Sam and Callen watched their suspect on the big screen in the Boatshed. The wiry man was leaning back on the chair, both feet propped on the scarred table. He ran his gaze around the room, then deliberately turned his head and spat on the floor. An untouched ice pack lay on the table in front of him, next to his cuffed wrists. It had melted a little, spreading water onto the pine surface.
"Nice," Callen said, with a shake of his head. "That is one classy dude."
"He looks real worried, doesn't he?" Sam muttered.
Pens, folders and sheets of printed paper lay scattered on the large desk in front of them, but neither of them seemed to notice the mess. They both had their attention fixed on the screen. Callen idly rolled a pen between his fingers, fiddling with it just to keep his hands busy. The other hand was holding a large, blue ice pack to the side of his face. He was hoping that the cold would stop his eye from going too black.
"Smug bastard knows we have nothing to link him to Deeks' attack," Callen said. "We know that there was a cop there, but we can't prove that it was him. Unless he talks, we have nothing to hold him on."
"He attacked you," Sam muttered, peering anxiously at his partner. "How's the head?"
Callen pulled the ice pack from his cheek and turned his head towards his partner. "How's it look?"
"Like you went ten rounds with a two-by-four."
Callen grunted and pressed the ice pack on his bruises again. "Feels like it. Bastard packs one hell of a punch. You know what he'll say though."
"That he was there for some perfectly innocent reason, just minding his own business when we showed up and scared him, making him run and accidentally knock you over?" Sam said, voice heavy with scorn, and shook his head. "Yeah, I know."
Sam stood and crossed to the side table that held hot water, tea and coffee. He dropped a teabag into a cup of hot water for Callen and poured himself a cup of strong coffee, dumping a couple of sugars into both cups for good measure.
"How do you want to play this?" he asked as he brought both cups back to the table.
Callen nodded his thanks and picked his cup up, taking a mouthful and rolling it around his mouth. "I think we need to find out some more information about our friend before we can do anything," Callen said and pulled out his phone, hitting a speed dial button with his thumb. "Eric. Do we have any more info on Gary Williams yet?"
Eric sighed down the line. "Yup. But I don't think you're going to like it." His keyboard rattles in the background as he brought up the information.
Callen turned his phone to speaker and laid it on the table. "Go on, Eric."
"I'm sending you the full file, but here are the juicy parts. Williams served two tours as a marine, then had a medical discharge due to a shrapnel would he sustained. He worked in private security for a year before singing up with the LAPD, where he advanced quickly, becoming an undercover after three years." He paused. "Um, he worked with Deeks a couple of times. The last operation almost went bad because Williams got pressed too hard. Both of them were injured, but the operation was a success. The man they arrested was stabbed to death in jail a short while ago. I checked Williams' financials, too. He started having money trouble about a year ago. Looks like someone in his house has a pretty serious gambling addiction."
"Any more information on that investigation that went bad?" Sam asked, "Seems like too much of a coincidence for that not to be involved, especially with a big player dying recently."
"No. LAPD are stonewalling." Eric paused. "I'll keep trying though, and I'll let you know if I find anything."
"Thanks, Eric," Callen said and ended the call. "We need to talk to Deeks."
Sam nodded, his eyes fixed on the screen. "You go. I'm going to stay here and have another chat with this joker."
"I'm afraid not, Mr. Hanna," Hetty said as she walked towards the table. "LAPD have requested that I hand our suspect over to them, and given the evidence we have against him, I can't put them off." She poured herself a cup of hot water and added a silver tea ball, swirling it a little to let the tea leaves brew. "They're sending an officer over to collect him."
Callen sighed, and shook his head. "This was our best chance to get him to talk." He rubbed the back of his neck, frustration giving him a headache. "Before he had a chance to lawyer-up."
Hetty stirred her tea, laying the spoon down on a saucer. "Then I suggest that you find another way, Mr. Callen, because this lead is dead in the water for now. Given their shared history, talking to Mr. Deeks would be a good start. Perhaps he can shed some light on our brawler in there."
Callen drained the last of his tea and stood, reaching for his car keys. Sam plucked them neatly out of his hand.
"Hey!" he protested, reaching for them back.
Sam shook his head and held the keys out of reach. "You just had your brains scrambled. I'll drive."