Cerdic watched with one raised eyebrow as the boy ran hell-bent-for-leather down the sidewalk, the cop just a few yards behind him, and gaining ground. The boy would be in for severe punishment once he reached the house, but for now—
He stepped casually forward as if unaware of what was happening, ending up directly in the cop’s path. The officer veered just enough to keep from slamming full force into Cerdic, hitting his shoulder hard instead. Cerdic reached out, grabbing the officer to keep from falling.
“Are you alright, sir,” the officer asked even as he tried to extricate himself from Cerdic’s grip so that he could continue the chase.
“I’m fine,” Cerdic responded. “Please continue on and catch the miscreant.”
With a sharp nod, the cop looked around, muttering angrily when he realized the boy was nowhere in sight. After checking once more to make certain Cerdic was alright, the cop went back down the street, disappearing around the corner.
“Miscreant?” someone said, chuckling.
Cerdic turned to see one of the older boys leaning against the building wall. “It means—“
“I know what it means, thanks. I’m not a total dunce. You gonna kill Jakie when you get back?”
“That, Manny, depends whether what he got what he was sent for. If so, he’ll escape with a tongue-lashing. Otherwise—“ Cerdic smiled tightly, leaving the rest unsaid. He knew Manny understood. “Have you completed your assignment?”
“Yeah.” Manny glanced around to make sure no one was watching and then handed Cerdic a slim folder, which he immediately slid into his camera case.
“Get going then. I expect you back at the house for dinner.”
After giving Cerdic a mocking salute, Manny strolled off and Cerdic reentered the hotel which stood half a block away from the UN Plaza.