Chapter 39 - 24 - 4 - 24
“Oh come on Todd, have another piece of cake, you deserve it,” said Lieutenant Mike Stephens sarcastically as everyone was just finishing clapping. The entire department couldn’t believe what had just transpired at Greensboro Central Precinct. This basically newbie transfer from Raleigh (almost two years now) had solved what seemed to be the unsolvable disappearance case of one Bryan Morrissey.
Lt. Stephens couldn’t believe it, the other supervisors and officers couldn’t believe it, and NO ONE could believe what they had just heard when Chief Joe Johnson said when he had just finished thanking Detective Henry for his professionalism and dedication to this case and then continued on and said,
“Everyone, please now join me in congratulating our newest…”
“Oh my God NO Fucking Way, Don’t fucking say it Chief!!!” Thought Lieutenant Stephens to himself, his brain screaming what he was thinking.
“Lieutenant, that’s right everyone, Lieutenant Todd Henry! Come on over here Todd!” and Todd walked over and the Chief gave him the biggest hug in front of everyone like he was hugging his son he hadn’t seen in months after returning from a fucking war or something.
This is sickening, thought Lieutenant Stephens. Mike couldn’t believe what he just heard and now was seeing right before his eyes. He remembered how long it had taken him to make Lieutenant and now there was this asshole that had been here for less than two years simply getting it handed to him. A promotion like this, to an outsider, over one case was just as wrong as it got. Ridiculous!
Half the room couldn’t believe what they had just heard and were in a semi-shock state and now were slowly beginning to clap.
The officers that were in the room were clapping the strongest as they weren’t stupid; they knew they would be working under him at some point during their career. They knew the asses they needed to kiss to play the game.
The press was there, they were just happy to have free cake and punch so they were clapping.
And then there was Lieutenant Todd Henry, all smiles, standing tall, grinning from ear to ear over at Lieutenant Stephens giving him the, ’I win mother fucker’ look.
Lt. Stephens felt ill. He had just finished his last bite of cake and washed it down with the cheap punch and started heading to the door. Todd stopped him before he got out.
“Now Mike I have a question for you?” Newly promoted Lieutenant Henry asked.
“And what question would that be Lieutenant?” Mike asked with a warranted attitude.
“Well, I heard you went and got the cake for my celebration.” Todd stated.
Mike replied, Yea, I was told to by the Chief to get you a cake for you finding Bryan Morrissey but trust me, he failed to mention to me or anyone else for that matter that he was going to promote your ass.”
“Yea, he wanted it to be a surprise I am sure. He called and told me last night while I was at home but had me promise not to tell anyone. I did want to thank you personally about the cake Mike, but also, I do have another question for you.”
“And what would that be??”
“Why didn’t you put 24 for fucking 24 on the cake?” And Lieutenant Henry let out a big laugh and patted Mike hard on his shoulder.
Lieutenant Stephens took it all in. He looked at Todd standing there laughing hysterically and then he looked over at Chief Johnson. Chief was all smiles speaking with the media. Lt. Stephens then considered that he only had two more years to retire on a Lieutenants pension which was pretty good. Mike then calculated how much money he would lose if he was demoted to Sergeant and then realized something important. Crushing Todd’s face with a hard right hand punch at the same time breaking his fucking arm that was on his shoulder just wasn’t worth losing all that extra retirement money. So, Lt. Stephens didn’t break his arm or his face.
“Mike, you there man, did you hear what I said?” Todd asked confused why Mike hadn’t replied.
“Yea, yea, Todd, I’m here and I heard you. I was just lost in a really good day dream there for a few seconds. A really great dream for sure. Congratulations Lieutenant.” Mike said trying to be sincere.
“Thanks Mike, I really appreciate you saying that.” Todd replied
Lieutenant Mike Stephens had to say it, so he continued, “One more thing though and I have to say it Todd. You know and I know that boy would have been found within a week or two as all that area was being dug up for those apartments. So, be glad you are ‘Mr. Fucking Lucky’ as
there wouldn’t have been any promotion if you would have been a week or two slower. All of this, this stupid celebration along with you being promoted over other guys that have been here and put in their time, year after year, is dumb fucking luck and a load of crap!”
Newly promoted Lieutenant Henry stood there for a moment looking at Mike and responded, “Maybe so Mike, but we are equals now so you say what you want to me, but don’t let me hear you say that to the troops or I assure you, you and I will have problems as that is unprofessional and we owe it to this department to be professional at all times to the troops.”
Mike continued, “Don’t worry about it Lieutenant. That comment stays between you and me. I would hope you know me better than that Todd. I just wanted to make sure you knew what I thought about your promotion.”
“Yea, I guess I clearly do now, but wanted to make sure we are on the same page. Oh, and let me say one more thing Mike.” Lieutenant Henry said.
“And what would that be Lieutenant?” Lieutenant Stephens asked.
“Don’t ever forget that I’m twenty-four for fucking twenty-four and that’s all that matters.” Todd said sarcastically.
“Well, in case you forgot, you got a murder on your hands, so let’s see what you can do as a new Lieutenant Mr. 24 for 24.” Mike said with a friendly smile.
“Oh, I am already on it Mike. I fly out to Nashville tomorrow and catch a high school graduation that night. Wish you could come, but I hear there is a concert tonight that you and your troops will have your hands full with all that traffic.”
Lt. Stephens thought to himself that he hoped Lieutenant Henry stayed in Nashville for a long, long time. Todd gave a big smirk and walked off. Maybe he will disappear in all those country bars down there in Nashville or better yet, maybe he will transfer the fuck there!