Unkindest Cut of All

Chapter 4


Walsh and Shraeger worked the rest of the day working on trying to identify the two bodies at their crime scene, but unfortunately, the lab techs was far behind in their own work and so they told the detectives it would be at least two days before the results of the blood Walsh had discovered inside one of the man's mouths would be back. Shraeger tried to fight with the techs to get their tests moved to the top of their to- do list, but Walsh quickly pulled her away and out of the lab. He warned his partner not to waste her time in arguing, as he knew from years of experience that there was nothing that would change their minds.

After work, Walsh dropped his partner off at her apartment and then drove himself back to his diner. It was around nine- thirty that night, when some guy and a woman, who Walsh assumed was his girlfriend, walked inside from off the street and took a seat at the counter. The man was clean shaven, but his face looked worn and there was a long scar that ran along the side of his cheek. Though Walsh could tell that his girl wasn't a hooker, she had the appearance of one, as her clothes were tight and revealing. The fact that she wore little make-up was what gave away the fact she wasn't a prostitute, like so many other women that lined the streets, including outside of Walsh's diner.

Walsh was the first to speak as he walked over to stand in front of them and said, "You guys sure picked a bitter night to come out. What can I get for you; perhaps some coffee and a couple of bowls of my mother's famous jambalaya?"

The man spoke up as he asked, "Jambalaya? What is that; some kind of soup?"

"It's something like that," Jason replied. "I promise you, you'll love it. My mother was raised in New Orleans, where jambalaya is a favorite among the locals. I've never been, but I hear it's a great place to visit. Maybe one day. So, what do you say?"

"It sounds wonderful," the woman answered. "Of course we'll have some."

The man leaned up a little closer to Walsh as he spoke a little more quietly saying, "Coffee sounds fine for my lady here, but you wouldn't happen to have something a little stronger back there for me, would you?"

Walsh felt a strange vibe coming from the man as he looked back at him, but for now ignored it as he responded, "I've got a beer I can get you, but if you're going to want something stronger than that, you'll have to head to one of the bars."

"That's all right," the man replied as Walsh set two bowls of the soup down in front of them, as well as a cup of coffee for the girlfriend. "A beer sounds just fine. So, what's your name? You look a bit familiar to me. Have we met before?"

"Trust me, I'm great with faces and I don't know yours," Jason answered as his gut was beginning to warn him something wasn't right here, but the guy didn't appear to be a threat to him, at least not tonight. "What's your name?"

The man responded as Jason handed him a beer, "You can call me Tommy and this is my girlfriend, Lisa. We've been together for, oh… how long would you say we've been together, Darling?"

The woman looked over at him as she replied, "You mean aside from the time you spent in p…?"

"Yeah, yeah, aside from that," Tommy quickly said as he interrupted her to keep her from mentioning in front of a cop that he was an ex con. "I think it's been about fifteen years. We were high school sweethearts, if you can believe that. Not many can say they've been together for that long. Do you have yourself a girl?"

"That's certainly a long time," Jason answered, without letting on that he had caught the woman's slip. "No, I don't have a girlfriend. Not many women are interested in an owner of a broken down dump like this place."

Prison time explained the large tattoo that was mostly hidden on the man's neck by his shirt's collar, which he pulled up because of the cold. Walsh noticed it as the guy took off his jacket when he came in and sat down. Something seemed familiar about this man, but Jason couldn't put his finger on it. Instead, he just kept playing it cool as long as the man and his girlfriend remained inside his diner.

"This jambalaya was great stuff, just as you said it would be," Tommy spoke up saying as he and his girlfriend both finished eating in a hurry. "I'll have to keep it in the back of mind for the next time I come out for dinner. I hate to rush off, but I'm afraid we've got to run. We've got a party to go to and we're already running late. Thank you for the fine meal, as well as the beer. Perhaps we'll see you around? Wait a minute, I have seen you before! I knew that I recognized you. You're that major league baseball player, whose girlfriend was mysteriously killed. Am I right?"

Jason's heart skipped a beat as the guy dredged up the memories of his painful past, but didn't let it show on his face as he responded, "I think you've got me confused with someone else. Do you seriously think if I could play baseball good enough for the major leagues that I'd be working here? Sorry. Believe me, I wish I could play. I'd certainly be making a lot more money."

The man looked at him skeptically as he quickly placed a twenty on the counter and then said, "Yeah, you're right. Sorry about that. We'll see you later."

"See you around," Walsh replied as he watched them leave until he suddenly heard a noise coming from the doorway that led to the back where he slept and turned to see Beaumont standing there, still wearing her jacket over her work clothes, her gun on her hip, and her badge attached to the front, left side her belt.

"You had a few late night customers tonight?" she spoke up as she moved toward Jason, who looked at he in surprise. "I came in through the back. What's wrong? Are you all right?"

Walsh snapped out of it and pushed his worries aside as he moved to wrap his arms around her, then answered, "I'm fine. I just didn't expect to see you here tonight. I thought you were going out to have drinks with Cole after you guys finished with work."

Allison Beaumont responded, "I was, until he received a call earlier. Apparently, an old friend was coming into town tonight and Cole realized he needed to be with him, or her. I'm not really sure on the detail. He didn't go into it much, except that he didn't seem thrilled to see, whoever it is."

"That's too bad," he replied as she leaned in to kiss him and then pulled him into a hug.

While still in the embrace, she laid her head on his shoulder, while he starred off in the distance. His mind wasn't on Beaumont it should have been and it was no longer on the stranger and his girlfriend, who had just walked out of his diner. His mind suddenly shifted over to Cole, as he couldn't help, but dread that it was possible whoever this visitor of his was, was going to cause trouble. Jason didn't worry about himself, but if Cole did get into more trouble and he would have to arrest him, he worried about the woman now in his arms, as he knew how much she cared about her partner. They were close friends and to find out that he was involved in her getting shot months ago, it would devastate her. He knew how it felt to find out that the man he trusted to have his back out on the job was dirty. It killed him to learn that his previous partner was crooked. Jason didn't want to be the one to break the news to his girlfriend that Cole was too.

"Let's go to bed," he whispered into her ear. "I'm beat."

Walsh pulled back from the embrace and moved to the door in order to lock up. As he did so, Allison walked up behind him and began to pull off his shirt. As he finished, he turned back to her and pulled off her jacket, as well as her shirt, as they began to kiss. However, as they made their way over to his bed, he suddenly stopped what she expected to turn into more, laid down, and turned over onto his side, away from her, without a word. She looked down at him in confusion, but didn't say anything else as she quickly finished getting undressed, laid down on the bed beside him, and moved in closer in order to wrap her arm around him in comfort. It was obvious to her that something was wrong with him after all, but she kept quiet, not wanting to upset him just then. She decided she'd wait until morning, as she cuddled up against him and together, they both fell asleep.

Meanwhile…

As the two of them left the bar and walked down the street a little ways, Tommy suddenly pulled her down into an alley, then turned to face the girl, and slapped her hard across the face, as he angrily yelled, "How could you be so stupid? I told you before we went in there that we were staking out a cop and according to my brother, a very smart cop. I can't have him looking me up in the database to find out who I really am. If he does that, not only am I in trouble, but so is Henry."

Tears welled up in her eyes as she angrily glared at him and answered, "I'm sorry, all right! Why didn't you just kill him when you had the chance? You're going to anyway, aren't you?"

"I want to know, who I'm dealing with first," Tommy responded. "I need to figure out if he told anyone about Henry."

"Well, your brother's not in jail, so that should answer your question," she said.

Tommy turned away from her as he replied, "Not necessarily. Henry said that Detective Walsh wasn't going to say anything to their boss, but that doesn't mean he hasn't said anything to someone else like a girlfriend or his partner. Besides, I can't go in guns blazing like Frankie did. It got him killed. I need to be smarter. I'll see you around, Sweetheart."

Lisa stared at Tommy as he walked away from her and shouted, "Are you dumping me?"

"I can't risk you blowing this for me!" he called back as he continued walking away from her. "Perhaps I'll see you after all this is over, but until then… good bye!"

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