Staying With Her

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Chapter SEVENTEEN

Here come the drops steady and soft, falling from a sky of white velvet. Blackhawk ran his hand through his wavy hair three times in quick succession and fixed Kate a stare that had her recoiling her fingers as a child from a hot stove. Instead of heat, it was the coldness that shocked her; In the brief touch, they stole enough heat to turn her lips blue. She took a step back.

"Let's go over this again."

Kate sighed. "Yolanda Spike, thirty-six, three caliber gunshot wounds."

"Charlotte Dixon, thirty-eight, one gunshot wound, and she's missing an emerald that had fragments embedded into her skin," Hobbs said.

"Michaela Jones. Not found.” He ran his large palm along his scruffy beard. “We’ve got two victims, one suspect, and a missing person–what the fuck does Brandon have to say?" A growl boiled in his throat as he sat on the edge of the chair's arm.

Under the artificial glow of the strip lighting, Brandon was more pale than usual as he stepped into the office. Everything about him was otherwise typical. A white lab coat hung low to his ankles. His hair was a comb-over and booties squishing on the hardwood floor. His smile was genuine as he dabbed a nod at everyone in the room.

He dug in his pocket for a circular transparent glass container. "On Yolanda; I found a sample of what appeared to be sticking in the hair around the temporal bone." He pulled it out and held it out to Blackhawk. The same way he had pulled it out earlier in the lab and held it to the light and examined the stubby cherry flavored chewing gum that led him to the discovery of saliva.

"Swab results came back with DNA extraction and found it to belong to a woman," he paused, flicking over the beige case file and handed it over to Blackhawk. “Debra Ganglion."

Blackhawk couldn't wrap his head around nightgown queen, Debra Ganglion being a murder suspect. Then again, in his line of work, anyone and everyone with the simplest knowledge of the victim labeled a suspect. Perhaps even a perpetrator. The woman coiffured her hair. Her lipstick and handbag changed according to her outfit, but something remained the same daily - her face set almost as a mannequin and spoke with an aristocratic accent. Her face spoke with morbidness as she'd claimed the chewing gum 'stuck to the park's cement' when she'd thrown it away on her trip to work–daily.

Blackhawk cursed under his breath and rolled his hands through his hair. "Maybe we're looking at it from the wrong frame of mind," he sighed. “Davis had an affair. The wife's bound to see red."

"But she got an alibi for commuting daily," Kate said.

Blackhawks phone buzzed in his pocket and he dug to view an incoming snapshot of Josiah with his eyes round as his smile crinkled around it and waved at the camera. He couldn't refuse the smile breaking loose on his own lips. The kid was adorable, and they'd sure enough glued together with a bond stronger than the highest tide. The room fell away as he stared at the shot. He'd do anything to protect the little boy. The same way he'd protect Jacob from neglect.

He ran through the list of places it could be in his mind, checking off the ones he had already searched. As he gazed around the Ganglion residence, it occurred to him that a content wife, raising her eight-year-old son alone, was uncharacteristic of her. For one, she's a short-tempered cyclone. And two, no wife will encourage her husband not to care for his own offspring without a tit for tat.

Then came a theory. "We found Jacobs adoption papers in Debra's closet."

"And?" Kate exasperated.

"He's not Davis's own flesh and blood. His wife must've been pissed if she'd found out about the victims' pregnancies," he said brusquely.

The room felt heavyweight and he had their attention. Everyone scattered the room, hastily moved to their stations and their fingers heavy on the keyboards. Their eyes fixed to the information on the screens.

Not long after were desks piled with many documents that leaked various information. Each person in the room moves as if unseeing hands drag them this way and that, pulling their eyes to one thing and then another. They respond in predictable ways, each of them with a goal to achieve for the night. The young man before Blackhawk had a hen-pecked look. His shoulders hunched together like he was trying to disappear inside himself. Even his dark eyes seemed to retreat inside his head.

Blackhawk settled behind the swirl chair and patted the top of his shoulder. "What did you get for me, Dean?"

"I restored and printed the text messages from Debra's phones data using the decipher text message program," he gasped. "I found multiple messages sent to a number for the past four months."

Blackhawk leaned forward, just enough to whiff up his Old Spice. "Who's it from?"

Dean fixed his glasses and pushed forward–a little awkwardly. Blackhawk stepped aside while he worked the computer.

"I don't bite son," he said. "Not always."

However, there's no hint of repressed humor. Instead, there was a nervousness and quickly he fixed his hands to the keyboard. Eyes glued to the screen while Blackhawk examines his every move. He took exception to everything that involved a cheap keyboard and a blindfolding screen. It took rather too much effort to press the keys.

"I got hold of the person's ISP information and pulled out his rap sheet–"

"Rap it up, boy."

Dean nearly jumped from his seat and fell at the edgy officers Frye Stone Engineer Boots. "Richard Costello."

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