The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
Spence was in the office before seven the next morning. He needed time to order a drive-by on the South Lake Grill.
Once he got to his desk he scrolled through his emails looking for reports: the Stephanie Lewis situation, lab reports, warrants, that preliminary written autopsy Choi said he was finishing last night.
The autopsy was there. He opened it and read through. He hit print, stapled the pages together, and added them to the cork-board under the New Reports heading. Melanie came through the door as he was sticking the tack in it.
“Prelim autopsy,” Spence responded.
Melanie hung up her coat and crossed back to the cork-board to read the report.
Spence returned to his desk.
“Water injected into the lungs after death?”
“Yup, that’s what Choi told me last night.”
Melanie stared at Spence. “Who does that kind of shit?”
Barnes came in and Melanie started explaining the preliminary findings.
“Warrants. We’ve got warrants for the business and the personal accounts. Who wants to serve?”
“We’ll go.” Melanie nodded at Barnes who nodded back.
“Go to it. And get digital where you can.”
Melanie laughed. The partners grabbed the coats they had just shed and left the office.
Spence was back into reading his email when Tom came through the door. Spence glared. “What the fuck were you thinking?”
Tom stopped dead in his tracks. “I wasn’t, I wasn’t thinking.”
“Partners for seven years, four years in that god awful hell of a sand pit before that. And you do this to me?” Spence kicked his chair back out of the way.
“What if something happens to Tess or the baby?”
Confusion streaked across Tom’s face. “Why would anything happen to Tess?”
“You don’t think asking her to sneak behind enemy lines and do a little recon is dangerous?”
Tom opened his mouth and then closed it without answering.
“You forgot you called her?”
“Texted her.” Spence shouted, interrupting his partner.
Tom swallowed. “I did forget.”
“Then what were you talking about?”
They stood, staring at each other, computer fans whirring in the background, the hum of the overhead lights. Tom waited for the penny to drop.
“You’re the leak.” Spence felt a weight crushing his chest.
Spence sat down, his head in his hands, elbows on his knees.
Tom hung up his coat and waited.
“You should have told me.” Spence’s voice was distant.
“I didn’t want to involve you. I saw the headline and I hoped it wasn’t, she hadn’t.”
“I ordered surveillance on her.”
“This isn’t how I thought it would go down.”
“Oh, you thought through the ramifications of dating a reporter?” Spence’s anger rose in his throat.
Tom shook his head. “I meant the end of our partnership, I figured one of us would get shot.”
“That can still happen,” Spence snapped back.
They stared at each other before Tom started to laugh, Spence slowly joining in.
“I am well and truly fucked.”
“Maybe not. Did you go see her?”
Tom nodded. “Last night.”
“Go to the lieu. Tell her Stephanie lied to you, you didn’t know she was a reporter until you saw the article. You never read The Times.”
“That’s a lot of lies to live with.”
“Or you end your career. I’ll back you either way.”
“I better go throw myself on her highness’s mercy.” Tom smiled then his face relaxed. “You’ve been a good partner. Even better friend.”
“Stop talking like you’re dying. It’s only your career that’s committed suicide.”
“Stop stalling. Go, before she gets around to the surveillance reports.”
Tom nodded and left the room. He went down the stairs to the floor below. It felt like everyone’s eyes were on him as he walked across the open bullpen. No conversations stopped, nothing that obvious. But voices dropped as he passed. He knocked on the closed door of his boss.
“Busy,” Her voiced barked.
“It’s Harding.” Tom heard her chair hit the wall behind her desk, five seconds later the door whipped open.
“You better have one hell of an explanation.”
“That’s why I’m here.” Tom watched her nostrils flare way too up close for his comfort. The bullpen behind him was silent now. If he turned, he knew he would find all eyes were watching the show.