Tabula Rasa

Chapter 5

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Five

On their way back to the office, Wes stopped off at Travis' favorite pizza restaurant that was designed to look and feel like an old fashioned pizza parlor, for dinner, in order to get Travis to complaining about how hungry he was. Wes just wanted to explain their case to their captain, hoping that he'd have some kind of insight to their mess of information. He wasn't sure why yet, but he was beginning to have a bad feeling about this case. However, Wes decided to keep his feeling to himself until it would be necessary to tell Travis about it.

"I don't know why you can't just wait until you get home tonight to eat," Wes stated as he finally pulled into the parlor's parking lot. "I usually wait until I get back home. It's beginning to get late already."

"First of all, you don't have a home," Travis replied sarcastically. "I've told you a million times that barely living in a hotel is not considered living in a home. And second, I am not you. I am hungry now and it's just about dinner time, so quit complaining about stopping and let's eat. Is there something bothering you? You seem grumpier than usual."

Wes didn't get out of his car right away like Travis did, as he just stared out the windshield and answered, "No, I'm fine. I'm only trying to piece together what we've gathered so far."

Travis continued walking toward the restaurant backward as he kept his eyes trained on his partner and responded, "Well, piece together the information inside while we eat. I'm…"

"If you say you're starving one more time, I'm going to make you regret it later," Wes interrupted as he finally got out of the car and followed his partner inside. "There are plenty of things I've got on you that I could talk about in our next therapy session that, believe me, you won't want me to say in front of the others."

"What kind of stuff?" Travis asked curiously. "You don't have anything on me."

As they took a seat at one of the tables, Wes looked at his partner, who was waiting for an answer as Wes asked, "Remember when you told me to remind you to never piss me off back when Phil and Morgan were here because I play for keeps? Don't you think I would have gathered something on you in order to keep you from getting out of line?"

The waitress came over just as Travis replied, "You are in a bad mood tonight. I'm sorry all right. Let's just eat and then we can get back to the office like you want. Hello again, Sarah. And how are you tonight?"

"I'm doing fine, Travis," Sarah, the waitress answered as she smiled at him. "I take it I'm getting two of the Travis specials to go?"

"That would be great, Sweetheart," Travis responded as he glared over at his partner, who was just holding the bridge of his nose with his head down and eyes closed. "Are you sure you're all right there, Wes?"

Wes quickly looked up and then replied, "Yes, I'm fine. Whatever you just ordered is fine with me."

Travis smiled at Sarah as she nodded and then walked away to put the order in, then Travis turned back to Wes and said, "All right, spill it. What's going on?"

"I told you," Wes answered in frustration. "Why do you keep asking me what's wrong?"

"Because you never let me order for you," Travis responded. "You can tell me; is it something about the case?"

Wes quietly replied, "I'm fine. Maybe I'm a bit tired and I can feel a headache coming on, but I'm fine, I promise."

Before Travis could say anymore, Travis' phone rang and when he answered it, Wes could tell that it was Kendall on the other line, rambling on about something she had found out about their case. Wes rolled his eyes when Travis mentioned something about the stupid video game he and Kendall played online together sometimes, but after another minute, Travis finally hung up and smiled at Wes.

Travis spoke up saying, "It looks like we might not have to go to the club after all, at least not tonight. We've got ourselves a number one suspect."

"Who?" Wes asked skeptically. "Did Kendall really find something already?"

"It looks like Connie was right about Jeremy Walker having a dark side," Travis answered smugly. "The techs found the knife used to kill Ryan hidden inside Jeremy's jacket pocket that was hanging up in the closet. Jeremy's prints were all over it. Kendall also found some pretty threatening emails written to Ryan by Jeremy on Ryan's laptop."

Wes thought for a moment and then responded, "I looked inside the closet and I don't remember seeing a jacket in it; hanging up or down on the floor. I know that the kid's alibi is a little shaky, as he could have easily slipped out in the middle of the night when Anna was asleep, and he may have a dark side like Connie said, but he didn't strike me as a killer, especially one as sadistic as he would have to be in order to kill Ryan like that."

Travis looked at his partner as he replied, "Wes, you know that there are people that are brilliant at hiding who they really are. I mean, take the cop, who fooled you into believing that the innocent kid you sent to prison was guilty, when it turns out he was the scumbag all along. You considered him your friend."

"Which is why we need to think this all the way through and not jump to any conclusions just because we have evidence that shows Jeremy might be our killer," Wes said sullenly as he stood and walked out of the restaurant, leaving Travis to deal with getting their food as Sarah returned.

"Damn," Travis cursed before turning to face Sarah as she handed him the bill for their food. "Sorry about that, Sarah."

As Travis paid, Sarah quickly asked, "Is your partner all right?"

Travis looked out the window to observe his partner, who was sitting once again in the driver's seat of his car, staring out at nothing, then turned back to Sarah and answered, "Yeah, uh, not really. I just opened my big mouth again and hit a nerve. I need to learn to stop bringing up a sore subject with him; that's all. Thanks for everything tonight, Sarah. Let's get together soon for a recap of our last night together."

"Sounds good, Sugar," Sarah responded as Travis turned and walked out carrying his and his partner's food with him.

"I didn't mean to bring it up again, Man," Travis quickly said in sincerity. "I'm really trying."

Wes nodded and then after driving in silence for a few minutes, he finally spoke up saying, "You're right about me not seeing the truth that was right in front of me before, but I think you're wrong about Jeremy. I just have a feeling, he's not who we're after. I can't explain it."

Travis suddenly received a text on his phone and after reading it he looked over at Wes sadly and replied, "Well, if you're right, then he's not doing a great job convincing people he's innocent. Goodin and Scott arrived at his dorm a few minutes ago to arrest him and Jeremy took someone hostage at gunpoint."

"What the hell are they thinking trying to jump in on our case?" Wes answered angrily as he reached down and turned on the lights while speeding up to get back to the dorm as quickly as possible.

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