I know, I'm a day late and I'm sorry. But have you had your entire household sick, including yourself? That's what my week has been like. But finally two are back at school/work and the last one goes back to school tomorrow *sigh* I need a vacation *lol*
“Of all the people to hire, why did you have to hire him, Dad?” Charlie Mulligan paced before his father’s desk. “There were five other candidates, surely there was one better qualified.”
“Sit down, Charlie,” the older Mulligan sighed.
“I haven’t been able to sit still since we got back,” Charlie ran his hand through his dark blonde short-cropped hair. “I still can’t believe Maria didn’t call us. I should have been here for her. For Zack. Maybe this wouldn’t…”
“Don’t, Charlie,” Mulligan interrupted. “You know as well as I that Zack has been hiding this for a long time. There was nothing we could do because he wouldn’t open up to us.”
“Damn it, Dad! We are police officers. There should have been something we could have done to prevent it. Zack doesn’t deserve this.”
“No, son, he doesn’t. But we had no proof and Rob was good with his scare tactics on Zack.” The sadness echoed what Charlie felt. “Now about Ryan. His record is exemplary with several accommodations for bravery and dedication. His old Captain had nothing but praise and hated losing him.”
“So why did he quit?” Charlie had to ask. If Ryan Hayes was so well liked, why leave?
“He wanted to come back home. Closer to his father.”
Charlie bit his tongue so he wouldn’t let out the smart-ass remark dancing on the tip of his tongue. Ryan and Rob had graduated two years ahead of him and he’d had little contact with the twins. However, there were rumors about Rob and the violence he hid behind his charming smile. It wasn’t until Zack was dating Rob and noticed the changes in his friend that he suspected the rumors were absolutely true.
“It doesn’t matter why he came back. For Zack’s sake, I’m glad he did.” Mulligan sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Now, Officer Mulligan, your temporary partner will be here any moment. The two of you will be paired for the first month until Officer Hayes gets the lay of the land and our operation procedures. You will be respectful to him and not take your personal outrage out on him. Is that understood?”
Charlie glared at his father. There were times when he hated working for him. Times like this.
“Yes, sir,” he said through clenched teeth.
Before Charlie could say any more, a knock sounded at the door.
“Come in,” Mulligan called out.
Ryan tentatively walked in.
“Good evening, Hayes,” Mulligan smiled at him.
Charlie swallowed hard, the anger he felt just looking at Ryan balled in his throat. His body was tense, fingers twitching, itching to hit the man. All he saw was Rob and what the bastard did to Zack. Charlie had stopped in at the hospital late the night before to see Zack. He was disgusted at himself for being unable to stop what had happened. Hated seeing Zack suffer as he had and being unable to prevent it.
“Chief,” Ryan gave a slight bow of his head.
“This is my son, Charlie Mulligan. He’ll be your partner and show you the ropes. I just hope being back in Alameda doesn’t bore you.”
“That’s what I’m hoping for, sir.”