Chapter 1: Assignment
Sarah never could do small talk. Never initiate. That portion of the social world existed as a gallery. She was but a window shopper able to engage and smile when something tickled her bone, but then, just that easy, she could put her head down and ignore it. Make it disappear. It. Them.
It seemed to be the reason she couldn’t connect to people as easily as she liked and why she loathed small talk with Irv. A butcher she’d made up that he was. Sarah spotted a tiny cleaver key chain, rough fingers, and the ever-present scent of freezer burn upon him.
“You know what I mean-,” he grunted as he looked up from his coffee.
She only had the time to when his coffee cup hit his lips, to when his eyes would be on her to participate.
“Riiiight,” she answered nervously.
She had no idea what he was going on about, and frankly she didn’t care.
The screech of the tires and the cartoonish sounding man had announced her arrival. Saved by the bus. Sarah hastily got up and off the rolling cage and walked the half-block to the gun range. She had promised herself to get more training for her use of mace but instead the lessons escalated to a new weapon of choice; a gun.
“Do you know what ammunition you might need?”
Sarah nodded. She’d bought a cheap glock for just a little over five-hundred dollars from another dealer two months earlier. The clerk slid the box across the counter and Sarah took her protective ear, and eye-wear towards the back.
The first shots startled her but soon every squeeze of the trigger became a taut catch and release. Little pieces of her breath lost and then swiftly returned. Each recoil of her weapon giving her a mini-high.
“Ouch,” Sarah hissed under her breath.
The slide lock had pinched the purlicue on her hand. Damned used gun. The first drop of blood spattered on the floor and then onto his shoe. Sarah’s eyes darted up.
“Missed a spot,” he grumbled.
“I’m sorry,” Sarah answered quietly.
He bent down waxing his worn handkerchief to his boot.
“There’s a first aid kit, they keep it on the wall over here.”
Sarah followed him over to the spot and leaned against the ledge as he popped it open.
“You’ll have to tell me if I’m doing this right,” he stated.
He had more humor to his tone now, a playfulness in his eyes; with the just tiniest smile.
“How would you know if I knew you weren’t doing it correctly?” Sarah asked.
“You’re a doctor, aren’t you?” he asked.
“I am, but-,” Sarah started.
“-I guess I haven’t seen you around the ED as much,” he interrupted.
“That’s right, you’re Will’s brother, the cop.”
“Detective,” he corrected her, sternly.
“Right, it’s been a while…,” she said staring past him, “I guess I must’ve talked myself out of it being you.”
“Why’s that?” he asked.
“I figure a cop-I mean detective, would use the gun range at his precinct.”
Sarah stared at his face; waited patiently for a response, but Jay was looking down and he did not appear to be preparing to answer her question. He finished dabbing the cut and was now wrapping a band aid around it. He returned the supplies to the closet and then closed it. Jay turned and walked to his spot on the range as Sarah walked to hers. They were fitting their ear protection on when Sarah stopped and turned to Jay. Feeling her eyes on him he glanced over.
“Thank you,” Sarah said as she adjusted her glasses.
Jay nodded and then yelled.
“Range is hot!”
Sarah turned to her target and squeezed the trigger.
Two days earlier.
“I think presented with what see here there is an absolute case for this being some kind of head injury and not schizophrenia,” Daniel argued.
“But Dr. Charles, he has long family history of schizophrenia; his father, his uncle. This family is desperate, and they can barely afford this visit let alone the scan he needs to verify your diagnosis, which I don’t believe he even has!” Sarah insisted.
“You know Sarah, I’ve been doing this awhile and maybe just maybe I might know what I’m talking about.”
“Dr. Charles-,” Sarah started.
“-The answer is no kiddo. Send him back to the ED,” Daniel stated coolly as he walked away.
His behavior had been like this ever since his return to the ED. He hadn’t really been treating patients and it wasn’t just Sarah who’d noticed. Dr. Kwon, Sharon, Connor, Robin, everyone who really knew him had become concerned with his behavior since he’d returned. Sarah was more frustrated than angry. She couldn’t put her finger on the exact moment she realized the change in him, but it was sometime after the shooting and had only gotten worse after the trial. Daniel was barely seeing any patients, he locked himself in his office doing research and signing off on rounds from the residents, but he was one of the few psychiatrists on staff with the expertise and skill at treating some of the more severe mental illnesses and personality disorders. But Daniel wasn’t having any of it. There was always an excuse; an assessment to be written, or paperwork that needed immediate attention. None of it have been nearly as alarming as when he went to trial and changed his testimony on Kellogg’s state of mind. He had deterred from the initial assessment and the consensus he and Sarah agreed upon. Sarah’s testimony sealed Kellogg’s fate and added new strain to her working relationship with Daniel. So, there was no going back; she wasn’t sending this patient back to the ED.
Jay had been using the private club for almost a week. When he wasn’t with Camila he was shooting at the gun range or drinking at her bar. Fiscally it made more sense for him to be at the department’s range, free ammo, and the shooting time gave him credit towards his continuing training certification. But everyone was there; Hailey was there. Although he was still an effective detective he could feel her eyes. On one hand her gaze came across as judgment but also as sympathy; neither were sentiments he felt like entertaining or addressing with her. Jay had things under control, at least with work. He went to grab the other pistol he kept in his gear bag and more ammo before the shine of her blonde hair caught in the corner of his eye.
“Are you following me?” he snapped.
“Damn, not even a hello,” Hailey answered flatly.
Jay gave her a sharp look as he carried his small gear bag to the shooting floor.
“Yeah, you got me, I am,” Hailey admitted.
“Why?” Jay asked with the same annoyed tone.
“You know why,” she quipped back.
“I told you I’m good,” he insisted as he pulled his gun from the bag.
Hailey eyed his actions. Jay caught her with that same dichotomous look of judgement and pity.
“You haven’t been to psych to get cleared… since Luis.”
“Really Hailey,” he remarked both surprised and offended, “Like I said, I’m handling it.”
Hailey pursed her lips as he walked away. She knew he was lying; because she’d followed him to more than just the gun range.
“Lucy, would you be so kind as to explain to an old man what I’m seeing here,” Dr. Charles asked his nurse gently but emergently irritated.
“Of course, Doctor Charles, this is the list of patients you’re supposed to evaluate tomorrow,” she answered precisely.
He gave her a tight nod and looked back down at the digital notepad before walking off to find Sarah.
She had been in the ED, circumventing his advisement and getting Gregory Dekker into psych treatment and then to the state hospital per a recommendation; from who, well she hadn’t figured out that tricky detail yet. She hadn’t planned much, but to do the right thing, and the right thing wasn’t always easy; but it was always right. Sarah noticed on Dekker’s chart that a flag for confirmation was sent to the C.O.P…Daniel.
“Shit,” said whispered to herself.
Before she could think of what to do next a man yelling in the ED caught everyone’s attention.
“Please! I need help!” he shouted.
“Sir, if you could go back to the front and wait your turn someone will be with you shortly,” Maggie answered curtly.
“There won’t be time for that because by then my wife will be dead.”
The blood ran cold in everyone’s veins in the ED as Maggie looked to the man with shock now.
A heavily pregnant woman waddled next to him.
“Ben, calm down that isn’t going to happen,” she begged, “I’m his wife and I am fine.”
“Not if I'm in the house, I don’t know what I’ll do,” he responded but he wouldn’t make eye contact with his wife.
Maggie looked around for some sort of rescue and spotted Sarah.
“Dr. Reese, I need you!” she yelled over.
Sarah nodded and walked over. The issue with C.O.P confirmation would have to wait.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Reese, what seems to be the issue?”
He stared at her white jacket and read her field of expertise. The information seemed to allow him to exhale the breath he’d been holding.
“Oh, thank god, I need to be restrained, and kept away from my wife,” he said urgently.
The heavily pregnant woman just rolled her eyes in exhaustion.
“How about we find somewhere private to speak,” Sarah answered with a reassuring half-smile.
“No! No more talking! I have done enough talking I need to be locked up!” he shouted.
“Do you want me to call Dr. Charles?” Maggie whispered from the corner of her mouth.
“No, it’s alright, I got this,” Sarah answered, “Well all of the rooms to admit you to the psych wing are upstairs, but I still need to do an evaluation before you’re admitted,” Sarah stated confidently.
She had no intention of locking this man up. Patients who needed that kind of restraint weren’t known for asking for it beforehand. Sarah walked him up and then dropped him off in an interview room and ran to the cafeteria to ask a small favor of the staff. Just barely missing a fuming Daniel.
His hand was twitching just like it did the night he was shot. A reminder to stay alive; stay awake. It had now become a trigger. The moment between not knowing if he was going to have a full-on panic attack or persevere and contain the enormity of his emotions. He took a deep breath and stopped off the elevator to ask Maggie if she’d seen Sarah.
“She just took Ben, Mrs. Samuels husband upstairs Dr. Charles…actually would you mind escorting her up?” Maggie asked giving Holly a supportive pat on the shoulder.
Although still angry, Daniel never passed up the chance to perform an act of gentlemanly courtesy, so he stuck his arm out and she followed the way. It was one of the few times he’d allowed himself to be completely alone with a stranger, albeit a fairly harmless one; but the calmness was welcomed.
And it could’ve placated him had he not caught site of the stressed residents banging at one of their interview room doors.
“Wait right here, Ms. Samuels,” Daniel said.
He wanted to see what all the commotion was about.
“She’s locked herself in!” one intern exclaimed.
Daniel looked through the two-way glass to see Sarah sitting. Ben was pacing back and forth.
“I think about what it would be like to bash her skull in and see bits of her brains. I dream of pushing her down the stairs to see how her bones would break. I constantly think about slicing her neck open and just watching the blood pour out,” he admitted frantically.
“Okay, I think we should try something,” Sarah began, “Please have a seat.”
Ben stared at Sarah and the mysterious package she had her hand placed upon.
“If you believe you are actually capable of killing someone, then here.”
She began unfolding the cloth until the shine of the knife revealed itself.
His eyes went wide, and his breath quickened. Ben slowly reached across the table and traced the outline of the blade. Almost savoring its profile; a macabre fantasy seconds away from the tip of his fingers.
“You can try it out here and now Ben,” Sarah stated confidently, “Then you’d still have your wife to cut up.”
He stared at her as his fingers continued lightly traced the blade. Sarah slowly slid her curls into her hands pinning them up and out of the way; exposing her neck. Their eyes were now locked in a fierce-cool stare. Sarah slowly unbuttoned the next button on her top, revealing more flesh; a landscape of violent harvest for Ben. He eyed the enticing gesture and almost as if a hypnotist had snapped their finger and told him it was time to wake-up; he did.
“See, you were never going to hurt anyone, we can’t always control our thoughts, but we don’t have to be ruled by them either and most importantly we can choose to not act upon them.”
Sarah gave him a small half-smile and got up. His shoulders slumped and the anticipation in his eyes flamed out.
“I’ll have the nurse work up your discharge papers,” Sarah said.
Before closing the door Ben finally spoke up.
“Thank you,” he acknowledged shakily.
Sarah nodded and closed the door. No matter what happened with the C.O.P for Dekker Sarah felt good; until she saw him.
“Dr. Reese, a word, now.”
Sarah hadn’t realized the parade of residents and medical students gathered around her interview room; to see if the man would actually do it. But it was the angry bull coming in the shape of Daniel Charles who finally helped her realize the gravity of the situation. She followed him to his office. The hard snap of the door foreshadowed his sentiment.
“Dr. Charles before you begin, I had everything under control-,” she started.
“-Oh, we’ll get to whatever that-heck-that was back there in a minute. What part of send Mr. Dekker back to the ED sounds like admit Mr. Dekker to Pysch? Am I not still the Chief of Psychiatry here?” He asked petulantly.
“You are but-…you haven’t been acting like it lately,” Sarah answered.
Daniel stopped surprised.
“I think you are misdiagnosing patients because you don’t want to deal with any-,” she continued.
“Mr. Dekker did not complain of a head injury and he had no history of substantial head trauma but had clear indicators of schizophrenia!” Sarah pleaded, “But that would heighten the chance of him being a violent patient and recently you haven’t behaved like you want to take on any of those cases.”
Sarah’s voice was urgent, professional, but also empathetic.
“We aren’t talking about me right now Dr. Reese we are talking about you,” he quipped back.
His voice was pointed like an arrow and his hand had begun twitching again.
“Yes, we are, your judgment has been-,” Sarah began, her voice heightened.
“-My judgement! I just watched you lock yourself in a room with a patient and a weapon and we are talking about my judgement!”
“You’re afraid! And I think you might have PTSD, the stand-off behavior with the patients and the-,” Sarah began gesturing to his hand.
“Do not finish that sentence Dr. Reese! As of today, you are suspended from my service for the next two weeks!”
There was only one person who spoke his designation so commonly, so familiar; Sharon. The click of door was as instant as her arrival.
She stood in the hall; right outside the outline of the door frame. Sarah looked over at her and then excused herself from the situation. Sharon closed the door behind Sarah as she exited.
“You hired her because she thinks for herself, but this is the second time you’ve used it against her…I got to say Daniel, this is not what I expected from you when you took her into your service.”
“Why does everyone seem to want to challenge my judgment today?” Daniel asked irritated.
“Because since the trial your judgement has been questionable!” she snapped back.
“Not you too Sharon,” Daniel remarked defeatedly before retreating into his chair.
Sharon pursed her lips together shook her head.
“We’re not done talking about this Daniel,” she finished before walking towards the door to chase Sarah down.
“Dr. Reese,” she called pointedly.
“Ms. Goodwin,” Sarah answered looking down.
She felt ashamed at being suspended. But Sharon’s understanding eyes forced hers up.
“I don’t know how to handle this, he needs help, but he isn’t in a position to accept any and now it’s messing with my job,” Sarah replied.
Her cheeks were flushed pink at the realization.
“You let me worry about that,” Sharon said as she put her hand to Sarah’s back.
She turned them toward to the elevator and led them to her office.
“Have a seat Sarah,” she offered.
Sarah sat down, arms crossed in frustration.
“I know there’s a lot happening with Daniel and those who can, will speak with him about it, in the meantime I have a favor I need to ask of you.”
Sarah perked up wondering what Goodwin could possibly need her help on.
“A friend of mine from the CPD would like an evaluation done, kind of off the books for one of his detectives,” Sharon said as she slid a file folder to Sarah. “I will ask Dr. Kwon to sign off on your notes. All of the details and concerns are in the folder. The quicker he knows what’s going on with the detective the better,” Sharon finished.
Sarah grabbed the folder and opened it and then looked up.
“I guess I’ll have some free time…,” Sarah started.
She opened the folder to see who the patient was before looking up at Sharon and saying;
"I’ll stop by the station tomorrow.”
Cops used to make Sarah nervous after all they were just people with guns; albeit unstable ones per her folder. But now she felt equal to them. Since finishing her gun safety and training classes she felt empowered and secure. She was almost to the stairs of the precinct when she saw him come out. The door practically swinging open as he dramatically skipped down the stairs. There was an air of agitation in his movement and it was explained by his partner coming out seconds later, looking around and then quickly heading in his direction.
Sarah watched them and then quickly ran back to her car and followed his partner. When she finally arrived down the gravel road tearing at her compact car she realized they were at the gun range. Sarah stayed a while looking through his folder; watching nothing happen. Soon his partner emerged, and Sarah quickly sunk down into her seat. His partner went to her vehicle and drove it farther out to a spot in the lot; hiding. Jay came out twenty minutes after; hopped in his truck. Driving away; like a magnet his partner was behind him.
Sarah sat up and got out of her car and walked into the gun store at the front of the range.
“Hi, how can help you?” the man behind the counter asked.
“How do you become a member of this gun range?” she asked.
Chapter 2: The Detective and The Doctor
Everyone has an angle to play. But who is playing who? A dangerous person enters the equation.
I had no idea how long it had been since I updated! I'll try and get a better schedule so it's not a month between chapters!
“I like when you stay the night,” she said as she nuzzled his ear.
Jay had his eyes closed but he grinned at the softness of her nose against him.
“You do huh…maybe I’ll stay tonight.”
“Or we can stay at yours?” Camila asked.
Jay let out a sigh and broke away from her. He sat and turned his back to Camila, his feet planted on the floor ready to leave.
“It’s not exactly a place…I crash on my pop’s couch,” he answered.
Camila sat up and wrapped her arms loosely around his neck, trailing the back of it with little kisses.
“Well, that means getting to hear some very embarrassing little Ryan stories, right?”
“My dad has never had much to say about me,” Jay answered coldly.
“Mine either, Luis was like a father, brother, protector,” Camila answered forlornly.
“He was great guy, how about I stop by the bar and we can end up here again?” Ryan proposed.
“Okay,” she answered giving him another quick kiss.
Jay stood up pulling his shirt over his head. He had to be at work in forty minutes, much longer than his regular commute. But he had found a strange addiction in Camila. He could’ve backed off, but he needed to find some kind of salvation for what his actions had led to. Voight might have been ready to live with anything to get to the greater good, but it was a house Jay found uncomfortable to inhabit.
When he arrived at the station and headed to the Intelligence Division’s portion of the office it felt like any other day. A quick rundown of the current cases and the next one a homicide on the west side.
“Upton, Burgess, you’re up,” Voight commanded.
Hank strolled back into his office. Usually at the sound of Hailey’s name Jay was ready to go but he stopped. The two women walked past him, coffees in hand, as if working together was the norm. Jay marched towards Voight’s office pulling the door behind him.
“Sarge what heck, why am I not going?” he asked.
“Because frankly Halstead there’s been some talk and it’s a little unsettling,”
“Did Upton say something?”
“Why, did something happen Jay?”
Jay situated his shoulders glancing over quickly enough to not make his eye-roll so noticeable. Just then a knock came.
“Come in,” Voight answered gruffly.
“Detective Halstead this is Dr. Sarah Reese,” he announced.
“We’ve met,” Jay answered tamely.
He wouldn’t look Sarah in the eye.
“Detective,” she said trying to meet his eyes.
“Dr. Reese is going to do a psychiatric evaluation on you,” Voight declared.
Jay’s jaw tightened as he glanced Sarah’s way. She had been staring at him with a neutral gaze.
“There’s an office down the hall you can use,” Voight said before taking a seat to begin his paperwork.
Sarah immediately took the cue and walked out of the office following the direction down the hall to the secluded space Hank had shown her fifteen minutes before Jay’s arrival. The office might as well have been an interrogation room. There was a slick desk with just a couple of drawers. One chair to it’s front and the other facing it. No pictures adorned the walls and no windows allowed for light. This was a room of seclusion and secrecy. The harsh drag of the metal chair against the concrete was another signal to Sarah that Jay was not at all happy about being here. It stole Sarah’s first segue into asking him to sit down.
“Sergeant Voight didn’t tell you I was doing your evaluation before today,” Sarah remarked.
“No, but you knew huh,” Jay stated coldly.
“Does the range have anything to do with why I’m here?” she asked.
“Why were you at the range?” he prodded.
“I like to shoot; the better question is why you were there. I toured this precinct and your shooting range is a lot more impressive than the one I shoot at.”
“Did you follow me?” Jay asked.
“That’s the second time you haven’t answered that question…hmmm,” Sarah stated as she jotted down something on her notepad.
“Evasive, irritated, bordering on hostile.”
Jay huffed and sat back in his chair.
“So, what’s the goal here? Why am I here?” he asked.
“Why do you think you’re here,” she countered.
“Jesus Christ, we aren’t going to do this are we?!”
“That’s entirely up to you Detective Halstead,” Sarah answered.
His anger was to be expected. Most people react in all kinds of different ways if you tell them you suspect something may be unhealthy about their bodies but the reaction to even the slightest assumption that something might be wrong with their head is enough to start wars.
“Than not,” he replied.
Jay stood up and walked to the door slamming it. Sarah jotted down a few more notes.
“Unresponsive to basic psychotherapy, agitation, anger.”
It wasn’t much, but she had to turn in this little amount to Dr. Kwon. Sarah got up stuffing the notepad in her bag and heading out to the hall. She passed Jay at his desk tapping a pen atop the surface.
“I’m heading to the hospital if you change your mind,” Sarah offered softly.
“I won’t,” Jay grumbled.
Sarah drove to the hospital, parking in a guest spot. She was suspended and needed to get to Sharon’s office without being spotted. She slipped in virtually unknown to the staff, taking stairs and careful routes to Goodwin’s office to deliver her notes.
“How’d it go?” Sharon inquired.
“Not well, he doesn’t seem receptive to treatment, but he’s hiding something,” Sarah responded.
“Voight thinks so too, your evaluation will determine his future, try and get him to talk to you.”
“With all do respect Ms. Goodwin if a patient isn’t ready to receive treatment no matter what the ailment than they won’t seek help.”
“He’s a good cop he just needs help,” she said before sitting in her chair, “I’ll make sure Dr. Kwon gets your notes.”
Sarah nodded and stood up ready to leave when she asked.
“How is Dr. Charles?”
“We’re getting there Dr. Reese, just handle this case.”
Sarah thought about heading home but she wondered if she should stop by the gun range. There was a chance she could get another crack at Jay there but if not shooting gave her the rush and release she craved more and more each day.
Hank was coming from his office when he noticed Jay sitting at his desk, half twirling in his chair, tapping his pen in agitation.
“What are you doing Halstead?”
“We’re done…all good,” he said nonchalantly.
“Get in here…now,” Voight hissed.
Jay stood up trying his best to hide the attitude burgeoning under his skin.
“Sit down!” Voight yelled.
Jay honored the command and plopped down in the chair facing Hank.
“You really don’t get it do you? I have her evaluating you because I’m not sure about the psych eval you’re supposed to get from our psychologist!” he lectured.
“I just haven’t had time to schedule it-,” Jay began.
“-Yadda yadda yada please save those lies for someone who doesn’t know you! For someone who hasn’t seen you talking in sleep like a ghoul or acting too aggressive in a staged fight at a bar or pointing a gun in the face of your partner!”
Jay looked down at his fingers like a child being chastised in the office of the principal.
“You better find Dr. Reese and tell her exactly what she needs to hear so I know you’re prepared for our people, now get out,” he finished.
Jay stood up and left.
Sarah had just fitted on her earmuffs when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
“He doesn’t normally come here on Mondays,” Hailey said.
Sarah was shocked to see her.
“Who?” Sarah asked.
Hailey smirked from the corner of her lips.
“I saw you last week…it was smart of you to take the bus last time but today you drove…same car,” Hailey said.
“I’ve been looking for a range,” Sarah said, avoiding Hailey’s observation.
“Has he been able to open up?” Hailey asked.
“Detective Upton you know I can’t tell you that.”
“It’s Hailey,” she corrected her.
“Hailey, I can’t even tell you if I’m treating whoever you think I’m treating,” Sarah said with smirk to match Hailey’s.
Sarah situated her earmuffs and got in her ready stance. Hailey watched but just before she shot she felt Hailey’s hand upon hers. Hailey pulled one side of her ear muff away.
“If you hold it like this,” she started as she laced her fingers through Sarah’s, “You won’t clip yourself again.”
She let her hands linger a tick too long, her breath tickling Sarah’s ear. Usually the build-up to shoot was momentary but this time her heart raced. Sarah took a deep breath and fired. Hailey was still next to her.
“That feels good,” Sarah all but whispered as she swallowed.
Hailey grinned and then walked away.
Sarah hadn’t been with a woman since undergrad and she almost chalked it up to it being an “experimental” thing because she hadn’t dated any women since. It was almost as if the women who dated women knew she slept with men too and it was like some kind of repellant. But not since college had she felt what she felt at that range. Dr. Charles would say to her that she needed to keep a distance between herself and his colleagues. Anything else even after his evaluation could stink of impropriety and damage her reputation. But it was fun to wonder. To fantasize that Hailey might actually be flirting with her. She knew Sarah had followed them so what game was she playing at? Maybe it wasn’t Sarah at all that Hailey fancied but Jay. And just like an incantation to think of him or say his name he was there. Standing in Sarah’s hallway knocking on the door.
“Detective Halstead,” Sarah said perplexed by his visit.
“Doc, I stopped by the hospital, but you weren’t there,” he admitted.
Sarah nodded and unlocked the door. Jay took in the tiny space. It was almost a studio but for two doors, one of which could be a bedroom the other obviously the bathroom. The walls were covered in books upon the floor to ceiling shelves, a small clean kitchen, a comfy white sofa and an arm chair adorned the room. It was cozy.
“Can I get you something to drink?” Sarah asked as she took off her jacket.
“Uh water,” Jay answered.
Sarah filled two glasses and sat them down on the table. She sat in her armchair across from him; watching him study her place; taking her things to memory. The silence grew in the room until Sarah asked.
“Why do you think you’re here?”
“Being a detective is one of the most fulfilling roles I have ever taken on. I need to convince Voight I’m fine, so I can go back to doing that,” he answered.
Sarah grabbed a notepad off her coffee table and began writing. Jay stared at her intently as she scribbled his life down on that paper; his future.
“So, what do I need to tell you so that you understand that I don’t need to be here?” he asked.
“To begin with, Detective Halstead I am a psychiatrist, not a psychologist, I am here to see if there is anything going on with you mentally that can be treated medically, it’s less psychotherapy but more of an assessment of your needs to determine if a diagnosis for mental illness is even appropriate and if so what medical regiment you would need to follow to manage your symptoms.”
Jay let out an annoyed sigh. Sarah stared at him and realized that even though she wasn’t a psychotherapist Jay could be the perfect candidate for her to try her psychotherapy skills upon. Gaining experience in psychotherapy would make her a better diagnostician in psychiatry and she was ready to prove to everyone just how wrong Dr. Charles was in suspending her. This would be her chance; Detective Halstead would be her guinea pig.
“Okay…how do we start?” he asked.
“First, some ground rules,” Sarah began, “We meet here and only here, I need to see you as Jay Halstead, not the detective and not the brother of a doctor who works at my hospital, second, we must meet everyday for the next two weeks, and finally, I am not going to spoon feed you the right answers because there are none, do you agree to these terms?” Sarah asked sternly.
Jay looked as though he wanted to get up and run again but he let out a defeated sigh and nodded his head. Jay looked at his watch.
“I can’t really stay right now, I have somewhere to be…but what time tomorrow?”
Sarah and Jay agreed upon his lunch hour. Jay got up immediately and headed to the bar Camila worked at.
The twitch in Daniel’s hand was back. It was the anticipation of another mini-intervention. Lydia had paged him to let him know Connor Rhodes was in his office. Daniel walked around the corner and took a deep breath before opening the door. Hoping to steady himself for the onslaught. However, Connor was standing and a man he didn’t recognize was sitting.
“And there is the hospital’s brilliant Chief of Psychiatry,” Connor announced.
His tone was both an introduction and patronizing coddle of Daniel. He was one of the few who knew about Daniel’s rocky adjustment back to the ED.
“Dr. Rhodes what can I do for you?” Daniel asked as he sat down.
“This is Dr. Robert Haywood, he is in late stage heart failure and the wait to get a heart has left him bereft,” Connor answered carefully.
“-Depressed, Dr. Rhodes so elegantly side stepped the words depressed,” Robert announced from his chair with a strange smile.
Daniel let out another breath of relief, an infirmed-depressed patient was exactly what he could handle. He knew a thing or two of the fears of mortality.
“It’s nice to meet you Dr. Haywood,” Daniel finally said, “Let’s see what we can do for you.”
Connor took those words as a perfect exit and left the office.
“So, what seems to be the hardest part of this for you?” Daniel asked.
“Besides being able to barely go up and down the stairs without seeing flashes of the pearly gate?” Bob joked.
The quip made Daniel laugh and Bob too.
“My sex life is dead in the water, I miss classes, you see I teach, I’m no saw-bones,” he admitted with another peculiar smile.
“One of my old undergrad students works here…do you know Sarah Reese?”
Daniel nodded awkwardly.
“Is she around, I’d love to say hello.”
“-Uh, no Dr. Reese is actually out for the next two weeks,” Daniel answered sharply.
Bob nodded slowly, “Ah, I see…students,” he remarked before giggling a bit.
Daniel’s face softened, and he joined him in the odd laughter. Until Bob started coughing and then wheezing.
“Let me get you something to drink,” Daniel offered.
He got up and went to the hall to get a cup of water from the cooler. Bob stood up and looked around the desk for a rolodex. He scanned it quickly and grabbed the card out. He heard the door and started coughing.
“Oh, thank you, you’re very kind,” he said clearing his throat, “Ultimately I know there is no hope for me, I’m too low on the transplant list and I just need to come to grips with things, with people,” Bob admitted.
“Who do you feel like you don’t have closure with?’ Daniel asked.
“I have a daughter, her mother poisoned her against me in the divorce and it was easier just to stay away…well I guess easier for me,” he said as he lowered his head in shame, “I need to make amends but I’m not sure how to,” he explained.
“I would say they first step is to reach out.”
Sarah got up every morning for a run. Exercising every morning before eating was recommended for weight loss. Not that Sarah needed to, but it had become ritual. Even in medical school when sleep was scarce. Followed tentatively by black coffee, Splenda sweetner, and a grapefruit with dry toast. However, the man at her door was not a part of her morning ritual. When she answered the door, he stood there and so did she. She looked at him like a bad memory and he saw her as a salvation.
“Hi, I know it’s been a long time but I’m-,” he began.
“-I know who you are,” Sarah swiftly said cutting him off.
“May I come in?”
Sarah was almost keen to say no but she finally stopped looking through her rage colored glasses to see him. His yellowish skin, matted hair from sweat by the smallest excursion, and the dark colors under his eyes.
“I’m not on drugs if that’s what you’re thinking…Well I am but I take them to prolong what’s left of my life.”
His eyes held a fear and a vulnerability Sarah couldn’t shake away. She opened the door wider to allow him in. Bob drank in her apartment.
“I play too,” he disclosed at the sight of her keyboard.
“It’s been over twenty years since I’ve seen you, not a card, a phone call…a letter,” Sarah said as her voice cracked.
She inhaled deeply to control any tears that might form.
“I know, and I’m deeply sorry, children shouldn’t have to pay because of the squabbles of their parents.”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“I’m in heart failure…it’s only matter of time,” he said with another misplaced smile.
“I don’t want money or anything I just want a chance to get to know you, you have always been in my heart Sarah, I just want into yours.”
He seemed sincere through the yellowing of his skin and his sallow eyes. A frail man wishing to cross an item off his bucket list.
“Dinner, I can do dinner,” Sarah answered succinctly.
She stood up and opened the door.
“Thank you, I’ll pick you at 7.”
Sarah closed the door and tried to eat her breakfast, but she’d lost her appetite. She snatched her cell phone.
“Laura Reese, yes I’m well aware she’s probably very busy, will you please tell her that this is her only child Sarah.”
The smooth jazz played as Sarah waited and waited with the recorded operator stating intermittently.
“The party you are calling will be with you in a moment please continue to hold.”
Enter smooth generic jazz, she watched her toast turn to ice cold as she waited.
“Sarah Danielle Reese you know how busy I am so this better be an emergency,” she said tightly.
“Dad showed up this morning at my house, he wants to have dinner.”
“What? That son-of-a bitch listen to me Sarah, you stay away from him!” she ordered.
“You never say why,” Sarah implored.
“-Yes Donna, I know, listen Sarah you’re a psychiatrist you’ll see…he’s dangerous,” she said before hanging up.
Chapter 3: Dad
Sarah has dinner with her father and gets an explanation for his absence, meanwhile Jay's behavior begins spiraling out of control.
Literally edited this for shit, sorry but my days keep getting busier and busier!
“Let’s talk about your father,” Sarah said sharply.
Jay sat stiff against her couch. She, across from him, in her arm chair. He had been staring at his fiddling fingers until she announced the topic.
“Pfft, not much to tell,” Jay answered after he rolled his eyes.
“I was joking,” Sarah said with a smirk, “Although I did want to see if you’d be open to the discussion.”
Jay shook his head no.
“I know this can’t be easy for you,” she said empathetically.
Jay stiffened again.
“Normally I’m asking the questions,” Jay said humbly.
“There was a name that came up in your file that I’d like to discuss…um Luis,” Sarah remarked.
“Not much to say there,” Jay answered succinctly.
His jaw tightened as he let out a huff.
“This isn’t going to work unless you start talking…it isn’t my career on the line,” Sarah sassed back.
“Luis was our in…we were supposed to be taking down a ring of criminals who were extorting other criminals,” Jay finally offered.
Sarah nodded, “How was he your ‘in’?”
“We both served in similar roles in the Army…as Rangers,” Jay answered.
It was the tiniest light that changed in his blue eyes. They were no longer full of frustration but now shame.
“How do you feel about that?” she asked.
“I didn’t have a problem with it,” he said shaking off his shame and putting the mask back on, “It was my idea to use my service to gain common ground with him.”
Sarah studied his face, his eyes, his hands, before softly looking down on her notepad to scribble.
“Masking shame, possible rage, motives unclear.”
“Please continue,” Sarah said setting the pen upon her notepad.
“We set up a scene in the bar just in case he wouldn’t let me in, I needed him to trust me,” Jay said.
“The fight at the bar…,” Sarah said.
“Yeah, eventually I gained a little bit of trust and he invited me along to one of their gigs, it went sideways, and he was shot and killed,” Jay finished.
Jay was staring out of Sarah’s window, the peak-a-boo rays of sunshine offering glimmers of hope quickly muted. A faint reminder of hope, innocence, and peace pressing to the surface but unable to truly shine through. The clouds shifted in front of the sun; it was now completely muted.
“I have somewhere I have to be,” Jay said breaking the silence.
He stood up and Sarah followed him to the door.
“I think we did better today Detective Halstead, thank you…but maybe next time we stay for the full hour, ” Sarah said as she opened the door for him.
Jay walked through and then turned around.
“My dad’s name is Pat and he’s a kind of a bastard, does that count?” Jay said with a smile before turning.
Sarah giggled and shut the door.
Father, fathers, daddy, dads. Patrick, Pat, Robert…Bob. Sarah had an appointment with hers that evening, a dinner but it was feeling more and more like an obligation. What did her mother mean?
The Northwestern campus brought back memories of Sarah’s days in undergrad. The crisp smell of the trees and the Chicago wind chilled against her skin. It brought back visions of early classes, frizzy hair always in a messy bun, studying, and Claire.
Or Hailey. Every mark of her footsteps made her question if the detective was behind her or around somewhere. She liked it. She hoped she wondered of her.
“Sarah, you look lovely,” Bob said through haggard breath.
He leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek. She inhaled his staleness; he wore death like cloth. It shrouded him.
“I ordered us a couple of steaks and a great red wine they have here-,”
“-I’m a vegetarian,” Sarah announced curtly.
“Oh, well it should go well with the beet and goat-cheese salad, soup is broccoli and cheddar or squash and pumpkin something like that… no meat,” he said with a nervous smile.
Every turn of their path was another student fondly saying hello to the illustrious Dr. Haywood. Sweet smiles from young women and adoration in the eyes of the young men. An unexpected pride began to swell in Sarah.
During dinner in between nods and pleasantries from other staff he prattled on about his studies, where he’d been, who he’d seen, one too many marriages.
“Were there any other children besides me?”
“No…not that anyone told me,” he said with smirk.
“Sarah, I really do want you to know that my biggest regret in this life was letting your mother railroad me into staying away.”
“Is that how it happened?” she asked, “Mom says your dangerous.”
“How is your mother, still too busy to be human?”
Sarah laughed. She was surprised by his candid humor and spot on description of her mother.
“Something like that,” Sarah said as she bit into a beet.
“I guess I could see why your mother would say I’m dangerous.”
Sarah raised both her eyebrows.
“Because I’m elusive.”
“Here’s the thing, when your mother and I got together I was just finishing my thesis and looking for the next challenge, she had finished law school and was trying to find a good firm to join…then she got pregnant.”
“I wasn’t planned?” Sarah asked astonished.
Bob shook his head with a sheepish smile.
“We were in the infancy of our relationship, I did what I thought was right and married her, but I longed to be somewhere else, to see more, to study more…to teach,” he said waving his fork around.
She watched Robert cut into his steak as the read juice dripped from his fork and into his mouth.
“Anyway, my parents were unhappy with the marriage and we tried to play house but by the time you were two years old we were fighting almost every day, it was exhausting, I mean have you ever argued with a lawyer?”
Sarah smiled again thinking of the numerous arguments she’d had with her mother.
“We were separating by the time you were three and half and completely divorced by the time you were four, she made it hell for me to try and see you…I think deep down she felt trapped and blamed me. But what mattered was winning; no matter the prize,” Bob admitted.
Sarah was watching him cutting his meat and tell their story as if he was explaining how to put a book shelf together. It was shell-shock for her. Did anyone ever want her? He caught her stare and asked.
“Does it bother you? The blood?” Robert asked absent mindedly.
“My parents, your grandparents, are Jewish, my grandparents kept kosher and having blood this close was not permitted,” he said as he scanned his next bite.
Sarah stared him at him gazing at the hunk of bovine with curiosity and pleasure.
“Blood you see, carries the life…the irony,” he said before popping the bite into his mouth.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“I have all the life I’ll ever need in this body, but not the heart to pump it.”
Sarah walked to her apartment from their dinner. It really was more than she’d expected. He was funny, charming, and vulnerable.
“I’d like to see you again Sarah.”
He’d said before she left. They made plans for another meal the next night.
At dinner she had been the frozen wall, almost scared to speak as she let Bob guide and control the conversation. Sarah was also watching him, wondering what her mother meant. Even if he was dangerous he was far too ill to pose a physical threat. Jay might not have been able to get along with his father, but at least she could amend roads with hers on his final days.
“Jay”, Sarah thought to herself.
She needed to finish the notes from their session and give them to Goodwin tomorrow.
The music was only one layer of commotion and pollution in the large warehouse. Smoking, flashing lights, and hundreds of conversations all brough chaos to the atmosphere. Camila’s head snapped up from the table as she aggressively sniffed up. She handed the cut off straw to Jay who was going to decline but realized he was on desk duty.
“Screw it and screw you Voight,” he thought as he bent down to the table.
He chose the thickest rail of coke to snort. Camila gave him a mischievous smirk as he jerked his head up from the table.
“You good?” She asked
Ryan nodded and closed in to kiss her. He only stopped when heard the fighting.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
His blue eyes wide and attentive as the coke drained to the back of his throat. There were two men screaming so loudly and aggressively the music seemed quiet. It slowed as his heartbeat quickened.
“I don’t know…,” Camila answered.
Ryan still hadn’t figured out what the argument was about when the first punch was thrown. The man’s long reach hit one person who somehow was not paying attention to the fight. Idiot.
He turned around angry to confront who hit him when he was knocked out and to the ground. His head made a sickening thud on the concrete floor as his companion ran to his aid. Another man jumped into the fight, then another, until the fight became a brawl. Camila swept the rest of the lines into her bag, dragging her finger against the glass and rubbing the excess powder over her gums, she put one finger into Ryan’s mouth and over his gums. He sucked on her finger as the ball of human activity rolled their way. They got up quickly but couldn’t escape the rumble.
Another blindly rage-filled man kicked Camila in the leg and Ryan’s already racing heart accelerated into high gear. He was scraggily looking with ripped jeans and a blue sweater, torn from the fight. She punched the man, but not hard enough so Scraggily lunged at her, but Ryan pushed her aside. Each punch thrown forced a wave, absorbing through his knuckles and wrists as he’s pummeled the man. Camila pulled Ryan away and they began to run for the exit when the man got up chased them outside.
Ryan turned around and began his assault on the man; Camila, the harpy at his side kicked and stomped on the man. He wasn’t moving.
The adrenaline in her eyes urged him to follow her lead. The pair took off running down the blocks, street lights and signs whizzing past them; when they stopped, and Camila turned to Ryan. They stared at each other, his and hers eyes of heighten excitement, maybe even panic. Finally, Camila stopped the serious glare as a smile stretched across her face.
“Hahahaha,” she began laughing.
Ryan’s face melted, and he began laughing too. She grabbed the back of his neck; pulling his lips to hers, he used both hands to cup her face; his fingers casually sliding through her dark locks. He pushed her against a brick wall, lifting her skirt, she quickly unbuttoned his pants. His bloodied hand cupped her chin as he gnawed like an animal against it. The coke-fueled ecstasy only intensified when he hit her slickness. It dialed up the notch on his speeding heart. Camila wrapped her boots around him smearing the blood from their tips against his thigh. Their numb tongues circling in each other’s mouths. White filled his vision as his heart outpaced his rhythm inside her.
“Ryan!” Camila hissed through each breath.
His climax anesthetized from the coke circulating through his veins.
What a sight they were to the car that followed them down the two blocks they’d ran and the detective who sat behinds it’s wheel.
Even though they'd only had two sessions, Sarah felt as though she wasn’t getting as far as she’d like with Jay. With only eight days left to come up with an analysis She had her work cut out. He was still so resistant, and it was obvious he was hiding something; maybe a lot of somethings. She pondered other methods; of other kinds of treatments. Maybe even some non-conventional ones. She began typing her notes for Dr. Kwon.
“Patient’s physical has come back clean, CT, tox, and blood panels all negative for elevated white cell counts, barbiturates, and hallucinogenic drugs.
Psychosis from a physical factor are not present.
The patient is non-responsive to even the most basic personal questions. My recommendation is a combination of psycho and hypnotherapy to uncover the underlying issues of deceptive wording and defensive language.”
“I was stunned by your recommendation for hypnosis, that’s not something we do
casually,” Dr. Kwon remarked stiffly.
He had come down to Sharon’s office; prompted by her last set of notes.
“I think it could be effective,” Sarah answered.
“Hypnosis runs too much of the risk of influencing the patient’s memory, it taints the diagnosis. Dr. Reese please don’t stray too far down the psychotherapy line. Establish the basis, ask the questions. How long do you sleep, appetite changes, etc. I haven’t seen anywhere on your notes that you’ve gone through the checklist before heading down this path.”
Sarah nodded tightly and then headed to the range. She needed to let off some steam.
The hum of some oldies tune played on the radio. There weren’t any people in the store and no sounds of shots in the back to hint that there was any company other than Jay and the clerk. Exactly the way he liked it. The sweet satisfaction soured at the site of Sarah loading her gun. Her presence was a reminder that there were always eyes on his behavior; either from Hailey or her. However, she paid him no mind which began to tick him off more than he’d realized. He let his bag hit the floor in a thud. His temper tantrum still being ignored by Sarah as she stood up and walked to the firing line. She didn’t call out a signal, she just walked up, tilted her head, and began firing as casually as someone tossing a piece of up paper in the trash. She hit the button as the conveyor brought her poster forward. Three hits to mouth, three to the groin, and two to the forehead. She slid off her head gear and sat down; finally looking over to Jay who was counting his mags before loading his gun.
“Detective Halstead,” Sarah announced.
“Doc,” he answered tightly.
Immediately Sarah could hear the tension in his voice. Eight days was all she had to test her skills and impress Goodwin and Dr. Kwon. She examined his body language; he loaded his gun like a prisoner trying to hide contraband, not that it surprised her, she already knew he was hiding something, and then she looked closer at his hands. Sarah slowly stood up and walked over to the wall where the first aid kit hung. She sat on the ground in front of a somewhat surprised but equally perturbed Jay.
“Would you like to talk about how your hand got this way?” Sarah asked as she reached for the wounded limb.
Jay snatched it away.
“I just came to shoot,” he answered as loaded his gun.
Sarah nodded tightly and set the first aid kit back on the wall. She picked up her things and walked out. Jay shot for another twenty minutes before seeing Sarah propped against his SUV.
“Your file says that you took a staged fight too far and you may have injured one of your undercover actors,” Sarah began.
Jay went to open the passenger side door to toss his bag in the car.
“I think your objective was to show that you had Luis’ back, to gain his trust, but I think you ended up fighting for someone else’s honor…Luis lived with a sister-,”
“-Back the hell up!” Jay yelled as he got in her face, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Sarah’s heart was beating like a humming bird in her chest, but she stood her ground getting in his face.
“If I’m on the wrong track then please… enlighten me,” she hissed back.
Jay shook his head and got into his SUV.
“I’ll see you tomorrow at noon Detective,” Sarah stated defiantly.
Jay screeched and screamed his tires out of the parking lot as Sarah looked on.
He stayed on the couch that night. He wanted to stay at Camila’s, but Sarah had rattled his chain. The door slammed not so ceremoniously as his dad left for work. Jay got up made a pot of coffee and took a shower. Riding a desk was already becoming stale but more than anything it was embarrassing; having all his colleagues know he was benched and probably speculating as to why. He’d felt disconnected from them lately. Like know one understood. However, his ears perked up when Kevin got off the phone with Med.
“Who’s in the hospital?” Jay asked as he plopped down in the chair next to Atwater.
“Some John Doe, he was picked up off the ground outside a pop-up party. A brawl got out of hand and this guy was found outside beaten up and unconscious,” Kevin said as he tossed the picture over.
Jay’s heart dropped to his stomach. He was staring at the picture, but the guy was far too beat up for him to tell. Was it Scraggily? He’d been so high and speeding out of his mind he had no idea.
“Ready?” Ruzek asked as he strolled up.
Atwater nodded, and he stood up to leave. Jay looked over Atwater’s file, studying the face, the details but there wasn’t much. They’d have more after they collected the victims’ clothes at the hospital. He paced around his desk; spaced out one minute, then full of anxiety the next. He toyed with the idea of calling Will, but he didn’t want his name to be anywhere near it. He tapped his foot impatiently. Finally, he got up and escaped the police department. He needed to find Camila.
Chapter 4: You Don’t Have To Go Home….
Everyone is making discoveries.
I edited this for shit. I'm sorry, I have had zero time and my wrists are screaming. So my apologies. I'll probably nip and tuck later.
“So, our last session you disclosed a desire to reconnect with your daughter, have you been able to do that?” Dr. Charles asked.
He was staring across his desk at the infirmed man in front of him. Bob’s pasty-yellow skin and sallow eyes were a perfect reflection of the sand slipping from his hourglass. With another one of his strange smiles he replied;
“I called her, we had dinner, and we are having dinner again tonight.”
“That’s great, that’s really great to hear-.”
“”-Yes, she’s healthy and vivacious, smart like her old man although at times it’s unnerving the way she looks at me,” Bob said with another sheepish smile.
“She has her mother’s eyes.”
Daniel tilted his head in confusion,
“Laura had this way of looking at me as if she was peeling off my skin!”
Daniel and Bob shared a laugh.
“I think I know that look,” he responded; still laughing.
Bob continued laughing until he started coughing and pulled a small tank out with an oxygen mask. The machine; another reminder of his fate. Daniel’s smile faded before he asked;
“How do you think she’ll respond to your sickness…and eventual death?”
After taking in a deep breath Bob looked to Daniel as if the question was completely absurd.
“I liked to think of this as a new beginning and not an end to my chapter,” he stated confidently.
His tone and answer made Daniel a little nervous. Initially he thought Bob was out of the denial phase and into acceptance but his cadence was worrying.
“Can I ask you a favor?” Dr. Charles began, “ I have a questionnaire that I have been working on for a number of weeks; questions to help me refine the diagnostic process. Would you mind filling one out?”
Bob looked almost bored by the question but he shrugged and agreed. The questionnaire was part of the research that held Daniel up in his office on a regular basis. Each question listed would be no different than most but a deviation from any single question would lead the test to any underlying issues that psychotherapy and dishonesty couldn’t root out. If executed properly he could have patients diagnosed before they ever got to the point where Kellog was. Daniel sent Bob the link and then walked him out.
“Well I hope that your dinner goes well, and get the test back to me as soon as you can,” Dr. Charles said.
Everyone was gone from the precinct when Hailey sped through the doors to find Hank in his office.
“We’ve got a huge problem,” Hailey stated.
Hank nodded and Hailey shut the door behind her. The mumblings from beyond the door would not let on the gravity of the subject matter they were discussing. Her leg bobbed up and down as the crooked wheels in Voight’s head spun.
“Obviously you need to continue to keep an eye on him, but you got to find this Camila.”
Hailey gave a stiff nod and began walking to the door.
“Hey Upton,” Voight called to her.
“This is just about the job right?”
“Alright,” he said leaning to pick up a paper from his desk, “Go find the girl.”
This had all gotten out of hand so quickly. She thought maybe Jay had been drinking too much or was having trouble sleeping, but he had a full-on double life and he may have committed a serious crime; attempted murder. The John Doe at Gaffney was beaten so badly he’d been put into a medically induced coma. Which would make discovering who he was that much harder.
A task Jay was eagerly trying to find out. He had stopped by Camila’s apartment, texted her, called her three times, stopped at the bar, and now in his desperate attempt he was at one of the many hang-outs she’d taken him to. He walked up to the building, still frantic and sweating.
Immediately she spotted him.
“Ryan…baby you look terrible, what’s wrong?”
“I- uh-I thought I might’ve left my wallet at that pop-up club we went to last night, but when I went back there, the place was crawling with cops…,” Ryan answered.
“They took some guy in…said something about attempted murder, Cam they found him outside...beaten,” Ryan hissed.
“Baby, you need to chill, okay, no one saw us and you don’t even know if it’s the same guy, no one’s asked anyone anything, okay?” She pulled his neck in and he let his forehead rest against her shoulder.
“Mila!” someone shouted.
“I’ll be right there!”
Ryan looked up and over.
“Who’s that? What’s going on?”
“It’s nothing, it’s business, you shouldn’t be here, meet me at the bar in few hours alright?”
Ryan nodded and Camila went back to the group and outside where the unnamed man stared at him too long for comfort before closing the door behind them.
Sarah had just finished her morning jog and was slicing her grapefruit when she heard a knock at the door. It was well over an hour before Jay was supposed to be there for his therapy session. Instead it was Hailey.
“Detective Upton…what can I do for you?”
Hailey practically pushed the door in and past Sarah. Looking around her small bathroom and cozy bedroom.
“Are there any other rooms in the apartment?” She asked frantically.
“-Excuse me…what the hell are you doing?! Why are you going through my apartment?!”
“Have you seen Jay? Has he been here?”
“Detective you know I can’t-.”
“-Cut the shit this is an emergency!”
“What’s the emergency?” Sarah asked.
Her tone; an attempt to affect the obvious stress in Hailey’s face. It worked. Hailey’s blue eyes softened at the sincerity in Sarah’s voice. She plopped down on her couch her hands running through her locks and stopping at the base of her neck. She pulled it in and set her gaze downward. Sarah carefully sat next to her.
“What’s going on Hailey?”
“He’s done something…something even I didn’t think he could do and now I’m running around trying to clean up his mess and I just- I don’t know if he is worth saving anymore…,” Hailey admitted.
“Why do you feel like you have to clean up his mess?” Sarah asked.
Hailey began to answer but stopped abruptly. She leaned back and studied Sarah’s face, her olive skin, her deep brown eyes, and the tiniest stray tendril dancing around her temple from the air conditioning.
“You shrinking me now doc?” She replied.
Sarah couldn’t help but smile a little at Hailey’s gaze. Hailey’s eyes fell to the floor again the momentary pause was just that, a pause before the reality of the Jay’s whereabouts set back in.
“Do you want t-to talk?” Sarah stammered.
“Maybe another time,” Hailey answered taking another quick look up and down Sarah’s face.
Sarah nodded as Hailey stood up and went to the door.
“Do you see a difference when you treat men versus women?” Hailey asked.
“Only the willingness of the patient to be treated, I never cared much if it was a man or a woman.”
Hailey smirked and pulled a card from her back pocket.
“If you talk to Jay, or see him…please call me.”
Jay was running around the city; he’d missed his noon appointment with Sarah to be everywhere, anywhere other than his desk. He found himself lurking around the neighborhood the pop-up club was held at. Biding his time like a wraith in the shadows until the scene was empty He searched for clues and stumbled upon the spot they’d left Scraggily. He bent down and collected a sample from the ground. If the blood matched the coma victim then he knew it was Scraggily. He sat in the car thinking about his next move. There was no refuge. He couldn’t tell Camila about his issues work because he was Ryan, and he couldn’t tell his work his obvious issues with Camila and the club because he was still Detective Halstead. He started the car and headed to a place where he was allowed to be neither.
Sarah had just finished ironing her black shift dress when she heard the knock on her door. She quickly slid into a pair of jeans and opened it.
“You’re about five hours late Detective.”
“Can I come in?”
His blue eyes were worse than a puppy dog, they were broken and desperate. Sarah nodded and widened the door. He walked over to his usual spot on the couch and plopped down, letting his keys fall to the coffee table, his head in hands and his face weary.
“Would you like to tell me what’s going on?”
Jay stared at the floor, then the wall, then finally to Sarah.
“Is it alright if we just sit a moment?”
His voice was frayed, but heavy, he looked like the kid who was avoiding the grounding he was going to get when he’d return home. Silence filled those minutes, then awkwardness. Sarah got up and gave him a glass of water and finished brushing her teeth and picking out her shoes. She couldn’t just sit anymore and it was clear Jay wasn’t ready to talk yet. Finally he said.
“Do you keep anything in the fridge?”
Sarah was surprised by the request.
“Not really,” she said bending and looking into the fridge, “….how do you feel about toast…or yogurt?”
“Beggars can’t be choosy,” he replied.
Sarah toasted up some bread and slathered a bit of coconut oil and cinnamon upon it and brought out a peach yogurt and a spoon. She watched Jay peel the lid and take a quick bite and as his tongue tried to process the foreign taste. He picked up the cup and turned to get a better look at the product details. Nonfat, sugar-free yogurt. He took a quick bite of his toast and repeated the face.
“You got something against flavor…and fat?”
“Um the beggar is starting to sound awfully choosy,” Sarah quipped as she wiped off her counter.
She walked around it and sat down.
“You’re in trouble, I know you are,” she started.
Jay looked tense, his jaw tightened.
“But I’m not going to tell anyone you’re here,” Sarah confessed.
“Why not?” Jay asked.
“Because I still want to do my job, I want to know how you got to the point where you are hiding out with the very person you despise the most in your life right now.”
Jay fiddled with his spoon before he finally answered.
“My old man thinks he is the alpha and omega of life’s decisions. If you don’t follow his plan than you were damned…like he was some God or something. You know he never wrote me a letter or picked up the phone when I was in Iraq? Didn’t shed a single tear when my mom died?”
Jay had smile on his face but anger bubbled in his eyes.
“You’d think that Will would’ve made him proud becoming a doctor but nope, he could’ve wiped the floor with Will’s degree,” he scoffed.
He was violently tapping the spoon atop the mound of yogurt.
“It was like we were all disposable mistakes who happen to be around after we didn’t please him. I don’t want to be anything like him,” Jay said, his face turned up in disgust.
Sarah wasn’t taking notes she just listened tentatively.
“Do you think that’s why you are having trouble letting go?”
Jay looked up almost confused.
“Letting go of what?”
“I think-,” Sarah began.
But Jay’s phone’s buzzed and a text came through.
“I’m at the bar, where are you?”
“I got to go,” he replied.
He stood up quickly and walked to the door.
“Thanks for the yogurt,” he said succinctly before closing it behind him.
Sarah was more frustrated now than ever. She was never going to crack this nut. She stared at her watch and realized she need to get moving so she wouldn’t be late. She’d just finished zipping the up her dress and sliding into her ballerina flats when she heard the door again.
“I forgot my keys,” he said.
Sarah turned and looked down at the table and went to grab them. Jay got an eyeful of the tight black shift dress she wore. She was always dressed so benign and neutral it was easy to forget she was a woman until her lithe shape popped against the dress.
“You look nice,” he commented.
“Thanks,” Sarah responded.
She hadn’t realized just how much he’d examined her with his eyes. She handed him his keys but before she could close the door he stopped her.
“I don’t despise you….I know I need help,” he admitted.
“Whatever it is I’d like to help you Detective.”
Jay reached in his back pocket.
“There’s a John Doe in a induced coma at Gaffney…an assault…can you run this and tell me if it matches him?”
Jay’s eye were downcast again as shame washed over his face. Sarah reached out and grabbed the plastic baggy. She gave him a stiff nod and closed the door.
Prisoners know to always be aware of their surroundings, cops do too, but doctors, not so much. They are taught to pay attention to what is exactly in front of them and maybe guess how the situation became what it is, not what is was going to be. In front of Sarah was her estranged father. He now carried a small iron lung that sat against the leg of his chair. A nasal cannula across his face and peculiar smile to match.
“This wine is organic, I didn’t know the exact reasons why you’re a vegetarian but I didn’t want to leave anything to chance this time.”
“Thanks, it’s delicious,” Sarah said with a smile.
The joy barely reached the creases of her eyes.
“What’s wrong Sarah?”
“You’re getting worse.”
Bob shrugged nonchalantly, “ Good days and bad days,” he remarked.
“Do you ever get low of breath or winded?” he asked.
“Uh-no, I run all the time,” Sarah answered.
“You’ve never had dizziness, shortness of breath…are your ears all that’s pierced on you?”
“Um-no…and yeah just my ears-.”
“-Any tattoos recently?”
“Dad…what are you getting at?”
“I just want to make sure you don’t end up sitting in a chair fighting to breathe.”
Sarah nodded, she liked the feeling of having a parent worry over her. Her mother fussed but she didn’t worry about Sarah. It was as if he was trying to expel the last bits of energy to be her father in his final days. They finished another dinner and Sarah suggested he stop by her place or she stop by his. He was going on a temporary leave to help improve his heath. It felt foolish considering his health was doing anything besides improving. Sarah helped her father into his cab.
“Sweet girl,” he stated as he leaned in and gave her an unexpected kiss on the cheek.
“Night,” she replied.
She walked across the campus wondering what the first symptoms were that her father had experienced. What symptoms he’d experienced before things had gotten to where they were now. She was so worried about what had been in front of her she hadn’t worried about who was behind her.
She grabbed Sarah’s shoulder so violently she had no choice but to turn and face her.
“Who are you? Are you sleeping with him?!” the girl screamed.
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about…I think you have the wrong person,” Sarah replied.
She was slowly reaching inside her purse for her gun.
“Bobby! I saw you with him! He doesn’t love you! He can’t love you!”
“Dr. Haywood?” Sarah asked.
She loosened her grip on the butt of the gun. The girl was angry but tears were welling in her eyes.
“He’ll take everything from you,” she wept before walking away and seemingly disappearing into the nothingness she appeared from.
Sarah’s heart was pounding and continued to as she laid in bed. Who was that girl? And better yet who was Robert Haywood?
When Jay arrived at the bar Camila was nowhere to be seen. He took a lap around the establishment used the restroom, discreetly poked his head into the supply closet and the kitchen. She wasn’t there. He had been a little behind since he had to go back up to Sarah’s to retrieve his keys and he hadn’t seen the message until she sent it ten minutes after. But all of that was not enough for her to be gone already. He walked over to the bar and leaned over.
“What can I get you?”
“Um-I thought Cam was working?”
“She was but she called me in to cover.”
“Did she say why?”
The bartender lifted her eyebrow at the intrusive question.
“I’m Ryan, I’m her boyfriend, she told me to come here.”
The woman’s face eased.
“I don’t know, I walked in and she walked out with some blonde.”
Sarah had just finished her notes to bring to Dr. Kwon. They were all completely made up. She hadn’t taken any notes the last session. She followed the criteria Kwon gave her and made up answers to the questions. Ones that signaled Jay was lying and another form of treatment such as hypnosis was required. Before she met with Kwon she took the elevator down to the lab.
“Joey,” Sarah said with a smile.
Although broken up they had remained friendly, but even so Sarah was laying on the sugar thicker than usual. She needed a favor.
“I have a sample I need ran against a patient in the ICU, a John Doe.”
“Oh, okay, I’ll get to it-.”
“-If you could put it through stat that would be great, we need an ID so we can contact his family…they must be so worried you know?” Sarah said laying on the honey.
“Can you just text me when you’re done?”
Joey nodded and Sarah smiled back as she went to the elevator. Just as she was walking to Kwon’s office she spotted Dr. Charles but he wasn’t alone he was with her father.
“Well I’m glad things are still going well,” Daniel said.
“They are, oh and before I forget,” Bob said.
He took out his phone and fiddled with it a bit before tapping two times and then saying;
“Done, you should have that questionnaire in your email.”
“Actually it goes into a our database, but I will get the heads up, thanks Bob.”
Sarah pressed her back to the wall as the two got on the elevator. She stood there frozen and in disbelief. Was the world really that small or was this something else? She couldn’t help but wonder why her father was seeing Daniel. She walked to Dr. Kwon’s office and sat down to wait for him. He got in a moment later and looked over her notes.
“I’m glad to see you’re following the protocol,” he stated.
Sarah wasn’t paying attention she was too wrapped up in the scene she’d just witnessed. She had to act fast. She got up quickly and walked over to Dr. Kwon’s desk.
“You see question four,” she began before her hand knocked over his coffee.
He shrieked and Sarah began apologizing profusely before he excused himself to clean up.
Sarah quickly got behind his desk and looked up her fathers records. The depression wasn’t surprising although it was still sad. However what came as a shock was the questionnaire. The first answers weren’t so worrisome but it was everything that came after. Immediately the responses brought forth dreaded words to any psychiatrists’ mind. Glib, emotionally shallow, irresponsible, easily bored, lacking in empathy, compassion, grandiose. Sarah couldn’t finish the rest she got up quickly running into Dr. Kwon coming back in.
“I’m sorry, there’s an emergency, I have to go.”
Sarah ran down the stairs and out to her car.
“How long has she been here?” Voight asked.
He was looking through the two-way mirror at Camila sitting in the interrogation room.
“I’ve had her in there sweating for 12 hours now,” Hailey replied.
Sleep deprivation was a classic torture technique police used to get perps to confess. Camila had broken and admitted to the assault. She’d also admitted her boyfriend Ryan had been apart of it too. That’s why she was still here. Hailey didn’t know what to do next. To blow his cover he’d been using or to pretend to have taken them both in.
“I’d like to use her to take down this drug ring she’s a part of, but no more Ryan,” he said.
Hailey followed the command and went back in. Camila was now their CI and whatever was going on between her and Jay was officially over.
Jay had skipped out on work again, he had sat outside Camila’s brownstone waiting for her. Taking turns sitting on the stoop or in his truck. Finally she appeared. Her eyes were bloodshot and she looked miserable.
“Cam!” Ryan shouted.
She looked over and began speedily marching up the stairs.
“Cam! What the hell is going on? Where have you been?” he yelled.
“You know Ryan, you don’t need to know everything all the damn time, you’re not my father,” she hissed.
“I was worried,” he replied calmly.
“Yeah well I don’t need you worrying and I don’t need you,” she answered.
“Cam, what is going on?”
“What’s going on is that I had to take a good look at my life and see what’s working and what isn’t and frankly baby we ain’t working.”
Before he could even absorb what she was saying she was already through the door. He stood there completely dumbfounded until he got into his truck and headed for the nearest liquor store.
He wasn’t the only person who had stopped by the liquor store. Sarah had two bottles of red on her counter, one already opened. She paced and paced until she finally set her wine glass down and headed to the gun range. The place was deserted. Her shots were sloppy and barely reached her target. Defeated and angry her shoulders slumped.
“Is that safety still giving you issues Doc?”
She spun around to see Hailey.
“I don’t think it’s the safety,” Sarah remarked as she took off her protective earwear, “He isn’t here detective.”
“I can see that,” Hailey said.
She was watching the relaxed way Sarah was moving. She was reloading her gun. She hadn’t bothered to put her earwear back on she just pointed and shot. But without the proper stance or support her other hand usually gave her wrist the recoil was too much to take.
“Ow, dammit,” she hissed.
“Let me see,” Hailey commanded as she walked to Sarah.
Sarah set the gun down and Hailey looked at her wrist, but before she could get a good look Sarah’s hand had moved past Hailey’s and towards her neck pulling her in. Her fingernails glided through Hailey’s scalp just behind her neck, grabbing her hair in taut pull. Sarah’s lips pushed against hers. Immediately Hailey could taste the alcohol on her breath. But she let herself enjoy it a bit longer, maybe too long as Sarah’s hands were under her shirt pawing at her breasts. Her tongue against her neck sucking at her ear. Hailey spun Sarah around and pinned her against the wall. She put her knee between her legs prying them open. Hailey slipped her hand into Sarah’s leggings pushing a couple fingers into her and using one of her knees to add power behind her hand. The two women were making use of the empty range until Sarah’s phone started buzzing a familiar tone. It was the ringtone she’s assigned for Joey. Instantly she thought about the favor she was doing Jay and that he was still her patient, and even though she wanted Hailey, it’d be smart to at least wait until the evaluation was over.
“We should stop,” Sarah said breaking her lips away.
Reality hit Hailey like a ton of bricks.
“Oh my god, yeah you’re right I’m sorry,” Hailey said as she wiped her mouth.
“Don’t be sorry, I kissed you,” she admitted, “I need to get going,” Sarah said.
“I’m sorry because I can smell that you’ve been drinking,” Hailey stated.
Her cop face and stern tone were back now. Sarah looked down shamefully.
“How about I give you a ride home?”
Sarah nodded and they made their way to Hailey’s SUV. They were quiet at first before Hailey finally said.
“You don’t seem the type to drink in the middle of the day.”
“Are you shrinking me now Detective?” Sarah answered playfully.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Upton asked.
“My father is dying, and I just found him again,” Sarah explained, “But I don’t think he’s such a good person, you know.”
“Sometimes I think the fairytale we are told is that our fathers are all-knowing, all loving, and all protective,” Hailey started, “When we grow up and try to find men like them we are left utterly disappointed, never realizing our fathers were disappointments too.”
“Hmm, still worried about Jay?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah,” Hailey answered.
They were out in the front of Sarah’s apartment.
“Thanks for the ride,” Sarah said blushing a bit.
“No problem, if you want I can pick you up tomorrow morning to get your car?”
“Yeah, I’d like that,” Sarah answered.
“Maybe after all of this over we could finally say yes… to this,” Hailey alluded.
Sarah smiled wider and got out of the car and walked up to her apartment. She’d been able to rid herself of her problems until she got in the door and began thinking about her father again, and the girl who accosted her on campus. The wine had its arms open and Sarah filled her glass in embrace. She was already into the second bottle when she heard a pounding at her door.
“Miss me already Detective?” Sarah slurred.
But it was the wrong Detective. Jay stood outside her door bobbing on his feet.
“You could say that,” he said with a smirk.
He let himself in and plopped on the couch.
“Is this a bad time for talkin’?” he giggled.
“You’re drunk,” Sarah observed through her own watery goggles.
“A little,” he whispered with a laugh.
“You know what’s funny? I’ve been drinking all day and I still have no idea why she left me? I know I have messed up big time but so has she, she isn’t perfect, I’ve been there when she was going through it and when I make a mistake she just leaves me?!”
He said with another laugh, his laugh got louder and louder soon the laugh was turning to tears.
“Why did she leave huh? Why did Erin leave me?” he sobbed.
Chapter 5: But You Can’t Stay Here: About Last Night
Sarah crosses the line.
The pounding felt like it was coming from inside Sarah’s head, but it was the door. She opened her eyes to the shallow light and to the heavy arm across her middle, she turned, and Jay was sleeping peacefully; unable to hear the door. Sarah got up and went to the bathroom to grab her robe. Her dried glass of red wine was still on the counter and an empty bottle on the coffee table as fruit flies fought over the remnants. She pulled the door open.
“Detective? I think you can call me Hailey,” she said as went for a kiss.
Sarah backed up awkwardly. The rejection confused Hailey. She looked over and down and spotted a wallet, and a badge. Sarah quickly pulled at the door .
“Uh- I’m a little embarrassed, I um- I kept drinking when I got home, I was still asleep.”
“Alone?” Hailey asked.
Her eyes scanned Sarah’s face; hoping the quick flash of metal wasn’t what she thought it was.
“Is he in there?!...With you!” Hailey yelled.
Sarah pulled the door closed completely quickly stepping in front of it. Hoping if she could close it she could close any impropriety Hailey had seen.
“Jay came by-,” Sarah started.
“Oh! So, it’s Jay now?”
“I don’t know what you want me to say Hailey,” Sarah answered defeatedly.
“I wanted you to say no.”
Hailey shook her head, her mouth turned up in disgust before she walked away.
Sarah turned, covering her mouth, eyeing the room like a crime scene.
Jay was still crying when Sarah sat next to him.
“I read in your file you’d lost a personal relationship and then there was talk around your behavior, I’ve been trying to get you to talk about her since we started.”
“She just left,” he said wiping his eyes, “I thought I could fix it, that we could have more, and she just left me.”
“You’re seeing Luis’ sister, aren’t you?”
His face hardened.
“Not anymore, everyone wants to leave or get rid of me,” he lamented with a slur.
Sarah realized it was late and he really shouldn’t be here but if she rejected him too, then he may end up closing her off completely.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she slurred giving him a home.
He gave her a half smile, her reassurance assuaging his grief, staring at her glassy brown eyes and pink lips. So, he moved in… to kiss her.
“Oh shit,” Sarah thought.
He was still asleep in her room and to be honest she felt like passing out again too. Her mouth was bone dry, she was shaky from low blood sugar, and her head ached. But Jay was still in there. She felt like a little girl, avoiding a crush she’d just confessed her heart to. But this was worse. She curled up on the couch, “I’ll just lay down for a moment” and when her eyes opened again Jay was in the living room gathering his wallet.
“Mmm,” Sarah moaned, “Morning detective.”
They were both tiptoeing around the giant drunken coitus- suggestive- shaped elephant in the room. This tiny room.
“I think it’s actually afternoon,” he quietly responded.
The book he clumsily opened last night was closed again. Sarah could tell by his stiff movements and awkward eye contact. She had to think fast.
“I know we had a bit too much to drink last night but-,” Sarah started.
“-Yeah,” he awkwardly said cutting her off.
“Well we only have another week so maybe we should make another appointment.”
Jay scoffed at the idea. It was truly ludicrous of her to even attempt after this complete line step. Sarah quickly eyed her phone.
“Are you serious? Jay said.
“I am, you still need to pass this psychiatric eval and I am still the only person who knows the test results of the blood.”
Sobriety and dread hit Jay; he couldn’t drink all his problems away.
“My friend ran the blood and it matched the John Doe at the scene…You were there weren’t you?”
Jay slowly sat down next to her
“I just-I just lost it… my job is hanging by a thread, my personal life is shit, and my family is all but absent,” he painfully admitted.
“You can trust me Jay, I can help you through this. So how about tomorrow at noon?”
He nodded and then got up to collect the rest of his things. Sarah glanced over to her cell phone. She’d had the missed text from Joey and one from her father. Jay wasn’t the only one who couldn’t drink his problems away. Sarah’s father was a patient of Dr. Charles but even worst than that he was a psychopath. A psychopath she had dinner plans with. She quickly got up and ran after Jay. Practically stumbling over her robe.
“What?” he asked as she breathlessly stopped him.
“I need a favor too.”
The hangover wasn’t done with Sarah yet. Although her adrenaline was up from thoughts of her father the red wine in her system put her back to sleep. She awoke again to numerous text messages, and emails. Most of the messages were from her father. She needed to figure out a way to deal with him without him realizing she knew.
“Not feeling too well, can we reschedule?”
“Oh, that’s too bad…we’ll catch up later.”
She rolled herself back into her covers and opened her phone again to the message Joey had sent.
Jay slipped into the evidence locker room easily without being seen by anyone of consequence. He went and found an old laptop in the back that Mouse used to use and sometimes take home when he couldn’t sleep. He logged on and tried to spy into Scraggily’s case. They had apprehended one suspect and turned them CI. The name was digitally redacted. Scraggly had not been identified and remained unconscious. Jay took a deep breath. He appreciated Sarah’s help but how was therapy supposed to get him out of this mess? A nice slow talk as his life went to shambles and he awaited pending prison for assault. He started looking up the name she gave him. The distraction was needed.
Natalie Haines missing from Ohio State campus.
Authorities still baffled in the missing case of Marina Taylor.
Amber Scott missing from Ball State University.
Physicists assistant missing since Friday.
Dr. Robert Haywood questioned.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And something was starting to get hot in here. Jay had sat long enough. There was obviously a connection but what did that have to do with Sarah? He got to the court records and began looking into any docket with his name. A marriage license, a birth certificate, a divorce decree.
Laura Reese and Robert Haywood, a daughter: Sarah Danielle Reese.
“Hey man, Voight’s looking for you,” Atwater said.
He had a large box in his hand; gently placing it atop the shelf.
“Where you been?”
“Hey who you talking to?”
It was Ruzek.
“Hey! Yeah! He’s down here,” Ruzek shouted.
Like two angry guards Voight and Hailey appeared and stared down their prisoner.
“Get up,” Voight growled.
There was so much shouting Jay thought Voight’s head would explode. Hailey was perched in the corner brooding. Condemning him with her silence. They brought up his relationship with Camila, then came Scraggily, and finally some answers about why she left.
“You are NEVER to see that girl if you want to see your badge again!”
He’d screamed some more. The booze rattling about in his skull seemed to echo from Voight’s reaming. Finally, the last blow came.
“You are to report here, to your desk, no lunches, no breaks, no therapy, you’re done there too.”
“Sarge?” Jay finally said.
“We have what we need there.”
Voight eyes darted to Hailey as she tightened her jaw and walked out.
Sarah finally rolled out of bed. She made some coffee and went on a run. A good sweat usually could cure a hangover. Perspiring all those toxins. She secured her earbuds and took off. Down the street past Jacob’s Jewelry Binder, and a vintage record store with Jack White on the cover.
Sarah slowed down and stared at the poster.
“Jay, I want to try something,” she slurred.
He wiped the tears from his face. She’d allowed him to kiss her so maybe he’d allow her to try something too. That’s how this worked right? I give you give? You owe me.
Lay back and close your eyes she’d said. She told him his eyes were lazy and his arms were heavy. She gave him a few orders to see if it worked. He whistled, he recited his ABC’s, he repeated every word she said. He was ready.
The car horn blared, and Sarah turned. She’d been standing in an alley as a delivery truck was trying to drive through. Sarah rolled her eyes and moved forward but not before she noticed the girl standing on the opposite side.
“Hey!” Sarah yelled.
The girl just stood there and then she ran off. Ever the avid runner Sarah followed. It was almost fun to play this game, but she hadn’t thought of the reward.
“Stop!” Sarah yelled, she yanked at the girl’s shoulder.
Tit for tat.
“Why are you following me?”
“You just ran me down!”
“Oh, so you live in this neighborhood?”
The girl looked frustrated, she was obviously a shitty liar.
“Who are you?” Sarah asked.
The girl just tightened her jaw as her heavy breath flared her nostrils. Tit for tat.
“I’m Sarah, Bob is my father,” she admitted.
The girl’s jaw softened.
“Cassandra Lucas…I shouldn’t have done what I did the other night...I shouldn’t be here, I’m sorry, please don’t tell Bobby I was here!”
She was squeezing Sarah’s hand.
“What did you mean he’ll take everything?”
“He was so sweet at first, funny, charming, He’s so brilliant. But terrible with time and money. Geniuses are scatter-brained you know. He told me he needed a small loan but that he was good for it and in return he’d make sure I got this fellowship to pay for school...he never called but the debt collectors did.”
Sarah pursed her lips in disapproval.
“Two weeks later I found him in bed with another girl. He screamed at me like I was a stranger, he called me a stupid naïve girl and told me to get out. I lost my scholarship, and Bobby wouldn’t return my phone calls.”
Her eyes watered, and she took a deep breath channeling her rage.
“I have all this debt from school plus this loan I signed for…I have no way to pay it. I don’t know what to do. I thought I was his Sweet Girl…I was nothing…I’m going to try and talk to him again and then I’m going to the Dean.”
“I’m sorry that happened to you…I believe you.”
“I have to go.”
How could he be so cruel? So, calculating? So exacting? He lied as easily as breathed.
This was what her mother meant, “He’s dangerous.” An emotional parasite, charming, manipulative, glib, promiscuous. Hiding in plain sight. Psychopath. Sarah picked up her phone and sent a message to Jay.
She went home, showered off the sweat and toxicity of Cassandra’s story. She ordered a veggie grinder and a banana tart from her neighborhood deli. She was slouching on her couch still staring at the empty bottle of red on her coffee table. Normally she’d clean up quickly. An apartment of this size got messy easily. But she found herself almost hypnotized by the fruit flies fighting over the last drops of sweetness.
“Tell me about why you began a relationship with Camila?”
“I wanted to mourn Luis with someone who cared.”
“Why did the relationship turn sexual?”
“I didn’t want to be me anymore, no one wants Jay Halstead, but Cam wanted Ryan.”
“Why is it important to you to feel wanted?”
“Erin made me feel unwanted, my dad, Will too.”
“Do your colleagues not fill that void?”
“They don’t know me, the real me.”
“Who is the real you?”
Thump, thump, thump.
It had to be the delivery guy. Sarah grabbed her purse and answered the door.
“Sergeant Voight…how can I help you?”
She was doing her best to play coy, but it was obvious. Hailey snitched.
“You’re done with Jay,” he began before pulling out a clasp of papers in his back pocket.
“These are the standard questions on our psych eval, you’re going to write all the correct answers and anything you think the shrink will ask.”
“No?!…You don’t think I know what you two did? If you want to keep your license, you’ll finish this up and leave it.”
He pushed the papers to Sarah’s chest and she grabbed them before he slammed the door behind him. Sarah went back to the couch and stared at her wine bottle. Both flies were at the bottom, drunk, dead.
She opened her phone and looked down at the message from Joey;
“Negative match for your John Doe, good luck.”
Chapter 6: White
The lines aren't just crossed anymore, they don't exist.
It’d been almost four days since Daniel had taken any appointments. He cleared his schedule to evaluate the readiness of his mental health questionnaire. The project seemed to yield success. Quality results for diagnostics. Something he had figured out by the first day; the day he assessed Robert Haywood’s evaluation.
He cleared the next three days of his appointments to keep the façade going. He was busy, editing and typing up his findings for submission to a medical journal. Daniel meticulously poured over his notes and methods. Taking special care. Too careful. Every morning before he entered his office his heart sped up, his mouth swelled, and his hand twitched. Because there was always a chance that he’d be waiting.
If there is any other pertinent information or concerns you feel may help your doctor, please use the following box.
“No worries or concerns, I feel like I have a new lease on life.”
The entire questionnaire was alarming. But that last bit had been haunting Daniel for days.
“Uh, Dr. Rhodes!”
Daniel caught the young doctor’s attention as he was leaving the cafeteria.
“Dr. Charles, what can I do for you?”
“You remember the patient you referred to me? Bob Haywood?”
“Yeah, the physicist, in heart failure, right?”
“He-he hasn’t moved up on the transplant list, has he?”
“Not that anyone has informed me,” Connor answered.
Daniels’ eyes traced the floor as if the answers were held tightly in the linoleum. Connor was looking for answers in Daniel’s face. His gaze began to pierce through Daniels’ trance.
“He’s had a sunnier view recently, I wasn’t sure if you’d found him a heart.”
“Nope, that must be all you.”
Connor gave Daniel a friendly pat on the arm and strolled off. The last time Daniel felt this level of dread was while blood was gushing out of him like an unkempt hose, as he lay outside the hospital.
The dread of not knowing what was to come, and of knowing exactly what was to come. A feeling he had all but shaken, except for the twitch in his hand.
A last gift from Kellogg, another patient he felt he had control over, until he didn’t. He realized a long time ago that he couldn’t control people, only the situation. But it was also becoming increasingly obvious that he may not have control over the situation either. Sarah, standing at the end of the hall was evident of that.
Jay leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms up. He was trying to relieve the knot forming in his lower back. It built from all the sitting. Sitting, waiting, and memorizing. He had to do that too. Each question Sarah had delicately placed an answer, suggestion, or selection of advisement. Whatever Sarah had done she managed to save his career. He was on the outs with everyone personally, but not with his employment. Between rehearsing his lines, he continued to compile his research for Sarah on Robert Haywood. On her father. He wondered if she knew he was her father, maybe she did. Maybe it was a tactic for him to feel like he could trust her. He was loading up the files he’d found when he heard them come in. Ruzek casually dropped a pile of folders on Jay’s desk. Jay shot a mildly annoyed look.
“You know, it would help me finish quicker if you told me more about them.”
Jay was frozen out of briefings too.
“Ah, the assault case outside the pop-up,” Ruzek answered.
He was dumping too much sugar in his coffee. Jay’s ears quickly perked up.
“-You guys closed that?”
He was doing his best to behave casually, but his heart was thumping so hard he could feel it in his neck, heat crawled up his spine and steamed through his face.
“It’s in the notes,” Ruzek responded.
He headed towards the door and out. Jay tried to swallow the golf ball of fear and anxiousness lodged in his throat but fighting that golf ball was the need to scream, and cry. Ruzek hadn’t put him in handcuffs so the resolution was found. He stared at the pile of files. He could punch out now. But these files were leaving with him. He had to know, and he had to find a place to look at them discreetly. A task made difficult by the daggers-like eyes of his estranged partner.
Riding the desk was humiliating but the scorched stare from his partner had become too much to handle. At the end of every shift he already knew. She’d be watching.
Everything he gathered about Robert Haywood was on a flash drive. He needed to get it to her but more urgently he needed to find out what else she knew about Scraggily and how in the hell the case ended.
There was also the unsure portion of him that wanted Dr. Reese to be there to unpack the emotional clusterfuck that the case would unveil. But he was ordered to stay away. So, sneaking over was the only option.
He walked out to his truck and left half the files in the passenger seat. The ones he wanted to have a look at were inside on his desk. Hailey unceremoniously moved too, hanging out in the foyer of the precinct. She looked slightly surprise at him galloping up the stairs and heading back in. Jay poured the stereotypically awful coffee into an equally awful cardboard cup that made the already terrible flavor taste like dirt water. He headed back up the stairs and to his desk. Five minutes later when Hailey came up the stairs; Jay was gone.
He slipped out the back on foot, leaving his truck behind. A duck through two alleys, behind buildings, and a quick taxi ride later, he arrived at Sarah’s. He pounded on the door waiting for a response. He grabbed his phone to call her, when noticed the text messages. She wanted to know if he had found any more information on Bob. Oh, did he, but he needed to get through his own shit first.
Somehow during the last few sessions, he had come to the realization that Sarah was his only friend. He’d barely opened up to her, but she was still supportive, and now she had given him what he needed to pass his in-house evaluation.
She wasn’t home. He let a deep sigh escape as he sauntered down the hall. He pulled his phone to his ear to call her, when he reached the top of the stairs, he saw her, blonde pony tail swishing as she hopped up the stairs. Hailey had found him. He quickly backtracked and went back to Sarah’s door, it was locked, of course it was locked it was Chicago. He pulled out his keys and began jimmying the lock. With only few seconds left, he heard the steps, the knob clicked, and Jay twisted it just as Upton turned the corner. He didn’t slam the door, he slowly pushed it closed. Hailey knocked, loudly, looked around and then walked away. Jay let out a puff of air he’d been holding.
He tiptoed to Sarah’s couch and sat down. Hopefully being on his best behavior wouldn’t completely creep out the psychiatrist as he sat in her home. He called her phone and after two snipped rings it went straight to voicemail. He needed to stick around a bit just in case Hailey was casing Sarah’s place.
Jay cracked open the first of the files and began reading the notes. Scraggily had a name. Damon Thomas, age 37, from Naperville…blah blah blah…bumped into a guy and began fighting…blah blah blah. Hit the ground outside after being blindsided. Jay swallowed hard as shame washed over him. He looked at pictures, a collage of chaos, a black and blue face, two swollen eyes, bruised rib cage, arms, legs, entire body assaulted. Had Ryan and Camilla really been so violent? Jay set the file down and looked to the ground. To face that file was to face himself, whoever that was Ryan or Jay, and he wasn’t ready to know what was next. How was the case closed so soon? Was Scrag-or Damon deceased? Would Ryan be upset if he did it? Jay could feel the tug twisting inside him, the same one that tugged and then eventually pulled him to Camilla. He wished Dr. Reese was here.
He’d come to finally be comfortable with her, maybe too comfortable. He’d crossed a line, but so had she. His eyes wandered to the table and the desk. He stood up and walked over to it. The nosy detective in him eyed her belongings, medical journals, mail, books, pens, a vase with irises, Prairie gentians, and an assortment of wild flowers. And slanted to the side was a recorder. He’d never notice her use a recorder, she mostly took notes and listened…was she recording? If he listened to it, he could be violating someone else’s privacy. He lingered longer than he should. He sat back down again and opened the file and began reading.
Damon had woke up to sign his statement. He wasn’t dead! Thank God he wasn’t dead! Another picture slipped to the ground. It must have been out of order. Jay’s head tilted in confusion. He was staring at Damon, the picture had been catalogued, it was indisputably Damon, but it wasn’t Scraggily. He was a commonplace caricature crackhead, skinny, greasy, but also somehow dusty, and desperate, although Jay’s Scraggily was irritated; probably from coming down. This man was built like a brick wall. He looked like the type of man whose mother had died in child birth, who was always in the top percentile, The Mountain. The person or persons who took him down had magical powers. Ryan and Camilla, high on coke, nonetheless, were not magicians. This wasn’t Scraggily, this wasn’t their victim. Whatever happened to him didn’t result in a trip to Med. How did Sarah get it so wrong?
He began with excuses.
She didn’t get it wrong, maybe the blood on the ground was Damon’s, it wasn’t like Sarah knew what Damon looked like. He’d written an innocent legend of her in his mind. Jay took a deep breath and began reading the rest of the notes.
“Victim woke up in the back of the club and staggered to the front before collapsing, said one witness.”
A witness? Jay stared at the statement. Not to mention Scraggily was knocked out in the front. He couldn’t come up with any more excuses. Had Sarah lied to him? There was one person who might know, and he knew where to find her. Jay gathered up his things and stood up to leave. He glanced over his shoulder at her desk. He snatched the recorder.
Sarah was determined to keep the façade going. Voight should’ve scared her but he didn’t. Maybe because she was her mother’s daughter.
“No, you tell him I won’t be intimidated! If he thinks he can blackmail me than he’s lost his mind. If you lay down with dogs, you get fleas!”
Sarah left the notes on Dr. Kwon’s desk. Part of the façade was keeping her routine but also strategically avoiding the psychiatric wing. There was another matter to tend to;
“I have another name. Cassandra Lucas, she’s connected to Robert Haywood here at Northwestern.”
She hit the send button and looked up to find her father not three feet away. There was no running this time. She didn’t want to anyway.
“Sarah, what are you doing here? Is everything alright?”
“I work here.”
“Oh, you gave me scare when you cancelled our plans,” he had that peculiar smile across his face.
This frail man could not be the same person manipulating and lying to college girls. She glared at him.
“Who are you?”
“What do you mean kiddo?”
“I met Cassandra.”
The same peculiar smile seemed to travel to his eyes but with something else. His mask was slipping. He scoffed.
“She’s a naïve girl-,”
“-Who needs to get lost?”
“Sarah, I haven’t always been a great person, but I am trying,” he said, his tone casual and blasé, “I was worried when you said you weren’t feeling well, you know that’s how it started for me.”
“I don’t have much time left, and I need to know for sure…can you have some tests ran?”
His demeanor changed again and suddenly he was back to looking decrepit and scared. How could he be a psychopath? Sarah was lost in need, that absent paternal bond. Like a missing puzzle piece, one not absolutely needed to understand the picture but it completed it just the same. It was nice to feel worried about again. Not like with her mother.
“Sarah, finish those vegetables, they’re fat free and they’ll take care of that little paunch you’re carrying.”
And although fruitless because she was completely healthy, she could grant him this one wish.
Daniel stared at his patient and his estranged protégé. He remembered Robert mentioning Sarah being his student, but that conversation was not the mundane chatter of two old acquaintances. She’d called him “dad” it shouldn’t have been a shock that was Robert was a liar, after all it was one the more innocuous traits of psychopathy. But why was Sarah here? Her suspension was over at the end of the week. But there she was, badge intact, roaming the halls of Med as if Daniel had no authority. He hung back as they split off; Robert to the elevator, Sarah down the hall. He carefully followed her down as she disappeared to Sharon’s office. A heady mix of rage and fear comes across controlling people when they feel left out of the mix. Scared because whatever was brewing behind those doors was out of his control and that feeling fueled his anger. He stood outside and waited almost ten minutes, his bum knee throbbing, his hand twitching, his mood a confection of boredom, curiosity, anger, and anxiousness. Then the door opened, and Sarah stood; completely stunned. Sharon looked annoyed, as if Daniel was the kid her parents forced her to invite to the party.
“Anyone want to read me in on what the hell is going on here?”
Sarah turned to look at Sharon.
“Dr. Reese, please give me and Dr. Charles some privacy.”
The door snapped behind her and she could hear their voices. Rapidly going off and escalating to spirited tones. Sarah’s phone had buzzed twice while speaking with Goodwin. She went to check the messages.
“Hey Doc, it’s me, I owe you a new door handle, call me when you get this.”
Sarah slid the phone in her pocket. She went down to the lab. She really had allowed the father-daughter vibes to seduce her into getting tested. If anything, at least she could find out if she was healthy. That was supposed to be a perk of finding your birth parents, a clearer medical history, what traits you may have picked up. Sarah wondered what other traits she may have picked up from Robert.
“Upton!” Jay yelled wildly.
He was looking around the street for her blazer. He screamed her name again. Lights came from his right and she pulled out and drove up next to him. Jay jumped in and they took off to Molly’s. Neither of the cops ordered a beer, two waters as they sat across each other.
“I know…I know you were ordered to follow me, which means you saw things…,”
“Pfft,” Hailey scoffed as she leaned back in her chair like a cowboy.
“That’s the freaking understatement of the century.”
Jay tried to smile face, but it didn’t make it to his eyes, shame showed up for another shower. The two sat quietly, Jay sitting with the question at the edge of his tongue. Hailey, skeptically examining his face. Finally, Jay asked;
“What did you do with the body?”
“Herman, two shots of Patron,” Hailey commanded.
He brought the drinks over and she handed him cash. She lifted her shot, but Jay wouldn’t take his.
“Suit yourself,” she said before knocking the shot to the back of her throat.
She put her hair behind her ears and crossed her fingers.
“When I went back, he was just coming to, I helped him up and brought him to Med. Concussion, bruised ribs, bruises mostly.”
His eyes sparkled with the glint of burgeoning tears. His shame had found a way out. He took a deep breath and sniffed in.
“Do you trust Dr. Reese?”
There was an emphasis on the way she said her name that Jay couldn’t quite place. It reeked of thinly-veiled jealousy but a familiarity that could offer a valid critique.
Hailey had followed him through everything.
“I didn’t have sex with her.”
Hailey twirled the other shot between her fingers. Her eyes were better served on the glass instead of spelling out the foolish feeling she had inside. Even so, Sarah had an agenda too.
“Did you know she was following you too?”
“Oh yeah, she was following you and had been for at least a week before Voight brought her in.”
“Did Voight put her up to it?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
Jay pulled the shot glass from Hailey’s fingers and downed the liquid. He got up, and immediately Hailey stood up too.
“I’m just going to take a leak.”
Hailey slid back down in her chair. Jay headed to the restroom. He waited until another man finished washing his hands to pull out the device he’d been clutching; the recorder. He hit play.
“You’re already relaxed from drinking…so this should be easy.
“I do-don’t want you in my head,” Jay whined.
“Shh, shh, it’s fine it’s a meditative technique.”
“Your arms are heavy, your eyes are even heavier, you’re in a safe place, no one can hurt you here, I want you to slowly count back from a hundred.”
Jay could hear the mumblings of ninety-seven, eighty, seventy, until finally he was under. She had him crowing like a bird, clucking like a chicken. It was humiliating but it couldn’t be construed as anything more than a prank, then a line step.
“Tell me why you let the bar fight get out of control?”
“I wanted to hit something.”
“Because it felt good.”
“What felt bad before?”
“When Erin left?”
“Why do you think she really left?”
“I knew no matter how perfect of a boyfriend I was to her it would never matter because deep down I didn’t want it to work.”
“Did you want it to work with Camilla?”
“Because I was lying to her about who I was, it could never really work.”
“Tell me about why you began a relationship with Camilla?”
“I wanted to mourn Luis with someone who cared.”
“Why did the relationship turn sexual?”
“I didn’t want to be me anymore, no one wants Jay Halstead, but Cam wanted Ryan.”
“Why is it important to you to feel wanted?
“Erin made me feel unwanted, my dad, Will too.”
“Do your colleagues not fill that void?
“They don’t know me, the real me.”
“Who is the real you?”
“Why do you think you’re a monster?”
“I have killed people in the name of law and country and I’ve been called a hero for it, I have accidentally killed people for law and country. I told Louis that taking drugs helped, but it had nothing to do with guilt. I never felt guilty and that’s why I feel like shit. I know I let my nine go through a wall and it tore through some little girl. I know it, and I sleep like a baby, every single night, I am a monster.”
“You don’t want anyone to know you,” whispered Sarah.
“Okay Jay, when I snap my fingers and say the word, you will wake up with no memory of this conversation.”
Just as her fingers snapped the tape did too. It was falling apart under Jay’s grip. He busted it on the floor and banged his heel against it until shards of black and silver plastic flew across the bathroom tile. He kept kicking and stomping hoping he could rid himself of his anger. He looked to window, opened it and hopped out.
Sarah set her purse down on her side table. She would’ve heard the click of the door, but it was busted. She played with it back and forth, realizing it wouldn’t clasp perfectly. It twisted in her hands before she had the chance to try and close it again. There was another hand on it. She pulled it open.
“Oh, it’s you…yeah you really did a number on this handle,” Sarah said.
“It’s fine I’ll have the super replace it, I’ll just tell him someone tried to break in,” she said with a light laugh. Her back to him she walked into her apartment. She looked through some mail and tossed it on the desk.
“Do lies really do come that naturally for you?”
Sarah turned and scoffed, before she’d really taken in the look on his face. His shiny blues were twisted into disorder, unblinking he asked;
"Why did you do it?" Jay growled.
“Do what?” she asked innocently.
Jay stalked over to her.
“Let’s hear you count back from one-hundred.”
Sarah swallowed hard and took a deep breath; a defiant look smeared across her face.
“I didn't ask you to kiss me that night...," Sarah pronounced.
Her proclamation angered him more than he’d realized. Was she really framing herself as some sort of victim? The one who’d been taken advantage of?
"Why did you do it?"
"Because you needed it...because I care."
Jay was inches away from her face; his heated breath pouring down on her, his eyes scrutinizing hers.
"Show me Sarah, show me how much you care."
She didn't know what to do...so she grabbed his chin and clumsily pushed her lips against his. There was nothing romantic about this kiss. No bombs bursting in air or fluttery feelings of butterflies. Less than making out with her hand; Jay barely acknowledged it. Her eyes pressed closed, his open and, mistrustful. Tit for tat. Sarah stepped back.
"We're even now."
"No, we're not."
Not unlike a bull unleashed from the gate Jay slammed her back to the table and pulled her jeans down. It was so quick her underwear awkwardly half-followed. He tore so zealously at the buttons on her shirt they popped off and ripped the garment down to her belly button. Sarah’s olive flesh and deep wine-colored nipples escaped; exposed. Jay unzipped his pants so fast it was practically a magic trick, she only caught a glimpse of him before he pried her legs open and roughly skidded his way in. He lay on top of her and brought his face close to hers, hovering over her lips, but he wouldn’t kiss her. He kept his rabid anger in his eyes; a look Sarah could hardly tear her eyes away from. The lay there linked until he took his hands to either side of her head gripping the top of the desk. Sarah hadn’t been prepared for his entrance and even less so for the first thrust. She gasped, but her sounds barely qualified to Jay’s ears and did nothing to ruffle the stoic cold blue gaze he held on her. Again, he rammed into her, then again, and then again. There was a chance he was hurting her, but he didn’t seem care, he seemed to be looking through her. Who was he seeing? Erin? Camilla? Maybe seeing the real her.
They weren’t even.
He lifted himself up and back from her. Sarah took a deep breath in ready to ask him how he felt now, but he grabbed her legs, crossing them and quickly flipping her. Another magic trick. Sarah lay on her stomach against the desk; bent over. Jay spit on his hand.
He pushed himself back into her, sliding into a spot he hadn’t been before; no one had. Sarah would’ve screamed but her voice was choked up by the action. He was no gentler to her back side as he heaved his pelvis against her and the bones of her hips knocked into the table. He bent down over her back and slid his fingers down in front of her, between her, polishing the tips with her clit. The dichotomy of agonizing pain and pure unbridled pleasure assailed Sarah. It confused her and muddied the waters of her mind. She wanted him to stop; to never stop, yes, no, yes, no, please stop, please god more. The slickness against his fingers made him cease his massaging of her. He used both hands now; against her shoulders, recklessly smashing her ass into him hard and fast until he growled almost so low Sarah could barely hear.
"Do you remember the word? Hmm?"
Caught between the dizzying spiral of pain and pleasure she couldn’t get right. What word did he mean?
Pleasure was beginning to unravel as pain took its place. Her nails dragged against the desk as she tried to take it, but she couldn’t, so she began pulling herself up, but Jay slammed her back down like a perp against the hood of a car.
"Say it," he hissed through his labored breath.
His hand gripped firmly on the back of her neck as her cheeked ground against the wood.
Each word caught in her throat. He leaned over.
"What's the word doctor?"
Her cheek drug against the table again, rougher than a moment ago.
"Did you even test the blood?!"
A sharpness pierced her hips as he slammed into her again.
"-Ow, I don't know!" Sarah cried.
"Just like your dad!"
His voice was ragged and pinched.
Harder, faster, rougher, until Sarah couldn’t take it anymore.
“Stop! Stop! Stop!”
“THE WORD DOCTOR!
“God! WHITE! WHITE! WHITE!” Sarah screamed.
He let go of her hair and pulled himself away, zipping up his pants. Upon two shaking legs, Sarah stood up and turned. Immediately her hand flew up, ready to connect to Jay's face before he stopped it mid-air.
"I-I asked you to stop...," her voice trembled with anger, "You didn't have my permission."
"And you didn't have mine," he whimpered.
He threw her hand down to her side.
You owe me.
Chapter 7: Hailey
It's time to see this tale through someone else's eyes.
Once upon a time a little girl named Hailey had an amazing day-camp counselor; Lisa. Lisa had thick auburn curls, an intoxicating laugh, a fierce love of literature, and a wicked curve ball. Hailey felt unstoppable around her, like a giant. She inflated the girl from the broken, abusive home. Hailey was mended in her presence. Her favorite thing to hear her say was;
“Don’t let boys be the only thing you want in life, don’t let them always drive your car, y’know what I mean?”
She’d pop her gum and flick her thick locks around and it was then that Hailey knew; she liked boys, but she loved girls.
“You would be so disappointed in me,” Hailey mumbled.
Piss, bottles of it were on the floor, as was a blanket, empty coffee cups and wrappers of a life lived like a vagrant. Or in Hailey’s case someone on twenty-four-hour surveillance. Jay had become her whole life, or should she say Ryan. Most of the time she sat in her car completely incensed over the task or over Jay’s behavior. Always volleying between the two feelings. Here she was sitting outside a pop-up club in a sketchy neighborhood surveilling her wayward partner and his criminal fuck-buddy. Part of her irritation came from the fact that she liked Jay, she respected him, and cared about him…maybe more than she was willing to admit. Then Dr. Reese entered the picture and the situation got even more confusing for her. She’d spotted her watching him, probably believing she had the upper hand, not realizing the trained detective had made her. Sometimes to quell her anger she thought about Dr. Reese, how her curls and serene voice reminded her of Lisa. The warmth of the sun upon her face as Lisa braided her hair and told her jokes to cheer her up. Those memories held her as she faded towards peace; until the doors blew open. She could hear shouting. She grabbed her binoculars and watched them. Jay was like some transformed demon beating a man with his twisted dance partner. The two took off running and Hailey followed them in her truck, she slowed down as they rounded a corner and then she took off on foot. She slyly crept around to see Camilla against the wall, her legs wrapped around Jay, his pants at his ankles. Was that Jay? Camilla was cartoonishly calling out Ryan’s name.
“Unbelievable,” Hailey whispered.
She got back into the car and turned around, returning to the pop-up club. She slung the guy over her shoulder, army style, he was muttering incoherently. When she got to Med she told them she had no idea who he was but that he was hurt and to please contact her when he came to. Damage control. Playing Jay’s personal clean-up crew had also caused her to lose him. She frantically called Voight and unhelpfully he said;
“Yeah, no shit sarge,” she thought.
He was probably angry that she went home and didn’t tell him that she’d lost sight of him, when was she supposed to sleep? But ever the understanding ear, she was tasked with finding Camilla first.
The harpy worked at the same bar they staged their sting in.
“What can I get you?” Camilla asked.
She was texting on her phone, as she walked over. Hailey glanced at the other girl working whose back was to them. She flipped open her badge, watching Camilla’s eyes grow large.
“Step outside with me.”
“Hey, Mel, take over for me,” Camilla ordered.
The woman nodded.
Hailey didn’t just want to have a quick conversation outside she wanted Camilla to really understand how much serious shit she’d really gotten into. She took Camilla to an interrogation room, offered to ger her some coffee, came back, and plopped a file in front of her.
“Some light reading material,” Hailey answered, “Please.”
She pushed the folder toward Camilla, who had her arms crossed tightly in front of her chest. She sighed a deep huffy sound and opened the case file, her brother’s photo on top. She began reading through the police report. Hailey watched her face. She got to the end.
“So what? Luis was involved with some pretty screwed up people, he’s dead, what does any of that matter now?”
“Look at who signed the report.”
“Detective Jay Halstead…is that name supposed to mean something to me?”
Hailey pulled out her phone and turned it toward Camilla, it was a group shot of them after an accommodation ceremony, dressed in their blues.
“I-I don’t understand,” she stammered.
Camilla looked like she’d seen a ghost.
“His name isn’t Ryan.”
Hailey got up and left the room. She’d let Camilla stew on that piece of info until she could figure out where Jay went.
She didn’t want it to be the place, but she wanted nothing more for it to be the place; Sarah’s apartment. She was running on way too much coffee, minimal sleep, and frustration. She hadn’t meant to be so rude to Sarah as she sashayed past her looking into her rooms. Quietly archiving her things in her house. Sarah was neat. When they spoke Hailey couldn’t help but stare at her dark eyes, eyes that seemed like they absorbed everything around them, soft, kind, but almost intimidating at times. A depth of pathology Hailey wanted to know more about but was also strangely apprehensive about. When she handed Sarah her card, she spotted a tiny scar on her hand, her issue with her gun, her fingernails unpainted. Her hands were delicate. She said she’d call if she saw him. Hailey didn’t believe her. Sarah’s eyes darkened when she lied, the innocent light quickly snuffed out. How easily she could lie, maybe she took the confidentiality oath too seriously.
Hailey was running on fours of sleep and she still hadn’t found Jay. The hospital called. They’d ID’d the man she brought in. He didn’t remember much, his tox screen was off the wall. Hailey let out a relieved breath. She returned to the precinct.
“Listen, we got you for assault-,”
“-You got me and Ry-Jay,” Camilla said.
“That’s not how this is going to go down, he’s a cop, no one is going to prosecute him for this.”
“He was doing drugs and screwing me, I may not know much but something tells me that ain’t apart of the rules.”
“Let’s talk about those drugs.”
Camilla went quiet, her eyes read “Oh shit.”
Hailey laid it out better than a game of cards. Camilla had been linked to a drug trade and if she had any hope of staying out of prison, she would turn CI. Camilla signed the paper. Before Hailey dropped her off, she turned to her.
“You dump him as soon as you make contact and then contact me.”
Camilla nodded stiffly.
“And if you tell him about this, I will throw the book so hard at you there won’t be a lawyer good enough to lift it.”
Hailey drove away. Considering how much time Jay spent with Camilla he would probably start looking for her. Hailey used this knowledge to take a nap. When her phone pinged, she hoped it was Camilla but instead it was Voight calling for an update. She didn’t have one, but she also didn’t want to appear as though she didn’t have it handled so she went to the gun range.
His truck wasn’t there but she recognized Sarah’s car. She figured it couldn’t hurt to ask again, to see if the light left her eyes. When she walked to the back Sarah appeared more relaxed than normal, her stance didn’t seem as fixed, her hair was cascading down her back, not pinned up and out of the way. Her demeanor was almost like Lisa’s, too cool for school. A fly to the honey. Hailey truly was going to try and figure out was wrong with Sarah’s gun, she really was there to ask her about Jay. She absolutely come back here to get some work done. But then she found her tongue down Sarah’s throat and her fingers inside her. It’s didn’t dawn on her that this was way past the point of return until she found her thumb instinctively looking for Sarah’s G-spot, her hands would have to do, she’d rather giver something more, something hard-
“- We should stop,” Sarah said breaking her lips away.
Reality hit Hailey like a ton of bricks.
“Oh my god, yeah you’re right I’m sorry,” Hailey said as she wiped her mouth.
“Don’t be sorry, I kissed you,” she admitted, “I need to get going,” Sarah said.
“I’m sorry because I can smell that you’ve been drinking,” Hailey stated.
Her cop face and stern tone were back now. Sarah looked down shamefully.
“How about I give you a ride home?”
The ease of talking to Sarah was seductive, she wished she could pin down that light in her eyes, to never have that dubious look of darkness. That little bit of hope, the shared kiss, and small promise to start something real after the whole Jay mess was finished it was enough happiness to see Hailey through to the end it. She continued to drive around; until nightfall. Finally, her phone received a text.
“He was here, I don’t where he went. It’s over.”
Hailey closed her phone. If she was lucky, he’d go home and lick his wounds. That’s where she was headed, she was done playing babysitter. She had handled the illegal portion of his little side hobbies. She deserved eight full hours of sleep.
She went home climbed into bed, completely sure her exhausted state would put her out. But instead she found herself thinking about Sarah and Lisa.
“Don’t let him drive your car, Detective.”
Their voices merged in her head as an ultimate fantasy. Eventually her choice to fall asleep was taken as her body shut down. When her alarm went off, she could feel the weight of her missing hours. She groaned, but suddenly, stopped. She got to see Sarah today. Maybe they could get a cup of coffee, a slick first date without the pressure. There was a great place near the gun range.
She skipped up the stairs and knocked on the door. She probably knocked a handful more than the average person. She wasn’t ready to let go of her excitement yet.
Finally, Sarah came to the door, in her robe. There was nothing more disheartening than clearly being the more excited half of a burgeoning connection. Hailey was wide eyed and receptive, Sarah was bleary-eyed and closed off. It made Hailey instinctively look for reasons why. She couldn’t help but see it; the light had glistened off his badge.
Is he in there?!...With you!” Hailey yelled.
Sarah pulled the door closed completely, quickly stepping in front of it. Hoping if she could close it, she could close any impropriety Hailey had seen.
“Jay came by-,” Sarah started.
“Oh! So, it’s Jay now?”
“I don’t know what you want me to say Hailey,” Sarah answered defeatedly.
“I wanted you to say no.”
“No Jay, I won’t sleep with you, your partner is worried everyone is worried, or no Jay I’m your doctor and this is completely unprofessional and inappropriate. She could’ve said anything but she’s screwing him. She had one job to do, it would’ve been easy! Everything could’ve worked out, but she screwed everything up!”
“I agree, this not how I saw this going down.”
He was watching her pace, the anger quivering in her blue eyes
“Yeah,” she answered, the intensity still the same.
“I don’t like this either, but I’m going to ask again, is this about Detective Halstead or is this about Jay?”
She squinted her eyes in confusion.
“What? No-it’s about the job, we look out for one another.”
Hank nodded, receiving the shaky answer. Because after, Erin he couldn’t deal with anymore inter-office personal drama between his team, she was doing her job and nothing else could interpret it differently.
However, Hailey wasn’t being entirely honest. There is a particularly interesting and unique thing that can happen to a bi-sexual person, you can be hurt by both sides in one swoop. It was a cruel way to look at the one-bird-two-stone concept. Hailey had always been somewhat attracted to Jay and even more so recently, even with his issues, watching him turn to Camilla and not her burned more than she’d realized. Deep down she felt like he might even have an inkling of her feelings. And Sarah, she’d kissed Sarah, had felt inside Sarah. Yet there they were, in bed together. The dark pathology had finally taken over Sarah’s eyes.
There really wasn’t anyone to trust.
Sitting in Voight’s office as he reamed Jay was a little comforting, but conflicting. She hated listening to him being chastised. But she also wanted to see him suffer for taking one more thing away from her. It should’ve been enough and there wasn’t anything left to do but she followed him anyway. Misery always loves company and sometimes it doesn’t even have to invite you. Hailey sat outside Sarah’s place. She wasn’t an idiot. Her hope was to catch them both. Make them face her. But instead Jay came out of the apartment yelling her name like an emergency.
They rode in silence to Molly’s, both knowing how much the other had to divulge.
Do you trust Dr. Reese?”
Her name was practically hissed out of Hailey’s mouth.
“I didn’t have sex with her.”
Hailey twirled the other shot between her fingers. She wanted to pretend like she didn’t need to hear that, but she did. Maybe Sarah was sorry she lied to her about Jay being there. Maybe nothing had happened. Even so, Sarah had an agenda too.
“Did you know she was following you too?”
“Oh yeah, she was following you and had been for at least a week before Voight brought her in.”
“Did Voight put her up to it?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
Jay’s eyes pulled to a quick glare. He grabbed the shot glass from her fingers and downed it. Hailey had triggered something in him, she didn’t like the uneasy look he had. He stood up, and immediately Hailey did too.
“I’m just going to take a leak.”
Hailey ordered a beer and kept her eye on the men’s room door. She grew impatient after a while and pushed the door open. A couple of men gave her an awkward glance, but she didn’t mind them. On the floor were bits of electronic pieces. She gathered them up and grabbed the folder Jay left at the table. When she threw it in the car, she heard a click against her door. On the floor; a small zip drive.
She headed home. She probably should’ve slept but she couldn’t. Sarah could’ve said that nothing happened. What was so important to her to keep everything so closed to the chest? It wasn’t like Hailey didn’t know Sarah was treating him. She opened the zip drive; she wasn’t prepared to see what was on it.