The 5 Stages of Grief

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Chapter 3, Lt. King

“Are you sure it’s wise to bargain with this guy Doc? I mean, he looks like a fuckin’ lunatic to me. Sorry Chloe.” He nodded towards the tiny red-head standing next to him.

“Fuck off Sam.” She smiled back. “You know my family. That’s regular dinner-table talk when ma’s not around. Besides, I’ve known you for forever and heard much worse than that escape your lips.”

“Saw your bare ass too, girl.” He chirped in then grabbed his arm where she punched him.

“I was what? Two? Three?”

“Still the same ass Chloe – only bigger.” She punched him again.

“Ahem,” Dr. Alexander cleared his throat. “I do believe we have more pressing issues in front of us at the moment than the size of Miss Blantyre’s ahh—”

“Ass!” Chloe and Sam both pitched in.

“Right. I would have gotten around to it and I’m certain no matter what you call it, it is the perfect size.” Sam couldn’t help detect the hint of red coloring the Doc’s cheeks after that statement. Well, he’s a shy guy – but Chloe? Nothing shy about her and she’s as red as her hair. Won’t look at him either. What the fuck is going on here?

“As to whether or not we can bargain with him,” Dr. Alexander continued, “I ask you this – why not?”

Chloe jumped in on him. “Because he’s crazy – like I told you!”

“That may be Miss Blantyre, Lieutenant, but it may be the only way to find out if there are other victims. Besides, bargaining with him, cutting him a deal, only matters if he’s sane, not crazy, and if he is, he’s not going anywhere. Isn’t that right?”

He looked to Sam first, who shrugged. “I’m just a cop. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the legal system. Sorry Doc.” Sam tilted his head towards Chloe. “This here’s our legal expert. What do ya say Chloe – is he right?”

She threw up her hands in deference. “Why look at me? I’ve never had an experience like this, I doubt if many ever have.” She paused a moment, thinking, then added, “Let me look into it and I’ll get back to you – to both of you.” Though she said both, it didn’t take a cop to notice that she only looked at Sam. “Regardless of whether he’s crazy or not, he’s hiding something, trying to bargain with us to save his ass. I wish I knew what it was – what he’s holding back, how important it is. It could all be just nut-talk.” She looked to Sam for reassurance then turned towards the Doc – each shrugged, noncommittal. Walt turning his beet-red head away in search of nonexistent sounds. “Well gentlemen, it appears we still have a lot of work to do. Let’s keep in touch, make sure we share any information uncovered, no matter how trivial it may be. Agreed?”

Sam was first, “Abso-fucking-lutely, sorry Chloe. I need this cleared up yesterday, get the brass off my ass – so keep me in the loop. That means you too Walt.” He turned toward the Doctor, waving his hand to catch his abashed attention then was off down the hall, digging in his pocket for a cigar.

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