Dallas pushed himself to his feet and made his way to the detective desks. Clearing his throat, he stopped in front of Burke’s desk. He didn’t know her first name, and truthfully, iven what he already knew about her, he didn’t care to learn it.
We could kill her. Since she hurt your new best friend and all.
As appealing as the idea sounded, bullying Bo didn’t make her a criminal. Though… if he had ever asked her to stop touching his neck… Well, maybe he would have to ask Bo about that later.
Burke’s eyes lifted to his face. “Silver, right?”
“Mm. You said… you were a new officer?”
“Yes,” Dallas repeated. He held out his completed affidavit. “You need a search warrant for us to view security footage of the–”
“Don’t care,” Burke said, grabbing the paper from him. “Austen happen to say anything after we left?”
“I dunno. Anything about me, for instance?” Burke asked.
“Ah.” Dallas did his best to bite back the tone he wanted to take with the woman. “Well, I just met him today. We haven’t known each other long enough yet to start gossiping over which girls are the cutest while we paint each other’s nails.”
Burke smiled, but it did nothing to warm her features. Instead, Dallas’s stomach churned. “Yeah, he’s not much of a talker. More of a nerdy, silent type.”
“Yeah, something like that.” Dallas pointed to the paper in her hand. “I need a judge’s signature on that.”
“Yep. Won’t be a problem.” Burke pushed herself to her feet. “Where is Austen?”
“Doing his job, if it matters.”
“Out in the field,” Dallas said.
“Mm.” She waved a hand. “You’re dismissed. I’ll have this back to you soon.”
Dallas walked back to his desk, rolling his shoulders. The motion strained the one he was supposed to be resting, but he didn’t mind. Pain kept him in check. Strain kept him in check. Anything that kept Ed a voice instead of a darkness with access to every button and lever on the control board was good for him.
Strain aside, how long had Bo been dealing with the Burke issue? Even to a complete stranger, she was damn near relentless when it came to her attempts to get at Bo.
Wouldn’t it be fun to break your rules just this once, Tex? You want to be a knight for the defenseless? You want to ride the world of filth? Think of the way your new best friend looked when Burke touched his neck. Think of the way she says his name, asks about him, PREYS on him. Think about it. Let it really simmer in that brain of yours. We could take her out, you and me. It sure would be doing at least one man in the world a favor, wouldn’t it?
Ed made a good point–tragically–but it was too soon to tell if Burke’s particular ‘brand’ of filth was criminal or not. It was a fine line to walk, but walking it was necessary. Following the rules kept Dallas from becoming one of the criminals he hunted down and took from the world. Vigilantism didn’t change the fact that he was a serial killer, but it made him less monstrous than the rest of them.
That was the only comfort he managed to take in it.
Dallas lowered himself into his desk chair. He wasn’t sure how he’d get the information out of Bo, but he needed more details on Burke’s filth.
The sooner the better.
Dallas watched Bo walk into the station, his camera bag hanging from his shoulder, his eyes on his cell phone. He didn’t make it far before Burke stepped in front of him. Bo stopped without ever lifting his head.
Look at them, Tex. You saw the shift in his posture. He doesn’t even have to LOOK at her for him to be uncomfortable.
Again, Ed was right. The change in Bo’s posture had been immediate. His shoulders had lifted in defense, and his usually tall posture had folded, allowing him to appear even smaller than he already was.
Dallas pushed himself to his feet and made his way over to the pair. “Austen. I’d like you to walk me through the scene again, for my notes.”
“Your notes should be typed and handed over to me when they’re done,” Burke said.
“Yep, will do.”
Bo kept his head bowed, shoving his phone back into his pocket as he followed Dallas back to his desk. Bo stopped a good foot in front of it, hands tucked behind his back. “Where would you like me to begin?”
“I don’t need you to begin anywhere, man. I’ve got a damn good memory,” Dallas said. “I was just getting Burke away from you.”
“Oh.” Bo cleared his throat. “You shouldn’t get involved in that.”
“Why? You deserve her…? What do you call what she’s doing? Making advances? Flirting? Touching you? You think you deserve to be uncomfortable in the station you work in?”
Bo shook his head. “Don’t draw attention to yourself. It won’t be long before she treats you the same way. She’s only hung up on me because she seems to want to sleep with every male in the department. Since I’ve turned eighteen, I have met her requirements. Don’t get involved.”
Dallas cleared his throat. “She’s been doing this for almost a year?”
“ ‘Almost’ seems like a strong word.”
“You turned eighteen last April. It’s now February.”
Bo glanced up before nodding. “Yes, I suppose ‘almost’ is appropriate, then.”
“And no one’s done anything after almost a year of this?”
“Again, I do not want to get involved. I haven’t exactly openly discussed Burke with my sergeant or lieutenant.”
“You won’t report her inappropriate behavior because you don’t want to ‘get involved’.”
“You may involve yourself in anyone else’s life, but please stop trying to involve yourself in mine. You have already made your point, Officer Silver, and I do believe I have made mine. Tattling has not helped me in the past, and it will not help me now. I will leave it at that, and I request you do the same.”
Before Dallas could even process a response, Bo turned and walked away.
Went in a little hard there, Tex. Gotta reel it back next time. Learn to read the room, yeah?
“Fuck off,” Dallas whispered.
Ed cackled his response.
If Bo wasn’t the first one she had harassed, if she had done it to several men at the station until they slept with her… Reported or not, Dallas felt more than comfortable calling her a criminal. She fit the rules just fine.
Bo came upstairs again just as Dallas shrugged his jacket on over his shoulders. “Hey.”
“Hello.” Bo, as expected, avoided Dallas’s eyes as he held out a folder. “Results of the autopsy. I’m still awaiting blood results for a tox screen and any possible detectable illnesses he may have had.
With his right arm held to his chest, Dallas zipped his jacket up. He grabbed the folder, clearing his folder. “Thank you.” Bo nodded. “Sorry about earlier today, Austen. I’ve got a bad case of, uh… wanting to make the world right, but I know it doesn’t work that way. I didn’t mean to be so intrusive, and I apologize for that.”
“I will say, and this is my last piece on it, I think you should report her.”
“Many of his organs were missing.”
Dallas blinked. “What?”
“The victim. Many of his organs had been removed. That is what they did when they ‘broke the seal’. They removed some of his organs. The specifics have been included in the file.” Bo took a step back. “Goodnight, Mister Silver.”
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