I awoke to the sounds of knocking on the door “yeah?” I said groggy with sleep “come in.” Shane opened the door and peeked in. If he was still bothered by our talk last night he didn’t show it. He looked all bright and shiny for this early.
“Hey you, it’s time to wake up. I’ve got to be into work in a couple hours so that means you need to get up and get ready. I’m bringing you with me to tell the captain about the case, I don’t know if he’ll go for you staying on though.”
I nodded at him as I yawned and stretched. “I’ll be ready in a few” I said and hurried out
A little over an hour later we were walking into the police station. All the cops smiled and greeted me. A lot of the seasoned officers know who I am due to my past and my current situation. Most PI’s aren’t liked by the cops, but I try not to step on toes. You catch more flies with honey I was told once. So I smiled and waved back, all the while my stomach was in knots with worry. Will the captain take me off the case? Do I have enough to hold over him so I can stay on? Will he let me work with Shane if I do? I sighed out loud and Shane glanced at me over his shoulder and gave me a reassuring smile. I smiled back and the tension in me eased somewhat.
Shane had that calming effect on me. I stopped and watched Shane open the captain’s door. I stood outside waiting to be called in. Shane held the door as I heard the captain say “send her in.”
I walked into the office and looked Captain Reilly square in the eyes. It took all of my will not to look away from those eyes. Captain Reilly knows all too well what went on in my household as a child. He was new at the captain position when my sister disappeared over 10 years ago. He looked so young then, even for a man in his late 30’s. Now looking at him, as an adult and not a child I can see the wear this job has put on him. For a man in his late 40’s he looked much older. He had reddish hair and paler skin. He looked like your stereo typed Irish person. Only he didn’t have the accent.
Captain Reilly let out a soft chuckle and looked away. “You would have made a hell of a cop winters. If I knew it wouldn’t be against the law, I’d love to put you in an interrogation room with a bad guy just to see if he would crack under your gaze.” He made a small chuckle again “now Shane tells me you have something to show me?”
“Yes sir, but before I show you I want you to know you can’t take me off this case. You know me sir and I am as stubborn as a mule when I get my claws into something. I will not back off this case quietly, I want to be a part of this all the way” I said firmly, hoping my voice didn’t give away my nervousness.
The warmth drained from his eyes as he stared at me, this time I looked away. “Just show me what you have Winter’s and I will see what I can do. But you better not be wasting my time with this” he said. I laid down a folder containing all of my notes and pictures about the cases “you see sir, I think we have a serial kidnapping case on our hands. The only reason it hasn’t been noticed is because the girls are taken so far apart from each other. They are never taken from the same place at the same time. All these girls look alike and they all have similar lives. Plus they were all taken from public places” I said triumphantly.
He looked at me and then back down to the folder I gave to him and sighed “Katsia, granted you have found common threads that could bind these girls, but most serial cases have a set pattern. Maybe you’re just seeing a pattern between these girls because you want to see it. There is a reason we take cops off of cases that are too close for them. They tend to see leads and patterns, or they tend to get tunnel vision and forget to look at the bigger picture.” He said quietly.
I smiled at him and he looked startled “most people would be upset that they weren’t taken seriously. Why are you smiling?” he said suspiciously.
“Sir, with all due respect I’m not one of your cops. I am an independent private investigator. I only came to you because Shane said any hint of a serial case should be brought to the PPD’s attention. The fact that you can’t see what I can means I can follow through with this lead without any worry of being removed from the case. I know this is a serial case, and I know it will lead me to answers about Cassie. I will keep the PPD in the loop if I find more concrete evidence but I am just happy you’re not taking over my case.”
He looked at me with a clenched jaw and stone cold cop eyes which made my smug smile falter.
“You listen, and you listen good Katsia. You are not one of my cops so I can’t tell you to drop this. Hell even if you were, I don’t think you’d listen to me, you’d just work it on your off time. But if this is something more, you be careful. I do see a common thread between these girls, just not a strong enough one to bring to my boss. Just promise me you’ll keep Shane in the loop with where you go and what you’re looking into with this case. I can’t officially say you have the PPD behind you, but at least you’ll have some back up. If you find anything more concrete come to me with it. And for heaven sakes Winter’s, be careful. You’re dismissed” he said as he handed my folder back to me.
I walked out of the office and over to Shane’s desk where I waited for the captain to be done with him. A few minutes later Shane came out and headed over my way. He smiled at me and my stomach did a little flip “so the captain just said that I am to keep an eye on you. I’m your new partner as long as it doesn’t affect my working hours” he said.
I smiled and propped my feet onto his desk “good” I said “I have something for you to do.” He smiled back and pushed my feet off his desk. “I said I was your partner, not your flunky.” I glared at him but moved and propped myself on his desk “I need you to run a background check on Thompson & Son’s Janitorial Service and Scott’s Cleaning Service” I said sweetly. He looked at me expectantly and I sighed “just do it Shane, It’s just a hunch. I’ll let you know where I go and what I do if something comes up. Promise” I said with a smile.
He just shook his head and proceeded with the background check.