Monday, April 23, 2007

Second Chances ~ Part 10

Happy Monday! Only four more days til Friday *G*

Part 10

Ryan walked through the double doors of the Alameda Police Department. Officer Henderson was at the front desk flipping through a magazine. It was late in the evening and all was quiet in town.

“Officer Hayes,” Henderson greeted him. They had already met when he responded to Rob’s apartment.

“I don’t officially start until the morning. So call me Ryan until then.” He gave the other officer a genuine smile. He liked the man. He’d been very professional and efficient at the crime scene.
He looked around at the empty lobby. There was silence coming from the room down the hall that housed the dispatcher. Yes, this would be an adjustment from New York City. Ryan hoped he wouldn’t become bored, but still welcomed the change.

“I was hoping I could see him before I became official.”

Henderson didn’t have to ask who Ryan was speaking of. They were all aware of who they held in a cell in the back of the building. Alameda wasn’t large enough to get a jail of its own. Misdemeanors were dealt with using a local judge. The felonies are usually shipped to Las Cruses, forty-five minutes away. However, Rob’s paperwork had been lost…twice. And Ryan had heard from his father that the judge was petitioning to take care of the case, hence, postponing the transfer. Ryan wasn’t sure if it were a good thing, or bad. But their father, a lawyer, refused to defend Rob.

Henderson scowled but nodded. “I figured as much. Come on.” He buzzed Ryan in and led him down the empty corridor. The footsteps sounded heavy in the silence. Ryan had not seen Rob since they hauled him away from his apartment.

Ryan hadn’t trusted himself much around his brother. He was scared he’d do something to jeopardize the case…or kill him. Now that he’d spoken with Zack, the anger hadn’t faded, but Ryan felt he could control himself long enough to confront his own nightmare.

Henderson unlocked the thick metal door leading to the eight holding cells. They were situated so that four were on the left and four on the right. There was only one other occupant, a local drunk who lay sleeping on the cot.

“Need me to stick around?”

Ryan noticed Henderson didn’t volunteer to unlock the cell to let him in. Perhaps he didn’t trust Ryan.

“No, I’m good. Just wait outside. I shouldn’t be long.”

Henderson nodded and left him alone. The metal clank of the heavy door echoed loudly. A shiver ran down Ryan’s spine. He would never get used to that sound no matter how many times he heard it.

Rob was lying on his back staring up at the ceiling. Ryan watched his brother, neither said a word. They were nearly identical in looks, yet so different. It had always been that way. Ryan had learned very early that Rob had a mean streak in him. Even when they were four years old, Rob would push him off a toy because he wanted it. Even when he wasn’t going to play on it. Their relationship had been strained all of their lives.

“So, finally decided that you were good enough to stop by and check on your dear brother?” Rob’s voice was leaden with sarcasm, still staring at the ceiling.

“Just be glad that I didn’t kill you, Rob,” he said through clenched teeth. His nails bit into his palms and Ryan forced himself to relax. He hadn’t even realized his fingers had balled into fists.

Rob finally shifted his gaze to Ryan. He sat up and smiled. “You don’t have the guts, Ryan. You’ve always been squeamish and weak-willed. How many times have you been walked over? Never taking what you want?” Rob shook his head. “No, you haven’t changed. You aren’t a killer.”

Ryan kept his expression blank. He wouldn’t take the bait. He had changed. “But you are, Rob. You almost killed your lover.”

Rob shrugged. “He made me do it. Zack was cheating on me. I had to show him who was boss.”
The cold casualness made Ryan’s blood run cold. Rob saw nothing wrong with what he did. “I’m sure you’ll make a great bitch in prison.”

“I don’t think so, little brother.” He smiled as if he was hiding a secret. “I won’t be here much longer. Once my paperwork is finished, Dad will come and get me out.”

Ryan leaned toward the bars. It was his turn to smile. “I don’t think so. He said it’s time you fended for yourself.” Satisfied, Ryan turned and walked toward the door. “Have a nice life.”

“What? No!” Rob yelled gripping the bars. “Dad is coming. Just wait and see. He won’t let me rot in here.”

Ryan knocked on the metal door and two seconds later Henderson opened the door. Both ignored Rob’s roaring. Once the door was shut again, Ryan closed his eyes and let out a long breath.

“You okay?”

Ryan opened his eyes. “Yeah, I’ll be fine. Thanks.”

Henderson nodded and led the way back toward the lobby.

“Night. See you tomorrow.” Ryan called out as he started through the double doors, only to nearly run over an older man. “Oh sh…um, I’m sorry, sir,” he started apologizing as he reached out to steady the man.

The man righted himself and Ryan realized it was his new boss. “It’s alright, son.”

He knew him though he wore jeans and a plaid button up shirt. His head was adorned with a cowboy hat.

“I’m sorry, Chief Mulligan.” A blush crept up his cheeks. Not good to almost bowl over your boss even before you start. “I hadn’t expected…I wasn’t thinking…”

“It’s okay, Hayes. My son and I was out of town a couple of days and I came in to get some paperwork. Listen, if you need to wait…”

“No, sir. I’m more than ready to start my shift tomorrow.”

Mulligan studied him for a moment, the blue eyes making Ryan a little uncomfortable. He nodded. “Alright. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Yes, sir. Have a good night.” Ryan said as he continued his way out of the station. “Great way to make an impression,” he muttered to himself.

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