At 1030 the following day, Konan walked into Lilly’s office. She still looked ill. She was on the phone, so Konan sat quietly in one of the two chairs in front of her desk. He looked around the office. Two diplomas decorated the walls. There were no pictures, save one of her and Konan after solving the case that got him released.
They had just solved a case involving a faux honor killing. Konan had not been with the 117th for very long at that point. He smiled. Even then he knew he loved Lilly.
She hung up the phone. Stress showed at the corners of her eyes.
“Good morning,” she said. He smiled at her. She smiled back.
“Good morning. I came to brief you.”
“Well, I’m glad. That was the Deputy Chief on the phone. Apparently, you should have taken a police escort to the scene yesterday. What did you learn?”
“Not much, and Tammy doesn’t think the body will shed much light on it. Yesterday, she said that it was going to take time for the labs to come back with anything useful.”
“Well, that sucks.”
“Yeah. The body was burnt beyond recognition. Tammy is going to make an ID via DNA. The corpse’s teeth were broken. It was dehydrated, cause of death is pending.”
“Do you have any good news?”
“Um, I love you? Other than that, no. There is no good news concerning the case.”
Lilly stared at Konan. She’d quit listening after Konan had slipped up and said he loved her.
“Well, um, I suppose we should wait for Tammy. I’ll brief Chief Janko. He’ll want to know what is going on. Um…Have you decided to come back to work or are you hell bent to be a consultant?”
Konan laced his fingers and gazed at Lilly. His confession of love had no effect on her. Still, he could accomplish more, make more of a difference in their community, with the resources of the police.
“Yeah, I’ve decided. I’ll come back, but I have a couple of stipulations.”
“You are my partner. I do not have the time nor patience to break in a new partner mid-case, and I want a raise.”
“The partner bit won’t be an issue. The raise I can do nothing about. I don’t have that kind of power. I’ll take it up with Chief Janko, he can run it up from there.”
“Fine, but we all know I deserve a raise.”
“Sure, you do. Everyone who has asked for a raise thinks they deserve one.”
Lilly shoved Konan’s badge across the desk. A small smile crossed her face. He reached for his badge, and their hands brushed against each other. Their eyes met.
“I’m glad you’re back, Konan. I’ve missed you.”
Konan gave her a sheepish grin and shoved his badge into his pocket. He looked at Lilly.
“Can you even go into the field given your condition? Or is your time devoted to playing political games?”
“I can go in the field, and I play politics. Janko would prefer I stay behind the desk though and deal with the day-to-day crap.”
“What do you prefer?”
“I prefer being in the thick of the investigation.”
“Yeah, but you’re pregnant.”
“Mmmhmm. I’m going to work as long as I can. When I can’t, I plan to take the maximum amount of maternity leave. Besides, with my nausea I would be a liability to you in the field.”
“So, you’ll be here. I get it.”
“I’m sorry, Konan. I know you thought it would be like old times, us both tearing things up in the field.”
Konan sighed. He felt tricked in coming back. “I haven’t been back an hour, and I’m already tired of their crap. I should have known better.”
“It’s not a problem, Lilly. We will make it work.”
Lilly smiled and nodded. “I’m glad you feel that way, Konan. I was worried you would feel betrayed.”
Konan forced a smile. He would have to work through the complexity of emotions he felt. For now though, he needed to focus on the murders. There would be time for him to explore his emotions later.
As he and Lilly finished up, Tammy Bowen walked into the office. She nodded at them and sat down.
“Please tell me you have something, Tammy.”
“I do, Lilly. I called in every favor and sent off tissue to be examined. The victim is one Jacob Walton.”
Konan scrunched up his nose and pulled out his notes. He shook his head.
“Jacob Walton? That can’t be right.”
“Why not, Konan?”
“Because, Ric Villers said Jacob Walton was the buyer of the Oxy. He inferred Walton was the killer. If Walton is the killer, then the case is closed.”
Lilly looked at Tammy. “Is there any evidence to support that Walton is the killer?”
“Um, I’m not a detective, Lilly. I don’t do ‘investigations.’ I’m a lab monkey.”
“So, what now?”
“We wait and see if more murders that match this M.O. occur. One thing was certain, until they had a cause of death for Jacob Walton, they had to assume the killer was still out there.
Hank Calder sat in his dark living room and looked over his notes. His plans had been executed flawlessly. Still, with the removal of Jacob Walton from the board, he knew the cops would be sniffing around. Hank needed another ‘assistant’ to interact with society for him.
His plans revolved around him remaining incognito. The cops would kick over rocks and try to find out about Jacob’s close friends, associates, and family. Hank wasn’t worried. None of Jacob’s friends or family knew him.
The cops would check Jacob’s employment records and discover nothing there either. He’d paid Jacob in cash, there was no trail to connect him to Jacob.
So, why was Hank concerned about being discovered? His fear bordered on paranoia. The soft white glow of the lamp enticed him to write. He powered on his laptop and began to type.
“It’s time to quit the game while I am ahead. Let the cops scratch their heads and try to figure out what happened. If I vanish now, Jacob Walton will be known as the killer. That gives me time to craft my masterpiece. Soon, the world will know that one man can make a difference. My enemies, those who would corrupt the system with their own evilness, will be reckoned with. This I promise you; they will know fear.”