Lilly whipped the car into the motorpool and jammed the brakes. Konan released the breath he had held since the near collision with the old lady.
“You didn’t answer me. Are you religious?”
“How can you believe in God, when you see what we see day in and day out?”
“How can you not?”
Lilly shrugged her thin shoulders and smiled.
“I never said I didn’t. I just want to get to know you.”
“Just because we see the worst of human nature doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. There are plenty of good people in the world.”
“Yeah, I reckon.”
They entered the elevator and rode it to the second floor. They got off and made a right. A long narrow hallway ran east and west across the floor. The second door on the right was the office for homicide. They called it ‘the murder room.’ They walked in. A pair of detectives waited for them.
“Y’all catch a bad one,” the thin one asked. Her name was Manson. She was tall and thin. Her blond hair was straight, her eyes a cold grey. Her lips were thin, just like the rest of her.
“Yeah,” Lilly said. Manson nodded to Konan.
“This is my partner, Thermopolis Konan.”
“I don’t like him,” Manson said. She waved over a short, barrel-chested behemoth. Manson pointed to Konan. “You know him, right?”
Val Rankin stared at Konan. He scrunched his nose up in disgust. Konan frowned.
“Yeah. I know this traitor. Thermopolis Konan. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t get rid of you.”
“Funny stuff, Val. I was just thinking the same thing. Then again, trash goes whichever way the wind blows.”
Val stepped toward Konan and clenched his fist. Konan smiled at him. Lilly stepped between them. “Okay, boys. That’s enough. Come on, Konan. We have to report in.”
She led Konan away from Manson and Rankin. Captain Tia Mathers office was at the back of the murder room. She looked up from her desk and waved them in. Her eyes followed Konan’s movements. When they got to her desk, she told them to sit down.
“What is it, Lilly?”
“It’s ugly, Captain. Four dead in the hallway, a witness left alive in the cooler.”
“Okay. Y’all get on it. Keep me informed.”
Lilly nodded her head and stood to her feet. Konan stood as well. Mathers looked at him.
“No one said you could leave, Konan.”
Konan sat back down and waited. Lilly turned back, but Mathers nodded to the door. Lilly exited the room, and Mathers locked eyes with Konan.
“Let’s get something straight right off the bat, Konan. I don’t like you. I don’t like the fact that you turned on your own. I was not given a choice about you coming here, but make no mistake, I won’t hesitate to throw you out of here if you betray us. You dig?”
“Good. Get out of my office.”
Konan walked out into the squad room and sat at his desk. Lilly pulled up a chair next to him. Konan leaned back and waited for Lilly’s question.
“Things didn’t go well with Tia, did it?”
“It was fine. I figured I would have to face it at some point. It’s better to get it out of the way.”
“Well, let’s get out of here and go to the morgue. Surely, they’ve found something by now.”
Lilly and Konan walked out to the parking garage. Konan walked to the driver’s side. Lilly tried to hide her smile.
“Would you like to drive, Konan?”
“If you don’t mind.”
“Not at all,” Lilly said.
Konan pulled the unmarked Crown Vic out of the garage and started for the morgue. Lilly yawned. Konan never exceeded the speed limit. Lilly kept glancing at the speedometer.
“Wow. You’re a by-the-book kind of guy. Do you get in a hurry for anything?”
Konan laughed. “Sure, I get in a hurry sometimes. However, we are going to the morgue. Everyone there is dead, so why rush?”
“That’s horrible,” Lilly snickered.
“Well, it’s not like they’re going anywhere.”
“I got it, Konan.”
Konan nodded. Lilly laughed at his attempts at humor. This partnership was off to a good start.