he want?”
“You guys better work this out before Rosa or one of his guys sees him.” Gina suggested.
Sonny hustled across the room and grabbed Hunter’s arm. He whispered urgently to him, “what the hell are you doing in here?”
“Shut up Sonny.” Hunter glared at Crockett.
“Hey listen pal.”
“Rosa is here and I’m going to take him out, tonight.”
“How’d you find that out?”
“Gina called Switek who called the car phone, listen I don’t need to explain this to you, you know Rosa’s here as well as I do, so, let’s just find the bastard and get it over with.”
“Hunter, no rogue cop stuff in here. You want to play Dirty Harry you go back to L.A., you understand?”
Hunter just walked away leaving Sonny fuming.
Gina and Trudy had been watching the heated exchange from across the dance floor and they now watched as Sonny charged back in their direction.
“What is going on Sonny?” Trudy asked.
“I’m afraid our friend from Los Angeles is going to play cowboy in a crowded nightclub.”
“He wouldn’t do something like that Sonny.” Trudy said.
“How can you be sure?” Sonny looked at her.
The three of them were silent for a few minutes, looking glamorous but grim.
Tubbs signaled McCall to take a break. When she finished the Branigan number the crowed cheered its approval. She was a bona fide hit.
“Thanks every one of you,” McCall’s voice broadcasted throughout the club, “I’m going to take a break but don’t you go anywhere because I’ll be back with more grooves for you to dance to!”
Tubbs gave her a hug and a kiss as she came offstage.
“They love you!” He told her.
“Yeah, I’m actually kind of enjoying myself out there. I got lost in the music and forgot for a moment what we’re really doing here.”
“Speaking of, Rosa’s here, he sent you some flowers.”
“OK…” McCall thought for a moment, visibly tensing up.
“He’s at a table with a bottle of champagne, he’s waiting for you.”
“Of course he is.”
“You ready?” Tubbs held McCall by the shoulders.
“Let’s do it.”
Rosa sat lounging in a booth, several bottles of champagne and several bowls of cocaine sitting on the table.
McCall and Tubbs walked up to him.
“Welcome!” Rosa exclaimed.
“Thanks so much for the flowers.” McCall sat down next to him.
“Does your manager need to stick around?” Rosa’s tone was aggressive, almost threatening. He’d obviously been partaking a bit too much of the substances on the table.
“No, he doesn’t need to stick around. Ricardo, can you give us a few minutes?”
“Yeah sure, no problem.” Tubbs cautiously stepped back from the table, turning to look for Gina and Trudy.
“You’re got quite a layout here.” McCall flirted with Rosa, “aren’t you afraid of the cops busting you for coke possession?”
“Nah, not in here. The cops who patrol this place are on my payroll.”
“Really? Wow, you’re quite a big man aren’t you?”
“I am, you know what, I could shoot somebody in this club and walk right out of here without getting busted for it.”
“You live dangerously, don’t you?” McCall kept up her game.
“You think I’m kidding?”
“Well, yeah, I mean, nobody is that tough.”
“You see that man over at that table, dark hair, tacky suit, straight out of the 70’s, that’s Mr. Atlantic City, Sonny Steelgrave, he’s just moved to Miami, he thinks he can cut in on my business.”
“Yeah, I see him, and what are you going to do about that?” McCall kept on playing the tough girl.
“I’m going to shoot him. Do you want to watch?”
“This is a little crazy, don’t you think?” McCall was alarmed but wanted the bust so she kept pushing him.
Rosa got up and strutted across to Steelgrave’s table.
McCall followed close behind. She had a gun in her purse.
Hunter, Crockett, Tubbs, Gina and Trudy all watched and closed in from various parts of the room. Rosa walked up to Steelgrave and pulled a gun.
“This is my city!” He screamed and pulled the trigger. A shot rang out in the club. Steelgrave saw Rosa coming for him and moved to duck under the table. He didn’t miss the bullet but he missed being dead by just a few inches. Steelgrave sat slumped in his chair, shot in the shoulder.
“Hold it right there!” McCall yelled and put her gun to the back of Rosa’s head. “You’re under arrest!”
Simultaneously Gina, Crockett, Hunter, Tubbs and Trudy all pulled their weapons on Rosa’s and Steelgrave’s henchmen.
They all shouted “Freeze, Miami Vice!”
The club music stopped, the patrons all ran for the exits. Only the thugs working for Rosa and Steelgrave stood frozen in their tracks.
“Drop them, now!” Sonny said to all the men who’d been reaching under their jackets for guns.
“Get on the floor, hands behind your heads!” Hunter commanded.
Rosa stood with his hands in the air and the nose of McCall’s gun cold on the back of his neck.
“It’s all over Rosa,” McCall turned to look at Tubbs.
Tubbs stood over Steelgrave,
“Somebody call an ambulance!” he shouted.
He then turned to glare at Rosa, “you’re going away for a long, long time.”
“That’s what I get for showing off, huh?” Rosa joked.
“Shut up.” Tubbs snapped.
In a few moments, dozens of uniformed officers walked through the door, Zito and Switek had called for backup when they heard the shots.
“C’mon, you’ve done your part, let’s get out of here.” Tubbs told McCall.
Tubbs and McCall walked out into the parking lot accompanied by Hunter and Crockett.
“Well that didn’t take long did it? What a maniac!” Sonny commented.
“I should’ve pulled my gun earlier, then Steelgrave wouldn’t have been shot.” McCall said.
“You did the best you could McCall,” Sonny comforted her, “you knew he was crazy but how did you know he’d pull the trigger that fast? I mean, guys like that usually like to talk jive before they blow somebody away.”
“But people could have been killed.”
“McCall, give yourself a break. I think you did an incredible job in there. Nobody else could have done any better.” Sonny said sincerely then he gave her a little hug.
“Hey,” Hunter looked at McCall.
“Yeah?” McCall said.
“As always, I’m amazed by you.”
“You mean my singing of course.” McCall kidded Hunter.
“Yes, and your police work.” Rick said sincerely.
“Well thank you very much Sergeant.” McCall winked at Hunter.
Castillo pulled up and got out of his car.
“Uh oh.” Hunter looked at Crockett.
Tubbs smiled and looked at McCall.
“Let me explain Lieutenant.” Crockett started to speak.
“Don’t bother Sonny. I’m glad that you and Hunter were here tonight. It sounds like we needed all the backup we could use on this one. I’m sorry there was any bloodshed but it could have been much worse. How are you doing Detective?” Castillo looked at McCall.
“Alright, I guess.” McCall answered.
“Fancy any more club gigs in Miami? I’m sure any place would book you after all the stir you’ve caused tonight!” Tubbs said.
“No thank you! I think we’re on the first plane back to L.A. tomorrow morning, right Hunter?”
“Well, I suppose, although, I could spend a little more time driving that Ferrari of Crockett’s.”
“I guess you’ve earned it.” Crockett replied to a surprised Hunter.
“You mean it?”
“You bet I do.”
McCall eyed Tubbs.
“I guess we both could do with a few days of vacation time. Think you could put in a word to our boss Lieutenant Castillo?”
“Sure, like Crockett said, I think you’ve earned it.”
“So, Tubbs, you were telling me about that Cuban restaurant, Versailles, maybe we can have breakfast there in the morning.”
McCall took Tubbs by the hand and they walked towards his Cadillac.
Hunter and Crockett looked at each other.
“OK then, see you two later!” Crockett said.
“I can drive your car then?” Hunter inquired.
“I said yes.”
“How about a drive to Key West?”
“That’s a long drive Hunter.”
“I just want to drive down there, then I’ll let you drive back. How’s that?”
“What have I gotten myself into?” Crockett threw his hands in the air as they sauntered towards the Daytona.