Konan took his badge and shoved it in his coat pocket. Janko and Smith watched as he left. Somehow, Konan felt complete. As if the stars had aligned perfectly and all was right with the world. Of course, both Smith and Janko had assumed incorrectly that he had not attempted to catch this murderer. “What do you expect from people who’ve spent their entire lives playing political games?”
Given that the way that his day had spun out of control, Konan decided to go by Judith’s office. He needed advice. “This investigation has got me turned around. Everything is chaos. Even the killer’s modus operandi is chaotic. Nothing makes sense.”
Judith’s office was housed at the top of the tallest building in Fredericksburg. The Laban Building, named after the town founder Laban Fredericks, was a testimony of having too much of a good thing. Numerous companies, all with various interests, had offices in the building.
The front desk was occupied by three security officers. Konan nodded to them.
“Afternoon, fellas. I am here to see Dr. Judith.”
“Do you have an appointment?”
“No,” Konan responded. One of the security officers reached for a phone. He conversed in hushed tones with the other person and placed his hand over the speaker.
“What’s your name?”
“Detective Sergeant Thermopolis Konan.”
After a few mmhmms and un-huhs , he hung up the phone. He motioned for Konan to follow him to the elevators.
“Take the lift to Floor 16. When the doors open go left to the end of the hall. She is the second door on the right.”
“Okay. Thanks.” The officer nodded and Konan pushed the button. While the elevator made its way to the sixteenth floor, soft music played through the speakers. His heart raced as he thought of what he might say to the woman who helped him through some of his darkest days. “God, I hope this is not awkward.”
The elevator dinged and the doors opened. Konan walked to the end of the hall and turned right. He knocked on the second door.
“Come in,” Judith called. Konan turned the knob and stepped in. Judith sat behind her desk. It was fancy like all the other furnishings in her office. It complimented her perfectly.
“Hey, Judith.” She looked at Konan and smiled. He smiled back. Judith stood and walked to him. She peered into his eyes.
“Hello, Konan. Is that a spark of madness I see in your eyes, or are you just happy to see me?”
Judith giggled and gestured for Konan to have a seat. She kept her eyes on him as she made her way back to her desk.
“Look at you,” she sighed. “I am thrilled you came by. It’s been so long.”
“Yeah, it’s been a minute. How have things been?”
“It’s been busy. Of course, it’s always busy during election cycles and the aftermath of such. One guy said what he thought, and people couldn’t stand it. So, they sought counseling to sort out their feelings. Another guy threatens to nuke his opposition, so those in disagreement seek counseling. It’s the same ole story. The wheel constantly turns.”
“Yeah. It’s a nuthouse.”
“So, you’re consulting the police department on a case. How’s that going?”
“Oh, you know. Bad guys do bad things…sorry. I forgot who I was talking to. It’s a mess.”
“Is it related to your last case before you were fired for throat punching your boss?”
Konan reached in his coat pocket and pulled out the badge. He tossed it to Judith. “It’s no longer former Detective Sergeant Konan.”
Judith raised her eyebrows, Konan grinned. “She has always known how to make my heart race. God, she is so beautiful.”
“Well, how about that for good news. Can you share anything about the case?”
“No, but it is related to the last one.”
“I see. Is the killer using the same M.O.?”
“Konan, you know that the nailing of the victims to the floor is, so the killer feels empowered. They have forced their will upon an unwilling victim.”
“And the cuts on their face?”
“Power. Your killer is a person who has felt diminished, unaccepted, unaccomplished.”
“I appreciate the perspective Judith, but that doesn’t narrow down the suspect list. It has made it larger.”
“I am sure it did, but it’s the truth. Some people have misplaced anger, or they blame others for the crap in their life. Your killer is one such person. Most folks fall to their knees and scream at the sky or punch a wall. The killer manifests their anger by perpetuating violence on the people they victimize.”
“They couldn’t just go get counseling,” Konan sighed. “I am so tired of dealing with people who have decided to showcase human depravity.”
Judith watched Konan for a long moment in silence. “I’ve never seen him so tired. It’s like this case has broken him.”
“You’re just tired, Konan. You need a good meal and plenty of sleep.” Konan nodded.
“Yeah. So, are you seeing anyone, Judith?” She smiled at the question and wrinkled her nose.
“You could say that. I got married four years ago.”
Konan looked at her and smiled. She smiled back.
“Well, how about that? Congratulations, Judith. I knew you would find someone who made you happy.”
“I never said I was happy, Konan. It is a marriage of convenience. He needed a wife to show stability and growth, I needed someone to give me a child.”
“Love was not in the equation, and he didn’t want love. Besides, my heart belonged to someone else.”
“So, it was a math problem? A business arrangement?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Konan and Judith sat in silence for a long moment. Konan looked out the window, long shadows had appeared with the setting sun.
“I hate to, but I must run. This case will not get solved if I spend all my time in this chair. It was great seeing you again, Judith.” She smiled and walked to him. Konan stuck out his hand, but Judith pulled him into a hug.
“You didn’t ask what my child’s name is or what gender they are.”
“Sorry. What is your child’s name and what did you have?”
“I had a son, I named him Konan.’
He pulled out of Judith’s warm embrace. He took her hands in his and smiled. “He sounds wonderful.”
“I am very proud of him; he is a carbon copy of the man he is named after. Studious, aggressive, and firm in his beliefs.”
“Thanks for the perspective. I will stop by when I am in the neighborhood.”
“Okay, be careful out there.”