Milton’s Take.

When Max and Skip won the Powerball, the department came unhinged. A lot of people thought that Max would just stay around to see if he could get fired and how long it would take them to do it. Everybody pretty much figured Skip wouldn’t even go to the trouble of quitting, he just wouldn’t come into work anymore, Skip being the passive-aggressive one and Max the type to poke the hornet’s nest a little first. But that didn’t happen. They came in together, turned in their thirty-day notice, and then immediately started burning their vacation, sick leave and comp time. And then they just disappeared for a while.

A few people on the PD were glad to be rid of them. They had made some enemies in the twenty years that they had been there. Most didn’t care either way, and there were a few that would truly miss them. I guess I fall into that last category. Max was my training officer when I first came to the department and I liked him from the get-go. When he left, I was a little lonely out there on patrol. So when I heard that there were a couple of private investigators setting up shop out on Mortenson road and those two private investigators were none other than Max Mosbey and Skip Murray, I ran right over to check it out.

I’ll admit that I was taken aback when I walked through the door of the G&B Detective Agency and ran right into Monica Benson sitting there at the reception desk. She knew who I was as soon as I came through the door, of course. She gave me that big welcoming smile of hers that she had used to melt the hearts of those schmucks who used to sit in the front row when she was stripping on stage. I smiled back like I’d never gotten a smile from a pretty girl before. I was almost embarrassed that I smiled so big. Max and Skip were not there that day. Monica didn’t know where they were or when they were coming back. She didn’t seem to care, either. We chatted a bit about Max, Skip, the agency and about herself, for quite a while, then she chased me out the door, locked it up, and headed off to class at ISU.

Anyway, I started stopping in to visit a couple times a week, if I happened to be diving by on patrol and I saw Monica’s car parked out front. After a while I was coming in every day in the morning before she left for class and I would have a cup of coffee with her. I really like talking to her. And her kid is just as cute as they come. She’s going to grow up to be just a gorgeous as her mother, no doubt about that. Just as smart too.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that I was a little dubious about those guys hiring an ex-stripper to be their receptionist, but I also know Max and Skip pretty well, and I figured that they knew quite well what they were doing and it wasn’t any of my business. Over the months that passed, I realized that they picked Monica for good reasons. She was street smart, book smart, pretty reliable, and about as loyal to Max and Skip as anyone could be. You didn’t walk into G&B Detective Agency and speak disparagingly about either one of them without Monica showing you the door and giving you a hard kick in the ass on the way out. When it came to those two, Monica wasn’t messing around. And I started to respect her for that. She convinced me that they had no reason to worry about Monica running the front office.

So as far as Max and Skip are concerned, well it is nice to see them once in a while, if they are in when I stop. Sometimes they push pretty hard to get some information from my resources at the PD, especially when they got wrangled into actually working a case. For some guys that are supposed to be my friends, they don’t seem to mind putting me on the spot. If I won’t tell them something they get Monica to bat those sweet brown eyes of hers and give me that smile, all while she’s compromising me into leaking some confidential information that those two want. But all in all, they don’t get me in too much trouble, and the look of satisfaction that Monica gets on her face when she finally pries something out of me that I’m not supposed to be telling, it makes it worth the game.

Monica Speaks


Skip comes in early every morning, puts on a pot of coffee, goes into his office and starts looking at the overnight stock exchanges. He reads the Wall Street Journal front page to back. Almost every day Max shows up later. Usually he has been across the street at Filo’s coffee shop. I don’t know why he goes over there to drink coffee when Skip has a pot on here, but he does. Skip takes a lot more interest in their investments than Max does. I think Max realizes that Skip keeps on top of the markets and just lets him do it. We meet regularly with the financial advisor. When we get done Skip will always go to his office and review everything. Max will always follow me up to my desk and ask me if I understood it all. If I just tell him yes, he will leave me alone. If I tell him that I didn’t understand everything, he has to get into this big discussion about what he doesn’t understand and start asking me questions that I can’t answer. Kind of like he is convinced that if I can just see how much he doesn’t understand, it will help me understand it all better. I just say that I understand it, even if I don’t.

I don’t really have much to do with the financials, other than the running of the agency, and for that I get a budget that I have to stay within. As for the rest of the investments, I just collect the documents and sort them out so that they can go to the financial advisor before the meeting. I keep them all in a file cabinet in Skip’s office. He feels like if they are in his office he is the CEO or something. Every once in a while Max will go over there and start sorting through everything in the hopes that he will get some sort of financial epiphany.

They also have a lawyer who comes in regularly. Honestly, I think that she is keeping an eye on me, and you know what? That doesn’t bother me. Hopefully she will catch anything that might get past me, and that can’t hurt. When you are sitting on top of a two-hundred-twenty-million-dollar Powerball empire, some checks and balances are a good thing. Anyway, she is a very nice person and I think that she likes the guys almost as much as I do. So we get along pretty well.